While the housekeeping staff of a hotel is commonly known for room upkeep--restocking toiletries, changing bedding and general cleaning--the role of the department extends beyond hotel cleanliness.
According to Sudhir Andrews, author of "Hotel Housekeeping," the housekeeping department is vital to attracting and keeping guests through it's role of maintaining top quality decor, cleanliness and service.
The housekeeping department includes many roles in the service staff of a hotel. Aside from room attendants, who tend to room cleanliness, the department includes gardeners, maintenance men, bellhops, laundry staff and floor managers, as well as, occasionally, customer service professionals.
Matt A. Casado, author of "Housekeeping Management," said the history of hotels can be traced back even further than the ancient "houses of rest and solace" in Pompeii. The modern hotel--and hotel staffing--arose from the inns popular in 14th century England, such as those found in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales."
According to an article on expresshospitality.com, most customer complaints are directed to the chief housekeeper and sorted out among the housekeeping staff. The article also noted that housekeepers often coordinate purchasing special items and assist sales teams.
According to Casado, the housekeeping department is also responsible for a level of security, safety and environmental duties such as composting and recycling.