Friday, October 5, 2012

Reception and Accommodation Management 01

1.      What roles might you find within the rooms division of a hotel?
Under the umbrella of the room division one might find:
·         Housekeeping (maids, housekeepers etc)
·         Front office personnel (receptionist, guest service managers, night auditors etc)
·         Concierge and porters
·         Maintenance 

2.      What are the main personal and technical qualities required by a hotel receptionist?
A hotel receptionist must be polite, friendly and efficient. Receptionists are the first point of reference in a hotel. Their appearance must be smart and well presented. Usually they are provided with uniforms. The ideal receptionist must have patience when dealing with guests and must be able to think on her feet so as to provide better customer service. She must also have great communication skills not only when dealing with guests but also because reception must coordinate the other departments. For example if a guest needs extra towels reception must convey this to housekeeping, if a guest discovers a malfunction reception must convey this message to maintenance. An ideal receptionist must have some experience with reservations because she will have to deal with walk in guest and people who want to extend their stays or leave early etc. In most hotels, who use a computerised system, receptionists are also cashiers so they must be honest, skilled with numbers and have a general grasp on accounting.

3.      Describe what is meant in practice by the term ‘good customer care’ skills
Good customer care skills means to have the ability to ‘predict’ the guest’s needs and fulfil them efficiently and without fuss. Good customer skills are a combination of a helpful and polite personality along with experience, training and organisation abilities.

For example a guest arrives one day earlier than the date of his reservation. The receptionist greets him warmly confirm everything (arrival, departure, price, room type) then kindly informs him about the mistake in his reservation. She then proceeds to amend his booking and check him in early provided there is available is availability or makes a reservation for one day at a different hotel. Good customer care means the guest still feels like a valued customer and the whole process doesn’t take long so that the guest who is tired can rest.

4.      Describe the key attributes of good housekeeping staff
Housekeeping is one of the most important divisions of the hotel. Good housekeeping staff must:

·         Pay attention to details. Details are what make a difference between a well kept or a badly maintained hotel.

·         Be willing to take responsibility. Even in the most organised establishments problems occur. The first step in solving them is assuming responsibility.

·         Take pride in their work. Housekeeping is a challenging and difficult job that does not merit the stigma that has been associated with it.

·         Be team players. Maintaining a hotel’s standards cannot be one person’s job. The entire team will have to participate.

·         Have communication skills as they will be working closely with other departments. Housekeeping must coordinate its efforts with maintenance and reception at all times.

·         Be hardworking and efficient.

5.      In what way or ways is Reception involved with other operational areas in a large 4 star hotel?
Reception is the ‘heart’ of the hotel and therefore is involved with all the other departments:

Reservations. Receptionist must double check the guests’ details on arrival and handle any discrepancies that might occur. For example a guest might arrive one day early or one day late, he might not have a booking etc. Reception must inform the reservation department to make the appropriate changes in the reservation plan.

Maintenance. The guests’ first point of reference is reception. In many hotels receptionists are the ones who inform maintenance about problems that the guests have reported. Sometimes even if there is a way to contact maintenance problem directly they still choose to use reception.

Housekeeping. In large and small hotels alike housekeeping need information about arrivals, departures and stay overs in order to do their work efficiently. Reception is responsible for providing these records for housekeeping. Also like maintenance, guests may choose to make requests such as extra pillows, towels etc with reception.

Restaurants, bars, etc. On the beginning of their shifts they also need information (arrivals – departures) to avoid charging the wrong guests. Also guests’ may choose to make reservations about dinner or lunch etc with reception and receptionist need to handle those requests.

Accounts. Due to the computerisation of reservations, receptionists are now responsible for taking payments and providing invoices etc. That means reception hat to work closely with the accounting department who need to process and file those payments.

6.      Explain how computerisation in the Front Office has developed over the last 20 years.
Computerisation advancement in the hospitality industry has brought many changes. A lot of tasks that were completed by different departments are now done by the front office.

Thanks to the computerised systems in use all the lists such as arrivals and departures etc that housekeeping needs in order to be efficient would need many hours to prepare instead of just minutes.

Also modern technology has made a whole department (cashiers) almost obsolete. Nowadays computer literate receptionists can prepare the guest’s account with minimum effort. They can also process payments much easier.

But the department that was totally transformed by computerisation is reservations. Prices and availability are much easier to handle because of computers and that means responding to requests in a much more efficient manner. Also the means of communication between the hotel and the guests is much easier, instead of letters, emails, telephones and faxes are utilised minimising the time and effort that is required.

7.      Summarise the actions required by the staff of a reception office:
-          Before the arrival of the guest
-          During their stay
-          After their departure
Before the guests arrival receptionists must provide as much information as necessary to promote the hotel. Also they must answer guests’ and potential guests’ inquiries in a timely manner and generally fascilitate the reservation process as much as possible.

During their stay. When the guests arrive after they have been properly greeted the receptionists must make sure they fill the necessary forms as it is required by law. The hotel may use the information provided later on for marketing purposes. For group reservations the rooms might be assigned already to save time.

Once the guest settle in front office must inform the other departments to take appropriate actions. To be more specific, housekeeping must be informed to change the room status from vacant to occupied and the restaurant must be informed so that they can open the guest’s account to extra charges.

During the guests stay reception must provide information and extra services such as transport or theatre reservations etc or at least direct guests to people who can assist them.

After the departure. The day of the guest’s check out his bill must be prepared. That is done either by reception and the bill office or if the hotel uses a computerised system by the front office alone. The bill should include all of the guest’s charges including accommodation and extras alike. The guest’s name and room number is included in lists given to housekeeping and the other departments so that they know of the guests’ departure and act accordingly. If the guest has not checked out by 12:00 then reception notifies housekeeping and they check physically if the guests are there. Every once in a while there are guests who do not check out properly and leave without paying. Those guests are known as walkouts. However the hotel has ways to protect itself. Will the use of prepayment and authorisation of the guests’ credit card on check in.

8.      In reception terminology, what does ‘charting a booking mean’?
When the hotels don’t use computerised systems it is necessary to add the reservations in a chart so as to determine availability and avoid mistakes and overbooking by accident. When ‘charting a booking’ one has to add it in a calendar using a pencil so as to be able to move the booking if necessary. There should be an arrow on the arrival date of the guests that should be obvious. Provisional booking should be on the system with a dotted arrow and should be used when a guest wishes to make a booking but hasn’t provided a credit card or deposit to secure his booking.

9.      Discuss the procedures involved in the control of room lets.
Control of room lets means that each guest who occupies one of the hotel’s bedrooms has been charged accurately and on time.

Housekeeping is physically checking the room occupancy every 24 hours. Reception provides housekeeping with a list of arrivals, departures and stay overs that must correlate with the physical check housekeeping is performing. However occasionally there are discrepancies.

Some of the possible discrepancies are:
·         Late arrivals that were not on the list
·         Unexpected departures due to unforeseeable circumstances
·         Unexpected check ins for guests without reservations (walk ins)
·         Unreported room transfers (housekeepers will determine that the room was occupied but there will be no record of it).
·         Check in procedures not completed. That might happen in a computerised system when due to computer malfunction or human error the status does not change from reserved to occupied.
·         Day lets that appear in the systems as late check outs.

All in all coordination and communication between housekeeping and front office is essential to control or room lets.


  1. Well love the above strategies that have been actually posted in the above blog seems to be real interesting and much helpful, great post..

  2. Hi, Nice post this is very precise. Thanks for sharing.

    Receptionist Uniforms

  3. great information you providing us visit for more on Receptionist Uniforms