Instagram sensation ‘Mrs Hinch’ may have taken the nation by storm with her passion for cleaning, but Northern Ireland has its very own ‘Queen of Clean’ who is winning awards thanks to her pristine approach.
As Head Housekeeper of the Roe Park Resort in Limavady, Liga Cielava knows her sponges from her squeegees. Under her direction the hotel has been recognised by the British Institute of Cleaning Science and is in the running for a top award from the Northern Ireland Hotel Federation.
Originally from Latvia, Liga first joined the Roe Park’s busy housekeeping team in the summer of 2007 while travelling as a student.
She returned over subsequent summers to join her boyfriend (now husband) – who also works for Roe Park - and soon became a permanent member of the team. Through hard work, dedication and further education, Liga was promoted through the ranks, finally achieving her goal of Head Housekeeper last year.
Today she heads up the Resort’s 28-strong team and leads by example.
“Like Mrs Hinch, I’m a total perfectionist and will only accept the highest standards across the entire Resort,” says Liga.
“Guests automatically expect their bedroom to be in tip top shape, but this applies to all areas of the hotel – from the reception and spa, to the bars and restaurants. It’s all about exceeding expectations and today, our customers expect perfection.”
While her day-to-day focus is on managing her team, Liga admits she remains passionate about cleaning. Whether at work or at home, she’s rarely found without a cloth in hand.
“Mrs Hinch and I share the love of a good cleaning cloth and we both take great pride in a job well done. I love her tips and advice – particularly those which don’t rely on branded products but are more traditional, such as using baking soda and white vinegar to remove stains.”
“And like Mrs Hinch, I love having perfectly manicured nails – so I wouldn’t dream of tackling a tough cleaning task without wearing a decent pair of rubber gloves!”
Not only is Roe Park the first hotel in NI to be recognised as autism friendly it is also accredited by Assistance Dogs NI, so Liga and team are particularly tuned in to the use of chemical-based products and sprays and their potential impact on guests.
“Fresh water, together with a clean cloth, is the best cleaning product of all. When it comes to windows and mirrors, I rely on my cloth, water and sheer physical effort. The final result is always sparkling clean and streak-free. Our guests regularly ask me how we achieve such a great finish – and they’re all amazed when they discover ii is simply water!”
When it comes to smells and lingering odours, Liga also rules out air fresheners and sprays.
“That’s where I differ from Mrs Hinch. Regular deep cleaning combined with proper ventilation is the only way to source and eliminate a bad smell. However, if the problem lingers, bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice is my go-to solution.”
Liga is also renowned for her ability to help guests feel special through her famous ‘rose petal turndowns’. She’s even been involved in several marriage proposals, preparing the hotel bed with red rose petals which spell out ‘Will You Marry Me?’.
“Its all about the small things,” said Liga. “When I started in this job, I decided to make little changes which could make a big difference to our guests. From the temperature in the rooms to the fresh flowers in reception…it all comes together to make a stay at Roe Park Resort truly memorable.”
Liga is currently looking to grow her team of housekeepers. With a busy wedding season ahead, and the lure of the Open resulting in wall-to-wall bookings throughout the summer, the Resort has another action-packed year ahead.
“We’re really busy and are keen to recruit more housekeeping staff. It really is a very rewarding job and I would encourage all those who possess even a hint of ‘Hinch’ to consider joining our award-winning team.”