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Front Desk Host

Our small (but mighty) team is looking for another person to piece into our historic motel puzzle.

We always joke: imagine working at a place where everyone is on vacation all the time, except you 😉

Hosting 40 overnight guests per day while keeping grounds and facilities running smoothly is really hard work. It is also exciting, rewarding and a whole lot of fun.

As hosts and stewards of Grayhaven we have the opportunity to make a positive impact in peoples lives and our natural environment. As a mom-and-pop operation, we require a partner that “gets” us and is willing and able to roll up their sleeves and lend a hand when needed. If you are the sort of person that would chase after someone that dropped their scarf to return it to them, or pick up trash you see on the ground and throw it away just to make the world a little better, then we are probably your people! 

Grayhaven is a beautiful place to work, and there’s a never-ending stream of interesting and wonderful people coming through, having some of the best weekends of their year. The front desk position is for someone that enjoys interacting with people and creating an exceptional guest experience, and has the desire to do things really well over and over. While half this job is structured and repetitious, the other half offers a wide range of creative work projects, especially in the off season.

A cross between consummate host and facilities coordinator, you will be checking-in guests, recommending itineraries of things to do, assisting in organizing art openings and events, and helping to tend to other tasks such as coordinating with housekeeping, staying on top of property maintenance tasks, and generally helping tackle things as they arise. You’ll be working side-by-side with our current small-family / crew and must be able to transition from computer, to a guest, to a toilet plunger, and back to computer, all without batting an eye. 

Work on an amazing property with an amazing team that will appreciate you. You get to be part of a growing small business where your ideas are welcome and encouraged. You will play an important role in preserving and sharing the historic and natural assets of an iconic mid-century property that has been hosting guests for more than 100 years (learn more). You get experience and you get to grow here, always learning new skills. You get to work with an awesome team of people that want to do good things, will have your back, and expects you to have theirs.

Things to know: Busy summer & fall hours. Every other weekend mandatory. Mellow winter months + time off to recover for the next season. 16-24 hours available.

About the Grayhaven :

Grayhaven opened for business in 1952 and remains one of the oldest and longest running accommodations in Tompkins County. We are an independent, family-owned and run 17 room motel located between Buttermilk Falls and Robert H. Treman State Parks. Situated on over 11 acres, we offer walking trails, hammocks for lounging, bocce, croquet, fire pits, picnic areas, and bird watching. Our proximity to the state parks means we are close to swimming, hiking, fishing, hunting and cross-country skiing.

Grayhaven Motel is a welcoming and unique lodging experience for family, friends, business travelers and vacationers visiting the Finger Lakes region. We aim to keep our business practices as sustainable as possible and pride ourselves on clean, well appointed rooms, domestic linens, natural bath products and providing guests plenty of relaxing space to unwind. Accommodations include classic and spacious mid-century rooms, fully equipped cottages, a suite with a kitchenette, as well as a super cute vintage camper. More than half of our rooms are dog friendly. Special amenities like water and food bowls, throws and pet treats are included with these rooms.

Our lobby features a small bar, gift shop, art gallery and seasonal artist residency. We host monthly events and workshops that are open to the public, as well as private events for weddings and retreats. Bar offerings include a variety of local and regional beers, wines, ciders, juices and snacks. Our atmosphere is retro, welcoming, kind and fun. We are known for friendly, professional service and warm hospitality. We strive to hire great people, train them well, and give them the tools and support necessary to do their jobs well.

Job Description

Hos·pi·tal·i·ty /ˌhäspəˈtalədē/ noun

  1. The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

Job duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Greet guests as they arrive
  • Handle the check-in and check/out process
  • Monitor and respond to online booking requests and manage booking calendar
  • Take reservations by phone
  • Ensure tidiness of general area: office, guest lounge, breakfast area, half bathroom, kitchen
  • Interact with guests and make recommendations for things to do in and around Ithaca
  • Assist with Main House programs such as morning breakfast and evening happy hour
  • Assist with group bookings such as wine tours, yoga retreats and weddings
  • Communicate with housekeeping staff and help them with problems as they arise
  • Help conduct room inspections to ensure cleanliness, assist with cleaning as needed
  • Assist in marketing activities such as email campaigns, PR, contact management, and package creation
  • Serve drinks and sell retail items such as beer, bbq kits, charcuterie and souvenirs
  • Enter retail sales into the system
  • Assist with ordering and inventory as needed
  • Perform or assist with minor housekeeping + ground maintenance duties.
  • Ensure a quiet, serene, safe environment for our guests and deal with issues or emergencies if and when they arise
  • Take out trash, recycling, compost
  • Wash and fold sheets and towels as needed
  • Be an ambassador for the Grayhaven
  • Assist the company with other tasks as needed

Knowledge, abilities, skill sets and requirements

  • Kind and generous of spirit
  • Excellent customer service skills and a helpful attitude toward guests
  • Prior customer service and/or hotel experience a plus
  • Basic computer literacy to run credit cards and make online bookings
  • Motivated self starter
  • Adhere to and be aware of any rules regarding health and safety
  • Willingness to ‘get your hands dirty’ taking out trash, running dishes, using a cart to transport items to rooms.
  • Ability to lift, push and/or pull up to and including 60 pounds
  • Position appropriate professional attire
  • Punctuality and reliability
  • Love for dogs (and people)
  • Know how to build a bonfire, and have a good time
  • Must have consistent access to transportation to arrive at the Grayhaven, 657 Elmira Rd Ithaca, NY 14850


  • Grayhaven Motel is a living wage certified employer
  • Competitive hourly wage commensurate with experience
  • Earned paid time off + sick pay
  • Simple IRA contribution available with minimum hours met
  • Health + Dental + Vision Insurance available w/ company contribution, w/ minimum hours met
  • Massage benefit / reimbursement, w/ minimum hours met
  • Limited free and confidential counseling services through employer sponsored EAP with Family & Children’s Services of Ithaca, with minimum hours met
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