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The Roles & Responsibilities of the Housekeeping Department

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A hotel’s housekeeping department provides a clean, comfortable and restful stay for all guests. Although housekeepers are invisible to most guests, it’s the housekeeping department to ensure the hotel maintains high standards in cleanliness and puts forth a positive public image. The roles of housekeeping can vary from hotel to hotel, but most have the same housekeeping duties in common.

Roles of Housekeeping

One of the most important roles of housekeeping is to clean or freshen guest rooms while guests are out or while a room is between guests. Each morning, the housekeeping department stocks up hospitality carts with towels, fresh linens, cleaning supplies and toiletries, and housekeepers set out to their assigned floors.

Housekeepers knock on the door of each occupied guest room and enter only when the guests are out. Once inside, they make beds and supply fresh towels. Housekeepers also replace any used toiletries, wipe surfaces clean, and vacuum or mop floors to ensure guests return to a clean room. The housekeeping staff empties trash cans and removes any rubbish from the room.

When hotel guests check out and won’t be returning to the room, the housekeeping department provides a more thorough cleaning of the room and changes out all towels and linens, so each new guest arrives at a pristine guest room or suite.

Other Housekeeping Duties

Housekeeping duties extend beyond that of the guest rooms. Housekeepers are also tasked with cleaning the lobby, hallways, public restrooms and any other public rooms. The housekeeping department handles laundry services, employee staff rooms, and may even help to maintain outside public spaces. When hotels host banquets or conferences, housekeeping may handle cleanup at those events.

Housekeepers should be in good physical condition as they need to lift mattresses to make beds or lift furniture for cleaning or renovation purposes. There’s little sitting down on the job, and most housekeepers are on their feet all day.

How to Work in the Housekeeping Department

Housekeepers aren’t required to have a college or high school degree, but some education is required. Housekeepers should know how to read, follow basic instructions and do simple math. Although being fluent in more than one language is optional, hotels look favorably upon housekeepers who speak additional languages, as they can be helpful in assisting guests who don’t speak English.

There are plenty of opportunities for advancement for hotel housekeepers. Many housekeepers move on to become supervisors or managers. Ambitious housekeepers can start their own cleaning services.

To become a housekeeper in a hotel, apply directly at the hotel. Many hotels advertise when they need staff, but others also consider applicants who inquire about a job even though it’s not during a hiring period.

Hotels want to hire housekeepers who are pleasant and honest. They may perform a background check to ensure aspiring housekeepers don’t have a questionable record. After an interview, if all goes well, the hotel welcomes a new housekeeper to the team.


Deb Ng is a freelance writer and published author with over 17 years of experience in creating content for the web. Prior to her freelance career, she worked for over 12 years in traditional (print) publishing. Specializing in job search techniques, Deb also founded a blog and job board to assist freelancers and telecommuters in landing their dream jobs.

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Igor Vershinsky/iStock/GettyImages