Have you ever wondered if hotel managers actually live at the hotels they manage? As a frequent hotel guest, you may have noticed some managers seem to be on-site at all hours – day and night!
In this comprehensive article, we’ll explore what a hotel manager does, their financial responsibilities, what makes them successful, and ultimately answer the question – do hotel managers live at their hotels? There are good arguments on both sides of this debate, so read on to learn more about the residential role of hotel managers.
Quick Answer 👇
Hotel managers don’t typically live in the hotel, but they may have accommodation provided as part of their employment contract.
Hotel managers have a complex job with wide-ranging duties. They oversee all aspects of hotel operations – from managing various hotel departments and staff to ensuring top-notch customer service. Hotel managers must achieve high hotel occupancy levels while controlling costs. They handle emergencies, oversee events, deal with guest complaints, and much more.
With such a demanding role involving late nights, early mornings, and being constantly “on call,” do hotel managers live at the properties where they work? There are good arguments on both sides of this debate. We’ll explore the typical responsibilities of a hotel manager, habits of successful managers, and factors to consider when determining if a hotel manager should reside onsite.
What Does a Hotel Manager Do?
Before analyzing where they live, let’s look at the typical duties and responsibilities of a hotel manager:
- Oversee hotel operations and staff across departments like housekeeping, food and beverage, events/catering, maintenance, security, front desk, and more.
- Ensure excellent customer service and respond to guest complaints.
- Supervise maintenance work, renovations, or new hotel construction projects.
- Manage budgets, control expenditures, analyze metrics, and find ways to maximize hotel profitability.
- Oversee safety and security protocols and ensure compliance with laws and regulations.
- Create and implement hotel marketing plans to drive occupancy and increase revenue.
- Direct food and beverage operations, often managing multiple onsite restaurants, bars, catering events, and room service.
- Lead human resources functions like hiring, training, scheduling, and motivating staff.
On any given day, a hotel manager may handle emergencies, meet with corporate leadership, negotiate deals with vendors, discipline employees, interact with guests, manage reservations, and perform many other duties that keep the hotel operating smoothly 24/7. It’s a fast-paced, demanding job with long hours and wide-ranging responsibilities across hotel [departments].
Hotel Manager Daily Responsibilities
Here’s a look at a typical busy day for a hotel manager:
- 7 AM – Walk the property and grounds, checking for any maintenance issues. Meet with department heads to review staffing levels, events, and priorities for the day.
- 8 AM – Respond to guest complaints about noise or other issues overnight. Follow up on resolutions.
- 9 AM – Interview candidates for open staff positions. Review employee schedules and human resource needs.
- 10 AM – Meet with sales team about upcoming conferences and weddings booked at the hotel. Discuss requirements and logistics.
- 11 AM – Greet large tour group arriving today. Introduce self to group leader and ensure rooms are ready early for check-in.
- 12 PM – Resolve issue with leaky shower in executive suite. Follow up with maintenance team. Eat quick lunch while responding to emails.
- 1 PM – Conference call with regional manager to review occupancy rates and opportunities.
- 2 PM – Check in with head chef about tonight’s dinner specials and preparations for two large banquets.
- 3 PM – Meet with new marketing manager to brainstorm promotion strategies for slower summer season.
- 4 PM – Respond to a guest complaint about mix up with room service order. Apologize and comps meal. Notify food and beverage director.
- 5 PM – Conduct performance evaluation for front desk supervisor. Provide feedback and discuss areas for improvement.
- 6 PM – Resolve issue with housekeeping staffing for tomorrow. Adjust schedules to accommodate sick employee.
- 7 PM – Make rounds through the lobby, restaurants, and event spaces to chat with guests and staff. Assist with seating guests for busy evening.
- 9 PM – Address noise complaint resulting from large group in ballroom. Speak with event manager and security about options.
- 10 PM – Check in with night manager and front desk staff to ensure smooth operations overnight.
As you can see, hotel managers have an extremely busy and varied schedule. No two days are exactly alike, and they must oversee so many different functions, people, and facilities. Next, let’s look at the financial aspects of their role.
Financial Responsibilities of a Hotel Manager
While focusing on top-notch customer service, hotel managers must also maintain a sharp eye on the bottom line. Key areas of financial responsibility include:
- Budgeting – Work with financial team to create budgets for departments and entire property. Set and meet budget goals.
- Forecasting – Pay close attention to reservations and trends to forecast occupancy and revenue. Adjust staffing and operations accordingly.
- Revenue Management – Use data to optimize pricing and drive higher RevPAR (revenue per available room). Maximize yield from all rooms and inventory.
- Profit and Loss – Understand P&L statements and make decisions to reduce costs and improve hotel profitability.
- Metrics – Consistently analyze hotel performance data including RevPAR index, ADR (average daily rate), room occupancy percentage, and other key metrics.
- Financial Reporting – Prepare reports on revenue, expenses, profitability, budgets, forecasts, and metrics analysis.
- Accounting – Oversee accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, taxes, and auditing functions. Ensure accurate record keeping.
Managers must balance meeting guest needs with careful cost and revenue management. They make constant adjustments to operations based on forecasts to hit budget goals and maximize profitability. Financial acumen is crucial for hotel managers.
Habits of Successful Hotel General Managers
What sets a truly great hotel manager apart? Here are 10 key habits and skills of successful hotel general managers:
- Decision Making – They analyze data but can make quick decisions independently when needed.
- Empowering Staff – They hire the best talent then train and empower team members to deliver excellent service.
- Out and About – Rather than being tied to a desk, they walk the property engaging with guests and staff.
- Guest Interaction – They encourage and handle guest feedback promptly, viewing it as an opportunity to improve.
- Team Building – They foster collaboration across departments and build a strong service culture.
- Mentoring – They coach other managers and emerging leaders to develop talent internally.
- Targeted Delegation – They delegate appropriately to trusted managers to focus their energy strategically.
- Employee Recognition – They make time to acknowledge and appreciate employee achievements and hard work.
- Handling Pressure – They handle high stress situations calmly and effectively.
- Forward Thinking – They stay aware of industry trends and innovations that could impact operations.
Now that we’ve covered the typical duties, financial role, and success factors for hotel managers, let’s dive into the central question…
Do Hotel Managers Live at the Hotel?
This is a highly debated question within the hospitality industry. Some hotels mandate that their general manager lives onsite, while other leave it up to individual preferences. There are strong cases to be made on both sides of this issue. Let’s analyze key considerations when determining if a hotel manager should live onsite.
Pros of Hotel Manager Living Onsite:
- Available 24/7 for any emergencies or critical issues
- Increased visibility and engagement with guests
- Build better rapport with staff by being present
- Get real-time feedback from overnight guests
- No commute allows for more efficient schedule
- Security benefits of having manager on premises
- Manager has vested interest in onsite amenities
Cons of Hotel Manager Living Onsite:
- Difficulty separating professional vs. personal life
- Lack of privacy and ability to ever be “off duty”
- Housing allowance/perks may increase hotel costs
- Onsite family members may be a liability
- Limitations to manager’s external networking
- Risk of manager burnout without personal escape
As you can see, there are compelling arguments on both sides. Some hotel brands like Four Seasons have a tradition of onsite general managers, while Hilton abandoned manager housing in 2009 to cut costs. It’s a decision that involves evaluating costs, company culture, property layout, location, and a manager’s personal situation.
Now let’s look at a few examples of how some major hotel brands approach this issue:
Marriott – In general, Marriott prefers for its General Managers to live onsite but does not require it. They focus on hiring GMs who will be responsive and accessible.
Hilton – Ended the practice of General Managers living onsite as a cost-saving measure but some still opt to reside at their properties.
Accor Hotels – Decisions about General Manager housing are made regionally based on local factors and customs. Policies vary across their brands.
Four Seasons – Nearly all Four Seasons General Managers live onsite. Residing at the hotel is ingrained in their culture and guest service philosophy.
Hyatt – Policies vary across their brands but the majority do provide accommodations for General Managers to live onsite should they choose.
Many smaller independent hotels also offer housing as part of the General Manager’s compensation package, though usually not requirement. As with corporate policies, the approaches are mixed.
Ultimately there are good arguments on both sides of this issue, and policies vary from brand to brand. The decision should come down to what makes the most sense for each property’s unique needs and culture. The priority should be having responsive, caring, high-quality leaders in hotel manager roles, regardless of where they lay their head at night.
As we’ve explored in this article, hotel managers perform a complex balancing act – overseeing varied operations, staff, and facilities while maintaining a laser focus on customer service and financial performance. Though days are long and duties wide-ranging, the best hotel managers lead by example – guiding staff, resolving issues, delighting guests, and driving profitability.
When it comes to residing at their hotels, there are pros and cons to managers living onsite. Corporate policies differ across major brands, usually allowing for flexibility based on specific property needs and manager preferences. While not universally standard, having an onsite manager can benefit guest relations and prompt emergency response.
In all cases, hotel leaders should exemplify the habits of successful managers – empowering staff, interacting with guests, and making quick, informed decisions. With strong, caring leadership, hotels can deliver excellent service and performance, whether the manager calls the property home or not.