Hello and welcome to my Day in the Life blog describing my internship as a Bellman at the Westin Bear Mountain! Like many jobs in the hospitality industry every day can be different, fun and exciting. Therefore, before I describe my day I would like to point out key critical features that are unique to the Bellman position at the resort. One feature is that the Westin Bear Mountain doesn’t have a separate Concierge Department; therefore, all bellmen work for the Front Office Department.
The other feature is the fact that there are two separate hotel buildings. The main building where everyone check-in/out of the resort is known as the Clubhouse Building, and our second building is known as the Fairways Building. Both buildings offer the same type of hotel rooms; however, the Fairways Building has hotel rooms that are pet friendly. This feature means that during arrivals and departures the bellmen have to be prepared to move at moment’s notice to provide guest assistance in both buildings throughout the shift.
So now that I’ve finished describing the critical features of the resort, I’ll now speak about my day as a Bellman. The majority of the shifts that I’ve worked at the Westin Bear Mountain have been the evening/closing shift. On weekdays they start at 3:00pm and they end at 11:30pm. On weekends the closing shift starts at 4:30pm and they end at 1:00am the next day because generally there are weddings and various events over the weekend, which allows the bellman to provide assistance to any guests. My day starts at Metchosin, a suburb of Victoria. Usually two hours before my shift starts I’ll prepare myself for the day, including showering, brushing my teeth, shaving, combing my hair, etc. Appearance is a huge aspect in the hospitality and tourism industry; therefore, I have to ensure that I look professional. I change into my uniform, grab a quick bite to eat and then drive through the small town of Metchosin towards Langford, another suburb of Victoria where the resort is located. It usually takes me 30-45 minutes to get to the resort from my house and it includes a drive up a winding road to the top of Bear Mountain. I usually get there ten minutes before my shift starts so that I can sign in, speak to the Front Office Manager and the bellman on during the opening shift about anything that I need to know about.
Here are the following things that I do when I come on shift:
-Log in to the computer and check the arrivals and departures list;
-Check the Golf Tee Times for any late afternoon/evening golfers; and
-Check the Valet Parking box to see how cars we have in the Valet Parking Lots.
Throughout this time guests could be arriving at any moment. When they arrive I inquire if they’re coming to play golf or to check in at the hotel, and then I proceed with the arrival procedure such as welcoming the guest, assisting with luggage, escorting them to the front desk and escorting them to their room regardless if it’s in the Clubhouse or Fairways Building. Once settled in their room, I describe the features of the room to the guest and then wish them an enjoyable stay.
For guests who are coming to play golf, I ask their last name of the group they are playing under and the tee time, explain where the Pro Shop is so that they can register, take their golf bags and drive them to back of the resort where the golf courses are located.
A video of myself welcoming a guest who is coming to play golf can be found here:
That is the main part of my duties. However, other duties that I do are:
-Assisting with room moves;
-Making deliveries of various items to hotel rooms;
-Shuttling guests in our vehicle to various points around the resort;
-Ensure that inside and outside of the lobby is properly maintained so that it’s at a standard expected of a Westin resort;
-Cleaning and maintaining luggage carts; and
-Being available to assist the guests with any recommendations or places to go while they are staying here in Victoria.
So finally after 8 hours, my shift is over. Since I’m usually working the closing shift I have to make sure that everything is secure for the night. The garbage has to be emptied, the bell podium has to be placed inside and any golf bags that are on the Golf Bag Drop rack are stored inside the storage closet to prevent them from being stolen. Finally, I put away my keys and radio, have a chat with night audit, count all of tips collected for the day, sign out and then begin the beautiful drive down Bear Mountain towards my house in rural Metchosin only to do it all over again the next day!
Here’s a slideshow of various pictures taken while at work:
Here are various links that you can look at in order to get more details about the Westin Bear Mountain:
www.bearmountain.ca -Resort’s Personal website
http://bearmountain.ca/Golf/RatesTeeTimes.aspx -Golf Tee Times information website
www.facebook.com/bearmountainresort -Westin Bear Mountain’s Facebook page
www.twitter.com/bearmountain -Westin Bear Mountain’s Twitter page
www.westin.com/bearmountain -Resort’s Westin website