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, Edwelina Madej Lipdska, Housekeeping Manager at Malmaison, Edinburgh Leith.
How long have you been a housekeeper?
I’ve been a housekeeper for almost 10 years Ever since I arrived in the UK
How did you get into hospitality?
I had no previous experience in the hospitality industry and I started as a room attendant for the Premier Inn when I first moved from Poland to Edinburgh. I joined the Malmaison hotel in 2010 as a part-time room attendant and have worked my way up to be full-time Head housekeeper since then.
What is the hardest part of the job?
Housekeeping is very challenging in every way but very rewarding at the same time. I am very passionate but find it very difficult at times to find the right balance of staff due to how physical the job can be. Being a very enthusiastic person I find it difficult when I don’t get the same enthusiasm back from certain staff.
Is there any gadget or trick of the trade you find especially useful?
I love all new cleaning products and love any new gadgets that will help in the housekeeping department. Personally, apart from my favourite “magic sponge” and the good old toothbrush, my passionate and dedicated Room attendants are my weapon as without them the department simply wouldn’t exist.
What has been your proudest moment at work?
As a Head Housekeeper I’m always proud of anything positive within the department. I am always proud of my hard working staff and the standards we all achieve as a team. My proudest moment was when we won hotel of the year at the Mal/HDV awards. It just made my day.
Another proud moment was seeing the amazing end result of our 100 room refurbishment. The team worked so hard and it was very challenging, but was completely worth it.
What’s the strangest thing that you’ve seen or found in a hotel room?
I have seen so many weird and wonderful things in hotel rooms! The strangest thing that I have seen is most probably a pigeon flying around in one of the rooms. Trying to get it out and cleaning the mess it have left was a task within itself.
Any tips for aspiring housekeepers?
Housekeeping is a very physically and mentally demanding job but with great passion, enthusiasm and a strong team with good work skills then it is a very rewarding job to be in. If you don’t like cleaning and hard work then it’s most certainly not a job for you! Housekeeping is seen as the ‘back of house’ but without it a hotel simply wouldn’t exist.