What It’s Like to Work at the Front Desk as Your First Hotel Job
Name: Caroline C.
Position: Guest Experience Expert
Hotel: Marriott Bethesda Downtown at Marriott HQ
Dream destination: Reykjavik, Iceland
Drink or treat of choice: Eggnog, but root beer is a close second
When you’re walking into a hotel as a guest, whether checking in for work or play, there’s nothing better than being greeted by a genuine smile at the end of your long journey.
If you’re at the Marriott Bethesda Downtown at Marriott HQ, that smile is coming from Caroline C.
→ Search Our Front Desk & Guest Experience Jobs to Find the Right Fit For You
Working as an associate at the recently opened Marriott hotel has a double layer of added pressure as it serves as the primary locale for people traveling to the company’s headquarters in the Washington, DC suburb. So, if you’re a Guest Experience Expert like Caroline, you’re checking in visiting executives, corporate contractors, vendors — and often, these guests are frequent regulars of the hotel. But to Caroline, these VIPs are her “friends.”
“Making it personal with the guests is why I love coming into work. I love the opportunity of meeting people from all over the world and hearing their stories,” says Caroline, whose day-to-day tasks range from providing a seamless check-in for guests to running daily reports, answering phone calls, and completing guest requests (like scheduling wake up calls and helping with their luggage).
“My favorite part of the day is when I go through our arrivals, and I see familiar names,” says Caroline, who worked as a server in a few restaurants before joining the hotel in spring 2022 as a part of the pre-opening team — her first-ever job in hotels. “Then, when my ‘friends’ get here, I love being able to catch up with them!”
Curious what a hotel front desk job is like? Read Caroline’s day-to-day experience, in her own words, below.
How does your workday start?
When I first walk into work, I see our amazing loss prevention team and say “hello” to all of them. Then, I greet the rest of the team — I’ve made a habit of asking everyone about their day. Afterwards I get a quick rundown of what to expect during the day, and then I proceed to go and stock up the front desk. I print out all the reports for the day and begin to assist the guests.
What’s one thing you do to ensure you have a successful or productive day at work?
I make sure to get a big cup of coffee and to come in with a positive attitude. I also make sure to check up with my associates to ensure that we have a great day as a team.
What do your lunch break or other breaks look like?
Normally, I will go to the back office and chat with whomever is back there on my break. If no one is back there, I usually go on TikTok and watch a couple of funny videos to relax!
What’s communication like with your manager?
My managers and I have great communication. They are very warm and welcoming. I never hesitate to speak with them, and they always make me feel comfortable.
How does your day end?
I print all my end of shift reports, put my bank away if it’s out, and I say “hello” to the new team coming in. I fill them in on all the events that took place during my shift and provide them with any additional information they will need to begin their shift. I then say goodbye to my team and clock out for the day!
How have you used the Marriott Explore Rate?
I recently used the Explore Rate on my birthday at the JW Marriott in DC. I had an overall relaxing and amazing staycation with my boyfriend thanks to the great hospitality provided by the staff.
As for a dream destination, I have always wanted to go to Reykjavik, Iceland. We recently had guests stay with us who worked at The Reykjavik EDITION, which opened in 2021. They told us all about their experience with the opening and treated us to some local chocolate bars. Meeting them made me want to go there even more.
→ Marriott Is Hiring! Find What You’re Looking For in a Career