When I was a student I ran away to Brighton for a Summer, my good friend J and I worked at The Grand Hotel, Brighton as chambermaids. It was hard work, back breaking, hot and repetitive, we got at least 8 rooms a day, and sometimes up to 12. The uniform was much more like a 4 man tent than a sexy French maid outfit.
It was interesting working at The Grand though, Brighton was a brilliant place to be, hotel staff know how to have fun and my experience makes me look at hotels in another light and truly appreciate a well made bed. Sadly their are no celebrity stories from Brighton, although at Mottram Hall, another De Vere Hotel I worked at, I made the beds of the German football team for Euro 96, and my brother, who was a porter, got tipped by Liam Gallagher from Oasis, so chances are I made his bed once.
It’s always quite a funny and humbling experience to look back on, especially now I am travel blogging here, and on Space in Your Case (Did I mention we won the travel bogging award at Britmums this year 😉 ?) I have vowed, one day, I will go and stay at The Grand as a guest, (and tip heavily), along with the amazing friends for life I made there, including two friends who live in Iceland. The hotel was a melting pot of nationalities and it was great meeting people from all over the world, I have travelled to Iceland twice now.
Looking back, the biggest thing I learnt is that bedrooms are often the last room we manage to tidy at home, but we spend a third of our lives in bed. We all appreciate a hotel room, but don’t always make the effort at home. Today though, I am collaborating with Furniture Village who have a fantastic range of beds and bedframes in wood, metal and fabric, and divans with built-in storage. You can also find a new mattress that’s perfect for you. So if you read these lessons learned and any ring true, you might want to check out their bedroom department.
I gained a new found respect for tidy bedrooms from being a chambermaid, when you realise you can transform a room from tip to oasis, (or from Oasis back to bedroom•) in 20 minutes flat.
•reference to previous mention of the band Oasis
1. It only takes ten minutes to change the sheets but the feeling stays with you all night and through the next day. Likewise, remaking a bed properly takes 3 minutes and makes you feel so important when you get home.
2. Hospital corners are so easy to do and make your bed so much more tidy and impressive.
3. Pillow spray and temple balm, are such simple but lovely things to add to your bedtime ritual.
4. Lose the clutter, bedrooms are sanctuaries for relaxing in, keep stuff to a minimum, it makes dusting easier too, dusty bedrooms aren’t pleasant and it only takes 5 minutes to dust.
5. New pillows make you feel amazing, pillows in homes should last two years. That’s all.
6. Duvets should last 5 years in homes. Ripped or permanently marked duvet covers have to go to, no matter how fond you might be of them.
7. Mattresses need turning, normally every three months, so be like a hotel housekeeper and pop a reminder on your phone or calendar.
8. Mattresses last between 8 -10 years before they start having a negative impact on your sleep, less if you forget to turn them.
9. Breakfast in bed is a wonderful ritual and a lovely thing to do for someone else, it always makes people smile. Invest in a decent sized tray, and borrow a couple of breakfast order hang on the door cards for home, for use on special days like birthdays. Tea and biscuits or champagne and chocolates work amazing magic too, why wait until you are in a hotel bed to enjoy them!
10. Drawing the curtains open and shut can seem like a chore, (especially when you have to do it in 10 rooms), but it is a very therapeutic way to start and end your day. Take a moment to say hello to the world, and goodnight.