Hotel/Motel Manager  What They Do

Just the Facts


Lodging Managers Career Video



Insider Info

dotA hotel manager is the person who runs the hotel. Duties include managing staff, deciding how much to charge for rooms, keeping the hotel on budget, ordering hotel merchandise and supplies and coordinating all hotel services like catering. Of course, a good manager also greets and assists guests.

dotA hotel manager's duties will vary depending on the size of the hotel. The manager of a smaller hotel may be responsible for everything. A manager at a larger hotel may have more specialized duties.

  • Promotion managers market the hotel to potential customers. They oversee all advertising and promotional activities related to the hotel.
  • Convention managers work with guests and promotion managers on conventions being held in the hotel. They have to manage the rooms, meals and meeting rooms for large numbers of guests attending the convention.
  • Recreation coordinators or managers arrange activities such as horseback riding, swimming, boating or weight training for guests. These managers also look after the hotel's gym.
  • Personnel managers do all the hiring, firing, training and management of staff.
  • General managers oversee all the managers listed above to make sure all the hotel services are running smoothly.

"In most cases, unless you work in a very large hotel or resort, a hotel manager's job involves some combination of these duties," says hotel manager Leslie Donaldson.

dotIf you want to be a hotel manager, you should be the kind of person who can "wear different hats," says Donaldson.

"Some days, I feel like a porter, an accountant, a therapist and a hostess, all in one."

dotCommunication skills are also important for people in this career. Hotel managers are always dealing with people, be they customers, staff or other managers.

"You have to know how to talk to people. You have to know how to be sensitive in the language you use, because you are dealing with such a wide audience. You certainly don't want to offend anyone," says hotel manager Sean Seymour.

dotHotel managers may work at a small, privately owned hotel, or for a hotel that's part of a chain.

dotHours of work for hotel managers are as varied as the hotels themselves. Night and weekend work is common, as are workweeks consisting of more than 40 hours. Often, hotel managers put in 12-hour days if they are required to be at the hotel during a big event or busy season. Some hotel managers live in the hotels they manage and are on call 24 hours a day.

Relocation may be necessary for advancement when working for large hotel chains.

dotManagers have to be able to deal with unhappy patrons and have the ability to supervise and coordinate staff. Effective communication skills, problem-solving skills and leadership ability are also important in this occupation.

dotSince most towns have at least one hotel, opportunities exist almost everywhere. Yet the most promising outlook is for urban centers with big tourist attractions, where tourist traffic is higher.

Just the Facts

Want a quick overview of what this career is about?Check out Just the Facts for simple lists of characteristics.


At a Glance

Make sure everyone's stay goes smoothly

  • Wages vary, depending on the size and success of the hotel
  • Communication skills are important for people in this career
  • Opportunities exist almost everywhere


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