The backbone of the hotel industry
Housekeeping is one of the most indispensable departments in a hotel. Hotelier India speaks to housekeeping heads from select hotels about their challenges and their impact on the rest of the hotel’s operations.
What specifically is the role of a housekeeper and what are your main areas of responsibility?
GURMEET KAUR: There is a common perception that a housekeeper’s job is meant only for cleaning purposes. This is not correct. Apart from cleaning, dusting and decoration of rooms, the task of a housekeeper involves understanding the need of a guest and setting up things accordingly.
Responsibilities of housekeeping department in the hotels can be divided into different categories: (a) Service at public areas (b) Room service (c) Laundry service including the linens of the rooms and restaurants (d) Maintenance of staff’s uniforms (e) Maintenance of horticulture in hotel and (f) Apart from the guest or public areas, housekeeping also looks after the administrative offices, staff facilities and all other areas of hotel such as parking and the kitchen.
MEGHA PANDEY KAKROO: My role and main area of responsibility is leading the housekeeping team. When guests walk into a hotel, it’s the feeling he gets when he notices things around him. Right from the time he enters the elevator till he enters his room, we have to ensure that he finds everything clean and appreciates its aesthetic value.
My job involves maintaining the hotel and ensuring that there are zero defects anywhere. We also take care of the spa, health club, horticulture, and the main public areas.
SAREENA KOCHAR: I’m looking after the pan-Indian operations of Lemon Tree hotels. I have been here since the last 4.5 years and my main role is to uplift guest satisfaction, tracking systems keeping costs low and to help my organisation to be profitable in the mid-market segment.
We provide unforgettable experiences to our customers with our in-room amenities such as fragrance in the corridors, in order to make them feel welcome at all times and give them a personalised experience.
JIGNESH DESAI: My specific role is the upkeep of the entire hotel, it’s a role that is spread out over many areas.
MANDHAR BODHE: It goes without saying that housekeeping is in charge of all the details. I am responsible for the upkeep of guest rooms and ensuring that the public areas are kept clean and tidy and that everything works in an efficient manner.
Operationally speaking, I have to take care of my team, conduct people management. Besides overseeing activities such as pest control and laundry management, I also have to ensure that annual maintenance is on track because it is of utmost importance.
PARIMAL AGASHE: I am in charge of the housekeeping department and the laundry management. My main areas are the rooms, the public areas, the lost and found, the linen and the uniforms as well as the horticulture and pest control. I conduct all the coordination for this.
KAUSHI LEELANANDA: The role of a housekeeper entails the following responsibilities: to ensure that the hotel should be maintained always fresh and clean, quality and standards should be of the highest order as specified by the organisation, to ensure cost effectiveness of the operation without compromising the quality, advise management on future renovation/refurbishment plans based on the guest feedback, selection and training of the housekeeping team. Executive Housekeeping is also an active member of the business excellence team.