I agree with NetG - I am a VP/Director level and I would pitch in and answer the phones or sit at the reception desk if it was needed so the receptionist could get a break. I am not sure why you see it as so degrading - those jobs are important jobs too, I am not above doing needed tasks at work. I'm not going to fetch dry cleaning or coffee for people because those are personal errands, but I'll answer phones, make copies, get supplies, etc.
If you are a senior member of the team and feel that this is not the most effective way to handle this situation then handle it in a professional manner and put together your own proposal for who should provide coverage and what the schedule should be and present it to the team in charge along with the reasons why your plan will save money, better optimize skillsets or more evenly distribute the burden amongst a larger pool of people. I understand being annoyed or ticked off at having to do it, but sitting and crying over it isn't going to fix it and isn't really demonstrating that you are too high level to waste your time at reception.
Either that, or as others have said, maybe you should find a new job where you don't have to do anything you think is beneath you.