Hotel Porters vs. Bellhops — What is the Difference?

When you walk into a hotel, what is your first impression? Sometimes it is the music, the building, or the overall ambiance. However, when it comes to people, your first impression is usually the hotel porters and bellhops. Like the front desk, bellhops and hotel porters are the faces of the hotel and serve as the property’s welcoming committee. The work of hotel porters and bellhops is as exciting as it is fast-paced. Read along to discover the key differences between these two exciting jobs.

Are a Porter and Bellhop the Same?

Porters and bellhops have a similar goal: to ensure hotel guests enjoy their stay. However, their roles and duties differ. In short, bellhops typically work inside the hotel and focus on storing and retrieving guest luggage, while porters work outside and take care of things for guests like booking tickets and delivering papers. Let us take a deeper look at the benefits of each of these positions.

What Is a Hotel Bellhop?

A hotel bellhop transports guest luggage and leads guests to their rooms.  Once the bellhop drops off luggage, the employee does final checks on the room. If any equipment is not working correctly – such as the air conditioning or television –the bellhop will report the issue to their team as soon as possible.

Benefits of Being a Hotel Bellhop

Bell captains typically supervise hotel bellhops, and many former bellhops transition into the role. A bell captain gives bellhops their assignments, trains new bellhops, and tracks payroll. Take a look at the story of Derek, who started as both a bellhop and valet until he was promoted to lobby ambassador, an exciting hybrid valet, bellhop, and concierge position.

What Is a Hotel Porter?

Being a hotel porter is a great entry-level position for anyone looking for their first job out of high school or looking to make a career switch into hospitality. In addition to handling baggage and suitcases as bellhops do, a porter is also in charge of delivering papers and packages to guests at the hotel. They may also need to run errands outside the hotel, such as buying theater or sporting event tickets.

A Day in the Life of a Hotel Porter

Work conditions are generally comfortable, but you must have the physical stamina to lift heavy luggage and potentially climb stairs. The amount of physical activity required can be taxing, especially for those not used to that much manual labor. When hotel porters are not running errands for guests, they remain on their feet throughout the shift. 

Benefits of Being a Hotel Porter

A hotel porter job is great for anyone who likes staying active. This fast-paced job will have you doing hands-on work like arranging furniture and rolling up rugs. When conventions or meetings occur at the hotel, you may need to help set up displays and assist the housekeeping staff. The career path of a hotel porter can lead to being promoted to head porter, who is responsible for ensuring all the porters get a fair share of the work, tracking payroll, and hiring and training new porters.

Find Your Next Hotel Job

The hotel, motel, and resort industry continues to grow, as does the demand for bellhops and porters within the department of Lobby & Guest Service. Check out stories like Danny’s, who started as a van driver before he transitioned into sales for events and weddings.