Providing a seven-star service, that’s what all yachts strive for: offering the principal, his/her partner and guests a top-quality service they’ve never experienced before. To be able to do that, all disciplines on board should maintain a seven-star level. Yes, including valet and wardrobe services (or housekeeping if you will).
Most senior crew and captains on board yachts would focus on getting the stewards and stewardesses to provide an immaculate service. But there is one department that is just as important, or maybe even more important, and that’s housekeeping.
That’s why Luxury Hospitality Academy developed an on-site training course, tailored to the needs of your yacht. In this two-day course, Renata Balla brings structure to your team and imparts knowledge and new insights to your crew.
Don't underestimate housekeeping
“The importance of housekeeping is really underestimated”, Renata says. “It’s a service you don’t see but it’s always present behind the scenes. It’s the area where you can make a difference for your guests and provide a seven-star service instead of five or six stars.”
Great, but how do you achieve that? Renata Balla and Luxury Hospitality’ managing partner Peter Vogel followed a training at Magnums Butler Academy given by Josephine Ive. Josephine’s prestigious career includes a position as one of the UK’s first female butlers. She had the privilege of serving some very prominent people including HM Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen Mother.
“She taught us invaluable skills, tips and tricks that were beyond our imagination. She opened our eyes and showed us there is so much more to gain from the housekeeping department”, Peter Vogels says, still amazed by the experience.
Renata shows a crew member how it's done
Renata has had an extensive career on board yachts and is a specialist in the field of valet and wardrobe. “Take redesigning the lady’s wardrobe: a tricky thing to do because often you’ll find that she’s fine with the way it is and she won’t like any adjustments. But sometimes it’s just necessary.
"Once I re-did the wardrobe of a very picky owner’s wife. All of the crew warned me not to touch her garments but I did anyway. I brought structure, rearranged her clothes and sorted them by type and color. Everybody was preparing for the worst… but she was over the moon! She loved it. The important lesson is: if you’re going to make a change, make sure it’s for the better.”
Luxury Hospitality: Discrete tweaks make all the difference
Clare Roberts, chief stew on a sixty-metre yacht, and her crew participated in Renata’s Valet & Wardrobe training. “She really knows what she is talking about. Of course, when you are working on a yacht there is a working structure but she always manages to find ways to improve things, to do everything a little bit better and quicker.
"Take ironing as an example: I noticed that ironing takes a lot of time. Our yacht was in Los Angeles at the time of the training. Renata took all of the crew to the Miele Experience Centre in Beverly Hills where she demonstrated new ironing techniques that were fast and produced very good results!”
But that’s not all Renata teaches. She also shows the crew how to pack a suitcase and make it look like a present, turning unpacking into a happening, a little party. And she demonstrates how to fold lingerie properly.
How to make unpacking enticing and attractive
“It’s not easy to fold a bra in a nice way and make sure the fabric does not get damaged. Sometimes you work with clothes or garments decorated with diamonds or other very expensive fabrics. The owner expects you to handle their wardrobe with absolute care. So if you hang a dress, use blotting paper.”
To top it all off, Renata teaches the crew how to tie a bowtie for their guests. “It seems so easy but not many people are able to tie a bow tie correctly. If you’re able to do it properly, you can really offer your guests a seven-star experience.”
Training for new-builds
Clare recommends a Valet & Wardrobe training for every new-built yacht. “It saves so much time when all onboard service is well-organized right from the start. Renata helps you realize the working structure you need and ensures the entire crew operates according to the same protocol, e.g. use a coloured microfiber cloths system for cleaning different services, like toilets, floors and pantry’s. And she stresses the importance of all-round skills: every crew member should know how to clean the wooden floor or the $500,000 carpet when there is a stain. It makes your life easier and your job so much more fun. Seeing a happy owner and guests is our goal. And Renata helps us achieve that.”
Are you interested in taking the Valet and Wardrobe Management training course?
Learn more on our website.