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A career as a hotel receptionist can be rewarding and it could be the first step up the job ladder. 

Important role

The HR Manager of the President Hotel, in the Protea group, Dee Orrie, said the hotel receptionist played an important role as s/he is the first person the guest interacts with. “Guests need to be happy when they walk out of the hotel, so we know they’ll return”, said Orrie. She needs to be “on-the-ball, well presented and have a pleasant and calm personality”. 

Cleo Louw in the HR Department at the One and Only Hotel said the hotel receptionist is there to “meet and greet the guest, book them in and out” and “work computer systems” associated with this. Reception duties involve maintaining the high standard of guest service; liasing with guests; problem-solving; and receiving and processing payments. 

Becker stated that the receptionist must also have a sound knowledge of her surroundings and tourist attractions, as she will often act as an “information bureau”. Orrie said they might also be required to serve welcome drinks.


“Requirements may include a hotel school diploma and three years of experience for a four-star or five-star hotel,” said Camilleri. Receptionists for the One and Only Hotel would need one year of working experience at a similar hotel. Becker said in-house training was also given.

Working Conditions 

Most of the main groups of hotels offer up to 50 percent medical aid and pension. The Protea group grants 21 days leave per annum which increases to 28 days after 4 years of employment. Benefits also include disability and death benefits. Becker said working conditions’ policy in the hospitality industry was “very flexible”  and many hotels had a board of directors who decided on employees’ working conditions.

Hotel reception is a 24-hour service so frontline workers work shifts. The nine-hour shifts at the Protea group include 6pm-3am, 3am-11am and 7pm-4am. The shifts at the One and Only are from 7am to 11pm and 11pm to 7am.

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