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A hotel hostess has several responsibilities in the course of a work shift, though those responsibilities vary from hotel to hotel. Generally, the hotel hostess is responsible for greeting guests as they arrive, checking guests into their rooms, selecting the best rooms for each guest, checking guests out upon their departure and for maintaining the hotel's registry book. The hostess is a staff worker who operates all of the necessary tasks of the hotel's front desk. She is also responsible for answering any questions that a guest may have, for booking rooms over the phone, and for keeping the lobby looking tidy and presentable. Some hostesses may also be responsible for providing concierge service.
The hostess will usually be stationed at the front desk, usually in the lobby or the foyer. She often has a computer connected to the hotel's main database that manages room bookings and allocations, payments and other miscellaneous tasks. The primary task of the hotel hostess is to greet guests with a pleasant and helpful demeanor as they arrive. A hostess needs to be focused on providing an inviting and helpful environment for patrons.
There are several administrative and maintenance tasks that the hotel hostess must routinely perform as well. Keeping all paperwork properly logged and filed is essential, and the hostess must make sure that each guest in the hotel signs the registration book, has proper and valid identification, and a valid credit card to secure the room against damage. The hostess must also administrate other hotel workers, such as doormen, bellmen, kitchen and bar staff as well as janitorial and maintenance staff. She must be able to coordinate the tasks of numerous hotel staff workers to ensure that the needs of every guest are met.
The hotel hostess must answer all questions that a guest may ask, including those outside the purview of hotel operations. A hostess may be asked to provide deals on room booking rates, to upgrade a guest's existing room to superior accommodations, or about any potential discounts for hotel amenities, such as a gym, pool, restaurant or bar. The hostess may also be asked about services beyond those offered by the hotel, such as local attractions, good restaurants, nearby shopping or the best tourist attractions. In this way, a hostess may need to operate as a concierge, especially when working at a smaller, non-chain hotel.