We have divided the day into five shifts. Clare, the owner does the early morning shift now, It covers breakfasts and lasts from 7am till 10am, I used to like this shift as it got me up early and was over before most of the day had even started. A good time to wake up slowly with a cup of tea and watch the sun rise, that was back in January when the sun had a good lay in and there were few guests. Things have been changed now so that the whole day is covered.
Our shifts, that is the helpX crew, start at 10am and continue through until the last guest has gone to bed, it is luck of the draw as to how many people check out and rooms need changing or how late people want to stay up drinking and playing games by the fire but we do tend to help each other out when it is particularly busy.
One person does each shift and we rotate every three days so that no one is stuck doing the same for too long. There is always an opportunity to get out on the slopes to ski or kick back and relax depending on how the mood takes us.
Ten till two is the busiest and most demanding, breakfast things to be cleared, the floor of the dining room and bar to be swept and mopped, promotional signs to be put out by the side of the road, parasols on the terrace tables and deck chairs once the sun starts shining, snow to be cleared, rubbish put our from the kitchen and deliveries received. That is before heading upstairs to give the occupied rooms a quick once over, mainly the bathrooms get a wipe down and polish and the floors a quick mop. Thorough cleaning happens on changeover day which can happen on any day of the week, sometimes almost daily if there are short stayers, that’s anything up to 28 beds to change, 6 bathrooms to clean and polish, we aren’t posh enough here to make beds or do much else whilst rooms are occupied. Two further public facilities to clean, just off the bar, before mopping the stairs so that it is all dry before any chance of guests returning early for lunch.
Tables need to be set in preparation for lunch, along with the fire which is lit when it is cold, or left till later on warmer sunny days. Kitchen laundry goes through the machine whenever there is a load but thankfully all the bed linen is collected by a professional service provider and returned all clean and folded. Just as well when we sometimes have a complete guest change every couple of days.
No, not finished yet, the ten till two shift covers help with lunches too, any prep that Hawys, the chef, requires, all the washing up that she generates through the morning and then into lunch service. Up to fifty covers inside, not that we have had more than twenty so far, and another four pub tables out on the terrace that will seat up to eight each. It’s going to be fun when the big holidays start. The shift finishes with the last of the lunches, or is passed to the next person, depending on how many people we get in off the street or piste.