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Our guide to hotel management courses

Three star, four star, five star – everyone loves a good hotel! There’s the excitement of seeing your room for the first time, bouncing on the bed (yep, everyone does that), the whiter than white bed linen, the mini-bar. What’s not to love? But how do hotels function behind the scenes? And what makes a hotel good, bad or brilliant? Hotel management courses answer that question – and many more. They cover the basic principles behind running a hotel: how the business model works, what the overheads are and, crucially, where the profits lie. But much more than this, hotel management courses provide professional insights into a fascinating, historic and international industry. 


What will I study?

Just as there are many different hotels in the world, so too are there many different courses. Most courses cover the same sort of topics: how to recruit and develop staff, manage the finances, forward plan and organise (both long term and day-to-day) and how to market a hotel. Almost all courses will cover other areas within hospitality too – such as the management of restaurants or leisure centres – while some courses have modules in events management. The great thing about many of these courses is that you’ll learn transferable skills like how to process an invoice or set up a staff payroll. You can then go on to use these skills in other areas of hospitality, and even different industries.    


What types of courses are there?

Whether you want to study full time, part time, at home or just for a day, we’ve got good news – there’s a course out there for you! The range of hotel management courses is vast. Depending on how long you want to study for, you can choose a vocational course like a two year HND (Higher National Diploma) or a one-year HNC (Higher National Certificate) or a Foundation course. Alternatively, there are shorter courses aimed at giving you more precise knowledge and industry licenses.

And at the other end of the scale, are postgraduate qualifications for students who have already completed an undergraduate degree in another subject but want to specialise. You can of course opt for an undergraduate degree in hotel management too.


How will it help me?

There are all sorts of ways that studying hotel management can benefit you, here are just a few…

Boost your salary: If you’re already working in the hospitality industry, doing an online or short course is a great way of showing your employer how committed you are. Once you’ve done that, asking for a pay rise suddenly feels less terrifying. 

Make you more employable: The better trained you are, the more employable you are – that’s all there is to it. With a proper qualification on your CV, you’ll show employers that you’re a skilled, ambitious professional and the interview requests will roll in.

Help you find work abroad: The hotel industry is international – so perfect for people interested in travelling or living abroad. Many hotel management courses offer modules in European hospitality to help you find work and pursue a career overseas.


Five of the coolest hotels in the world…

1. The Ritz, London

Built at the turn of the century, it doesn’t get more glam than The Ritz! Situated in the heart of London, on Piccadilly, this five-star hotel is famous for its neoclassical architecture and cuisine – high tea at The Ritz being a must-do for lots of tourists visiting London.

2. Raffles, Singapore City

Ever sipped a Singapore Sling? It was invented here! This famous hotel first opened in 1899 and is known throughout the world for its luxurious colonial-style interiors and hotel bar called ‘Long Bar’. Considered one of the best bars in the world, it’s where the first Singapore Sling cocktail was made.

3. The Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai

Dubbed “the wave hotel” because of its unusual shape that makes it look like an ocean wave, The Jumeirah was built in 1997 and has 26 floors and more than 20 restaurants!

4. The Imperial, Delhi

Amid the wonderful mayhem of India’s capital city lies an oasis of calm – The Imperial. This hotel was built in the 1930s and alongside its 233 rooms, 44 suites and six restaurants, is a museum and art gallery which hosts the largest collection of colonial and post-colonial art and artefacts in Delhi.

5. Hotel Chelsea, New York City

If you’re a Leonard Cohen fan, then you’ll know this one already – Leonard Cohen famously wrote a song about it in the 1970s. The Hotel Chelsea (or Chelsea Hotel as Cohen called it) is famous thanks to the famous people who have stayed there. Throughout the sixties and seventies it was the go-to hangout for artists, writers and musicians like Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and Alan Ginsberg.


By Rebecca Hobson

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Course reviews at this provider

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I wish this course were more to do with hospitality
Hotel Management (Level 3) Fast Track Course
by SHIH-MING - March 2015

I am currently taking the Hotel Management online course to broaden my knowledge in this subject. I was looking forward to the general training and the theoretical knowledge of hospitality; however, all I learned so far is only to do with general management theories. Very little content of hotel management is covered as I have browsed the course material from Chapter One to Chapter Nine. Chapter one was quite relevant to the managing side of hospitality as it covers basic accounting about the business of hotels or restaurants. However, the second and third chapter are concerned about general management and I carried on browsing through the Chapter Four to Nine. It was all about general management theories, such as job analysis, personnel... and so on. I am a restaurant manager and I found out until now I have not benefited from this course too much. I have passed three exams, and currently I am reading the handouts of the chapter four and five. So far it was quite disappointing but I think I might give another in-depth review once I complete this course. Also, as it mentioned in the course description, it provides one tutor with the course. However, the only thing I received from this institute after ordering this course was the online password and it led me to the website where I can read the handout of the course. NO OTHER COURSE MATERIAL HAS ARRIVED AND NO TUTOR WAS GIVEN. From some other reviewers who took different course from this institute, they seemed quite satisfied with the course. I hope it can do better as if people who sign up for a course, they do really want to learn things. I hope this review is of use to anyone who is interested in this course and I will later update my thoughts once I complete this course.

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Awarding organisations

  • Confederation of Tourism & Hospitality
  • Established in 1982, the Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality (CTH) provides training courses for the travel and hotel industries. Their training has been continuously updated over the last 30 years to ensure contemporary relevance, meaning that CTH is one of the leading membership and awarding bodies in the UK for qualifications offered in this fast growing sector. Progression routes are offered in tourism, travel and hospitality at a range of qualification levels such as Certificate, Diploma and Graduate Diploma. CTH is Ofqual-approved and has strong links with high-profile organisations such as Virgin Atlantic, Marriott Hotels and Star Alliance.

Related careers: Catering/Restaurant Manager

Restaurant or catering managers ensure that customers are satisfied with the quality of food and service provided. Work in hotels, restaurants and fast-food outlets is classified as restaurant management. In larger catering operations such as a business or factory canteen, hospital or school, the work would be termed catering management. Restaurant managers deal with customers, welcoming them and showing them to their table. Catering managers have less contact with customers, spending more time behind-the-scenes. The manager's duties are also likely to...more