Meet Chrystalla Panayiotou — Londa’s ‘Superwoman’
When a hotel has staff who dedicate 10, 20 or even 30 years of their life to looking after guests, it’s surely important to celebrate their loyalty, so we introduce a lady who is in her 31st year at Londa and is still loving every minute.
Chrystalla Panayiotou rarely sits down, it’s a fact, but after pinning her to a chair she told her story; her story of 30 years at Londa.
The first time Chrystalla came to Londa was in 1983 to apply for the job of Head Housekeeper, “I even remember the room I saw, No 503. It was before the renovation but I could see the quality and luxury and I knew I wanted to work here.” She started on 1 April but she was no April’s Fool, because 30 years later she still looks at things with fresh eyes every morning.
Chrystalla’s smile is infectious when she says, “I run this hotel like my own home. OK, it’s much bigger than my house, but like everybody knows, the work is never done and I will always have something more.”
When the renovation was happening, Chrystalla was seconded to the Columbia Beach Resort in Pissouri, “I know it’s a beautiful hotel,” she says, “But I got homesick and I was so happy to be back. And what a wonderful surprise to see my ‘home’ all newly decorated. The rooms are so fresh and relaxing. Every day is like my first day when I see these rooms.”
But she can’t do it alone, so with a team of 13 including Deputy Housekeeper Angela Sophocleous who has been with Chrystalla for 31 years too, and 20 year veteran Linen-keeper, Yianoula Christoforou, and let’s not forget Maroula, maid for 20 years, the cleaning, gardening, laundry, uniforms and flowers are seen to. “Londa is all about small details because people notice them. I went on a course for flower arranging and love to make sculptures in green leaves with lilies and roses and orchids.”
And it’s this detailed approach that Chrystalla uses in every aspect of work, “Cleanliness is the most important thing in a hotel and I am very strict,”- sponges are colour coded and maids have pictures of which to use where and working with Mr Petros the gardener, Chrystalla will consult with the hotel owners to keep the Londa style consistent.
Jochen Niemann, Londa General Manager says, “Nothing is ever too much trouble for Chrystalla, in fact she epitomises the Londa approach to guests – honesty, friendliness and continuous improvement — and all of us learn from her every day. I don’t know how she does everything, but her results speak for themselves with over 90% of Tripadvisor reviews mentioning how clean the hotel is. She is the hotel’s Superwoman and very special to us all.”
But the last word must go to Chrystalla, “I’ve given my life to Londa and the rewards are huge. My parents taught me dedication to work but loyalty must be mutual so when I have such respect from other staff, when I receive little notes and Christmas cards from guests, I can’t think of a better place to be. It’s normal to want to do more for your family and as Londa is home, I will always give my all.”