Check-In Check-Out: Managing Hotel Operations by Gary K. VallenI rotated through several departments in a 5-star Asian hotel, working for housekeeping, banquets, reservations, front desk, bell desk, and marketing. This book is especially valuable for those who work for front desk. This department is covered thoroughly and after reading the book you will have a good understanding of how things really work and why.
The structure itself is logical and follows the way a guest encounters products and services of a property.
The first part introduces readers to hotel industry in general, covering hotel types, major indicators, market types, ownership structures, and a sample organization structure for a full service hotel.
The next part is focused on reservations. Here you learn what happens before the guest arrives to the hotel.
Next chapters deal with all the services upon arrival. There is a nice flow chart showing how a guest progresses through his stay. Emphasis here is on check-in process: room rates, room assignment, managing arrival population, etc.
Billing, night audit and technologies are explained in the last part of the book.
If you are in operations, I would suggest to skip general information about industry and concentrate on forecasting, check-in and billing. Chapters 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 were the best in explaining to me the whole process.
I also liked that authors left plenty of margin space on the sides. For those of you who like to take notes, this book is very convenient.
With all that said, I believe a few things could be improved:
1) The name Managing hotel operations might be a bit misleading, since not all of hotel operations are covered. For example, there is no information on housekeeping, maintenance, and food and beverage departments. If you are looking for a book covering these areas you would need to look somewhere else.
2) Forecasting chapter deals with technical day-to-day forecasting. Important questions on how to set up rates, how to make a forecast for a year in advance, for 3 months in advance are left out. Perhaps because front desk agents dont need to concern themselves too much with long range planning that information was left out. In any case, long term planning was not explained here.
3) Front desk shifts were briefly mentioned. I feel there were not enough details about specific duties of each shift (morning, afternoon; night audit was covered). What is a good time to block group rooms? How should communication between bell desk, housekeeping, and room service operate?
Overall, a great resource to learn about front desk operations.
Check-in Check-Out: Managing Hotel Operations / Edition 9
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