Housekeeping | Room Attendant

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Hotel Housekeeping is an activity of keeping the hotel clean, tidy, and up to the highest standard of conduct. This tutorial introduces you to various concerns of Hotel Housekeeping such as principles of housekeeping, types of cleanings, and standard operating procedures of cleaning. It also introduces you to housekeeping equipment and agents, guest supplies, types of hotel rooms, and laundry management.

Objectives of Hotel Housekeeping

The main objectives of hotel housekeeping are −

  • To maintain overall cleanliness of the entire hotel at all times.
  • To perform cleanliness duties most efficiently and effectively.
  • To use good quality, safe cleaning equipment and chemicals.
  • To manage laundry and linen.
  • To control pests.
  • To keep up the hotel with classy interior decoration.
  • To take care of the furniture, fittings, and fixtures of the entire hotel.

To understand the expanse or scope of housekeeping, it is better to understand the divisions of hotel a hotel, first.

Housekeeping Department Layout in Hotel

The layout of the housekeeping department depends on the total number of Guestrooms, Outlets, and Required Staff. The following areas of the department are the most prominent ones −

  • Office of the Executive Housekeeper −The administrative work of the department is carried out here.
  • Housekeeping Control Desk −It is accessible and operational 24 hours a day. The housekeeping staff reports at the start and end of the shift here. There are notice boards, storage shelves, registers, lost and found cupboard, and key-hanger matrix.
  • Laundry Area −Washing, ironing, dry cleaning, folding of linen and staff uniform takes place here.
  • Linen Room −Here, the linen of the hotel such as bed-sheets, towels, pillow cases, etc., are stored, collected, and carried to the required places in the hotel.
  • Uniform Room −The staff uniforms are collected, stored, and distributed from here.
  • Tailor Room −Here, stitching and repairing of linen and uniforms takes place.
  • Housekeeping Stores −It is a storage area where the cleaning equipment and items, and guest supplies are securely stored.
  • Flower Room −It is an air-conditioned room with worktables, sink and water supply, cupboards to store vases and stones, and a counter.
  • Lost and found −stores all the items left by the guests. It directly communicates with the front office desk, as there the guests tend to first enquire about their lost articles.

Housekeeping − Areas of Responsibility

The housekeeping department is responsible to keep the following areas clean and tidy.

  • Guest Rooms
  • Guest Bathrooms
  • Public Areas such as Lobby and Lifts
  • Banquets and Conference Halls
  • Parking Area
  • Sales and Admin Offices
  • Garden

Apart from the cleaning task, the housekeeping is also responsible for handling keys of each floor. In addition, it manages the laundry, which is often at some places considered as a sub-department of housekeeping.

Terms Used in Hotel Housekeeping

Here are some commonly used terms in housekeeping −

Terms Meaning
Banquets It is a multi-course meal or feast, usually given by the host on occasions like a charitable gathering, a ceremony, or a celebration, often precedes or succeeds by honoring speeches.
Bridal Suite Room reserved for the newly married people.
Check-In Counter where you announce your arrival or departure to the hotel.
Coffee Shop Place in a hotel where coffee, light drinks and meals are served.
Desk Place that provides information or service in a hotel.
Dining Room Room where guests have their meals.
En Suite Attached to the room.
Guest Room Bedroom for a visitor.
Head Board Upright panel designed or placed behind the head of a bed.
Lobby A hall, foyer, or waiting room at or near the hotel entrance.
Lounge Public area of hotel where people can just sit and relax.
Reception The area/desk at which the guests are received.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) It is a detailed information prepared by the manufacturer or importer of a chemical that describes the physical and chemical properties, health hazards, routes of exposure, precautions for safe handling and use, and first-aid procedures in case any accident happens.

Abbreviations Used in Housekeeping

The following table lists a few common abbreviations used in housekeeping −

Terms Meaning Meaning
ACCT Accounting A department of a hotel business that handles finance.
CI Check-in Depicts that the room is ready for check in.
CO Check-Out The room status when guest has vacated and the room still needs to be prepared for selling.
DL Double Lock Room A room with two locks, one by hotel and the other personal lock put by the guest.
DNCO Did Not Check Out The guest settled the bill but did not check out formally at front office desk.
DND Do Not Disturb The DND tag or the privacy lamp depicts that the guest does not wish to be disturbed by housekeeping.
DO Due Out The room is expected to become vacant after the following day’s checkout time.
FBP Food and Beverage Product A product used and sold by Food and Beverage service of the hotel business.
FBS Food and Beverage Service A service provided by the hotel business.
FO Front Office The first contact point of Hotel staff and the guests.
GC General Cleaning A term used for routine cleaning.
GRA Guest Room Attendant The room attendant serving under supervisor
GRS Guet Refuse Service The hotels reserve rights to refuse service because of the guest’s behavior in the previous visit.
HK Housekeeping An important department of service industry.
HM Honeymooner Depicts that the room is for the newly-wed couple.
HRD Human Resource Department A department taking care of recruiting, induction, and training of new skilled employees.
IS Inspected Depicts the status of the guest room ready to sell.
L Luggage Luggage in room but bed unused..
NC Not Cleared A vacant room not cleared, not ready for selling.
O Occupied The status of the room as occupied by the guest or displays signs of being occupied by the guest.
OC Occupied Clean The status of the room as occupied by the guest or displays signs of being occupied by the guest.
OD Occupied Dirty The status of the room as occupied by the guest or displays signs of being occupied by the guest.
ONL Occupied No Luggage The status of the room as occupied by the guest or displays signs of being occupied by the guest.
OOO Out Of Order The status of room is not ready for selling because of some problem such as clogged basin/toilet, nonfunctioning shower, or broken bed. The supervisor needs to know for how long it will be out of order and is responsible to get it into order as fast as possible.
OS Out Of Service The area or equipment not in service.
REC Recreation Leisure activity.
RET Returned Guest The guest that gives a repeat business as a result of satisfaction.
SA Special Attention Depicts that the room requires special
SB Scantly Baggage The baggage is put carelessly.
SM Sales and Marketing A department taking care of sales and promotion of the hotel business.
SO Sleep-Out The room is occupied but the bed was not used.
SPA Sanus Per Aquam Sanus Per Aquam
UR Under Repair Currently under repair and not ready to sell.
V Vacant The status of the guest room when the guest has vacated the room.
VC Vacant Clean The status of the guest room when the guest has vacated the room.
VD Vacant Dirty The status of the guest room when the guest has vacated the room.
VCL Vacant Clean Inspected The status of the guest room when the guest has vacated the room.
Vacant Clean Inspected Very Important Person The status of the room that needs extra amenities.

The housekeeping also practices general abbreviations such as As Soon As Possible (ASAP), Not Yet (NY), Follow Up (FU), and For Your Information (FYI), which are also used commonly in the industry.