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What does an Executive Housekeeper do?

By Cassie L. Damewood
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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An executive housekeeper is in charge of housekeeping operations as well as the training and supervision of the cleaning personnel. He may work in a commercial environment, such as a resort or hotel, or in a residential setting where his job is confined to the household of a private home. Both scenarios require him to ensure the physical area for which he is responsible is maintained in a pristine and orderly fashion.

A successful executive housekeeper requires exemplary organizational skills along with a vast knowledge of how to best clean, maintain, and showcase a property. He may be required to personally perform cleaning and maintenance tasks, but more typically delegates these jobs to his staff. This housekeeper normally develops a schedule and standards of excellence that are expected to be closely adhered to by his staff. Along with his staff, he is customarily expected to have in-depth knowledge of cleaning and maintaining fine furniture and art as well as normal furnishings and accessories.

When a person is hired for this job, he customarily implements a set of policies and procedures based on his superior’s demands and his own principles of cleanliness and order. Scrupulous inspections of the premises are normally part of his daily routine. Noted infractions are commonly expected to be eradicated and not repeated.

Since the work of his staff usually directly affects his reputation and job security, he is generally expected to hire only the best housekeepers. This typically requires careful screening of applicants and accurate assessments of their job skills. He typically reviews the performance of his staff on a regular basis to maintain quality control.

An executive housekeeper who works in a private residence is frequently expected to perform or supervise many duties in addition to housekeeping. These auxiliary tasks often include pet care, grocery shopping, and meal planning and preparation, and may also include laundering linens and clothes and running errands. Some are assigned comprehensive control of the household management budget.

People who perform this job in the hospitality industry are commonly required to schedule their staff for daily duties and special events. Management may call for them to submit regular evaluations of the staff’s performance in maintaining the rooms. They may also be required to advise on inventory replacement for linens and small room fixtures, such as lamps or decorative items.

A high school diploma or equivalent is normally required for this position, and coursework in management or hospitality industry operations is a plus. Most positions in executive housekeeping require significant and documented success in maintaining hotels or large residences, depending upon the job environment.

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Discussion Comments

By JessicaLynn — On May 18, 2012

I'm not from a wealthy family, so the idea of having a household staff is kind of foreign to me. However, I suppose if you live in a huge mansion, and had a staff, you would probably need someone to perform executive housekeeper duties and keep everything organized.

I imagine it's mostly rich and famous people that have executive housekeepers, so discretion is probably an important part of the job. You could find out a lot of embarrassing things about someone from cleaning their home!

By KaBoom — On May 17, 2012

@Azuza - A good friend of mine works in hotels. From what he tells me, sometimes people work their way up from housekeeper jobs to working as an executive housekeeper. However, hotels also sometimes hire someone with a degree in hospitality to do the job. So I think it varies by hotel.

Anyway, this sounds like a very demanding job to me. Most hotels are huge, with a ton of areas to keep clean. You have your guest rooms of course, but a lot of larger hotels have ballrooms and banquet rooms too! Keeping all that organized must be a big job.

By Azuza — On May 16, 2012

I had no idea that executive housekeeper was a housekeeping job at a hotel. For some reason I figured the general hotel manager presided over the cleaning staff. Now that I think about it, I see that it makes more sense to have a dedicated person with knowledge of housekeeping run that department.

This is kind of cool though, because it seems like someone could work their way up from housekeeper to executive housekeeper. This is just a theory, because I've never worked in a hotel before. But it's nice to think that hotel cleaning people could actually have some upward mobility at their jobs.

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