Manisha Bucher's Interview
Years of service: since 2016 with Starling Hotel Lausanne as an apprentice – currently an apprentice receptionist
Tell us a little bit about yourself
What is your background and what brings you to the Starling Hotel Lausanne?
I am from Mauritius, I finished my high school education in 2012 and I decided to come and live in Switzerland.
My brother works in the hotel business and today he has an interesting job. So I thought to myself, “Why not train in the hotel business” in Switzerland? I am currently training to become a governess at Les Diablerets at the Hôtel Les Sources. Within the framework of this training, I was looking for an apprenticeship and it is at Starling Hotel Lausanne that I found.
I really appreciate my work here because the work team is competent and very welcoming. My manager gives her time to support me and make me progress, which is very appreciable. We have loyal customers who come back often, which creates a bond.
Then, the hotel business is a stimulating market that I like with a strong international outlook, which also allows the regular practice of languages.
What is a typical receptionist day?
First of all the reception of the customer: check in and check out, inform him on the functioning of the hotel, the activities nearby.
We often have a lot of arrivals and departures at the same time, which in the end is a lot of time in our day.
Then, we also have administrative tasks like email management, booking, information to deliver to house keeping, etc..
What makes you a competent receptionist?
I smile and listen to the customer. My listening skills enable me to anticipate customer needs and be proactive.
In addition, I am well organized and quite multi-skilled. I can both handle, for example, check in/check out and answer the phone at the same time.
I am comfortable with foreign languages, which is essential for the reception.
I think you have to have great mental strength and know how to manage stress and rush periods like check in and check out, for example. It happens regularly that we have many arrivals or departures at the same time, it is necessary to know how to remain calm and smiling and to receive each customer with attention and listening but nevertheless with speed and effectiveness.
Then I would also add that it is a team effort: if my colleague is stressed, it will affect my work and my clients. On the contrary, if each of us remain professional and focused, it can only go well.
It should not be forgotten that we are, as receptionists, the first contact with the customer and the first impression that the customer makes is often the most important. So if his welcome goes bad, it’s already bad for his stay.
Finally, I take care of my presentation: hair tied, elegant and discreet make-up, adapted dress code.
What advice could you give to people who want to become receptionists?
All the elements I have just shared with you in the previous question are essential.
Then love what you do, it’s not an easy job, there’s a big mental load to bear so you have to keep pace and be dynamic!
How do you see your future with the Starling Group?
Why not continue in the Starling group, this could be a good opportunity for me and would like to say that I gave satisfaction during my apprenticeship.
Working at house keeping as a housekeeper would please me or continue to evolve at the reception.
I’m also thinking in the long term of training myself in event management in the hotel business because it’s a subject in which I would like to develop later on.
If you had to define Starling Hotel Lausanne in 3 words?
“I would say”: magnificent setting, modernity and warm atmosphere.