When I (and maybe you!) think about experiences at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, my mind goes straight to bedtime stories in the barn, roasting marshmallows for s’mores around the fire pit, the mac and cheese in Song & Hearth: A Southern Eatery, the Dolly Album cover wall, and so much more – the list goes on and on. But what I don’t immediately think about is how clean my guest room was or how tidy the living rooms in the lobby were during my stay. That’s probably because they were so clean! As humans, we tend to remember if the rooms were dirty; because we expect them to be clean (as we should), that aspect of the experience sometimes goes unnoticed. This is exactly how Corey White, the resort’s housekeeping manager, says it should be.
“You have a good housekeeping team if people don’t know they exist is what I personally believe,” Corey said. “Things such as just keeping the floors swept – you don’t necessarily notice if the floors are swept, but that’s because they do a good job of it. If you notice the floors aren’t swept, that’s when you start thinking about the Housekeeping Team.”
But Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa’s Housekeeping Team does so much more than sweep floors. So much in fact that the Housekeeping Team includes several individual mini teams that each have their own role in getting the resort’s hundreds of rooms ready and keeping all of areas and amenities in tip-top shape— something that most other hotels don’t have or need.
The first team, referred to as House Attendants, starts on the rooms by stripping the beds, removing dirty towels, trash and anything else the prior guest may have left behind.
After the House Attendants remove any and all items from the room that don’t belong there, the Room Attendants come in and start their work. This team cleans the room from top to bottom. They clean each room section by section to make sure no detail is missed. This team leaves all drawers open, sleeper sofas unmade and lights on for the next crew to inspect.
Finally, once the room is spick and span, the Inspectors come in. This team inspects the room and makes sure everything is spotless, in working order and ready for the next guest.
The Inspectors make sure every detail in the room is perfect, down to the resort logo stamp on the toilet paper!
Outside of the rooms, the Public Space Team makes sure all of the resort’s common areas are clean and sanitized. The members of this team move around the resort and clean up after guests in the common areas, ensuring that every guest has a clean and safe place to enjoy their cinnamon bread or sit by the fire place. A portion of this crew also works overnight to do things like move furniture in the living rooms to deep clean the floors or dust the televisions.
Another sub-team is the laundry team. This team moves laundry out of the resort, onto trucks and to an offsite location to wash linens and towels before folding it all and bringing back. This is no simple process!
All of these divisions of the Housekeeping Team are vital to not only this “dream clean team,” but to the resort itself.
“For most people, it’s that less glamorous type of role,” said Corey. “You think ‘I would never want to do that; that doesn’t seem like fun work,’ and there are days it’s not fun work. But the reward is knowing that this place can’t function without you…and the other half of the reward is knowing that it is hard work but at the end of the day, it’s very pleasing work, because you made it and you did it.”
I had no idea how much went into keeping Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa so clean and safe. Next time you’re at the resort or even when you’re planning on things to do this Christmas, take some time to notice the details and thank a Housekeeping Team host if you see one!