Wake-up call queen
An Auckland hotel worker has claimed silver in the 2017 receptionist world championships.
CityLife Auckland receptionist Priyanka Payal Sharma flew to Paris in February to compete in the AICR international receptionist of the year competition.
AICR is the international association for deputy managers and front office managers of luxury hotels.
Sharma tied second, losing to the United Kingdom’s Beatrice Gallo and runner-up Australian Emily Short.
She competed against receptionists working in international hotels like the Langham and Four Seasons, from destinations including the French Riviera, Cote d’Azur and Monte Carlo.
The annual competition has been running since 1996.
Two juries watched on as competitors answered questions about hotel innovations, sales and marketing, and general receptionist knowledge.
Sharma had to perform in a high pressure role play situation dealing with a difficult early check-in, alongside an annoyed guest who didn’t receive their wake-up call which led to a missed flight.
She said the role play was different to what she was used to in New Zealand.
‘‘Personally, since I’ve been working in reception I’ve never missed a wake-up call,’’ Sharma said.
Missing wake-up calls was more common in large international hotels, she said.
The 24-year-old Mt Albert resident won last year’s New Zealand AICR national competition after coming second in the regional competition.
Sharma won two nights at a Singapore hotel while Gallo won a week long course at the best hos- pitality school in Paris.
Although New Zealand sent its national champion to compete in the world champs every year, no one has placed since Wellington’s Hotel Intercontinental receptionist Eve Stacey won the competition in 2009.
Sharma started working at CityLife Auckland when she was 19.
After two and a half years working in the restaurant she moved into reception, where she has worked for the past two years.
Sharma said she would not compete in the national competition this year because she’ll be a judge.
Priyanka Payal Sharma was chosen to face the world’s best receptionists after winning the national competition last year.