I’m a hotel ‘vibe manager’ who gets paid to curate playlists, set mood lighting, and help guests record their own songs

Ramon Olguin Sanchez

This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Ramon Olguin Sanchez, a 33-year-old hotel vibe manager from Los Cabos. It has been edited for length and clarity.

I’ve worked with the Hard Rock brand for over four and a half years and have been the resident vibe manager for almost three years. 

Before, I earned a degree in master of musical production with a specialty in live audio, and worked for audiovisual companies that produced big events. 

I initially started working at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in 2017 as supervisor of the audiovisual department. Following the former vibe manager’s resignation, the hotel’s general manager asked me to step in and eventually offered me the role full-time. A few years later in December 2019, I was transferred to Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos. 

Hard Rock first introduced the vibe manager role in hotels around 2005. 

We set the stage for memories to be made, from curating music and overseeing memorabilia to creating mood lighting. 

I don’t have a set schedule, but my day usually starts with a walk around the property

Ramon Olguin Sanchez

I adjust the music volume on-site and check on the memorabilia displays. There are 14 separate music zones on the property that I manage. Next, I go over any events we have for the day, and mingle and interact with the guests throughout the grounds and chat about our music amenities. 

I also oversee the upkeep of our musical memorabilia, a collection of more than 83,000 pieces, including at one point the famous "Prince Blue Guitar."  I made sure it stayed secure, in good condition, and with proper lighting and care. I also deal with special requests, such as carefully shipping a motorcycle from Riviera Maya’s Bret Michaels-themed suite to the Hard Rock headquarters in Florida.

At Hard Rock Los Cabos, we have a professional recording studio guests can use to create their own songs

I run the signature "Sound of Your Stay" program which includes three major components. The first, called "tracks," is our free music service. Guests get a key holder with a code at check-in, and we curate playlists they can download to their device for free.  

The second is "picks," our electric guitar rental service with a menu of around 20 different guitar models. Guests can pick one to bring back to their room with an amplifier and take an in-room video guitar lesson on their TV. And the third is "wax," our turntable service. We lend out over 100 vinyl records for guests to take back to their own room since every room has its own turntable. 

I also run a DJ music creation activity on-site called "Mix," where we teach guests how to use popular DJ software. 

My favorite part of the job is planning live concerts and meeting musical guests

Ramon Olguin Sanchez

When it comes to creating a good atmosphere for any event, the most important component is to properly manage lighting and the volume of the music. Our standard for the proper volume of the music at The Hard Rock is measured by whether we can hear the person we’re speaking with loud and clear without having to raise our voices. 

I love getting creative to put on unique music experiences for guests, anything from an 80s party, to a reggae party, to a disco party. I scout local musicians to perform at the hotel and have also met famous artists who’ve stayed as guests, including Bret Michaels himself. 

Another great guest encounter came when I met a couple where the husband, who is blind, enjoyed singing his poetry over smooth jazz music. His wife made a reservation for the recording studio, and he sang original poetry over a smooth jazz track. I helped them throughout the recording process — I’d never heard someone sing poetry over smooth jazz before, and I loved it. 

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Molly O’Brien August 13, 2021 at 05:18PM

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