Housekeepers battle in cleaning competition |

Housekeepers battle in cleaning competition

Melanie Wong
Lorena Barrera, of the Four Seasons Hotel, makes a bed during the blindfolded bed making competition in the Housekeeping Olympics at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vail on Thursday. The competition also included housekeeping staff from the Four Seasons Resort Vail, The Sebastian, The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch and The Timbers Bachelor Gulch.
Anthony Thornton | |

VAIL — With a deft flick of her hand, the housekeeper whipped the folds out of the sheets and raced around the sides of the bed to tuck the edges in. She completed the rest of the bed — putting the comforter in the duvet, folding the blankets just so and getting all the edges in for a neat package — in a matter of minutes as her coworkers screamed encouragement and cheered her on.

Oh, and she was also blindfolded.

It was all part of the Housekeeping Olympics, a party that several hotels threw for their housekeeping staff Thursday in celebration of International Housekeeping Week. Dozens of housekeeping staff from host hotel Four Seasons Resort Vail, The Sebastian, The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch and The Timbers Bachelor Gulch came for games, prizes and an enormous potluck.

The Olympics portion included for-fun contests to see who could sort linens the fastest, and based on the idea that the staff is so adept and quick at making beds that they could do it with their eyes closed, they had a blindfolded bed-making contest.

“Our housekeeping staff takes immense pride in their work, and this celebration is just one small token of appreciation to their dedication and their commitment to being the best,” said Orlando Ortiz, housekeeping director at Four Seasons Resort Vail.

It was a gesture that staff said they much appreciated.

“We feel very happy and honored that they’d take the time to do something like this,” said Four Seasons housekeeper Julia Raudales.

You’ve probably never heard of Housekeeping Week if you’re outside the hotel industry, but it’s an affair that is celebrated at many hotels across the globe, said Four Seasons Vail Public Relations Manager Randi Alt.

“Every hotel I ever worked at has done something different,” she said. “A lot of times people forget about housekeeping. They really are the backbone of the hotel, and many people don’t realize that they work so hard. They’re so fast and do quality work. They really care about their work, especially up here in the mountains, I’ve found.”

In a typical housekeeping day at The Four Seasons Vail, a single housekeeper will usually make 12 king-sized beds or 16 smaller beds. They replace mattress covers and the sham, stuff the duvet, organize four cushions per bed, dust, organize the room, clean the coffee station, the bathroom and more. Each room typically takes about 30 to 40 minutes, said housekeeper Guadalupe Gastelum.

“Especially at this particular hotel, there are a lot of details with how to make the beds and the presentation of the room,” she said. “However, I love when I have returning guests and I’m able to build relationships with them and know them by name. That’s my favorite part.”

Assistant Managing Editor Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2927 and at Follow her on Twitter @mwongvail.

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