What Hotel Housekeeping?
The housekeeping is the department of a hotel charged with cleaning and maintaining rooms and public areas. Starting from the time a guest checks-in in a hotel till he checks out, it is the housekeeping department to take care of the guest by making his / her stay pleasant and comfortable.
Table of Content
- 1 What Hotel Housekeeping?
- 2 Importance of Housekeeping in Hotel
- 3 Functions of Housekeeping Department
- 4 Relationship between Housekeeping and other Department
- 5 Types of Rooms
In general, the housekeeping staff is responsible for the daily and regular cleaning of public rooms (lobbies, corridors, meeting rooms), private bedrooms and public washrooms. In addition, it handles the laundering of linens and guest laundry. Housekeeping also performs a minor security function by providing a “first alert” to potential guest problems while staff undertake daily guest bedroom cleaning.
Importance of Housekeeping in Hotel
These are importance of housekeeping in hotel:
- Maintaining Cleanliness and Hygiene
- To maintain Privacy of Guest
- To provide Safety and Security
- To have pleasant Décor
Housekeeping is to achieve the maximum efficiency possible in the care and comfort of the guests and in providing support services for the smooth running of the hotel. Every hotel puts a lot of effort in ensuring the quality of beds, mattresses, channel music, TV, air conditioner, attached bar etc.
The comforts must be regularly maintained for the guest. It is the responsibility of the housekeeping department to make sure comfort and a welcoming atmosphere to the guests.
Maintaining Cleanliness and Hygiene
Housekeeping is to ensure a high standard of cleanliness and general upkeep in all areas. Clean and well-maintained areas give a good impression on the guest. Hygiene is maintained especially in the washrooms, toilets, pool changing room, health club, etc.
To maintain Privacy of Guest
The prime concern of any guest, irrespective of whether rich or poor, common man or celebrity, is privacy. Room windows are covered with curtains. Windows could normally overlook good scenic views, away from the eyes of others in the hotel or outside the public.
Housekeeping staff ensure the privacy of the guests and they should be trained with proper procedures to enter the room.
To provide Safety and Security
Security is one of the prime concerns of a hotel guest. The housekeeping department staff should make sure the safety and security of the guests with the help of security services. They should regularly check that fire fighting equipment’s and emergency alarms are functional at all times.
To Have Pleasant Decor
Creating a pleasant and classy ambience is also one of the major concerns of the housekeeping department for a guest.
Functions of Housekeeping Department
The basic function of the housekeeping department is explained briefly:
- To Clean Rooms and Public Areas
- Making Bed
- Managing Hotel Lenin
- Laundry Services
- To Control Pests
- Key Control
- Maintaining Hotel Safety and Security
- Hotel Ambience
- Maintenance of Rooms
To Clean Rooms and Public Areas
The housekeeping department cleans the rooms and toilets and washbasins in the room. Apart from cleaning the guest rooms, it is also responsible for cleaning the floor, terraces, elevators, elevator lobbies, corridors of guest floors, floor linen closets, mop and janitor’s closets, lobbies and stairways, function rooms, shopping arcade, cabanas, bars, dining rooms, offices, uniform rooms, Hotel Housekeeping: 3 tailor rooms, shops, storerooms and swimming pools.
To be concise, the housekeeping department is responsible for the total cleanliness of a hotel.
A guest needs a comfortable bed to take rest, relax and enjoy. A bed that is well-made will provide the required comfort. Bed making is a technique that housekeepers must know, as it not only provides comfort to the guest but also adds a pleasant ambience to a guest’s room. Guests should not complain about the cleanliness of the room, so a clean environment and perfect bed-making is a major consideration of the housekeeping department.
Managing Hotel Lenin
One of the important functions of Housekeeping is to maintain hotel Lenin. This includes all functions from the purchase of linen to laundering, storage, supplies and to condemnation. In a hotel different types of clothes and linen are used such as bedsheets, pillow covers, napkins, towels, hand towels, table covers, curtains, cushion covers etc. all these require regular maintenance.
It is the job of the Housekeeping Department to ensure clean and hygienic washing of all the linen items and then distributing them to different areas of the hotel. The relationship between housekeeping and laundry is significant for the smooth functioning of housekeeping services. One of the supporting roles of the laundry is to provide valet services to house guests.
To Control Pests
Pest Control is another major concern of the Housekeeping Department. No matter how to clean one keeps the surroundings, one cannot avoid the “uninvited guests” i.e. pests. It is not only embarrassing but also gives a bad word of mouth of a hotel where one sees rats, cockroaches, and lizards running around.
Key control is one of the most important functions of the housekeeping department. The room keys have to be handled efficiently and safely before and after giving the room to the guest.
Maintaining Hotel Safety and Security
The Housekeeping Department is responsible for maintaining a peaceful atmosphere in the hotel. The guests and staff should not fear for their safety and their belongings. Hence the housekeeping department staff should be aware of the things to protect himself and others, especially the guests around him and the property of the hotel from accidents and theft.
Several accidents may occur at the place of work. These include fire accidents, falls, wounds, injuries, negligence in handling electrical equipment etc. It is important for all housekeeping personnel to know about first aid as they could be the first ones on the spot to give immediate attention to a guest and also an employee in trouble.
Hotel decoration is the art to create a pleasant atmosphere in the living room. These arts and crafts have to be well maintained by the housekeeping department. Decorating flowers is a creative and stimulating art that often carries a message or theme. Flowers and indoor plants add colour and beauty to a room.
Maintenance of Rooms
The good housekeeping department is just as responsible for the hotel’s maintenance as an engineering department. The housekeeping staff and managers should act very keenly. Hence proper maintenance will make the perception of cleanliness easier to maintain and reduce guest complaints.
Relationship between Housekeeping and other Department
The Housekeeping department should co-ordinate and ensure maximum co-operation with other departments to provide high-quality service. To be successful, a well-planned work schedule should be prepared so as to ensure minimum disturbance to the guests and work of other departments.
The senior housekeeper is responsible for this task by supervising a group of staff or working closely with staff.
- Front Office
- Personnel Department
- Purchase Department
- Engineering Department
- Food and Beverage Department
- Security Department
- Storage Department
Housekeeping has to keep a Coordination with the Front Office for its operations. As soon as there are guest departures, the Front Office rings the Housekeeping Desk and reports the room numbers of vacated rooms so that Housekeeping can take them over to clean and prepare for sale.
Once a room is clean, the Housekeeping supervisor coordinates with Front Office directly or through the Housekeeping Desk and hands over the room to the front office for sale.
Rooms received by Housekeeping for cleaning are called “departure rooms” while cleaned rooms handed over to the Front Office for sale are called “Clear rooms”. This enables the Front Office to have rooms ready to give to a new customer. This can be critical in hotels with high occupancies.
Housekeeping coordinates with the Personnel Department for the recruitment of housekeeping staff, salary administration, indiscipline, grievance procedures, identity cards for staff, induction, transfers, promotions and exit formalities.
The Purchase Department takes care of out-of-stock items for Housekeeping such as guest supplies kept in rooms, stationery, linen of various types, detergents, etc.
The Housekeeping Department and the Engineering Department controls energy consumed in a hotel. As Housekeeping personnel are constantly throughout the hotel, checking on various issues, they check maintenance issues and forward to the engineering department to attend it.
The maintenance orders could cover a number of duties such as fused bulbs, broken furniture, plumbing not functioning in guestrooms or public bathrooms, air-conditioning not functioning, broken fixtures, etc.
To make able to ‘clear’ a room for sale to the Front Office, it is necessary that all malfunctioning items in a guest room are repaired by Engineering and maintenance department. Housekeeping would also hand over rooms to Engineering for major repairs or renovation.
The responsibility of laundry to housekeeping is :
- To wash and dry clean hotel linen and staff uniforms to a very high standard of cleanliness.
- To deliver clean uniforms and linen to Housekeeping on time.
Housekeeping has to ensure that clean linen is issued to guest rooms, restaurants, health clubs and various departments of hotels as this directly reflects the quality and image of the hotel.
If these are not received on time from the laundry, rooms would not be ready to issue to the guest and restaurants would not be ready to operate. The coordination becomes crucial in view of the large volume of linen and uniforms that is involved.
Food and Beverage Department
The banquets and restaurants frequently require clean table cloths, napkins, etc. Their staff, as well as those in the kitchen, require clean uniforms- the former because they are in direct contact with guests and also due to strict standards of hygiene required in the kitchens by most governments.
The guest room is the most private place and a hotel takes special care to ensure guest privacy and security. However, a guest can take advantage of this privacy by gambling, smuggling, etc. Housekeeping has to be alert to these activities, and seek the security department’s intervention, if necessary.
Larger hotels have a House-keeping Store that keeps stocks of housekeeping linen and supplies independently. Smaller hotels may stock them in the general store except for linen which should be issued to the housekeeping department. The coordination with the stores would ensure the availability of day-to-day requirements for housekeeping.
Types of Rooms
The size and furnishing of a room solely depends on the type of the hotel and the classification of rooms.
- Single Room: A single room has a single bed for single occupancy. It is a standard room having a dressing- cum-writing table.
- Double Room / Double Occupancy Room: It is a room with one double bed for use of two people. It is a standard room having a dressing- cum-writing table.
- Deluxe Room: This room is well furnished, carpeted and more suitable for single persons and small families. Deluxe Rooms are available with Single and Double beds.
- Twin Room: This room has two single beds for two people having only one bedside table between the two beds.
- Hollywood Twin: This is a room with two single beds and one single headboard meant for two people. When need arises, the two beds can be bridged together to make it appear as a double room.
- Studio: The studio room is the room for the guest with self catering available. It has a queen size bed, air conditioning, fan and screens. There is also a dining area and a seating area.
- Suite: Hotel Housekeeping : 8 A suite in a hotel is a class of luxury rooms. Suites offer more space and furniture than a basic room. In addition to the standard bed and bedroom fixtures, a suite will typically add a living room, usually with a couch that folds into a bed. Dining, office and kitchen facilities are also added in some suites.
Many large hotels have one or more “honeymoon suites”, and sometimes the best room is called the “presidential suite”. Some hotels now offer only regular suites. Regular suites are particularly for business travellers who would both appreciate additional space and may use it to host small meetings or entertain guests.
- Penthouse Suite: A penthouse suite is mostly on the highest floors of hotel building. Penthouses are Different from other rooms in luxury features. A penthouse suite may also provide occupants with private access to the roof space above the suit, instead of or in addition to terrace space created by an adjacent sit back.
- Parlour Room: A parlour is a room well equipped and furnished for a special function or business. It is generally a lavishly decorated room with more facilities like bar, pantry, massage. Usually the room is sold on hourly basis.
- Executive Room: It is larger bedroom with a sitting area provided with chairs and usually sofa. There is a dressing table as well as a writing table.
- Interconnected Rooms: There are two rooms adjacent to each other having an interconnecting door allowing entry from one room to another, without having to go through the corridor. A guest can open the interconnecting doors if needed.
- Efficiency Room: It is a room with some kitchen facilities found in motels and residential hotels.
- Cabana: Cabana is generally a shelter on a beach or at a swimming pool used as a bathhouse. But now some hotels provide cabana with contemporary beauty, comfort, protection and privacy with all basic facilities alongside the swimming pool, on the beach, in the garden and in any lounging area to individual guests for occupation.
The rent for cabana is usually less as they would not have luxurious décor.
- Sico: Sico room is for small space. It is a smart solution to space efficiency. It usually have special beds which can be folded according to the guest’s choice. Guests get a meeting room by day and a sleeping room by night, with the comfort of a real mattress.
With most meetings today consisting of ten people or less, it is flexible for small meetings.