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La Cigale Team Spirit

It seemed important for us to pay tribute to the people who play a daily but sometimes not very visible part in the success of our private beach and restaurants. So we have decided to create this page where you can discover, every month, an interview with one of them

Today we have chosen to present a relatively unknown but vitally important function: that of the laundress. She is in charge of preparing the linen for the private beach and the restaurants.

Our laundress, Caterina Donato, joined the Vista Palace Hotel team in 2005. Before that she had been a chambermaid in luxury hotels on the Riviera dei Fiori for 33 years. She is a well-organized and extremely energetic lady. She handles a vast quantity of linen that she has to check and clean in a very short timeframe. She is extremely meticulous, and in excellent physical shape for handling and ironing all the linen. Caterina, in her musical Italian accent, admits that she is old enough to be a grandmother – but, she says, one who is dynamic and young at heart!

Caterina, can you describe a typical day?
I live on the Italian Riviera. Every day I drive to Roquebrune Cap-Martin. I generally get to La Cigale Vista Beach at about 5.50. I’m Italian, my day begins with a good strong coffee watching the sun rising over the Bay of Menton and the Mediterranean, a marvellous spectacle! A 6 o’clock I check the delivery from the laundry. I check what has arrived against the delivery notes. Then I lay everything out for the service. Once I’ve dealt with the clean linen I turn to the dirty laundry. For example, I count the soiled tablecloths so as to check what goes to the laundry and make sure the same number comes back the next morning. I prepare the bags of dirty linen and stack them in the laundry room. Once this first part of my day is over I can move on to the uniforms of the staff of the private beach, the restaurants and the kitchen staff working under Chef Lucie Pichon. In general my day’s work is over at around 2 pm, but sometimes when the hotel is very busy I stay a little longer because for my peace of mind I like to know that everything has been done properly before I leave.

What do you like about your job?
I like everything! It’s ironing I prefer, particularly ironing shirts. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction when I see my colleagues wearing them. I like them to look good! I enjoy getting the better of the most stubborn stains on the cooks’ overalls. It’s important that this should be done well. I put all my heart into it as I know I’m a link in the chain of the brand image presented by the staff of La Cigale Vista Beach.

Your job is essential to proper operation of the beach; how do you get on with the rest of the team?
I work alone, but the different departments all help one another. There’s a real team spirit at La Cigale Vista Beach. My colleagues often help me carry the clothes racks, for example. I feel at home in this group. Although I’m not on the spot during the hours of service and not in contact with the operational staff I’m really part of the team. My colleagues often congratulate me because I’ve managed to save a pair of trousers or a T-shirt; they’re pleased and they thank me. That’s one way of working as a team. Thanks to my work I too am part of the establishment’s brand image. People rely on me to do my job and that’s important for me because it means they recognize the value of my work.

How do you see the future?
I love dancing, I’m a cheerful person. So for the future I like the idea that life will be full of surprises, and I hope to go on working as long as possible so that the linen of La Cigale Vista Beach will continue to be whiter than white!

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