Friday, April 23, 2010


1. Guest Room Key:
It is issued to the guest with the key card for identification. It has a heavy tag to discourage guest from taking it outside.

2. Sub-Master Section Key:
It is issued to room attendants and it can open 12-15 guest rooms which make up a particular section. It opens rooms that are not double-locked.

3. Floor Master Key:
It is issued to the floor supervisor and opens all the rooms on a particular floor which are not double-locked.

4. Master Key:
It opens up any guest rooms on any floor which are not double-locked. It is issued to the deputy house-keeper and executive house-keeper to enable them to carry out spot checks.

5. Grand Master Key:
It opens all guest rooms in the hotel even if they are double locked. It is kept with the duty manager and is used in the following circumstances:

1. In the case of a fire for the purpose of a quick evacuation.
2. To open a double locked room, if there is no response for the entire day.
3. To double lock a door from the outside if:
4. The guest has requested for the room to be locked in this manner.
5. The guest has not payed his bill, and is suspected of being a skiper.
6. To prevent entry into the room in the case of an unusual incident like a theft or a murder.

• Electronic Key Card

Instead of keys, computerised encoded plastic keys are being increasingly introduced to increase room security. When the guest checks in, the receptionist prints out the plastic key card at the computer console so that all those using the room will have their own card. (The guest has to remember his room number as for security reasons this is not printed on the card.)
The computer is programmed to print out a different number each time. The number selected can be any number between one to several millions. The door lock is linked to the computer and will only open when the card with the new number is inserted in the slot. The new key card cancels all the previous information in the card.
No one can operate the console without an authorisation code asan added precaution. The console has security printers which

• Key Control

Large number of of multipurpose keys are there in the housekeeping department which makes it necessary for a key control programme to be all strictly enforced. All effective key control systems will contibute:
1. Safe handling of Keys
2. Proper accounting of keys
3. Handling of lost or misplaced and damaged key cards.

Things to be done for an effective key control system
1. Each day, keys should be given to employees who have need for them by taking their signatures. They should properly return the keys at the end of each work day.
2. Keys must be properly counted at all times.
3. Workers should be provided with a way to attach kes so that they

• Areas of Responsibility of the Housekeeping Department

I. Guest Rooms/ Floors:
Room attendants and floor supervisors are responsible for the cleanliness, maintainence, and security of guest rooms and the surrounding areas.

II. Public Areas:
a) Front of the House Areas:
Lobby, shopping arcade, restaurants, banquet rooms, health club, swimming pool, recreation areas, parking areas and compound area.
b) Back of the House Areas:
Basement, all operating departments (except kitchen, which is cleaned by the kitchen stewards), service areas, staff locker rooms and offices. Cleaning of all public areas is usually done in the night.

III. Linen and Uniform Room:
HKD is responsible for its functioning, repairs, and renewing of linen and for maintaining proper inventory and stock records of all linen items. It includes room linen, restaurant linen, uniforms and soft furnishings.

IV. Laundry:
a) OPL (On Premises Laundry):
If the laundry is on the premises then the guest laundry from the rooms is directly collected and delivered by the laundry valet. However, all hotel linen is first collected in the linen room and then given to the laundry for washing.
b) Off Premises Laundry:
The laundering of both guest and hotel linen is done on contract by an external laundry. All the linen is collected in the linen room where it is dispersed to the laundry for washing.

V. Shoe-Shine:
Resident guests are given this service by room attendants on a complementary basis. Some hotels may have a shoe-shine machine installed in the corridor.

VI. Florist:
Could either be given out on contract or an employee of the HDK couold do the flower arrangement required for VIP rooms, executive offices, public areas and the florist shop. Any banquet requirement like back-drop for a wedding, etc is done on contract.

VII Special Request:
Extra room complementaries and supplies, First-aid kit, hot-water bags, ice bags, thermometers, hair-dryers etc. Are given at no extra cost for guest use. A request for extra bed however should be routed through the front office since the guest would be charged for it.

VIII. Baby-Sitting:
If a guest makes a request for this facility, room maids may undertake to do baby-sitting after their regular shift or professional baby-sitters are arranged for by the House-Keeping
Department. The guest is charged by the hour.

IX. Lost and Found:
Any guest article found in rooms or public areas is kept in the possession of the House-Keeping department till a guest makes a claim for it. Perishable – 24hrs, Valuables – 6 months to 1
Year, Invaluable – 3 to 6 months.

X. Contract Services:
Pest control, carpet shampoo, laundry, landscaping, cleaning the outer facade of the building etc are some of the cleaning services that are done on contract by the House-Keeping

XI. Refurbishment and Redecoration:
Refurbishment implies complete renovation where all the soft furnishings are changed and the furniture too may be changed or re-done. It is usually undertaken once in 3 to 5 years floor
wise. Redecoration on the other hand is done on a need basis and when required.

XII. Any Special Decoration:
Parties hosted by the hotel eg – Christmas dance, New-Year ball, Navratri etc or Food Festivals which requires special decor is looked after by the HK dept in co-ordination with the
Food and Beverage dept.

XIII. Purchase:
The executive Housekeeper is responsible for the purchase of cleaning equipments, cleaning agents, linen, soft furnishings, uniforms, room complementaries and supplies. All large chain hotels may have a central purchase department through which room supplies are obtained on a monthly or quarterly basis.

XIV. Budgeting:
Annual Budget is presented by the executive housekeeper in January for the forthcoming financial year. The factors to be considered while drawing the budget are; previous year budget + 10% inflation + refurbishment plans + any other capital purchase + expected occupancy.

XV. Duty rotas/rosters:
Shift timings and day offs of all the housekeeping employees is decided by the executive housekeeper.

XVI. Interview, Selection, Induction, Training and Performance Appraisals:
The executive housekeeper is responsible for the final selection and training of all the house-keeping staff. Performance appraisals are drawn up annually for permanent employee, quarterly for probation and monthly for industrial trainees.


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