Housekeeping Olympics: Celebrating the heart of hotels

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Hotel housekeepers are the unsung heroes of the industry, but where would we be without them all? The Housekeeping Olympics, held last month in London, gave this labour-intensive and multi-skilled profession the recognition it deserves. 

The event, ran by the UK Housekeepers Association (UKHA),​ was seeking to find the best room attendants, porters and public area attendants in the UK. Hotel teams of four descended upon the Millennium & Copthorne Hotel at Chelsea Football Club to take part in a number of practical tasks and a quiz for the chance to win the title.

In this short video, BigHospitality was on-hand to capture the highlights of the day, including the practical tasks – vacuuming, agility and bed-making and innovation – and interviews with the winning team, K West Hotel & Spa in Shepherds Bush.

Also featured in the video is Anne Britton, the UKHA’s London and South East chairman, who believes the ruthless efficiency and continuous motivation of the ‘backbone’ of the hotel industry is much to be applauded.

Team spirit

Britton, who also works as the executive housekeeper at Jumeirah Carlton Tower, said: “Housekeeping is all down to teamwork, people and family. And that is very much what happens here - they have come here as a team and they have a great team spirit.

“We are the backbone of any hotel; we are there to support the hotel. Very often we are not limelight people. We don’t like to be out on the front.

“It’s nice to now have somebody recognising what we are doing and actually say ‘thank you – without you we would be nowhere’. And that is really the case."

Rising star

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Hotel room attendants, porters and public area attendants took part in the Housekeeping Olympics in London

Of course, there’s more to the role than the practical tasks shown here in the video. They often have to work with agency staff with little or no training, and motivate other, junior members of the team in stressful conditions.

An award was also given out for the best-dressed team, and a 'rising star' was picked out to be nominated for the Hospitality Guild Award.

The event concluded with a speech from Frances Stainton, the Lord Mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham, who praised UKHA for its on-going work with these stalwarts of the industry.

For more information on the UK Housekeepers Association and the Housekeeping Olympics event, visit www.ukha.co.uk​. 

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1 comment

Well done!

Posted by Andy Waring,

Housekeeping is an area of the Hospitality sector that continually goes unrecognised. We train some fantastic Housekeepers and its great to see that their efforts are now being showcased. Keep it up Big H

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