On 4 March, members of the Professional Housekeepers Association of New South Wales (PHAN) met in downtown Sydney for an afternoon of networking and idea sharing as they toured the Radisson Blu and Tank Stream hotels.
“We’re all interested in knowing what everyone else is doing … what works, what doesn’t,” said Maureen Jolowicz, president of PHAN and executive housekeeper at Radisson Blu. “There’s a lot of talent in the housekeeping department.”
The day, which was one of several PHAN events planned for the year, was in line with the organisations’ key mandates to support housekeeping professionals with “training, education and mentoring” and to assist in “the sharing of knowledge and fostering professional development … for the benefit of the hospitality industry.”
After a short networking session hosted at Tank Stream’s Le Petit Flot Restaurant & Wine Bar, the group split into two for the hotel tours.
Jenny Han, head of housekeeping, and reservations manager Mahfuz Rashid led one group on a detailed journey through the various rooms available in the four-star Tank Stream Hotel. As the hotel only opened in November 2015, this was the first opportunity they had had to share with fellow PHAN the tasks and challenges particular to this new location – including their ongoing search for the right product to clean the bathrooms’ unsealed grout lines.
Across the street, Jolowicz showcased the Radisson’s multi-million dollar soft redesign of its rooms. The renovations, which started in October 2015 and scheduled to finish in July 2016, come after the hotel received feedback that it was looking dated, she said. The hotel hadn’t changed the look of its rooms since opening in 2000.
Aside from the new paint, lighting, carpet, etc., Jolowicz also highlighted her team’s increasing focus on environmentally friendly cleaning. She particularly mentioned their shift to microfibre. “We use very few chemicals … apart from in the toilet bowl,” she commented.
Both Jolowicz and Han also spoke about their teams’ participation in Soap Aid. This Australian not-for-profit organisation collects used soap from hotels and sends it to disadvantaged communities as a way to facilitate improved hygiene practices and help the environment.