In previous interviews, we have met members of the departments of Sport Center, Spa Center and Kitchen. Today, we will know more about our of the hotel key department: the Housekeeping Department. How do we ensure that our rooms are perfectly clean and that our guests get the amenities they deserve just in time for their arrival? Who is behind this perfect organization?
Today we will discover everything thanks to Eva, the Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort housekeeper.
PRINCESA YAIZA: Good morning Eva. Our first question for you is very easy: how long have been working in the hotel?
EVA: On 04th November, I will celebrate my 15th year in the hotel. I remember it very well, because I made the interview to join the hotel team on my birthday, on 30th October, and we agreed that I would start on the 04th November. I entered as a Second Housekeeper, and after one year they promoted me to the position of Housekeeper.
PRINCESA YAIZA: You remember it quite well! Can you explain us what is your job, how the Housekeeping Department works?
EVA: My job is organising and managing the Housekeeping Department staff. Right now, we have a team of 124 people, divided into two shifts (morning and afternoon), although most of the staff works in the morning shift.
The department has three divisions: laundry, luggage attendants and chambermaids. We also have a tailor room, where the repairing and stitching of uniforms and linens of the hotel take place.
The morning shift cleans the rooms, as much the rooms already occupied by guests, as rooms for new-comers.
And the afternoon shift takes care of the hotel guests daily coverage, and can also take care of the cleaning of the rooms in case of unscheduled arrivals. The daily coverages include placing in each room the amenities included for each guest, such as chocolates.
PRINCESA YAIZA: So, the staff from your department works as much with the guests as with the hotel employees, as they make sure that the staff always has perfectly clean uniforms.
EVA: Exactly, we also take care of the laundry of all hotel employees uniforms, as well as of the guests clothes. The chambermaids clean the hotel in two shifts in the morning: from 08:00 to 16:00, and from 09:00 to 14:00. The shift that starts at 09:00, of 5h, aims at giving an extra support to the housekeeping service, in order to make sure that all the rooms are clean by 15:00, to make our guests more satisfied. The chambermaids who work in the afternoon shift – to take care of the hotel daily coverage - work from 16:00 to 24:00 and from 16:30 to 21:30, with the same system: the chambermaids who work in the 5h shift give an extra aid to the service.
The attendants are a huge help for the chambermaids: they make sure that the room linens and amenities are ready.
To help me manage the team, I have 9 second housekeepers, out of which 1 is in the office for the staff coordination (staff timetables, interviews and hiring). And I take care of the department coordination.
PRINCESA YAIZA: And what is a normal day?
EVA: To make sure that everything is well organised, I prepare my next day the day before. I arrive a little before 08:00, and the day starts with the distribution of the workload of the day to the attendants and the chambermaids: together with the second housekeepers, we tell them which hotel block they have to go to, and we give them the room keys corresponding to their planning.
Then, we start organising the next day workload: the second housekeepers contact the reception department to list the scheduled guests arrivals for the next days, and to check the afternoon planning for the working day. For example, if something may remain pending of being done at the end of the morning shift, or if there is a late check-out scheduled, it will have to be done in the afternoon. We work hand in hand with the reception department for a perfect coordination, as much to check the scheduled arrivals as if a guest wants to get another room, for example if he/she wants to get other views. And we are also very often in contact with the maintenance department, to inform them of possible breakdowns in the hotel.
PRINCESA YAIZA: Do the guests often request a room change?
EVA: Actually it is quite frequent, for example because they want to have other views from their room. They can also request to change their pillow, or their quilt, as each room is provided with a pillow and quilts menu, to enable them to choose the one they prefer. And, the returning customers usually choose the cleaning time of their room.
PRINCESA YAIZA: And in the time you have been working here, do you have any fun fact to tell us about?
EVA: I remember one, yes. For returning guests, we organise a private tour of our premises. One year, a German guest was particularly happy, and she wanted to explain me why. The problema is that I do not speak German, so we ended up speaking with our hands to understand each other! Although in this particular occasion it was a bit difficult to understand each other, I am always happy to see that our guests are satisfied with our work. The chambermaids have a really hard work, and it is nice to see that the guests appreciate their effort.
PRINCESA YAIZA: WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
EVA: This job is quite hard, for the stress it implies. But I like it, and what I prefer is the human relationships, as much with our staff as with the guests. I get a lot of help, I have a great team, and in these conditions my work is very pleasant.