Superb service and amenities can quickly be overlooked by an uncleanly hotel. For this reason, the housekeeping department is one of the most important when it comes to the upkeep of a hotel's reputation.
At a boutique hotel, where the size is quite manageable, the housekeeping staff tends to share the work between cleaning public space and the guestrooms. At a much larger hotel, the department will be segmented by specific duties that in addition to housekeepers may include laundry room attendants, floor supervisors, furniture polishers, wall and window washers, seamstresses, upholsters, painters and others skilled in maintenance and repair.
The housekeeping department will be supervised by the Director of Housekeeping. The Director's duties include hiring, training, scheduling, keeping inventories, ordering products, doing payroll and ensuring quality controls.
In addition to thorough cleaning and maintenance, the housekeeping staff must be consistent in how they prepare the guestroom and maintain the public space. Hotel guests come to rely on the details. How their linens are folded, where their bathroom amenities are placed and on what table their morning newspaper can be found on, are of utmost importance in creating a consistent experience and guest loyalty.
The ratio of housekeepers to guestrooms will often be determined by the quality of the hotel. A housekeeper at a low to mid level hotel, may expect to clean three to five guestrooms per hour, while a housekeeper at a five star property, may expect to clean one or two rooms per hour.
Unlike many other hotel positions, becoming a hotel housekeeper does not require previous experience and is a great way to get one's foot in the hotel door. As their tends to be a fairly high turnover rate in the housekeeping department, for workers with ambition, a strong work ethic and the desire to succeed, there will be opportunities to advance relatively quickly within the department, and eventually in other departments within the hotel, if one desires.