When hotels undergo refurbishment and design changes, the results often create difficulties for housekeeping. Read advice from Liz Smith-Mills.

Liz Smith-Mills is an Expert Advisory Council member for P&G Professional. With over 35 years’ experience in the hospitality sector, she has worked predominantly in 4 and 5 star properties in all hotel departments, specialising in housekeeping, training, mystery guest inspections and assisting with new openings. In this article, she answers one of your burning questions.

Question:

When hotels undergo refurbishment and design changes, the results often create difficulties for housekeeping, including the introduction of delicate fabrics and light coloured carpets. What advice would you give to housekeepers in this situation, and how have you tackled these challenges?

We know that both housekeepers and designers strive to create a great ambience, and deliver memorable experiences for guests. However, a designer’s vision can sometimes become a nightmare for a housekeeper. The most common issues I have experienced over the course of my career include designers selecting fabrics that look great but are difficult to maintain and fixtures and fittings that are not suited for a constant flow of guests.

Yet, overcoming these issues can be simple. The main piece of advice I can give, is to develop a relationship with the designers, and work together during a refurbishment. The earlier a housekeeper and hotel maintenance can be involved in a project the better. If possible offer advice on the most appropriate fabrics, carpets, and fixtures at the design stage from a cleaning perspective. In your role, you are able to provide qualified advice on the suitability of items for frequent use, how they will impact a guest’s stay, and ease of 'ongoing maintenance.

As you will be responsible for cleaning and maintenance of newly refurbished rooms and maintaining the appearance for years to come, you must be able to clean them efficiently and effectively, to the standards expected, including pristine carpets, stain free surfaces and sparkling bathrooms.

If you hear about refurbishment plans, ask management if you are able to meet with the design team to input, and once you have access to the designer, the following are some of the steps to consider:

  • Create a sample room: Housekeepers should be able to clean the sample room in the time frame allocated, run a training session with the staff, so they can be shown the correct cleaning methods to keep the newly designed spaces immaculate. Working in the sample room will also give the opportunity to identify potential issues that will impact on maintenance. In this process, Manufacturer care instructions on-hand are essential so items are cared for properly.
  • Request moveable furniture: cleaning around and under furniture will be significantly easier if it can be moved with ease. This will allow the hard to reach areas, including behind the headboard, to be cleaned.
  • Maintaining for the future: It is important to work in tandem with the maintenance team to ensure future upkeep can be done with ease. It is important that repairs can be made with easy access and minimal disruption to guests’ so hotels can run at full capacity, without putting rooms out of action wherever possible.

Whether or not the new rooms present a cleaning challenge, ensure you have invested in quality products, like those from P&G Professional. Products in the Flash Professional range are designed to assist in achieving great results in the minimum amount of time. The multi-purpose products are safe for use on multiple surfaces, and are accompanied by clear instructions with icons and symbols.

To learn more about P&G Professional and its professional cleaning systems please visit www.pgpro.co.uk or call 0800 716 854.

Win a Free Gift Basket! If you have a question or problem relating to housekeeping or laundry that you would like Liz to answer. Please email (confirm with publication) or reach out to Housekeeping Today’s Twitter and Facebook pages (confirm). If your question is featured in a future column, you will receive a gift basket with P&G Professional products to make your life a little cleaner.

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