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Housekeeping with style at the W
Anna Lau moves to a boutique hotel to seek out more challenges
Question: Why is your title director of style?
Answer: I think the W is a special hotel. We try to have something special. Style is more updated.
New job: The W Honolulu Diamond Head hotel in Waikiki has hired Lau as director of style, a position that at other hotels would be called housekeeping director. She started in October and oversees the housekeeping staff of 10 at the 51-room boutique hotel.
Old job: Lau previously worked at the Kahala Hotel where she served as housekeeping supervisor.
From: She is originally from Hong Kong and moved to Hawaii in 2000.
I think this hotel is different from typical ones. Not only we welcome the guests, but their pets. We provide pet amenities to make them and the pets feel welcome.
Q: What are some other examples of different titles at the W?
A: At the front desk, we have welcome desk manager. We also have bellman or valet: welcome ambassador. And maintenance we have director of stage management. Our housekeeping room attendants, we say room stylists. They style the rooms, so they make it feel fresh. And the supervisor in the front desk is the talent coach.
Q: What brought you to Hawaii?
A: I immigrated to Hawaii. I like Hawaii a lot because I feel the aloha spirit. People on the street smile at you and say hi to you. In Hong Kong that never happens. You're a stranger. "How come you smile at me?"
Q: What made you get into hospitality?
A: I think living in Hawaii, the hotel industry is the industry that has a lot of opportunity. And more so I wanted to assist people. Before I was wanting to be a social worker.
: Any desire to work in Asia?
A: Not now. I have a lot of things to learn. I'm outgoing, I like to meet people and think it's a really good challenge for me to explore.
Maybe 10-20 years.
Q: Why did you move over from the Kahala?
A: This is a good position that I can learn from, because I'm from the TIM School (School of Travel Industry Management at the University of Hawaii) and I think I need more challenges to explore housekeeping. We had many managers at the Kahala, but at this property, we only have one (housekeeping) manager, so I oversee different things.
Q: What's your daily routine?
A: In the morning I come in about 6:30 to make the assignments, and then I have a meeting everyday with the managers and general manager, and I will check rooms and public areas and also make sure to check inventory supplies and conduct training. I have two new hires. They speak good English, but they are still learning English. I teach them how to approach the guests, different ways to approach people.
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