Hotel Front Desk; Reservations

Hotel Front Desk; Reservations

traveltyp

Las Vegas, NV

Female, 37

Five years in the Hospitality Industry. Having started as a Front Desk Agent with ambition to build my career; I was mentored aiding my overall success. Proudest accomplishment must be leading a team of hospitality professionals in creating a open and imaginative environment to improve guest service, and to build a trusting team to rely on. Team members have found direction in professional and personal goals with the outcome of taking initiative that delivers outstanding service.

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Last Answer on May 31, 2015

Best Rated

How do you know what service you are going to get at an unknown place or bed and breakfast?

Asked by JemmaK over 3 years ago

Always do your research first! Never rely solely on the Internet because things change moment to moment from a leaky faucet to torn carpeting or even the business shutting down.

Be diligent in your internet searches and keep your research to known 3rd party websites at the start of your travel plans, once you've achieved positive results find the hotel, bed and breakfast, whatever accommodation website. If there is no website, there is either a problem with the business not being established enough, new business, or a failing one. All reasons to be aware of but not walk away from. As a website designer myself, I can tell you most business owners do not have the skills, knowledge, or know someone to connect them online without a heavy price tag or the owners were averse reason to not market themselves online. This can be damaging to their business and flow of traffic but on the other side not a hard and fast reason for me to say no.

At this point, call directly to the hotel of choice, and ask questions about the age of the property, last renovated, near noisy spaces like an airport or stadium, are the beds soft/hard depending on back needs, parking, activities in the area etc. Evaluate your reservation agent by knowledge, professionalism and attitude.

Finally, research your findings on www.tripadvisor.com and then call the hotel back with your itinerary to book directly if satisfied.
Trip Advisor may have a better rate, so ask the hotel to match the rate from the Internet.

Safe travels!!!

Is it true that hotels give better rooms or service to people who book through the hotel's own website instead of a 3rd-party site like Expedia?

Asked by TDDIAGF over 3 years ago

Indeed, and thank you for your question! There is a two part answer here so kindly read it in its entirity. The rack rate price (hotel set price; industry term) tends to be more than the rate of a travel agency or third-party service/website. However, most travel agencies (and they do exist mainly for cruises & International travel) as well as 3rd party website such as Expedia, Booking.com, TravelZoo, among others all have the objective of how to best access their clientele and make money so OFTEN THE RATE published, are with additional fees, strict cancellation policies, bag restrictions, windows of travel like midnight to four AM.. (referring to flights). These restrictions are a way to make customers go away and use these methods as a basline. I ALWAYS look at www.mobissimo.com for International travel because it scans the Internet for the best rates on a large scale of websites to determine best rate. USA Domestic really varies but Priceline.com is really good. Hotels are simplified in booking because the best way to get THE BEST RATE is to call directly to the hotel of choice, and ask questions about the age of the property, last renovated, near noisy spaces like an airport or stadium, are the beds soft/hard depending on back needs. Evaluate your reservation agent by knowledge, professionalism and attitude. Finally, ask to MATCH the rate you have found online. Hotels must honor the 3rd party website rate if it is lower than the "rack rate" at the hotel. Often longer stays will give you more of a discount and always sign up for rewards programs!

Although a lengthy answer for what you wanted, I must be certain you have the benefit of my experiences to aide you in future travel as well as serve guests if you are in the industry. :) Please click LIKE if I have been helpful.

Dislikes:
www.hotwire.com
www.expedia.com


Favorite resources for travel:
www.travelcheannel.com

www.frommers.com/

www.mobissimo.com

www.priceline.com 

Do your research in advance and really understand the website and practices before usage.

Do front desk agents have the authority to upgrade guests to better rooms whenever they want, and when will you do that for a guest? (And frankly why wouldn't you do it whenever the hotel had the capacity?)

Asked by DD over 3 years ago

This question was posed to me in a job interview just about a week ago. I applaud your question because it shows forward-thinking, depth, and consideration to your job and guests. That is the exact approach I took when answering the question myself. I will answer you as I did then, so know the information is both credible and fully acceptable because my answer might have surely landed me the job. Third interview next week.:)

There is a follow-up question here that is "Do you feel it necessary to go to a supervisor for everything including, rate changes, upgrades, etc.? Or to be independent and have your department trust your judgment?"
The reason I posed this question was because it is relevant to the answer of your question.

Me: "Having the ability and leeway to obtain a guest and retain a guest by servicing their needs is Hospitality! It is abslutely necessary to be independant with duties and having trust of the team to know I have their backs in whatever is decided. Not every guest deserves an upgrade but if I have a room available, and the hotel won't suffer over it, I will graciously extend the offer. Likewise, problems guests need empathy as well as a soundboard for whatever is bothering them (hotel related sometimes travel related), within the boundries of responsibility a reduced rate, amenity package, offer for free transportation if hotel has paid service, restaurant comp, room upgrades, and promotions for a membership card are all ways to make the guest happy and agreeable to return. I will personally help the guest even if it is out of my department and at that point, I follow-up instead of dropping the ball."

How could that not be a winning interview answer?! A genuine answer that shows character, and the lengths I will go for the guest.
I am not trying to make this all about me, it does help I had a personal experience to draw from. Thank you for your question.

Can hotels see what I look at when connected to their in-room wifi on my own laptop?

Asked by JKI over 3 years ago

Thank you for your question. Yes, it is connected to public server or Virtual Private Network. VPN is more secure and keeps all the hotel data on that network from the hotel staff computers to WIFI. Technically, the hotel staff itself cannot view your data or keystrokes. That would be in the IT department either locally or nationally depending on size of operation. 

In other words, don't download music, movies, or watch porn. Accessing your bank online or other password protected websites is totally secure because there are protections on those websites. Frankly, XYZ hotel doesn't care about legal stuff. Like anything you do online, beware of what you post and think if your actions will be actionable in a court of law... think twice... or three times.
Yes, I work in computers too so you got the very technical answer.

I am scared of traveling alone and need some help choosing a hotel in New York city. It is my boyfriend's birthday and this will be a surprise proposal/vacation.
We live so far away now. Help me get from CO to NY!

Asked by Afraid2Travel over 3 years ago

Dear Afraid2Travel,

Congratulations on your upcoming travel and surprise event! You will love New York and although it can be a bit scary, travelling alone is like doing anything alone. Just face it and give yourself the courage to see it through! I can relate because I travel constantly alone to see the world and meet new people. Somehow, when I talk to people the fear releases and I am happy.

I am wondering if you are afraid of flying or the doing it by yourself. Either way, here are some helpful tips. I am not familiar with New York hotels that do not cost more than your morgage so I recommend staying outside of the city to get better bank for your buck. See previous posts.

1) Proper research and accurate planning (See posts above.)

2) A close someone to talk you through your uncertain moments

3) A good night's sleep...

4) A flawless plan for the proposal... gather up his friends to help you with ideas.

Reignite your love with experiences that you both have never done before. 

Be alert for your travel so avoid medications to calm your nerves. Know you are braver than you think and remember what I say here, you will be forever happy so go get your man... enjoy it.

What's protocol if you suspect guests are doing something illegal in one of your rooms, like drugs, illegal gambling, etc?

Asked by Moose over 3 years ago

It is advisable to contact the Front Desk Manager, Supervisor, and Security. Log the details of what you witnessed on a piece of paper and have it look presentable. In other words, do not use scrap paper. Your Front Desk may have a log book of these issues being reported anyways, it depends on the property. And actually I immediately thought of a Front Desk position but you could easily be food staff, housekeeping, groundspeople etc.

Okay then follow advice above regardless, the situation may not be written down in that moment, but remember everything. Generally, its best to have a witness so if the situation is safe to show a co-worker what you suspect then do so. Otherwise, trust your superiors to handle it. Never approach suspects on your own! Regardless of size of property there should always be at least two people on shift in a given department at one time including night shift. Just protect yourself and don't confront on your own.

The owner of the property I work at came in with no previous hotel experience.
I have 11 years in the Industry but never thought of investing in my own property. I feel cheated that my boss is reckless in business & I could manage it myself.

Asked by Henry over 3 years ago

Henry,

I truly understand where you are coming from. But in life we have to move past the "What Ifs" to be able to achieve, succeed, and make ourselves proud. Your boss may have no previous knowledge of how to run a hotel, may not be willing to learn or change. It is your responsibility to be proactive and in the owners "face" with operations that are incorrectly processed or any issue that with your experience is cause for change. Do not alienate them to the point of being fired. 

To do this, walk around the exterior part of the property in any spare moment you have - maybe on break or before shift. Take a notebook with you and a pen. Look for any damage on the property from light fixtures, broken signs, broken pavement, cracked walls, trash, landscape, etc. Another day, do the same in the interior. Is the Front Desk equipped with the proper information to give guests? Are there any maintenance inside the building from the lobby to the inside the guest rooms? You get the idea (I sincerely hope).

After you've made your checklists assess the most important issues to be fixed now. Report your findings back to the owner with encouragement to take care of these issues before it affect Guest Service or their safety. Use leadership skills to influence the right decision.

As an employee, you have protection from agencies like US Department of Labor and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) should you feel the property is dangerous to human life (structure, mold, no compliance with fire codes, etc., mismanagement of employees in a unethical way, unlawful practices.) You can file a complaint with proof and the agencies will intervene generally without you directly involved. If this is your situation, it will be emotionally difficult but the right thing to do.

Save your money and buy your own well-established property. Seek out professional advice from investors in the area and real estate agents to get the best possible value for your investment. Just like buying a car, do the research, walkthrough with several inspectors to see how challenging the property will be. My best is advice is never rely on someone you are buying from for information - do it yourself to ensure reliablity and trust of information. Good luck.