Hotels always have a front and a back of the house. You can compare the back of the house with going backstage at the theatre. As the traveler you will never see the back of the house. This is where you find the employee entrance, the employee hallways (at the Fontainebleau Hotel the employee hallways consisted of a fascinating labyrinth in the hotel’s basement where I often got lost), the employee elevators, the employee uniform room, the employee locker room, the employee cafeteria, the laundry room, the loading docks, offices and lots of storage areas. My favorite storage area is where Housekeeping keeps its soaps, shampoos and body lotions. This area always smells so good. In the employee hallways you will further find all types of message boards with postings celebrating the employee of the month, employee schedules, shopper report results, announcements of upcoming trainings to hotel rules and laws.

Canang Sari, a collection of daily offerings for sale at the Pasar Badung in Den Pasar. Bali has changed so much in the ten short years since I have been there last. There are more motor bikes, cars and hotels. But the Balinese people still have their customs and rituals. Daily offerings are made to express gratitude and to honor the gods, the ancestors and the underworld creatures. It is a serene undertaking and clears the mind and heart. Photograph by Andrew Kaufman.

Canang Sari, a collection of daily offerings for sale at the Pasar Badung in Den Pasar. Bali has changed so much in the ten short years since I have been there last. There are more motor bikes, cars and hotels. But the Balinese people still have their customs and rituals. Daily offerings are made to express gratitude and to honor the gods, the ancestors and the underworld creatures. It is a serene undertaking and clears the mind and heart. Photograph by Andrew Kaufman.

The front of the house would never function without the back of the house. Since I became a Concierge, I have met the kindest ladies who work in the back of the house. They are an essential part of every Forbes Star and any travel magazine write-up a hotel has ever gotten. Usually the General Manager is interviewed in these travel magazine pieces. Concierges are often featured too, being that we are the city insiders and have lots of other great stories to tell. So this post is for the ladies of the back of the house, who you will never meet or who you will barely notice, who are never interviewed or featured anywhere, but who always put a smile on my face and who happen to be the loveliest ladies of all.

Thank you Maria, Uniform Room Attendant, for the seven years you were waiting with my uniform in your hands without knowing my ever changing, flexible schedule. I still don’t know how you did it, but you knew I was working before I even had set my foot into the employee door.

Thank you Maria, In-House Seamstress, for always sewing my buttons back on and shortening my pants and jacket sleeves so I looked my very best.

Thank you Neerlande, Laundry Room Attendant, for the times you took care of my wet clothes, after I arrived on my bicycle in the pouring rain. You even pressed my shorts and socks. I told you there was no need since these were my workout clothes, but there was no negotiating. At the end of the day, I biked home in my pressed biking outfit and I felt as fancy as our guests.

Thank you Elyse, Employee Cafeteria Attendant, for seven years you were my island of peace. Each morning I found you in the employee locker room quietly reading your bible. I changed into my uniform and we exchanged news about our families. Then off I was, till I saw you again for lunch and you handed me my lunch plate. Thank you for often putting something sweet on the side because you knew it was my favorite.

Thank you Margaret, Public Areas Attendant, for all the times you collected the trash underneath my Concierge Desk. The early mornings, when all guests where still asleep and I heard you singing in the empty lobby, while you were dusting and fluffing up those fluorescent green pillows on the lobby couches, were super sweet too.

Thank you Elizabeth, In Room Dining Director, your daily hugs and blessings of the day are still something I look forward to.

Thank you Angie, In Room Dining Server, for all your loving, giving, kindness and the cups of tea with honey you brought me when I was feeling under the weather.

Thank you Yasmina, Uniform Room Supervisor, for your Christmas spirit and decorating the uniform room with Christmas lights, bells and whistles, each and every year!

Thank you Odalis, Executive Assistant, for the wonderful letter you wrote for me when I applied for the Les Clefs d’Or. I am sure your writings made a difference in being accepted to this prestigious, worldwide organization of Hotel Concierges. If I am a shining star, then you are number one.

Thank you Maria, Accountant, for your Sunday morning smiles before you walked over to your office to add up all the numbers. You are a woman full of grace.

Thank you Ms. Sandra, Uniform Room Attendant, for continuing the tradition I once had with Maria.

Thank you, you are and always have been the loveliest ladies of all!

**Insider Tip:

When tipping the house keeping staff for cleaning your room, please tip on a daily basis versus leaving one large tip on the day of your check-out. Most hotel employees work a flexible schedule. During your time of stay, different ladies might have cleaned your room. Tipping daily ensures each lady will enjoy your token of appreciation.

Asia, Bali, Beyond Miami, Body Mind Soul, Concierge ABC, Indonesia, Tipping, Travel Etiquette, Travel Tips

The Ladies of the Back of the House

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4 thoughts on “The Ladies of the Back of the House

    • Dear Timothy, Thank you kindly! It was a post that I wanted to write for some time and then I was able to finish and share it on Labor Day, which I thought was the perfect day of all days. Are you a hotelier too? Kindest regards, Nina

  1. Timothy says:

    Dear Nina!
    I’m a Concierge student at The International School of Hospitality in Las Vegas.
    I have one year hospitality experience in Mongolia.
    Happy Halloween from Los Angeles.

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