Sonos for a Hotel

  • 3 January 2019
  • 8 replies


We operate a small hotel.... with an aging in-cieling speaker system that basically plays from a 3.5mm cable at this point.

We'd like to replace the amps with Sonos Amps... but am wondering how this would work from a guest perspective.

Ideally, we'd be placing a tablet in the room (potentially with HomeSeer locked on it), but would like the flexibility for a guest to be able to connect to the wifi with their own device, and play music off of it, using whatever their preferred streaming service is.

Is this possible?


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8 replies

Userlevel 5
Badge +11
You would need an individual network for each room I think. Otherwise a guest would be able to control any speaker in the hotel. Maybe someone will come along with better understanding than me.
I don't think it is correct to say separate networks are strictly necessary, to set this up. But in practice I think @Legnum Nick is correct that this is vulnerable to abuse. If you set them up as a single system it will indeed be chaos, with everyone able to control any speaker..

Every Amp would in fact have to be set up as a separate system. If you had, say, an Amazon Fire tablet as controller in each room, you could set it up to to connect to the 'right' Amp by default. In principle, provided the 'right' Amp is in range, the controller will automatically connect to it.

So the first requirement is for the Amp to be in range of the relevant controller. Will they be in a central location?

But if a guest decided to reset the controller, it would potentially discover all the Amps, but require a button press on the Amp to identify the system required. If the Amps are not accessible to the guests, that is at best hassle for you.

I am also concerned that you won't be able to restrict the possibility of Airplay to other rooms' speakers (not sure on that one, I don't use Airplay).

Finally, Sonos is geared to using the streaming services of the system, not the user.

To be honest, much as I love Sonos, it isn't really designed for your situation.

Edit: It might be possible to create a separate subnet for each speaker, as well as having them as separate systems, but that is beyond my level of expertise.
I agree with John. Sonos is designed for multi-room use, and trying to have it operate each room individually is going to be complicated.

This is a much better fit for using Bluetooth I would think. You could use a Bluetooth receiver with your existing setup (replace the speakers and amp if you wish) or just get some good portable Bluetooth speakers (locked down some how). Customers could link to the speaker system with their own devices or a device you provide. You would still need to do something to make sure that customers don't connect to speakers in other rooms, but I think that could be managed.

If your deadest on Sonos, then you could put the Sonos amps on a separate wifi network customers can't access, along with amazon echos on the same network to control them. This would not allow customers to play their own music though, and probably would bother customers who aren't familiar with Alexa and/or have privacy concerns.

My personal opinion, I would just remove a sound system altogether. I don't travel often, but when I do, I simply pack my own portable Bluetooth speaker for use in the hotel room.
Thanks for the advice everyone.

One of the requirements / goals of the project is to achieve a solution that allows background music to play in the room upon arrival... hence why I am thinking sonos versus a simple bluetooth solution.

If i were to go the route of creating a separate wifi network for each room so that a guest can connect, would there be a way to lock down the settings of the sonos so that guests cannot add their own accounts / change settings?
Entry into most of the settings menus now requires a username/password, so I'm pretty sure they would be locked out of adding services. Not near my system at this time, so I cannot say for sure what is behind that wall of authentication.

Perhaps a Sonos rep can give a definitive answer.
Are there any sonos reps on the forums?

I've just set up a demo unit, and the connect:amp seems like it will work very well. The challenge I'm having is that I was able to add / change a music service from another phone without having logged into my account (which the amp is tied to).

Is there any way to lock out this functionality? or perhaps reset all settings and remove all logins with an API?
Userlevel 3
Badge +4
I agree, it would be nice to have a guest mode and an admin mode in sonos.

I could see how it would even be more useful for places like hotels, restaurants, etc.
Userlevel 4
Badge +3
Hi - I have successfully worked with a similar situation for many ears. Two holiday rental apartments, one above the other, using a common WiFi. I've set up separate SonosNets for each apartment, containing five speakers in each. Each system is connected to its own Bridge (earlier version of Boost) and by connecting the first speaker in a group with its respective Bridge has maintained independent integrity.

Any guest using their own phone/ tablet as controller would have to connect by pressing the Sonos play buttons. Only issue I can foresee in a hotel scenario with a higher frequency of returning guests is that a controller which had previously been connected to a particular room, would remember the earlier room speaker and connect to that without resetting the controller. This happens to me since i alternate my own use of the apartments and have t remember to reset the controller.

As for Airplay, simplest would be not to buy any Airplay enabled speakers. I too noticed the potential when Airplay was first introduced to Sonos for ALL airplay speakers to show as available to play music. There is a suggestion on an earlier thread originated by me on this subject in which the responder suggested introducing restrictions through the Apple Home app. Seemed as though it may work but tbh not yet tried it.

Alexa/ Google Home should be fine since integrated devices automatically play through the device and following recent updates, a local Echo device can have assigned a preferred speaker for playback.

I do include for guests laminated instructions showing connection/ playback options, also explaining out can stream music of choice/ act as radio/ act as alarm. Many many positive comments from guests loving the setup (also use Smart Hue lighting).

Hope this helps.