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What does a Hotel Receptionist do?

What does a Hotel Receptionist do?

Are you wondering what a Hotel Receptionist does and what it takes to start a career in this prestigious role?

You have come to the right place. Let us give you some valuable insight into the hotel industry and help you to decide if the role of Hotel Receptionist is right for you.

Job Overview

The work of a Hotel Receptionist is one that is regarded as prestigious and highly ranked within the hotel. It is also often seen as the best possible position from which to start your Hotel Career. Consequently it comes at no surprise that most Hotel Managers have started their career at the Front Desk and worked their way up.

The working environment is clean and the work itself is not physically hard. Your day to day duties will vary and you are bound to meet a lot of interesting people every day.

You will be working closely with other departments to ensure all guest needs are met and ideally exceeded. So if you enjoy interacting with a variety of people, utilise your creative skills and have a real impact on the overall performance of your hotel. Then becoming a Hotel Receptionist definitely seems right for you.

Entry Requirements

The hotel industry has a great reputation for recruiting line colleagues such as Hotel Receptionist from outside and promote from within. This means you must first focus on getting your foot into the door and you can then progress from within.

You may also think that it is essential to speak English fluently. However, with over 85% of employees at the Front Desk from a foreign country a basic level is often good enough. If you enjoy speaking English this job is right for you and you will improve your language skills quite quickly on the job. You also have to consider that most of our guests are not necessarily British or English speaking. Therefore you have a great advantage of speaking another language.

The one entry requirement that is essential though is that applicants for the role of Hotel Receptionist are enthusiastic. Also friendly and have the natural desire wanting to help people.


We have touched on this briefly but let’s explore daily duties of a Hotel Receptionist a bit more.

You can be forgiven for thinking that being a Hotel Receptionist means that all you have to do is look presentable, be smiley and answer a few guest questions. Therefore getting a job without prior experience or training should be easy. However, the reality is very different and a Hotel Receptionist is considered to be the “Magician” of a hotel. Everything he or she does looks effortless and elegant yet requires a lot of skill and preparation. If the job is done right you will dazzle your guests and make them want to come back over and over again.

Some duties require you to draw on your soft- and people skills. For example handling complaints, arranging a birthday treat, welcoming a VIP.  Along with coordinating tasks with your fellow team members or other departments.

Working Hours and Patterns

Hotel Receptions are usually open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. That does not mean that you have to work every single day but it does mean that you are most likely going to work shifts. This is so that we can ensure to look after our guests and be around whenever they need us. Shift work is quite exciting as you get to experience the business during different times of the day.

Morning shifts from 7.30 to 15.30 are busy shifts with guest mainly checking out and potentially a few guests checking in. You may say that such an early start is not for you but think about it – you get to finish early and still have most of the late afternoon for you whilst everyone else is still at work. Besides, travel on the underground is so much more relaxed and you are guaranteed to get a seat on your way to work and back.

Shift Paterns

Afternoon shifts from 15.30 to 23.30 are great because you get to see the hotel coming alive in the evening hours. During this shift you will be mainly busy doing check ins and preparing arrivals for the next day. The afternoon shift is often a favorite among those team members who enjoy sleeping a little longer and stay awake until later in the evening. If you feel like it you can even go out after an evening shift on a Friday – after all, the city only really comes alive after midnight.

The night shift is usually manned by a dedicated night team and it is unusual for a Hotel Receptionist to cover the shift from 23.30 to 7.30. However, you may wish to cover some night shifts to get a better understanding of the work processes at night.

A Hotel Receptionist can be expected to work five days in a row. However, these may not always be Monday to Friday and can include Weekends and Bank Holidays. But again, being off on days when others work is a great advantage to do what others can’t do.

Career Path and Opportunities

The number of hotels is growing fast and with that there are great Career Opportunities. After a year of being a Hotel Receptionist you could potentially move up to a Supervisor. The next step after that is Duty Manager followed by Assistant Reception Manager. Next is Reception Manager, Assistant Front Office Manager, Front of House Manager, Operations Manager. Then eventually General or Hotel Manager. We have seen some incredibly hard working individuals achieving all this in under 5 years. No other industry in the world allows their employees to grow that fast and build a rewarding career. receptionist course online.

Salary and Benefits

Salary often depends on the size, location and star rating of the hotel. Rule of thumb is that larger hotels pay better than small hotels. More centralised hotels pay better than those that are less central and hotels with a higher star rating pay better than those that have fewer stars. Having said that you can expect anything between 17500 and £20,000 a year to start with. Then quickly earn more based on moving into higher positions. Remember, being a Hotel Receptionist is just a stepping stone and your opportunities are endless.

Hotels offer also great discounts such as cheaper hotel accommodation all around the world. Furthermore discounts with partner companies, uniform, meals on duty and training programs to further your development.

For some the biggest plus is that this job allows you to work all around the world and experience what it’s like to work in Hong Kong, New York or Sydney. Larger hotel chains have dedicated employee relocation programs. Great for looking after those who have the desire to experience different cultures first hand.

How to become a Hotel Receptionist

Start your journey by getting the skills you need for the career you want. Start off with our Receptionist Training.

If you have always wanted to work in a clean and elegant environment that offers you the potential to grow and build an exciting career? Then don’t wait and make your dream come true. As Conrad Hilton once said “To accomplish big things, you must first dream big dreams”.


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