Working front of house in a hotel is challenging, rewarding, fun, exciting and, sometimes, seemingly more hard work than it’s worth.

If you work on the reception desk of a hotel and have experienced the latter feeling, it’s not a failing, either. Manning the first and last point guests engage with during their stay is tough.

Thankfully, those tough moments are usually few and far between, which is why this remains an excellent career choice.

If you’re a hotelier or the person in charge of recruitment, here are the key personality traits to look for in people who are capable of mastering the role of receptionist.


Hotel guests sometimes encounter problems during their stay, and not always of the hotel’s making.

If a guest approaches the front desk with an issue – either personal or relating to their stay experience – it’s vital that the person behind the desk can empathise with their situation.

“I know exactly how you feel, Mrs Smith,” they’ll say – and they mean it.

Desire to go above and beyond

Going ‘above and beyond’ is a bit of a cliche in business, but when it comes to manning the front desk of a hotel, it really has meaning.

The role of a hotel receptionist extends far beyond checking people in and answering the phone, therefore if an opportunity arises to delight a guest in a way that extends beyond their normal job description, it should be grabbed with open arms.

Ability to anticipate the next request

Hotel receptionists aren’t mind readers, but they should have enough experience and foresight to deal with the array of guest requests that’ll head their way each day.

The ability to anticipate a guest request or need stems not only from experience but also careful research and knowledge of the hotel’s audience.

For instance, if the hotel is popular with families, the ability to offer services such as cribs or bottle warmers without hesitation should come naturally.

Knowledge about the local area

We’ve all stayed at hotels that sit within unfamiliar locations. And, if we request some local information from the front desk, we expect it to arrive in one form or another.

A great hotel receptionist will be able to dig into their own knowledge of the area to recommend the best restaurants, days out for families and where to find <insert name of local attraction>.


There’s no escaping the fact that you need a great deal of energy to work virtually any role at a hotel, but this is particularly the case at the front desk.

Long – and sometimes inconsistent – hours and the need to always put on the best show for the brand demand stamina and the ability to remain calm and composed, even if it’s been a stinker of a day.

Thankfully, energy transcends generations, therefore you’ll find plenty of people with enough energy for this role, regardless of their age or experience.

Respect for other the hotel’s teams

Hotels thrive on teamwork, therefore your reception team needs to be acutely aware of how their decisions impact other teams.

For instance, if a guest requests something that requires input from the F&B team, any intricacies or peculiarities about the request need to be run by that team.

Communication is key here, too, and a life skill that you’ll need to keep in mind when hunting for the best reception team.

Wrapping up

The role of hotel receptionist is about as traditional and endearing as they come, and there are countless people out there capable of making the most of this career choice.

Use our pointers above to find the best. You’ll never look back.


CMS Hospitality holds over 30 years of experience in delivering hospitality software solutions. CMS offers the most complete solution in hospitality software, whether you’re running a hotel, a resort or a hostel. Our highly experienced support and installations team holds a unique understanding of the hospitality industry and will aim to provide software that suits your property’s needs.

Call us today at (+61) 2 9440 9711, or email us at We will be happy to guide you to the CMS Hospitality solution that’s right for you.