Hotel Front Desk Agent

Hotel Front Desk Agent

Hotel Front Desk

Los Angeles, CA

Male, 27

For the past two years I've worked the front desk at a boutique luxury beachfront hotel in Southern California. My job can range from simply checking guests in & out to many other duties, including: pretending I work in different departments so that behind-the-scenes chaos is never seen by a guest, shielding guests from stalkers that come looking for them, and picking up used drug paraphernalia from a trashed room. Ask me anything.

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Last Answer on November 24, 2013

Best Rated

When I order room service, they usually add a "service charge" to the check. Is that supposed to be the delivery person's tip, or do you tip ON TOP of that?

Asked by salvo888 almost 6 years ago

At our property there is an automatic 18% room service gratuity charge on all orders. You certainly don't have to tip beyond that, as it's meant to serve as the delivery person's tip, but I think typically anyone showing up to my door with any service will get at least a $2 cash tip minimum, just for the effort. Like all tips in hotels, I like to say that they're not expected, but always appreciated. Of course if room service bungles it completely, you may just want to leave the 18% on there and call it a day, or if it was absolutely awful, just talk to me at the front desk at checkout and I may be able to waive the entire room service order from your bill. Don't get in the habit of faking it, because I have a built-in bullshit detector.

Have you ever hooked up with a guest?

Asked by lmonparty almost 6 years ago

Hey dude, I'm married, so no. BUT, it does happen, just not on property that I know of. Female agents seem to get hit on quite a lot more than the guys, at least from what I see.

I know that as a hotel desk agent, you're supposed to give service with a smile, but have you ever just "lost it" on a guest?

Asked by more pie plz almost 6 years ago

I have definitely held my ground, never lost my cool though. Thank goodness, because I would have hurt someone if I did! I find that how I look and deliver my words will severely impact how far someone thinks they can take something. One New Year's Eve when we had an all-night party I had to work until 2 am and I happened to have the opportunity to grow a full beard while on vacation beforehand. I kept it for that night and made sure to keep my security-style earpiece in and also shaved my head. That night I was more cop than front desk. Telling people "no," which almost never happens, was okay on that night because it prevented, rather than caused chaos. I do recall one guest saying to me "Are you crazy?!" before storming out of the lobby when I told him he couldn't extend his stay because we were MORE than sold out, but I have to think, what good would it have done myself or the hotel if I had told him otherwise? There was nothing I could do for him so I had to be brutally honest. If I see that guy on the street ever I might have to kick his ass though.

Has anyone ever committed suicide in one of your hotel's rooms?

Asked by Sullyduzit almost 6 years ago

I've come up with a theory: people generally fall into three categories of guests. 1. Getting room due to happy reason 2. Getting room because of bad reason 3. Getting room because job requires them to. Guest category # 2 is the scary one because for some reason people think it's okay to take out their frustrations on a place that isn't theirs. While I am thankful to say that no suicides or deaths have happened on my watch, there have been people who have passed away, including one suicide by gun, since the hotel was built. I have had close calls like a drug overdose, and I have found rooms so trashed and littered with blood stains (one time we had to throw out the sheets because they were so soaked in blood) that I could swear they WERE suicide attempts that just failed, and the guest was too embarrassed to admit what they did. We did charge all these people for the damages, by the way, and none of them called to complain about the charges, which leads me to believe they didn't want to draw attention to their situation. It's very sad, but from my perspective I just don't want it happening on my watch or affecting other guests who are category # 1 or # 3!

When a guy and girl arrive at your hotel to check in and it's CLEARLY a dude with a prostitute, do your report this to anyone? Or do you have to just keep a straight face and accommodate them as you would anyone?

Asked by Mike Cee almost 6 years ago

Hey, so long as they don't fight and cause a ruckus, what happens in their room hopefully stays in their room and they both get a fair deal. In the end the hotel's bottom line and reputation shouldn't be affected. However, I've met the vice cops in our district who bust gambling, illegal alcohol and prostitution only once, and they were super-nice and I've never seen nor noticed them at our hotel again. I do know I'd see them again if a room continued to be used over and over again, and obviously, for any of the three vices to the point where it caused a disruption.

If a celebrity shows up and the hotel is full, will you bump someone out of their room even if they’re already checked in?

Asked by Katie almost 6 years ago

Depending on pressure from ownership or management, if the celebrity arrived and I were told that they absolutely must have a room by my boss, I may have to "walk" or relocate an incoming guest to a neighboring and comparable hotel. The rule is, if I have to walk you, my hotel is paying your first night at the other hotel and any following nights until your room does become available. Hotels usually work with their neighbors to negotiate "walk rates" which are lower than usual so that we don't gouge each other when we need help. Likely the celebrity would have been told they were getting a specific room, that was already assigned another arriving guest who had probably been guaranteed said room and who knows, maybe already "pre-registered" for it, so they'll have already come to the desk and think their room is just a short wait away. Imagine how pissed off someone is when I have to tell them not only is their room not ready, but they're not getting it and have to stay at another hotel! I've had to deliver that news and deal with the fallout way too many times and it feels terrible. But if I want to keep my job, I have to do it. The reason you'd probably get from the front desk will vary but of course I'm not going to tell you that it's because of a VIP and who the VIP is...Probably my least favorite responsibility of the job. If you're already checked in, though, it's my knowledge that it's against the law for me to make you leave unless you are breaking a law/creating a disturbance or haven't paid your bill.

Will slipping the check-in clerk $20 get you upgraded? There’s a whole website dedicated to it -- http://thetwentydollartrick.com/ but it’s never worked for me.

Asked by kevin.emerson almost 6 years ago

According to the site: "Hotel Managers have given no official answer to this question. They have provided front desk clerks the ability to upgrade rooms at their discretion and as long as that continues the Twenty Dollar Trick will continue to work. We have heard that the Flamingo has forced banned all the front desk clerks from upgrading patrons to the Go room." -http://thetwentydollartrick.com/ Where I work, management would frown on this, and all upgrades fall into the same process as to how to give them to a guest. Like most perks, the closer to sold out the hotel is, the harder it is to offer anything extra to a guest that hasn't arranged it in advance. When a hotel has many rooms to sell, often it's easier to sell the lower-priced rooms, so placing the person who has a special occasion, OR, who happened to have slipped you a $20 ostensibly to be nice, in an upgraded room, benefits you the guest, but also leaves the hotel with lower-priced rooms open which sell faster and help fill up the hotel.