Introduction to Resort Jobs
The hospitality and accommodation industry can be broken up into various sectors with beach resorts, hotels, and theme parks being at the top of the pyramid.
Beach resorts and hotels function successfully due to the team work carried out by a large group of people all focused on the guests and customer satisfaction at all times. Likeminded employees with likeminded goals will ensure the success of any resort where they work, and a passion for people will get you far in this business.
No previous experience or qualifications are required in most of the resort hotel positions, and is the ideal place to gain the necessary exposure and experience to break further into the hospitality industry, leading to cruise ship employment or various promotions. Career advancement is fairly easy working at a resort, with a healthy growth potential for each employee.
According to the Regional Director and Certified Human Resources Executive (CHRE) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ottawa, approximately 80% of their management and supervisory team have been promoted from within the company.
"Our hotel has a very low employee turnover rate, at around 21% annually. Most of our management team worked their way up through the ranks and our staff members normally stay with us a long time."
Types of Resort Hotels
With the increase in tourism over the last few decades, newer, bigger and more modern types of accommodation are offered to the traveler. Resort hotels make up a large portion of this accommodation, but 5 star hotels, boutique hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, cruise ships, casino hotels, and backpackers also make up percentages of the accommodation on offer.
Beach resorts are probably the most popular type of resort hotel, as they are geared towards relaxation and "fun in the sun." They are family orientated and offer plenty of activities at the resort, as well as in the surrounding areas. Resort hotels are generally preferred to ordinary hotels due to the fact that there are additional in-house amenities including spas, restaurants, golf courses, retail outlets, fitness centers, and more.
Many cruise companies have started offering land resort accommodation as part of their cruise ship tours, with stopovers scheduled at these resorts during a cruise itinerary. This is an ideal way to get a foot in the door if you are interested in working on a cruise ship later down the line, once you have become more familiar with the hospitality industry.
Most people want to work at a beach resort or hotel overseas and tropical islands are one of the most popular choices. The Caribbean offers plenty of beach resort employment, as does the Seychelles, Hawaiian Islands, Thailand, Mauritius, and the Maldives. Other popular resort destinations for employment include Greece, Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, and various locations across the United States.
Benefits of Working at a Resort
Although being a resort worker is a lot of hard work and requires you to work fairly long hours, there is also plenty of fun to be had, as you are basically sharing in other people's vacations. You could be located in any stunning destination of your choice, and depending on your job, you will get to experience some of this along with the paying guests.
For many seasonal workers, getting a resort job is considered a paid vacation, with days off being spent as a tourist, exploring the surrounding areas. If travel isn't incentive enough, you can also look at the staff benefits you receive. You are sometimes offered discounts or freebies on some of the resort activities and tours, so you can get to experience the destinations to its fullest.
One worker at a Mexican resort says,
"The chefs are amazing here - they make awesome food with huge buffets, but you don't gain weight though because you are always very busy. There is plenty to do like SCUBA diving, windsurfing, playing volleyball and more. You also get a place to stay, so it is perfect."
Whist a working vacation might be the benefit that catches your attention, let's not forget about the other benefits that you can enjoy as a resort worker. Some employers offer dental and medical insurance, especially if you are an instructor of any kind working outdoors where it could sometimes be dangerous.
Other benefits include free entrance to certain areas, which is more applicable in the case of an amusement park or theme park job. Meals are sometimes provided free of charge and board is offered at a discounted rate, but sometimes it is free. Discounts can also be given for many of the resort's activities and amenities such as the gym or golf course.
Did You Know? Many former employees describe their time working at a resort as a "life-changing experience."
Life Working at a Resort
Most employees will tell you that working at a resort of any kind is hard work, but is also plenty of fun at the same time. It's the kind of job that you will only enjoy if you are a people person, as all the jobs entail interacting with hotel guests and offering the highest standards of customer service.
As a resort employee put it:
"Our goal is just to take care of our guests - to make them happy. They're here to have their vacation for their year - they save up all year, they wait for this, they're excited for it, and we just want to make sure they have a good time."
Working at a resort gives you the chance to explore various exotic destinations and local locations that you might not have otherwise had the opportunity to do. A resort worker recalls the best part about working at his resort,
"I worked in the desert and it was incredibly beautiful with clean air and good facilities."
Resort work can be very tiring, with long hours being spent attending to guests, cleaning, making sure that departments run smoothly, and generally preparing all the activities and amenities each night for the guests the following day. Many people, however, describe it as a non-stop party, which all depends on the type of resort you work at, as well as the type of job you have.
Here are some of the key elements involved in working at a resort hotel or amusement park:
- You have to have the ability to stay up late and get up early, whilst still maintaining a cool, calm, collected, and friendly personality.
- You need to be prepared for anything, and be resourceful.
- You need to be outgoing, friendly, warm, consciences, polite, welcoming, and respectful of guests.
- You must be a team player.
- You should be active, energetic and enthusiastic about your work.
You will make friends for life and meet people that you stay in contact with for years. As one hotel worker describes:
"There are a lot of people to help and support you and there is a great sense of camaraderie. It's like one big, happy family."
A resort employee had this to say about his time working in Japan:
"Honestly, the best part about working at the resort was being able to meet and make friends with so many different people (both Japanese and other foreigners). You spend so much time together with your fellow workers, hanging out on days off, working alongside one another, and rooming together that it is impossible not to become good friends with them!"
So what do you have to do as a resort employee? What is your day like? Well there are various answers to this depending on the nature of your job and whether you are employed as a full time or seasonal worker. The duties and responsibilities you have also depend on whether or not you have a supervisory or managerial role. Most seasonal workers have the time to have fun and enjoy their working vacation almost as much as the guests, with time off after their duties have been completed each day.
A ski resort employee describes her typical day:
"I usually get in at around 7 in the morning and make breakfast for all the guests, and sometimes throw a cake in the oven too. If you are on housekeeping duty you will get have to go and clean the rooms, but you are normally finished with everything around 10:30 or 11. By that time everyone is out on the slopes and so you are free to go and join them and get your own skiing in for the duration of the day. We normally come back in at around 6 and make supper for everyone, hang out with the guests at the bar and enjoy their company. We go to bed and then get up and do it all over again... It's a lot of fun really!"
- Resort employees should be enthusiastic, outgoing, and energetic
- Benefits of working at a beach resort include free meals, board and discounts on facilities
- It is important to be able to work in a team