Hotel Receptionist Careers: Become The Face of The Palace


Learn about the role, the salaries, responsibilities and more

Are you the type of person who is always smiling? Do you love meeting different people from all around the world? If the answer is yes, then a job as a hotel receptionist is a great fit for you.

Reception staff are a vital part of any hotel. They are the face of the establishment and the first point of contact for anybody who comes in. When a guest arrives in a city they want to be greeted with excitement and attentiveness. This means that enthusiasm and attention to detail are key skills that every great hotel receptionist must have. 

A lot of hotels promote their employees to reception supervisors after they work an entry level front desk job. If you don’t have much experience on your CV and want to work your way up in a company, a hotel receptionist career might be a good choice. 

If you show that you can consistently deliver excellent customer service then you could find yourself on the management team quicker than you’d expect.

“It’s important to know that we don’t hire any supervisors externally,” says Ben Dalton, Reception Manager at The Ritz London. “Every single one of our supervisors have grown out of the team we have here. Anybody we hire is somebody that we can see progressing in the hotel and that we want to develop.”

What Does a Hotel Front Desk Receptionist Do?

The front of house in a hotel is a busy and dynamic work environment. Checking-in guests with a smile is the most visible part of a receptionist’s job but there are many other reception duties to handle. These duties include:

  • Dealing with bookings
  • Assigning rooms
  • Issuing bills and taking payments
  • Answering or forwarding phone calls
  • Taking care of guest requests (e.g. storing luggage, help booking a train ticket)
  • Giving advice or making suggestions using local knowledge
  • Handling issues or complaints

Because you never know what a guest will need, a good hotel receptionist must be dynamic and ready for anything. According to 2016 International Receptionist of the Year, Sofia Barroso, this is her favorite part of the job.

“Every day is different and every guest is different,” she says. “So what I try to do is engage and listen to stories from the guests. I know how long it takes to fly from most places (to Madrid) and what the weather is like where they come from — there are so many things to learn. You kind of get to travel without you actually going anywhere.”

What Skills/Experience Does a Hotel Receptionist Need?

Customer service is the name of the game. This means that a hotel receptionist’s most valuable tools are their “soft skills”. Attention to detail, a happy disposition, and the ability to think on your feet under pressure are necessary front desk skills. These are things that don’t always come across on a CV but are crucial to succeed in the role.

Experience in the hotel industry is a big plus when applying for a front desk job. If you’ve recently finished a course or degree in Hospitality and haven’t started your career yet, a hotel reception role would be a great first job. 

However, you can land an entry level position if you are able to show that you have the right soft skills and personality to work as a receptionist. A good hotel will take time to train someone to work on the reception team if they believe in their potential and commitment to the role.

“We have strict standards, so we are constantly testing and training to make sure that everything is perfect,” says Dalton. “I actually spend a lot of my day in training. We have this idea that nobody should be on the desk until they are fully comfortable with any question they might be asked.”

Watch Ben Dalton, Reception Manager at The Ritz London, Talk About His Role at the Hotel

In the video below, Ben Dalton talks about his day-to-day experience as Head Receptionist at The Ritz, one of the oldest luxury hotels in London.

How Much Does A Hotel Receptionist Make?

Like all hospitality jobs, the average salary for a hotel receptionist changes depending on location. If you have hospitality or front desk experience, you should earn a higher salary.

According to Salary Explorer, the average salaries are:

● €29,300 in the United States ($34,800)

● €32,500 in the United Kingdom ($38,600)

● €19,500 in United Arab Emirates ($23,200)

● €17,100 in France ($20,300)

● €16,400 in Italy ($19,500)

● €18,200 in Spain ($21,600)

Working as a hotel receptionist is a great way to start your hospitality career. If you love providing excellent customer service, have a friendly personality, and an eye for details, this could be the right role for you. Upload your CV to Hosco and start your job search now.

Apply for Hotel Receptionist jobs on Hosco today



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