If you’ve ever stayed at a hotel, you’ve probably interacted with a hotel manager. But what exactly do they do?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Hotel managers oversee the daily operations of a hotel, ensuring that guests have a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what hotel managers do, the skills required to be successful in this field, and the career path for aspiring hotel managers.

Responsibilities of a Hotel Manager

A hotel manager is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a hotel. This includes managing staff, ensuring guest satisfaction, budgeting and financial management, marketing and sales, and maintaining the facility. The following is a comprehensive guide to what hotel managers do:

  • Managing Staff: One of the primary responsibilities of a hotel manager is managing the staff. This involves hiring and training employees, scheduling shifts, and setting expectations for job performance. It is crucial for the hotel manager to maintain a positive work environment and ensure that all staff members are motivated and productive. SHRM provides excellent resources for hiring and training employees.
  • Ensuring Guest Satisfaction: Another critical responsibility of a hotel manager is ensuring that guests are satisfied with their stay. This involves actively engaging with guests, addressing their concerns, and making sure that their needs are met. It is worth mentioning that guest satisfaction is essential for a hotel’s success, as it can lead to repeat business and positive reviews online.
  • Budgeting and Financial Management: Hotel managers are also responsible for budgeting and financial management. This includes managing expenses, creating budgets, and forecasting revenue. Keep in mind that budgeting and financial management are critical to the success of a hotel, and a good manager should be able to balance costs with revenue to maximize profits.
  • Marketing and Sales: Hotel managers are also responsible for marketing and sales. This involves creating marketing strategies, identifying target audiences, and promoting the hotel’s services and amenities. A hotel manager should be knowledgeable about the latest marketing trends and strategies to stay ahead of the competition. On the other hand, HospitalityNet is an excellent resource for keeping up-to-date with industry news and trends.
  • Maintaining the Facility: Finally, a hotel manager is responsible for maintaining the facility. This includes ensuring that the hotel is clean, safe, and well-maintained. A good manager should be able to identify areas for improvement and take action to address any issues. Unfortunately, if a hotel is not properly maintained, it can lead to negative reviews and decreased business.

Skills Required for Success

Hotel managers play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of a hotel. To be successful in this role, they must possess a diverse set of skills. Here are some of the essential skills required for hotel managers:

  • Leadership: Hotel managers must be able to lead and motivate their team effectively. They should be able to delegate tasks, provide guidance, and make tough decisions when necessary.
  • Communication: Clear and effective communication is vital in the hospitality industry. Hotel managers must be able to communicate with guests, staff, and other stakeholders in a professional and courteous manner. They should also be able to listen actively and provide constructive feedback.
  • Problem-Solving: Hotel managers must be able to quickly identify and resolve issues that arise in the hotel. They should be able to think critically and make decisions that benefit both the guests and the hotel.
  • Attention to Detail: Hotel managers must pay close attention to detail to ensure that everything in the hotel runs smoothly. They should be able to spot potential issues before they become problems.
  • Flexibility: The hospitality industry is unpredictable, and hotel managers must be able to adapt to changing circumstances. They should be able to think on their feet and make quick decisions when needed.

Having these skills is essential for a hotel manager to succeed. However, it’s worth mentioning that other skills, such as financial management, marketing, and customer service, are also vital in this role.

Education and Experience

Hotel managers play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of a hotel. They are responsible for overseeing various aspects of the hotel, including customer service, staff management, financial management, and marketing. To become a hotel manager, there are several educational and experiential requirements that need to be met.

Formal Education

Most hotel managers have a bachelor’s degree in hospitality, hotel management, or a related field. Some hotel chains may prefer candidates with a master’s degree in the same field. A formal education in hotel management helps candidates learn about various aspects of the hospitality industry, including customer service, marketing, accounting, and financial management. They also learn about management theories, leadership skills, and communication skills, which are essential for managing a hotel efficiently.

Experience in the Industry

In addition to formal education, hotel managers need to have practical experience in the hospitality industry. Many hotel chains prefer candidates with at least five years of experience in the industry, working in various roles such as front desk clerk, food and beverage manager, events coordinator, or housekeeping supervisor. The experience helps candidates understand the day-to-day operations of a hotel, the challenges that arise, and the best practices to overcome them. It also helps them develop a network of contacts in the industry, which can be useful for business development and marketing activities.

Professional Certifications

Professional certifications can be a valuable asset for hotel managers. Organizations such as the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLEI) and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) offer certification programs that cover various aspects of hotel management, such as revenue management, marketing, and customer service. These certifications can help hotel managers stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry and demonstrate their expertise to potential employers.

Career Path for Hotel Managers

Hotel managers are responsible for overseeing the operations of a hotel, ensuring that guests have a comfortable and enjoyable stay. They are also responsible for managing staff, coordinating events, and overseeing the hotel’s finances. Becoming a hotel manager requires a combination of education, training, and experience. Here is a comprehensive guide on the career path for hotel managers.

Entry-Level Positions: The first step in becoming a hotel manager is to gain experience in the hospitality industry. This can be achieved by starting in entry-level positions such as front desk agent, housekeeper, or food and beverage server. Many hotel chains offer training programs and opportunities for advancement within the company, which can help individuals move up the career ladder.

Mid-Level Management: After gaining several years of experience in entry-level positions, individuals can move up to mid-level management positions such as assistant manager or department head. In these roles, they will be responsible for overseeing a team of employees and ensuring that operations run smoothly. They will also assist the general manager with budgeting and financial planning.

Executive-Level Management: The highest level of management in a hotel is the executive level. This includes positions such as general manager, regional director, and vice president. These individuals are responsible for overseeing the entire hotel, including all operations and finances. They work closely with other executives and stakeholders to develop and implement strategies to increase revenue and improve guest satisfaction.

Entry-Level Positions Mid-Level Management Executive-Level Management
  • Front desk agent
  • Housekeeper
  • Food and beverage server
  • Assistant manager
  • Department head
  • General manager
  • Regional director
  • Vice president

Keep in mind: While education is not always a requirement for becoming a hotel manager, it can be helpful. Many hotel managers have degrees in hospitality management, business administration, or a related field. Additionally, certifications such as the Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) or Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) can demonstrate a commitment to the industry and may lead to advancement opportunities.

It is worth mentioning that: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for lodging managers, which includes hotel managers, was $54,430 as of May 2020. However, salaries can vary widely depending on the size and location of the hotel, as well as the manager’s level of experience and education.

Unfortunately: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the hospitality industry, including hotels. Many hotels have had to reduce staff or close temporarily, which has created a challenging job market for hotel managers. However, as travel resumes and the industry recovers, opportunities for hotel managers are expected to increase.

Remember: Hotel managers play a critical role in ensuring that guests have a positive experience at the hotel. They must have excellent communication and leadership skills, as well as a strong attention to detail. If you are interested in a career in hospitality management, starting in an entry-level position and working your way up can be a great way to gain the experience and skills necessary to become a successful hotel manager.

Challenges Faced by Hotel Managers

Hotel managers face various challenges in their daily operations. Here are some of the most common challenges:

  • Managing a Diverse Staff: One of the biggest challenges for hotel managers is managing a diverse staff. Hotels usually employ staff from different backgrounds, cultures, and nationalities. It is the responsibility of the hotel manager to create a harmonious work environment and ensure that everyone is treated fairly. This can be a daunting task, but it is essential for the smooth running of the hotel.
  • Meeting Guest Expectations: Meeting guest expectations is another significant challenge for hotel managers. Guests expect the hotel to provide them with a comfortable and enjoyable stay. This means that the hotel must have well-trained staff, comfortable rooms, and excellent facilities. Hotel managers must work hard to ensure that guests are satisfied with their stay. This can be achieved by regularly collecting feedback and addressing any issues that arise promptly.
  • Maintaining Profitability: Maintaining profitability is essential for the long-term success of the hotel. Hotel managers must ensure that the hotel is generating enough revenue to cover its expenses and make a profit. This can be challenging, especially in a highly competitive industry. Hotel managers must keep an eye on expenses, optimize revenue streams, and find new ways to attract guests. It is worth mentioning that the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated this challenge, and many hotels have struggled to maintain profitability.

Hotel managers must find a balance between managing their staff, meeting guest expectations, and maintaining profitability. They must be strategic and innovative in their approach to overcome these challenges. Keep in mind that hotel managers often work long hours and must be highly skilled in various areas, including finance, marketing, and customer service.

For more information on the role of hotel managers, please visit https://www.ahlei.org/certifications/hospitality-management-certifications/certified-hotel-administrator/.


In conclusion, hotel managers play a vital role in the hospitality industry. They are responsible for ensuring that guests have a comfortable and enjoyable stay, managing staff, and maintaining the financial health of the hotel. To be successful in this field, hotel managers must possess strong leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. With the right education, experience, and professional certifications, aspiring hotel managers can work their way up the career ladder to executive-level management positions. While this field can be challenging, it can also be incredibly rewarding for those who have a passion for hospitality and a desire to succeed.

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