Hotel receptionist job description

Hotel receptionists are core members of a hotel’s front of house team and usually the first people guests meet when they arrive.

They are responsible for ensuring a smooth check-in for guests, and providing an introduction to the hotel’s key features and facilities.

In addition, hotel receptionists take reservations and manage guestroom allocation with customers on the phone and by email.

This detailed guide includes a full hotel receptionist job description and everything else you need to know about hotel receptionists, including salaries, skills, qualifications, career pathways and more.


Guide contents

  • Hotel receptionist job description
  • How much do hotel receptionists earn?
  • What does a hotel receptionist do?
  • Requirements, skills and qualifications
  • Who employs hotel receptionists?
  • Which junior jobs progress to hotel receptionist roles?



Hotel receptionist job description

Hotel receptionist |The Eden Edinburgh


About The Eden Edinburgh

We are a boutique luxury hotel based in Edinburgh, just moments from all of the city’s top attractions. Our guestrooms and suites are decorated in a contemporary style and we have an on-site fitness centre and a two-rosette restaurant.


About the role

We are looking for a friendly and enthusiastic hotel receptionist to join our front of house team. You will be responsible for running an efficient reception area, managing bookings and ensuring a pleasant and warm experience for our guests.



  • Greeting guests on arrival to the hotel and making them instantly feel at ease
  • Processing check-ins and explaining key facilities within the hotel including the fitness centre and on-site restaurant
  • Taking bookings by phone, email or walk ins and recording all details in our online system
  • Providing advice and information about local attractions, restaurants and transport options
  • Creating final bills at check-out and processing payments
  • Helping guests with special requests, for example wake-up services and taxi bookings
  • Taking messages and passing them on to guests promptly
  • Dealing with guest complaints or issues in a timely and professional manner
  • Liaising with housekeeping staff to ensure rooms are available for check-in


Location & commitments

  • Permanent part-time position (20 hours per week)
  • Shifts will include early mornings, nights and weekends
  • Located in Edinburgh New Town


Candidate requirements


  • Previous customer facing experience
  • Smart, professional appearance
  • Excellent customer service skills including telephone manner
  • Experience using Guestline, GDS and PMS systems or similar hotel booking systems
  • 4-5 GCSEs including English and Maths


  • Experience working in a luxury hotel
  • Hospitality qualification, for example BTEC or NVQ diploma


Contact us to apply

If you’d like to join our team and think your experience matches this role, please contact our hotel manager Nick Warren at


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How much do hotel receptionists earn?

Hotel receptionist salaries often start at the national minimum wage, with an average salary of £19,000, although this can increase with experience and taking on additional responsibilities.


Hotel receptionist salaries in the UK

  • Low: £17,000
  • Average: £19,000
  • High: £21,000

Source: Totaljobs


Hotel receptionist salaries may vary depending on;

  • The size of the employer – e.g. are they working for a large hotel with hundreds of rooms or a small, boutique establishment?
  • The type of hotel & guests – e.g. is it a luxury hotel with demanding customers or a budget hotel-chain that requires minimum interactions
  • General salary factors – such as level of candidate experience and location

For example, a hotel receptionist working for a large prestigious hotel brand will be able to command a higher salary than a hotel receptionist working at a small budget chain hotel.



What does a hotel receptionist do?

Breaking down the job description jargon, here are the typical tasks and responsibilities that hotel receptionists will carry out in average work week;

  • Greeting customers on arrival – Being the first point of contact for guests as they arrive at the hotel
  • Processing check-ins – Providing guests with their keys, explaining hotel facilities and giving directions to rooms
  • Providing local insight – Offering assistance with recommendations for local restaurants, attractions and transport options
  • Managing reservations – Taking incoming reservations by phone, email and walk ins
  • Processing payments – Creating bills at check-out and processing payments by cash or credit car
  • Booking facilities – Booking customers into restaurants, spas pools and other facilities
  • Processing check-outs – Collecting keys from guests, returning valuables and gathering feedback
  • Resolving complaints – Handling customer complaints directly or escalating to supervisors when needed
  • Liaising with other teams – Working closely with team members in other areas of the hotel, for example housekeeping, to ensure guests’ rooms are ready in time for arrival


What do hotel receptionists need?

candidate requirements

Hotel receptionists need a range of skills, experience and knowledge to deliver their roles effectively.

Here’s an overview of what’s required:



Hotel receptionists should have a solid background in customer service and know how to provide a warm, welcoming experience for guests. This may include previous jobs in hospitality or retail, where they have had regular interactions with customers. Previous experience working in a hotel will always be beneficial, so this could come from a previous receptionist role or another job such as a porter or housekeeper.


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Hotel receptionist skills

Here is a list of soft and technical skills required to be a hotel receptionist:

  • Customer service: Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to make guests feel welcome and well cared for
  • Complaint handling: Addressing guest complaints efficiently and effectively to ensure overall customer satisfaction
  • Attention to detail: Ensuring accuracy with bookings, when taking messages and dealing with guests’ personal information
  • Organisational skills: Being able to multi-task and juggle competing priorities throughout a shift
  • Computer skills: Ability to use hotel booking systems such as Guestline, GDS and PMS systems
  • Hotel industry knowledge: Understanding of how a hotel operates on a day-to-day basis, including guest interactions and other functions such as housekeeping and room service


Hotel receptionist qualifications

Hotel receptionists do not need a high level of qualifications, with many employers seeking GCSE grades in subjects like English and Maths to demonstrate communication and numeracy skills.

However, there is some further training that can be undertaken to increase a candidate’s chances of gaining employment and progressing within the industry.


BTEC Level 1 Certificate in General Front Office Operations in Hospitality

Training organisations like Pearson run introductory courses to help candidates gain a basic understanding of how companies in the hospitality sector work. Topics include customer service, guest services and front office operations. Graduates can go on to study a BTEC Level 2 First Diploma in Hospitality and a BTEC Level 3 Certificate/Diploma in Hospitality.


The Level 1 Certificate in Reception Services

City and Guilds runs a three-tiered qualification starting with the Level 1 Certificate and progressing through to a Level 3 Advanced Diploma. Courses cover customer service in the hospitality industry, managing guest interactions, handling cash and maintaining a safe and secure working environment.


What is expected of hotel receptionists?

Typically, hotel receptionists will be expected to commit to the following;

  • Part-time or full-time hours – With occasional overtime required
  • Shift work – Including early starts, evenings and weekends
  • Location – Normally based with a particular hotel, but could potentially work across multiple sites if working for a hotel chain
  • Uniform – Most hotels will have a front-of-house uniform or at least a strict dress code


Hotel receptionist benefits

Hotel receptionists will often receive benefits in addition to their basic salary, including:

  • Pension
  • Healthcare
  • Training and development
  • Paid overtime
  • Discounts and free or subsidised staff meals during shifts



Who employs hotel receptionists?


Most hotels across the UK will need a receptionist to manage the front-of-house function, guest services and bookings. Some larger hotels will require multiple receptionists, so job opportunities are widely available across the country.

Typical hotel receptionist employers include:

  • Large hotel chains
  • Boutique hotels
  • Luxury hotels
  • Independent bed and breakfasts
  • Holiday resorts


Often an entry level position, hotel receptionists report to the front office or hotel manager. Experience as a receptionist can kick start a career in a variety of roles within the hospitality industry.


Which junior jobs progress to hotel receptionist roles?

Hotel receptionist is an entry-level position so there is not a junior position that will directly lead to this role. Candidates may have worked in the customer service or hospitality industry before becoming a hotel receptionist, for example working in a bar or as a retail assistant.


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Which senior jobs do hotel receptionists progress to?


Hotel receptionists are a great introduction to the hospitality and tourism industry, and can lead to a range of roles such as:


Front of house manager

The front of house manager will be responsible for managing all front-of-house staff  (including receptionists) and oversee their rotas, training and recruitment. They are the key liaison between staff and the hotel manager.

Hotel manager

The hotel manager oversees the operations of the entire hotel on a day-to-day basis, including supervising a large team of staff. They will also be responsible for a range of administrative duties such as the marketing of the venue and managing relationships with suppliers, travel agencies and other stakeholders.

Other tourism and hospitality roles

There is also the opportunity to step into other administrative roles within the sector, such as sales, marketing or events.


Hotel receptionist job description – conclusion

Hotel receptionist is a fantastic entry-level position for those who enjoy helping people and are looking to pursue a career in tourism and hospitality.

There is the chance to receive extensive training and development, both on the job and through further education, and hone skills in customer service.

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