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Hotel Front Desks / Room Allocations / Rooms Controller / Front Desk Guy / Aditya Rajaram / → All Tags
Ever wonder what goes on behind the computer screen behind the front desk? Like, how did they decide to put you in the smoking room when you asked for non-smoking? Or how did they give you a deluxe room with an ocean view when you only paid for a standard city view? Our Front Desk Guy, Aditya Rajaram, is here to tell you all about it. Got a question about the front desk? Let us know.
Room allocations at a hotel are quite complex. The juggling of different room types, VIP requests, accessible requirements and guarantees can be a very delicate task, which is often complicated by the hotels lay out whether it be oversized (Vegas!), historic (church!) and oddly designed (Berlin!)
Deciding which guest gets which rooms falls to one of the most multi-dimensional roles in the hotel, the rooms controller.
Not only is the rooms controller supposed to manage the inventory of the hotel and ensure that the hotel maximizes its revenue for the day, week, month and year, but also they must know the hotel’s priorities when it comes to their guests, namely which special requests supersede others. After all that they have to make sure they keep a few tricks (rooms) aside in case of any last minute problems and requests.
Now that Marriott Hotels are encouraging guests to leave tips for housekeepers by placing tip envelopes in the room, we thought it was a good idea to have our front desk guy, Aditya Rajaram offer some of his own, er, tips, on tipping in hotels.
The never-ending question of whether to tip, how much to tip, and who to tip at a hotel drives all guests a little crazy. In some parts of the world, it is frowned upon to give a tip and in others it is customary. In U.S. cities that are heavily unionized, well, you are pretty much booed if you don't.
Here are a few careful thoughts on tipping in the hospitality industry.
Front Desk Tips / Aditya Rajaram / Hotel Pet Peeves / Hotel Reservations / Hotel Front Desks / → All Tags
Our former front desk guy, Aditya Rajaram, has given valuable tips on effectively complaining to the front desk when something goes wrong. He's also shared what really happens behind the front desk. Now, he's giving us the lowdown on the most horrible offense a front desk can commit--assigning two different guests to the same room.
Hotel guests often think that the hotel's computer system are without error, but the truth is, not only can these systems malfunction, they can also fall victim to human error, typically by the front desk associate.
Hotel staff are trained to be very careful with the check-in process. This means checking the entire reservation screen to make sure we have the name/address and payment information right (and to write down the room number for the guest, not say it out loud.) Alas, mistakes are inevitably made and serious guest issues can arise.
The most serious offense made by a front desk associate is when two guests are checked into the same room. Below, I'll explain how this miscommunication could have happened and what the guest and the hotel should do when it does.
Hotel Fees / Front Desk Tips / Aditya Rajaram / Tips / Hotel Pet Peeves / Hotel Front Desks / → All Tags
Our former front desk guy has given valuable tips on effectively complaining to the front desk when something goes wrong. Now, he's got a few tips on getting around those pesky hotel fees that pop up from out of nowhere on your bill.
Hotels have been notorious for offering "convenient" products and services, then finding a way to tack on the extra charges to your hotel bill before you leave. According to a recent report, those fees will total up to $2.25 billion for hotels in the U.S. for this year alone.
While some fees and surcharges are unavoidable, i.e. the infamous Javits Convention Center tax in NYC and state and municipal taxes, there are other fees that aren't always clearly marked, like that daily newspaper charge that is actually optional or the pool towel fee that isn't listed anywhere except in small print at the bottom of a sign far away from the pool entrance.
Here are some ways to ensure you avoid these fees and if they are unfairly charged, how to get them removed:
Behind The Front Desk / Hotel Front Desks / Aditya Rajaram / Guest Notes / Hotel Secrets / Front Desk Tips / Front Desk Stories / Hotel News / → All Tags
Our former front desk guy has given valuable tips on effectively complaining to the front desk when something goes wrong. But if start a screaming match with the front desk, or any other hotel employee, you can be assured they will "make a note of this." Here's what really goes on behind the front desk.
Most hotels have a system where information about each guests’ needs are documented and further highlighted upon check-in, so that all staff are aware of the profile of the guest and anticipate all their needs. These comments are further enforced during a typical 15-minute "stand-up" (a pre-shift run through of the day’s status, events, information and VIPs). A proper handling of these comments ensures that all staff has the same information and relays a consistent level of information and service to the guest.
However, some of the comments placed on a guest account go far beyond the rudimentary drink and pillow preferences, and instead highlight details pertaining to a specific incident during their previous stay or an extreme requirement that must be attended to when a guest checks in, or an alert about unorthodox behavior or a previous complaint placed by the guest.
Below is a glimpse of some comments that have graced guests' accounts over my years as part of the front desk team, and how we handled them.
There's a lot going on in this room but are the basics all there?
Some of the most imaginative hotels in terms of design and service offering are being developed around the world. From underwater hotels to treetop hideaways, new properties are pushing the boundaries of what a typical hotel experience should feel like.
Although these hotels are innovative in their delivery of service and product, there are still some "basic" requirements that all hotels should have to make their experiences both welcoming and comforting to guests.
He's told us how to effectively complain to the front desk and how to book a hotel room like a boss. Now our former front desk manager has returned with some helpful advice for a traumatic experience--getting walked at a hotel.
Missed flight. Second missed flight. Five-hour layover. Raining. No taxis. You finally get to the hotel 12 hrs later only to hear this:
" Good evening and welcome. Unfortunately we are unable to honor your reservation at this time however we have…"
With the words slowly fading away, you see yourself follow the typical signs of grief: denial, anger, bargaining etc. Why did this happen? Why did it happen to you? Why today? These are completely understandable questions that go through every guest’s mind when their reservation is not honored at a hotel, more commonly referred to as "being walked."
Below you will find a complete guide to the "Walk" process--from how hotels manage their revenue/reservation management system to the planning that goes into place on a sold-out day, to what you as a guest should expect when you are walked and finally, how to ensure (or at least try) it does not happen again.
He's told us how to book a hotel room like a boss and he's given a behind-the-scenes explanation for a common room problem but now our former front desk manager is back with the most important advice of all--how to effectively complain to the front desk when things don't go your way.
"Can you please arrange a wake up call for me?" Check. "Can you please have someone pick up my laundry?" Check. "Can you please have someone service my room?" Check. "Why is my TV not working?" It will be fixed, check.
The front desk is truly the heartbeat of any hotel. That is not to say that the other departments aren’t equally important, like housekeeping and engineering, which really are some of the hardest working departments in a hotel but, the front desk serves as the main go-to point for every single issue, good or bad, for all hotels.
The true mavericks of this department are the front desk agents, the tireless staff who are the face of the hotel and constantly get called upon to do every single task, whether it is within their job description or not. They ensure that no matter what problem, what concerning department, who the last staff member spoken to, the guest’s issue will be sorted out through one point of contact, them.
Here are some Do's and Don'ts for effectively complaining to the front desk: