Updated: Nov 8, 2020
1.As a hotel manager, you'll be commercially accountable for budgeting and financial management and will need to plan, organise and direct all hotel services, including front-of-house (reception, concierge, and reservations), food and beverage operations and housekeeping.
In larger hotels, you'll often have a specific remit, such as guest services, accounting or marketing, and your role will form part of a general management team.
2.Although this area of work is open to all graduates and those with an HND, a degree in the following subjects may increase your chances:
business with languages
business or management
hotel and hospitality management
travel, tourism or leisure studies.
If you want to work in a particular section of a hotel or hotel group, such as advertising or accounting, you may need a relevant qualification or professional accreditation.
Some of the management training programmes run by large hotel groups are for graduate entry only, for which a minimum 2:2 degree is usually required.
It's possible to enter hotel management without a degree, HND or foundation degree, since employers place a lot of emphasis on relevant experience. A general standard of education is expected but you can work your way up to management through on-the-job training and external qualifications.
A postgraduate qualification is not normally necessary for entry unless your first degree is in a non-relevant subject or you lack work experience. Masters, diploma and certificate courses in hotel and/or hospitality management are offered at various institutions. Many of these courses are open to graduates from any discipline with little or no experience, as well as non-graduates with significant hotel or managerial experience.
Search for postgraduate courses in hotel and catering management.
You'll need to have:
a friendly personality, with a genuine desire to help and please others
the ability to think clearly and make quick decisions
good organisational and leadership skills
numeracy and logistical planning skills
a professional manner and a calm, rational approach in hectic situations
the ability to balance customer and business priorities
excellent communication and interpersonal skills, especially when dealing with speakers of other languages
proficiency in another language - this is not essential but could be an advantage, especially for hotels which are part of an international chain
energy and patience
a smart well-presented appearance.
Employers often ask for relevant work experience, not all of which needs to have been in a hotel, although this is particularly helpful. Other experience might include any customer-focused work such as catering, bar or retail work.
You can find employment as a hotel manager (also commonly known as a general manager) in a range of establishments, including:
bed and breakfast accommodation
large multinational chain hotels
residential and country clubs
small family-owned independent hotels
Each type of establishment offers a different kind of experience for staff and guests and you can decide which suits you best. In smaller, privately-owned town hotels, for example, the manager (who may also be the owner) deals directly with all business issues. On the other hand, when working as a manager for an international global hotel group you'll have a large team of staff, each with their own specific responsibilities. International chain hotels, often situated in exotic locations, offer a huge variety of catering, entertainment and leisure facilities. The facilities in smaller hotels are often limited and may be of a lower standard.
If you're planning to specialise early on in your hotel management career you'll need to select your first job with care, as some hotel groups offer wider opportunities than others.
Look for job vacancies at:
Jobs in Hotels
Travel Weekly & The Caterer
Specialist hospitality recruitment consultants such as Berkeley Scott advertise hotel manager jobs.
Hotels often advertise specific vacancies locally. Larger hotel chains may advertise vacancies on their own websites. You can easily research to see if a particular hotel is part of a wider chain and check their careers section for vacancies or instructions on how to apply to work for them.
Some large hotel groups operate graduate recruitment programmes for managers, although you can progress to top management posts through experience. The length of training on recruitment programmes varies, but is usually between one and two years, with the aim being to create future operations managers.
Graduate programmes differ depending on the employer and may be specific to certain aspects of hotel work or more general covering all operations. In general, hotels seek to provide graduates with as wide an understanding of hotel management as possible. Depending on the programme, training will cover some or all of the following elements:
the concierge desk
During the training programme you'll be supported and coached by senior managers and a mutually agreed personal development plan will be put in place. Regular progress reviews are also conducted.
Employers often require graduates to be geographically mobile, particularly within larger hotel chains. If you choose to work for a larger chain you may need to be prepared to relocate during your training. This could involve spending time at hotels abroad or in other parts of the UK. On successful completion of the programme, you'll be placed as a head of department or assistant manager.
Much of the training will be carried out in-house but you can also take qualifications externally, including City & Guilds courses and the Pearson Edexcel Level 4 Diploma in Hospitality Management.
Specialist courses in customer service, finance, revenue management, marketing, human resources and food safety are likely to form part of the training where required.
You could complete a Master of Business Administration (MBA) to improve your business skills. Or, study for financial or accounting qualifications to enhance your skillset and specialise in a certain area of hotel management.
Because the hospitality workforce is generally young and staff turnover is quite high, promotion prospects are good for motivated graduates.
Progression is usually from graduate trainee to assistant front-of-house manager or assistant food and beverage manager, to deputy manager and then head of department. The speed of your promotion to management level mainly depends on the size of the hotel and your success as a trainee, but can generally be achieved within two years.
It may take longer to reach the post of hotel or general manager - typically a further five to six years - and you may need to relocate and/or change employer several times to do so.
Within larger hotel groups, promotion may be to a more strategic role, such as corporate marketing, human resources or finance, for which additional qualifications may be needed. There might also be opportunities to work at head office or regional level. Opportunities also exist for experienced managers to work as management consultants.
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Customer service manager
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3.Reliability and stamina are essential in hotel management. You will also need excellent numerical, verbal and written communication skills. Numeracy is particularly important for finance-related and office-based roles, while good interpersonal skills and customer service are vital for roles involving contact with clients. Knowledge of foreign languages can be an advantage.
4.Specific duties and the amount of customer or staff contact vary according to the size of employer: hotel managers in larger organisations may be mostly office-based, whereas managers of smaller establishments often have frequent contact with both customers and employees. Typical responsibilities include