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Managing Accommodation Services

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Introduction

The accommodation sector is one of the biggest sectors present within tourism industry. It is an essential component of hospitality sector and provides services which can ensure the comfort and convenience of people at all times (Barlow, Roehrich and Wright, 2013). This report is based upon Four Seasons Hotel London which is a 5-Star hotel located in London, England. This report will gain an insight into    the types of accommodation facilities available in hospitality industry along with the role of Front Office department within hotel. Besides this, report will provide an overview of the contribution of housekeeping department to accommodation services. In addition to this, the role of facilities and security in provision of accommodation services is discussed.

P1. Scale and size of accommodation services within hospitality industry

Hospitality industry is a sector which focuses upon satisfaction of customers so as to retain them for a long duration of time in  future. On the basis of scale of hospitality industry, hotels are divided into three types:-

Luxury Services: Also known as Five Star Hotels, these entities target elite class people, top businesses, celebrities and political figures so as to enhance their sales and profitability. They provide a wide range of facilities such as valet, private dining, restaurants, concierge and lounges (Killaspy and et. al., 2016). A remarkable example of this is Four Seasons Hotel London.

Mid Range Services: Also known as 3 or 4-Star hotels, these entities generally offer mid range services which can appeal to a large range of people. Such hotels possess adequate staffing as is required to satisfy the needs of guests. They provide services like room service, entertainment, food and beverage, Wi-Fi etc. 

Limited Services: Such hotels render clean, safe and comfortable rooms which meet the basic needs of customers. These entities generally target budget-minded people who require room with essential and necessary amenities required for a convenient stay.

Here are some statistics related to the accommodation sector which are presented by way of graphs:-

Table 1: Number of hotels in the UK from 2008 to 2012

(Source: Number of hotels in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2008 to 2012, 2019)

On the basis of above graph, it is interpreted that the number of hotels in UK were 12500 in the year 2008 and 12300 in 2009. This quantum reached 12000 in 2010, 12300 in 2011 and 12400 in 2012.

Table 2: Quantity of one, two, three, four and five star hotels in the UK

Hotel size and scale

Number of hotels within UK

One star

6621

Two star

8156

Three star

846

Four star

8245

Five star

332

From the above graph, it is analysed that there are 6621 one star hotels in UK while the quantum of two star hotels is 8156. Also, the quantity of three star hotels are 846, four star hotels being 8245 and the number of five star hotels are 332.

Table 3: Quantity of one, two, three, four and five star hotels in London

Hotel size and scale

Number of hotels within London

One star

15300

Two star

1170

Three star

21000

Four star

51530

Five star

17100

From the above graph, it can be interpreted that there are 15300 one star hotels in London and 1170 two star hotels. Also, the number of three star hotels within London are 21000, four star hotels being 51531 and quantum of five star hotels is 17100.

Table 4: Quantity of one, two, three, four and five star hotels in Manchester

Hotel size and scale

Number of hotels within Manchester

One star

1549

Two star

2525

Three star

6899

Four star

592

Five star

391

 

From the above graph, it is ascertained that there are 1549 one star hotels in Manchester while the quantum of two star hotels is 2525. Also, the quantity of three star hotels is 6899, number of four star hotels being 592 and quantum of five star hotels is 391.

P2. Different forms of ownership available to accommodation services

Ownership

Description

Advantage

Disadvantage

Sole Trader

This is a type of business firm with a single owner.

Profits are enjoyed by sole trader all by himself.

Here, the owner is posed to unlimited liability.

Partnership

Here, two or more persons carry out business together with a motive of sharing profits in a specified ratio (Ho, 2017).

Partnership firm is not liable to pay income tax.

Here, each partner is jointly and severely liable for the debts of the firm.

Limited Company

It is a type of company where the liability of members is either limited by shares or guarantee.

The liability of members is limited as per their investment or  guarantee.

Capital raising is restricted here.

 

Purchase Method

Advantages

Disadvantage

Cash Purchase

There are no chances of dues in this method.

They are security concerns involved with usage of cash for purchase.

Franchisee

Risk of  failure of business gets reduced here.

It is a costly method which needs a lot of funds.

Bank Loan

The interest rate of bank loans are generally low.

It is only provided to those individuals which are credit worthy (Brunner-Sperdin, Peters and Strobl, 2012).

P3. Role of grading, classifications systems and online review sites

Hospitality organisations such as hotels strive to maintain and provide a range of high quality services within the enterprise so as to ensure sustainability within marketplace. Hotels are graded and classified on a number of basis due to which they have to continuously bring up improvements. This ensures high satisfaction gained by customers while experiencing a stay within hotel. Also, there are a number of sites which give online reviews to hotels on the basis of TripAdvisor, Trivago, Bookings.com, LateRooms.com etc. (Buhalis and Amaranggana, 2015). These are the sites that help people in making decisions related to selection of hotel for accommodation. There are certain components that are considered by customers while booking a room in hotel, these are described below:-

Basis

Description

Examples

Essentials

These are those facilities within the hotel which are the must have needs of people at every point of time. These are necessary within a hotel as this strive to ensure high customer satisfaction.

Rooms, parking, security  etc.

Basic

These are the vital facilities that are largely needed by customers to fulfil their needs and demands to have a comfortable stay within hotel. These are those amenities that are accessible to all and additional facilities can be availed at extra charges.

Food and beverages, hygiene and cleanliness, housekeeping,

room service etc.

Nice-to-have

These are those components which assists in providing a pleasurable an pleasant experience for guests within the hotel (Burton and Kellaway, 2018).

Wi-Fi, swimming pool, laundry, gaming zones etc.

Luxury

These are the services that are provided by hotels to create an unmatchable experience and lavish lifestyle for customers to retain them for a long period of time. These assist in building a strong impression over minds of customers.

Spa, fitness centre, luxurious cars, pet-sitting, banquets  etc.  

Hyper-luxury

These are the high quality, luxurious and expensive services that ensure maximum ease and comfort for guests. These services are generally only utilised by the elite class people who have the potential to afford these amenities.

Suites, concerts and shows within hotels, adventure sports, massage room, personal kitchen etc.

 P4. Explain the organisation of front office functions within a variety of accommodation services

Front Office is the first department within a hotel that comes in direct contact with guests at the time of their arrival in enterprise. Generally, the staff in front office is formal, sensible and have a way with having an interaction with customers so as influence them in a positive way to make a stay at the hotel. In this regard, the front office department in Four Seasons Hotel London communicates in a sophisticated manner with clients so as to maintain the standards and stature of organisation (Chiu and et. al., 2013). This unit within hotel is responsible for handling the transactions between guests and the enterprise.

The operational function of the Front Office Department are briefly described below:-

                                                                                                                                        (Source: Front Office Organisation of Four Seasons Hotel London, 2019)

Telephone:This section is responsible for assisting guests in relation to their queries and requests. Also, they are responsible for waking up the guests in morning as per request (Common, Flynn and Mellon, 2016).

Reservation: This section of front office is responsible for doing the reservation of rooms. Also, their functions include filing of the records related to reservations and making sure that guests gets their rooms as soon as they enter the hotel.

Cash and Bill: This section is responsible for taking payments from guests and handing them the bills for the same.

Information: This section is responsible for responding to the queries and troubles of customers. Thus, the staff within this hotel has to be alert in response to the movements within and outside the hotel (Clement and Bigby, 2012).

Reception: This section is responsible for receiving the guests well as per the standards of the hotel and registering them in records in an appropriate manner. Also, its role includes bidding the customers off.

P5. Discuss key roles within front office department

The front office team is responsible for receiving the customers, handling their queries or requests and striking a good impression in the minds of guests about the hotel. Within Four Seasons Hotel London, the constitution of front office department is as follows:-

Position

Number of Persons

Front Office Manager

1

Reservations Manager

1

Reservations Clerk

2

Check-in Desk Manager

1

Check-in Desk Clerk

2

Check-in Desk Night Clerk

1

Guest Services Manager

1

Guest Services Assistant

2

Concierge

1

Porter (Bell-Hop)

2

Night Porter

1

It has been ascertained that the management of our Seasons Hotel London is concerned about the rising cost of wages and has thus thought of reducing the cost by making one of the front office positions redundant. In this regard, management has decided to dispose off one position of Check-in Desk Clerk as there are already two people who are doing this work. So, the burden of one Check-in Desk Clerk can be increased to compensate the vacancy caused. Also, this way, company will be able to cut the costs.

P6. Review key roles found within housekeeping department

Housekeeping department is a key component of any organisation, especially, hotels. This team is responsible for achieving the highest efficiency so as to ensure the comfort and convenience of guests at all times (Dei Mensah and Mensah, 2013). Also, this department takes care of high standards of hygiene and cleanliness in rooms as well as public spaces.

 

(Source: Layout of Housekeeping Team in Four Seasons Hotel London, 2019)

 Within Four Seasons Hotel London, there are various sections in housekeeping department which have varying roles and responsibilities, described below:-

Executive Housekeeper's Office: They have to plan, counsel and specify the roles and responsibilities of the subordinates so as to ensure that all the work is completed in a timely manner.

Desk Control Room: The staff here acts as a bridge between front office and other key departments within the hotel.

Linen room: The linen for Food & Beverage Department as well as rooms are stored within this room for issue and receipt (Jamieson and Jamieson, 2014).

Linen and Uniform store: The new linen as well as cloth material for uniform and other key necessities are stored here and these are adequate to carry out the replenishment of whole hotel at a specific time.

Lost and Found section: This section of housekeeping department is responsible for storing those guest articles which are lost by them and can be claimed later.

Flower room: This is a room where the flowers are stored for carrying out the decoration of banquet hall as well as restaurant.  

Laundry: This section of housekeeping department is responsible for proper cleaning of all the fabrics and linen used within the hotel. Laundry staff ensure the cleanliness of clothes of guests on request along with staff uniforms and linen.

P7. Importance of forecasting linen stock and other guest supplies to ensure sufficient supply to meet demand

In today's competitive and fast changing world, hospitality industry is characterised by significantly accelerating room supplies as well as higher cost margins.  Although, hotels within this sector can excel by delivering desirable performance as well as outcomes, yet the increasing competition makes it essential for revenue managers within Four Seasons Hotel London to constantly bring about changes so as to design optimum strategies. In this regard, it is necessary that hotel management forecasts linen stock and other necessary guest supplies as this tends to drive sales, operational efficiency, enhancement of customer services and maximisation of profits. The essential guest supplies within any hotel are furniture, bedding, bar supplies, center table supplies, clothing, bedside supplies etc. (Odunlade, 2012). Forecasting the need of all these become necessary in any hospitality organisation as this helps in anticipating the demands of customers and predicting the sales of rooms and services. This is essential for making effective decisions in relation to pricing and growth strategies of enterprise.

P8. Importance of interrelationships between housekeeping and other key departments to provide quality provision and services

Housekeeping is an essential and integral component that ensures that guests have a quality experience and derive high satisfaction. The contribution of housekeeping department in the success of operations of hotel can not be undermined provided that a large proportion of revenue for a hotel is derived from sale of rooms. In this regards, the housekeeping staff in Four Seasons Hotel London is a department within the enterprise that is responsible for cleanliness and maintenance of rooms as well as public space. From the checking-in of guests in hotel to the check out, it is the duty of housekeeping department to effectively take care of customers by providing a clean, hygienic and healthy environment. This ensures a pleasant as well as comfortable stay for guests in Four Seasons Hotel London. Specifically, the housekeeping department is responsible for cleaning of rooms, conferences, banquets, lobbies, corridors on a daily basis. Along with this, the housekeeping team takes care of the laundry of linen and on additional payment, even the laundry of personal clothes of guests. This department is closely linked with other units within the hotel to ensure maximum satisfaction for guests:-

Coordination with Security Department: This becomes necessary so as to prevent the hazards and risks related to fire, thefts and safekeeping of lost property as well as keys. There are a number of risks that may occur within Hotel and thus, the sync between housekeeping department and security department gains importance. Housekeeping team is responsible for reporting any kind of suspicious or illegal conduct within the hotel premises to Security department (HOUSEKEEPING CO-ORDINATION WITH OTHER DEPARTMENT, 2019). Housekeeping department needs to be alert and have rapid communication channels with security team to prevent any mishappening.

Coordination with Food and Beverage Department: This becomes necessary so as to properly keep a control upon the supply of linen and uniforms. The supervisor of linen room is under the guidance and supervision of executive housekeeper and is responsible for having adequate quantum of clean napery so as to fulfil the needs and requirements of Food and Beverage Department. It is essential that a proper communication is set between restaurant manager and housekeeping team to ensure that the linen in banquet and restaurant is exchanged in timely manner without any misappropriation (HOUSEKEEPING CO-ORDINATION WITH OTHER DEPARTMENT, 2019). Also, the coordination between both teams become necessary so that extra lined is maintained as well as flower and other necessary decorations is kept for banquet hall within Four Seasons Hotel London. Besides this, proper uniform is required by kitchen as well as restaurant staff for which they need to have adequate coordination with housekeeping department. Further, sync is necessary between both the departments so as to provide staff meals for the housekeeping team.

Coordination with Purchase Department: The purchase department is responsible for procuring out-of-stock articles for housekeeping staff like stationery, cleaning items and equipments, linen, guest supplies as well as services etc. Housekeeping department needs to have a proper communication with purchase unit so as to communicate the need for purchase of any materials in terms of purchase requisition.

Coordination with Stores: This becomes important so as to ensure the adequacy of day-to-day necessities for housekeeping team. Large hotels like Four Seasons Hotel London have a store attached with the room of housekeeping staff which contains supplies, linen and other necessary articles. Communication in between both the departments take place in the form of Requisition form sent by housekeeping staff to stores.

P9. Examine the importance of scheduling maintenance or repair work to minimise disruption to guests

Every business entity operating within hospitality industry focuses upon satisfaction of needs and wants of customers so as to ensure its sustainability for a long duration of time. In this regards, it is necessary that hotels operating within this industry realise the importance of ascertaining the needs and requirement of maintenance or repairs and scheduling for it. This is essential for gaining a competitive advantage within the industry as this is a key factor which largely influences decision making by customers. Corrective maintenance in Four Seasons Hotel London is essential so as to ascertain the sources which can act as hindrance towards the operational excellence of hotel (Wirtz and Lovelock, 2016). Determining the need of repair work is necessary to ascertain operational failures, improper or excess utilisation of any equipment which cause failure of operations. Maintenance within Four Seasons Hotel London is scheduled for fixtures and fittings, plumbed and electrical items at an interval for 40 days.

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This helps in accelerating the existing procedures so as to minimise disruption caused to guests. Scheduling maintenance is also required for enhancing the life cycle of hotel property and strive to achieve minimum operational failures in future. This creates a high standard experience and living conditions for guests which enhances the overall satisfaction derived by customers and assists the business in retaining them for a long duration of time in future prospect.

P10. Discuss the importance of security in selected organisation

For any organisation, security is a major concern. Any guest who visits and chooses to stay at the hotel has a preconceived notion that their belongings as well as they themselves will be secure and safe within the premises. Also, it is essential that the staff as well as assets of Four Seasons Hotel London are prone to total security at all the times (Rose, 2014). Thus, it is imperative for hotel management to possess a proper and structural security system so as to ensure complete protection of guests, staff, physical resources and assets along with the belongings and luggage of guests. The management of Four Seasons Hotel London takes care that security and safety systems cover these key areas:-

Guest: It is ensured that guests are safe from crimes (abduction, murder etc.) and health hazards (pest, food poisoning etc.)

Staff: Within the hotel, staff is provided insurances, health schemes, provident funds etc. Also, uniforms, fire fighting drills, clean drinking water is ensured at all times.

Guest luggage: The belongings of guests are stored in luggage store rooms and equipments like luggage trolley as well as bell hop trolley are provided for their convenience.

Hotel Equipment: Lifts, kitchen equipments, furniture & fitting, boilers are protected by way of fire safety equipment, earthquake and safe vault security system.

Protection of raw materials and groceries: Proper storage and pest control systems are maintained within the hotel (Rose, 2014).

Conclusion

From the above report, it is concluded that accommodation is a vital component of any hospitality organisation. Also, it is analysed that the hotel management has to take adequate measures to take care of the security and other concerns of customers. Besides this, it has been evaluated that scheduling of repair work is necessary within a hotel to ensure its sustainability for a long duration of time in future. Along with this, it is assessed that the role of housekeeping and front office department is necessary within a hotel so as to ensure operational excellence within the premises.

References

  • Killaspy, H. and et. al., 2016. Quality of life, autonomy, satisfaction, and costs associated with mental health supported accommodation services in England: a national survey. The Lancet Psychiatry. 3(12). pp.1129-1137.
  • Ho, V., 2017. Giving offense and making amends: How hotel management attempts to manage rapport with dissatisfied customers. Journal of Pragmatics. 109. pp.1-11.
  • Brunner-Sperdin, A., Peters, M. and Strobl, A., 2012. It is all about the emotional state: Managing tourists’ experiences. International Journal of Hospitality Management. 31(1). pp.23-30.
  • Barlow, J., Roehrich, J. and Wright, S., 2013. Europe sees mixed results from public-private partnerships for building and managing health care facilities and services. Health Affairs. 32(1). pp.146-154.
  • Buhalis, D. and Amaranggana, A., 2015. Smart tourism destinations enhancing tourism experience through personalisation of services. In Information and communication technologies in tourism 2015 (pp. 377-389). Springer, Cham.
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