They are often the unsung heroes of any hotel operation and here we have the first of six profiles of six stars that head up Housekeeping in Scotland’s top hotels, Elena Gardner, head Housekeeper, Crieff Hydro Hotel, Perthshire.
How long have you been a housekeeper?
How did you get into hospitality?
When I moved to Scotland from Russia in 2006 there were two options open to me – to continue my teaching career or to try something different. After attending a recruitment event, I applied for a receptionist position at The Queens Hotel in Perth, but after a brief conversation with one of the owners, I was offered Housekeeping Manager.
What is the hardest part of the job?
I wouldn’t call it the hardest, rather the most challenging, is to be flexible, ready for change and eager to learn new things. You need to be ready to think out of the box and to ready to provide the best service, and turn moments into memories for our guests. At the same time you should not forget about your team, because it is people who make the business successful.
Is there any gadget or trick of the trade you find especially useful?
Communication is very important between the teams and I had the pleasure to work with HotSoS (a service optimization enterprise solution) in one of the hotels. I think it is a must if you want to be efficient.
What’s been your proudest moment at work?
There were a few of them over the years. To be honest, I feel the proudest when my colleagues or former employees get in touch and share their success stories. I’m proudest when people I mentor achieve great results in their careers and lives.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen or found in a hotel room?
Once we found a bat in one of our rooms and had to contact a wildlife rescue organisation.
Any tips for aspiring housekeepers?
Put 110% in everything you do. Take every opportunity to learn new skills. Take ownership and show integrity.