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Accommodation manager: Job description

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Accommodation managers are employed in both the private and public sectors, by conference centres, hotels, halls of residences, NHS hospitals and health worker housing, government-run care homes, housing associations and youth hostels.

It is the accommodation manager's responsibility to ensure that their establishment is run efficiently, any problems are quickly rectified, that standards of cleanliness and maintenance are upheld (in rooms, bathrooms and public areas), that budgets are controlled and that their teams of staff are well trained and managed.

Job titles vary depending on the sector: in hotels, accommodation managers may be known as housekeepers or housekeeping managers; in education, such as in halls of residences, they may be known as domestic bursars; and in hospitals as domestic services or facilities managers.

Typical work activities

Accommodation managers across all sectors and establishments have similar managerial responsibilities that often cover people and the building. Common tasks include people management and training, budget control, business planning and administration. Exact duties and levels of responsibility vary from position to position. For example, in a large hotel chain an accommodation manager's role may be restricted to housekeeping and be more clearly defined than in a smaller independent hotel. Domestic bursars within the education sector sometimes assume responsibility for catering operations.

In hotel accommodation, typical activities include:

  • ensuring that accommodation is clean, well maintained and attractively presented;
  • controlling a budget, managing stock levels and ordering supplies;
  • liaising with reception services to coordinate the allocation of accommodation;
  • liaising with other departments within the organisation, e.g. catering or conferences;
  • planning staff rotas and covering duty roster slots;
  • arranging repairs and maintenance of rooms and reception areas;
  • inspecting the accommodation to ensure that hygiene and health and safety regulations are met;
  • recruiting and supervising teams of room attendants;
  • training staff to ensure that the organisation's high standards are maintained;
  • arranging laundry and linen supplies.

Many of the above activities are also common for accommodation managers in hostels, but work will usually be on a smaller scale.

In educational/hospital accommodation, typical activities include:

  • planning the availability of accommodation for students or conference delegates (education) or for nursing and medical staff (hospitals);
  • budgeting and controlling finances;
  • managing maintenance and arranging repairs of the facilities;
  • supervising the work of cleaning staff and ensuring standards are maintained;
  • ensuring the smooth running of accommodation facilities, including the safety and well-being of students or nursing staff;
  • involvement in the building and refurbishment of residential accommodation.

Accommodation managers may be involved in some practical or hands-on work depending on the establishment, but their role is mainly supervisory, with people management constituting a significant proportion of their role. Increasingly, they are required to manage staff employed by contractors, as opposed to in-house teams, and therefore need to be able to handle rapid staff turnover and ensure all new staff are fully aware of policies and procedures.

Written by AGCAS editors
April 2013

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