Career Development

What Does a Hotel Receptionist Do?

Find out what a hotel receptionist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a hotel receptionist.

Hotel receptionists are the face of a hotel. They greet guests as they check in and out, answer questions about services and amenities, and generally try to make sure that everyone who visits feels welcome and at home.

Hotel receptionists may also be responsible for handling some administrative tasks, such as scheduling appointments or answering phone calls. In larger hotels, they may even have more specialized responsibilities, such as coordinating with vendors or managing inventory.

Hotel Receptionist Job Duties

Hotel receptionists typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Greeting guests and answering questions about the property’s facilities, activities, services, and policies
  • Contacting vendors to arrange for room service delivery or housekeeping services if needed
  • Providing information about local attractions, events, and restaurants to guests
  • Entering reservations into a computer system for guests who have made reservations online
  • Reviewing guest check-in information, such as name, address, credit card number, and phone number
  • Processing payments using a computer terminal or other device, such as a point of sale system or mobile app
  • Booking reservations for guests, including room rates, room availability, and special requests
  • Handling problems or complaints from guests, and resolving issues through interaction with staff members or by contacting higher-level managers
  • Making sure that all guests check out properly by confirming their departure arrangements and settling their accounts with the hotel

Hotel Receptionist Salary & Outlook

Hotel receptionists are typically paid hourly wages, and their salaries can vary depending on a number of factors.

  • Median Annual Salary: $36,000 ($17.31/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $49,500 ($23.8/hour)

The employment of hotel receptionists is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by the increasing popularity of hotels and motels as a place to live for young adults and families. In addition, the need to cut costs will lead some establishments to hire more receptionists rather than install expensive automation systems.

Related: Hotel Receptionist Interview Questions and Answers

Hotel Receptionist Job Requirements

Hotel receptionists typically need to have the following qualifications:

Education: Hotel receptionists are typically required to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some hotels may prefer candidates who have completed some college courses. Receptionists who are interested in advancing their careers may pursue a bachelor’s degree in hospitality or business administration.

Training & Experience: Hotel receptionists typically receive on-the-job training from their supervisors or managers. This training may include learning the hotel’s policies and procedures, as well as the software and technology they use. Hotel receptionists who work in larger hotels may receive more extensive training.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not often required for a hotel receptionist role, there are certifications available for professionals who wish to increase their chances of getting a job, increasing their earning potential or becoming certified to provide additional services to clients or customers.

Hotel Receptionist Skills

Hotel receptionists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: As a hotel receptionist, you communicate with a variety of people, including hotel guests, other employees and members of the public. Effective communication skills, such as active listening, empathy and persuasion, can help you interact with others in a professional and courteous manner.

Customer service skills: Customer service skills are the foundation of a successful hotel receptionist. As a receptionist, you should be friendly, helpful and willing to go the extra mile for your guests. You should be able to answer questions, solve problems and provide solutions to any issues that may arise.

Organizational skills: Hotel receptionists are responsible for managing multiple tasks at once. They often have to answer phone calls, greet guests, check in guests, answer questions about the hotel, process payments, answer questions about the area and more. Hotel receptionists need to be able to prioritize their tasks and organize their work to be as efficient as possible.

Computer skills: Hotel receptionists use computers to check guests in and out, enter data, send emails and perform other tasks. Having strong computer skills can help you be more efficient at your job and perform more advanced tasks.

Problem-solving skills: As a hotel receptionist, you may be responsible for solving problems for guests. For example, if a guest’s room isn’t ready when they arrive, you may be able to find them a similar room and offer them a discount. This requires you to be able to think of solutions to problems and find ways to help your guests.

Hotel Receptionist Work Environment

Hotel receptionists work in the lobby or front desk area of hotels and are responsible for greeting guests, checking them in, and answering any questions they may have about the hotel or its services. They also handle the hotel’s phone system, take messages, and direct calls to the appropriate hotel staff member. Hotel receptionists typically work in shifts that include evenings, weekends, and holidays. They may also be required to work overtime during busy periods, such as holidays and conventions. The work environment is usually fast-paced and can be stressful, especially during peak periods.

Hotel Receptionist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how hotel receptionists work. Hotel receptionists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of the Remote Workforce

The rise of the remote workforce is a trend that is quickly gaining popularity among businesses. This is because it allows companies to save money on office space and other expenses, while also allowing employees to work from anywhere in the world.

As more and more businesses adopt this model, hotel receptionists will need to be prepared to deal with remote workers. This includes understanding how to communicate with them effectively and providing the support they need to be successful.

More Focus on Customer Experience

The customer experience is becoming increasingly important for hotels as they strive to differentiate themselves from the competition. This means that hotel receptionists will need to focus on providing excellent service to guests.

In order to provide an exceptional customer experience, hotel receptionists will need to be well-versed in all aspects of the hotel’s operations. They will also need to be able to handle any problems that may arise during a guest’s stay.

Greater Use of Technology

Technology is playing an ever-increasing role in the hospitality industry. This is evident in the increasing use of technology in hotels, such as electronic key cards and self-check-in kiosks.

Hotel receptionists can utilize technology to improve their efficiency and provide better service to guests. For example, they can use software to manage reservations and track guest feedback. In addition, they can use social media to connect with customers and promote the hotel’s brand.

How to Become a Hotel Receptionist

A career as a hotel receptionist can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the hospitality industry. As a receptionist, you’ll be responsible for greeting guests and providing them with information about the hotel and its amenities. You’ll also be responsible for answering phones and handling any customer service issues that arise.

To be successful in this role, you need to have excellent communication skills and be able to handle difficult situations calmly and professionally. You should also be comfortable working on your feet for long periods of time.

Advancement Prospects

Hotel receptionists can find opportunities for advancement within their current organization or by moving to a larger hotel. Some hotel receptionists move into related positions such as concierge, reservations clerk, or guest services representative. With experience, hotel receptionists may become front office managers or assistant managers. Some hotel receptionists eventually open their own hotel or bed-and-breakfast.

Hotel Receptionist Job Description Example

The first person our guests meet when they stay with us is the hotel receptionist. As the face of our business, it’s essential that our receptionists are warm, welcoming, and professional at all times. We’re looking for a hotel receptionist to join our team who meets these criteria and more. The ideal candidate will have experience working in the hospitality industry, as well as excellent customer service skills. He or she will be responsible for greeting guests, checking them in and out of their rooms, answering phone calls, and responding to guest inquiries. If you have a passion for providing outstanding service and creating memorable experiences, we want to hear from you.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Answer all incoming calls and redirect them or keep messages
  • Greet and welcome guests
  • Check in/out guests on arrival and departure
  • Make, change, and cancel reservations
  • Answer guest questions and address complaints
  • Process all payments according to hotel procedures
  • Keep updated records of room availability and occupancy
  • Monitor guest accounts to ensure timely settlements
  • Coordinate with other departments to ensure proper room preparation and service delivery
  • Follow up with guests after their stay to ensure satisfaction
  • Perform general office duties such as filing, typing, copying, etc.
  • Adhere to hotel security, fire regulations, and all health and safety legislation

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proven customer service experience in a hospitality setting
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently and with a team
  • Flexibility to work various shifts, including nights, weekends, and holidays
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, with aptitude to learn new software and systems

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • College degree
  • Previous experience working in a hotel or related field
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) fluency
  • Experience with hotel-specific software, such as Opera or Micros
  • Outgoing personality with ability to upsell hotel services


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