An interview with Alexandra de Brito

Who: Alexandra de Brito
What: Housekeeping Manager
Age: 53

What does your function entail? 
I am the lady of the house. I care for the cleaning of public area’s and all the rooms. I take care of all the ordering, and manage the housekeeping staff. All housekeeping staff comes from an external company, but they all feel like a part of the hotel and the loyalty remains the same. You see, our work is not only about cleaning; it is about leaving a good impression. This is our house, and that is a truly important feeling. I believe in good, positive energy. I think of myself as the mother of the team, and what I do as a housekeeping manager feels as if I was raising my own child. I prepare my team for the future and accompany them in their growing process.

How long have you been working here?
I just came back to The Dylan Amsterdam in June. However, I used to work here 5 years ago. I left then, because I wanted to grow within this business and became a regional manager at a cleaning company where I oversaw eight 5-star hotels in Amsterdam. I learned a lot, but at one point realized that I wasn’t happy anymore. So, one morning I opened my laptop and I saw they were looking for a housekeeping manager at The Dylan Amsterdam. They will not take you back, my husband said. People do not go back to the same place twice. But, I told him, I am going home. And I did.

Where do you live?
I am originally from Portugal, but I have been living in The Netherlands for about 20 years now. I live in Purmerend with my husband and my 15-year-old daughter.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to cook; more specifically Portuguese food. And I love to dance, but I don’t go out anymore. Not because of my husband, he is very calm and relaxed. I am very busy, energetic, and noisy. I speak loud. I cannot handle myself sometimes. I am a very dedicated old-fashioned crazy woman. And he gives me all the freedom.

How do you start your day?
I am a control freak, so I want to do the openings at 8 am myself. But I like to come in at 7 already, when everyone is still sleeping. I start with a coffee, and take the time to prepare myself, I check how things are going and say hello to the people who come in. This is important to me, I also love to have lunch together, to embrace my people, spend time with them and get to know them. That little hour between 7 and 8 is my favorite moment; it makes me feel prepared and confident for the rest of the day.

Imagine; if you didn’t live here anymore, and you were just passing through. You have one day in Amsterdam. What would you do?
Shopping – in the Kalverstraat. I just love to buy clothes, I do this often. I go on my own and I like to plan my shopping in advance; on this and this day I am going, I know what I want and where to get it. I do a lot of shopping.