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Ina Ohlandt, executive housekeeper, Gleneagles hotel, Perthshire

07 July 2005
Ina Ohlandt, executive housekeeper, Gleneagles hotel, Perthshire

As the world's most powerful leaders descend on Gleneagles this week, spare a thought for executive housekeeper Ina Ohlandt, who will be looking after 100 housekeeping staff charged with making sure the hotel is perfect for the visiting dignitaries.

Not that Ohlandt, who has worked for King Abdullah II of Jordan, is at all fazed by the importance of her guests.

"I'm used to dealing with similar challenges, and Gleneagles has a wealth of experience in dealing with high-profile guests," she says. "My staff are excited and looking forward to this new test of our abilities."

The executive housekeeper typically works from 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday when there isn't a world summit on, making sure she has free time to spend with her daughter at the weekend. As well as championing the cleanliness of the entire resort, she manages a significant departmental budget and occasionally meets guests.

Starting at Gleneagles in 1988 as deputy executive housekeeper, Ohlandt left in 1992 for Disneyland Paris to become assistant executive housekeeper managing 150 staff in a resort with about 128 different nationalities.

In 2000 she learnt the protocol of the Jordanian court, describing her time there as a wonderful experience that allowed her to meet many interesting people. "Working for a private palace was very different from anything I had ever done before," she says.

She returned to Scotland in 2001 to be executive housekeeper at the Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh, but a drop in the number of tourists following the attacks of 11 September led to redundancy.

Ohlandt's advice for anyone facing redundancy is to use it as a way of broadening their experience and moving on to something new.

"Losing my position at the Balmoral provided me with the opportunity to return to Gleneagles [at the start of 2002], which has proved to be a very good move for me."

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