Hotel management Essay Example

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Hotel Management


The front office of a large hotel such as a 4-star or 5-star rated hotel is responsible for various responsibilities and this explains why there are various categories of personnel assigned to this department of a large hotel. Due to increased competition in the hotel industry in Australia, many large hotels are investing in their front office management in order to remain attractive and innovative to their customers (Jones & Lockwood, 2002, P.23). It is also a necessity for large hotels to implement and effectively use a Property Management System (PMS). This report aims to describe some of the tasks carried out by front office personnel in a 4-star hotel in Australia. The report will also discuss the public areas of a hotel and some property maintenance issues in a large hotel.

Front office/reception staff duties and tasks

Front office Manager

According to National Career Service (2012, par3), the front office manager is in charge of various duties including: training of staff, inter-department communications, staff scheduling among others. The manager usually operates on a regularly shift- scheduled front desk and must be available to work any shift required. The manger is considered a leader of all the front office personnel and hence should possess excellent leadership and communication skills.

Front office Supervisors

Front office supervisors mainly assist the front office manager in ensuring that the overall day-to-day activities of the front desk are run smoothly (Education Portal, 2013, par 2). The supervisor should also provide excellent customer services, which meet the standards of the hotel and provide assistance in situations to ensure customer satisfaction. It also the duty of a front office supervisor to make sure that all guest request, inquiries and concerns are attended to in a timely manner.


Hotel receptionists ensure that quests visiting the hotel feel welcome. They are also responsible for managing all room reservations and deal with requests that guests place during their stay at the hotel (National Career Service, 2012, par2). Receptionists are also in charge of preparing bills, taking room payments, and taking and passing messages to the guests.


Just as the word suggests, receptionist describes a person who is in charge or making and receiving telephone calls. In a large hotel, a receptionist carries a variety of phone-based and other communication-related services in order to ensure guest satisfaction.


The main duties of a concierge include assisting hotel guests and ensuring that their various needs are met. Some of his or her responsibilities may include providing all-purpose information, giving directions, sending or receiving parcels. They also assist guest with making recommendations.

Doormen also referred to as doorkeepers create a welcoming atmosphere for hotel guests and make easy their arrival and departure. These personnel carry out tasks such as opening doors for the quests, assisting guests in carrying their luggage into and out their rooms, and sometimes may be required to ensure that their work area is tidy by cleaning and disposing refuse.

The use of a Property Management System (PMS) in a large hotel

According to Inge (2003, p8), a Property Management System (PMS), is a software which is used to make most of the hotel operations automatic. It automates many of the hotel functions such as guest bookings, which are done online, guest details, processing reservations, accounts receivable, sales and marketing, food and beverage costing, HR and payroll, maintenance management, quality management to name but a few. Therefore, PMS can be used in large hotel to automate most of its front office operations, management and maintenance operations, sales and marketing. PMS is an important technology in the hotel industry because apart from automating most of the hotel functions and improving its efficiency, it also produces various reports, which enhance the overall management of a hotel. Some of the examples of the reports produced by PMS include:

  1. Occupancy reports

As Inge explains, these reports are updated regularly with each booking or cancellation. This type of report allows the hotel sales and marketing personnel to take the correct measures of setting and achieving the set sales targets.

  1. Counter collection reports

These reports contain all the collections at each cash counter and capture the financial collection either by date or by the staff member at the counter. The reports enable the hotel management team to ask for more details in case there are arising complains in connection with counter collections.

  1. Reservation Summary Reports

These reports merge occupancy levels and returns. Such reports offer information on all types of reservation and cancelling ranging from online, face-to-face and temporary ones.

  1. Travel Agents and Corporate reports

These reports contain information specific to contracted Travel Agents, Corporates and other Distribution medium like the Channel Manager.

  1. Night Audit Reports

These types of reports contain information on a hotel’s night activities such reservations, and are arranged in a sequential order for all past dates.

  1. POS Sales reports

These reports enable the inspection and tracking of daily POS sales.

Star rating system in Australia

In order to assist people on the right choice of a hotel to book in, AAA Tourism Australia provides a guide to hotel official recognition and ratings throughout Australia (Christensen, 2011, par.1). Hotels are regularly assessed and rated by highly trained professionals based on three categories; facilities and services, cleanliness and quality and condition. There are over 300 standards that guide the assessment and rating of hotels in order to ensure that it is transparent, consistent and without bias. The hotel ratings in Australia are as follows:

Five-star Rating

Christensen (2011, par.5) is mainly characterized by luxurious and exceptional facilities in order to satisfy guest needs and expectation especially in terms of comfort. A five-star hotel will offer a 24 hour room service, valet parking and other front-office related services. This is the benchmark rating in Australian Hotel Industry. A hotel of this category as explained by

Four-star Rating

The rooms in this hotel are equipped with en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning and a 16 hour room service and other front office-related services. Under this category, there is an excellent accommodation with up-to-date décor and a high level of facilities and services.

Three-star Rating

A three-star hotel has a well manged and comfortable accommodation with a range of facilities. Décor in this category of a hotel may be out-dated but still well maintained and hence in good condition. The hotel apart from offering accommodation facilities may also offer some other business facilities.

Two-star Rating

A two-star hotel is clean, and offers basic accommodation with realistically well kept facilities. All rooms are equipped with bathrooms.

One-star Rating

Hotels under this category offer simple but clean accommodation with limited facilities. Some rooms may lack en-suite bathrooms and hence this means that they are often shared.

A Half star

This star may be awarded to a hotel in any rating for offering a better-quality range of facilities.

Housekeeping and public areas

Public areas in a hotel are the facilities which are accessed and used by almost every person in the hotel. Such facilities include: the reception area, receiving area where deliveries by suppliers to the hotel are laid, service elevators, stairs, public washrooms, to name but a few. All these areas are regularly cleaned by public area attendants in order to ensure they are always clean so as to make a good impression of the hotel cleanliness and maintenance on all people visiting the hotel.

Property Maintenance issues

In Australia, the hotel industry is concentrated with many competitors. Therefore, it has become a necessity for many hotels to regularly undertake property maintenance in order to ensure their facilities remain in good condition so as to retain and attract more customers. According to O’Fallon & Rutherford (2010, p134), the main reason why hotels undertake a regular property maintenance is to ensure their facilities are always in good condition, a factors which helps hotels to retain their customers and at the same time attract more. Regularly property maintenance helps hotels to avoid unrepeatable and costly damages. However, regular property maintenance is expensive and often disrupts the normal procedures of a hotel. The main difference between internal and external maintenance departments is that internal maintenance departments offer maintenance services to a hotel from within while the external ones offer external maintenance services to a hotel.

According to Jones & Lockwood (2002, p.75 hotel refurbishment means making the hotel have a fresh appearance through improvement or few changes of the existing facilities. It is important for hotels to regularly refurbish their facilities to ensure that they always remain in good condition and attractive to the customers. Hotel; refurbishment is financially viable since it is cheaper than renovation. Refurbishment requires few resources since it doesn’t require the complete change of the existing facilities as is the case with renovation. Renovation often requires repairing and putting up of complete new structures which are expensive both in terms finances and time.


From the report, it is quite clear that front office operations are of great importance in any large hotel. A well maintained front office enables a hotel to attract and retain customers and this is the reason why many of our modern hotels are greatly investing in this department. Apart from having an up-to-date reception, hotels are catching up with the latest technologies such as PMS in order to automate and enhance most of their operations. It is also important hotel management teams invest in regular property maintenance such as refurbishment in order to enhance the appearance of their facilities and hence remain attractive to many customers.


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Hotel Buildings”, Strategic Planning for Energy and the Environment, 23(1)

Christensen T. (2011).Accreditation/Standards/Ratings of hotels explained. Available at:

31445/accreditationstandardsratings-of-hotels-explained-20111013t164444n00f0025. Accessed on: 18th August 2013.Education Portal. Hotel Front Desk Supervisor: Job Description, Requirements and Career Info.

Hassanien, A., & Losekoot, E. (2002). «The application of facilities management expertise to

the hotel renovation process», Facilities, 20 (7/8), 230 – 238.

Inge J. (2003). The modern Property Management System. Hospitality Upgrade:8-18.

Jones P. & Lockwood A. (2002).The Management of Hotel Operations. Cengage Learning EMEA, 2002

National Career Service. Job profile: Hotel receptionist. Available at: Accessed on: 18th August 2013.

O’Fallon M. J. & Rutherford D.G. (2010). Hotel Management and Operations. John Wiley & Sons.