Hotel cleaner/Housekeeper and related worker/Room steward

Jin akashini

Senior Member
vietnamese
Hi every one,

I would like to ask you the difference between three job titles "Hotel cleaner" and "Housekeeper and related worker" and "Room steward / Chambermaid". These job titles are derived from document named "SINGAPORE YEARBOOK OF MANPOWER STATISTICS, 2011"

I have googled that "Hotel cleaner" and "Housekeeper and related worker" and "Room steward / Chambermaid" are persons who clean the rooms in the hotel, so I'm confused when the author list these job titles are different jobs. Can you explain them to me ?

Sorry I haven't found the link...

Thanks,
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Every job is different and the exact details depend on the contract between the employer and the worker. But statisticians need to draw lines between categories. I expect that there is a manual somewhere in the Singapore ministry of employment that explains these.

    But in general use, I'd suggest that:
    Hotel cleaner = person who cleans in a hotel
    Housekeeper = person who supervises cleaners and chambermaids
    Room steward / Chambermaid = person who serves drinks etc to guests in their rooms, and probably changes sheets.
    In a large hotel these will be distinct jobs; in a smaller one they might be done by the same person.
     

    Scott AM

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Every job is different and the exact details depend on the contract between the employer and the worker. But statisticians need to draw lines between categories. I expect that there is a manual somewhere in the Singapore ministry of employment that explains these.

    But in general use, I'd suggest that:
    Hotel cleaner = person who cleans in a hotel
    Housekeeper = person who supervises cleaners and chambermaids
    Room steward / Chambermaid = person who serves drinks etc to guests in their rooms, and probably changes sheets.
    In a large hotel these will be distinct jobs; in a smaller one they might be done by the same person.
    That's odd. I'd classify these are all being different words for the same thing - someone who cleans rooms in a hotel. "Room steward" and "chambermaid" are unique in that they are gender-specific (and not used as frequently these days). Could be my use of (North) American English, though.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Ah, Scott, you obviously haven't been brought up on British soap-operas about stately homes pre-1939. The housekeeper would have been mortally offended to be thought the equivalent of a chambermaid and certainly not a cleaner! Traditionally the housekeper was in charge of all the female household staff, as the butler was of the men and boys. See Great house - Wikipedia

    This was a senior management role in a stately home - one of a series of establishments which, before the industrial revolution, were the largest employers in the country except for the royal dockyards.

    Now, I'm not sure what the job exactly entails in a hotel these days (see my #2) but I'd be amazed if it were the same as the others.
     

    Scott AM

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Thanks, Keith. That's why I threw in the reference to American vs British English. You are correct that I don't know the subtle differences as they were used in stately homes.

    In my experience with staying in hotels, and in knowing people who work in (North American) hotels, a housekeeper is technically a room cleaner. Although they do other things as well, such as change the bedding, refill the mini-bar, and generally "neaten up" the items in the room. The department that oversees these activities is often called "housekeeping". I haven't heard a "housekeeper" used for "someone that supervises cleaners".
     

    Retired-teacher

    Senior Member
    British English
    In Britain "housekeeper" is not confined to pre-world war 2. Even today, some widowers (and occasionally widows) with a reasonable income, especially if they can't easily look after themselves, employ housekeepers to cook and do shopping, tidy up, do ironing, etc and some cleaning. Such a woman (rarely a man) would not like to be called just a cleaner. In fact, if her employer can afford it, he might employ someone else to do the majority of the cleaning.
     

    Scott AM

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    That's an excellent point. If I was looking to hire a housekeeper, I would expect the person hired would do those things, and not just clean. I think I might have gotten distracted with the "hotel business" definition - if the question is about what each person does, and they aren't expressly hotel-related, then I agree that they aren't all the same.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Thanks, Keith. That's why I threw in the reference to American vs British English. You are correct that I don't know the subtle differences as they were used in stately homes.

    In my experience with staying in hotels, and in knowing people who work in (North American) hotels, a housekeeper is technically a room cleaner. Although they do other things as well, such as change the bedding, refill the mini-bar, and generally "neaten up" the items in the room. The department that oversees these activities is often called "housekeeping". I haven't heard a "housekeeper" used for "someone that supervises cleaners".
    :thumbsup::thumbsup: down here as well
    "Cleaner" is BE in my experience.
     
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