In my 18 years of tenure in housekeeping in hotels & resorts, I have managed to provide clean, hygienic and safe environment with luxury to guests as a top priority,” says Jagdish Deval, Manager Housekeeping, Madhubhan Resort & Spa, Anand (Gujarat).
“Challenges and problems in housekeeping are opportunities that bring innovative, creative and better solutions in service delivery.”
I see some common challenges like handling back-to-back situations, pest controlling, maintenance of aesthetics, meeting standards of cleaning and hygiene in guest rooms, and back areas in all the hospitality properties. Maintaining resort properties is tougher as these are comparatively wide spread areas, including landscape, plants, trees, water bodies, water plants and water fountains/waterfalls besides the other internal areas. Guests’ profile too is quite different. Big wedding groups, social events groups and residential conference groups stay in the resort; so housekeeping has a much bigger role to play. Apart from the day-to-day cleaning and maintenance programme, that is – KEN FIX IT (Daily Responsive Maintenance) – super room cleaning and preventive maintenance is also taken up.
Maintaining public areas is also quite challenging, because our property is spread in lush green landscape in which there are a lot of trees, plants and water bodies. Every rainy season, there are new challenges confronting my team – rainwater flowing down with soil in public areas, algae growth and other issues.
We have equipped ourselves with proper planning, scheduling of activities, trained and motivated manpower and machines like scrubber drier, wet vacuum, high pressure, steam cleaner and walk behind battery operated vacuum sweeper, flipper and ride on sweeper to maintain all the guest areas which are in open air. For indoor areas, we have been using microfiber duster, microfiber dry mops, damp mops, vacuum cleaners, carpet shampooing machine, scrubber dryer and single disc machines for floor scrubbing, polishing and crystallizing. We are using Diversey cleaning chemicals which have automised dosing system for optimum use of chemicals.
Pest control is another area where housekeeping plays vital role in resorts. There are different kind of pests to deal with – mosquitoes, cockroaches, insects, flies, lizards and rats. Keeping birds away from the building areas is also quite difficult task. My housekeeping team is coordinating all pest control activities like regular spraying, fumigation, fogging, gel treatment, putting gum boards for lizards and rate. We are also using lemon grass oil diffuser in indoor areas to repel mosquitoes. We have used bird gel, bird spikes and netting wherever needed to keep away birds from the building areas. There are many more day to day challenges but I believe every challenge is an opportunity for us and every problem has a solution.
As far as eco-friendly/green practices are concerned, our resort is spread in 22 acres of lush green land with a nursery for indoors, outdoor plants and flowers. We do produce organic vegetables and herbs in the resort itself with a dedicated horticulture team which is well equipped to embrace latest trends. We use herbal products in bathroom amenities and biodegradable products for cleaning. With placing tent card in guest rooms to not changing the bed and bath linen every day, many small steps have been taken as a part of CSR. Some other initiatives include installation of solar lights, water harvesting system and STP Plant. We have IDS (Intrusion Detection System) in the resort and same is being used in housekeeping too.