Bringing you everything about the hotel world!
How much should I tip? It’s a question that can make all but the savviest travelers insecure. Restaurant tipping is easy, 18 to 20% is the norm; more if you have an incredible experience or deep pockets. People seem to be less sure at higher end hotels where there may be lot of people to take care of. Go with your comfort level; remember, no one ever complained when they got an overly generous tip. Understanding hotel tipping can take the anxiety out of the process so that you can enjoy your stay without fretting about what to give the housekeeper, the valet, the bellman, even the concierge.
If you are staying at a chain motel or; low-end hotel, mostly you don’t have to worry about tipping. If you are staying for a few days, leave $2 a day for housekeeping. Here are some guidelines for tipping at higher-end properties.The valet:
The first person you are apt to meet when checking into a luxury hotel is the valet (he may double as the bell-person). These folks really hustle and earn that tip. Now, here’s the tricky part; do you tip on both in and out? A common valet tip is $2, given when the car is delivered. Some people tip at both ends with the larger tip when the vehicle is returned. The valet that took your car is often not the same one returning it. There is usually more hustle on the return end as the valet knows you want your car quickly. Some people tip $1, some $10 or $20 and even more. Remember, a too small tip or no tip at all is as memorable as a large one. Tip generously and you will be treated well throughout your stay. Give $50 or $100and you will be remembered whenever you return.The bell-person:
For luggage assistance, give at least $1to $2 per bag, but $5to $10 is reasonable. Tip more for an extremely heavy unwieldy bags or if there are a lot of odds and ends. A good bell-person will set your luggage on caddies and hang appropriate garment bags. Before leaving he/she will make sure you understand the intricacies of the heating, audio-visual, telephone and Wi-Fi systems. Tip more generously for this kind of service.The housekeeper:
One of the hardest, most thankless jobs in a hotel is the housekeeper’s. People sometimes leave rooms in appalling condition. The housekeeper is not expected or in fact allowed to move your possessions, so leave the room in a cleanable condition. A suggested minimum amount is $2 per day; $5 is generous. If your room is really messy and requires a lot of work or really trashed when you check out, leave a larger gratuity than normal. It is a good idea to leave housekeeping tips daily in an envelope marked “Housekeeper”. Tipping at the end of a stay may be a windfall for a fill-in housekeeper who has done your room once in a multiple-day stay. During your stay, the envelope is important. In most hotels if housekeepers touch money left in the room, they can be fired. If the hotel includes a housekeeping tip in a resort fee, tip anyway. You do not know how or if these funds are actually distributed. If you need something brought to the room; pillows, extra towels etc. a dollar or two is appropriate. If the hotel offers turn-down service, a dollar or two is a nice gesture.The concierge:
One of the trickiest tipping situations is the concierge. Concierges are there to ensure a perfect stay. They can make restaurant reservations, arrange for tours or tickets to a show or concert, a hair cut or spa appointment or anything else you may require. The concierge can arrange your entire visit for you. A good concierge is a better resource than the best guidebook you can buy. Guidebooks may have obsolete information the minute they arrive at the bookstore. New restaurants come, old ones go, shops and galleries open and close, hours and days of operation of businesses, museums etc. may change. The book won’t know about the hottest new restaurant, club, shop, gallery or attraction in town and it can’t tell you what the current exhibition at a museum is. The concierge and their knowledge can make or break a visit. If you need flowers or candy delivered or the right gift for that special person, they will know just how to get it done for you. They can help make that special occasion or any stay memorable.
If you have been working with a concierge prior to arrival, a tip inside a card or a thank-you letter is a great gesture. You may also wait until departure to tip. These people can be your greatest asset in a hotel. Dedicated concierges do not expect a tip, but they appreciate getting one. Base the tip on what you ask them to do. If it is dinner for an evening, $5 is appropriate. If they are making a lot of arrangements for your stay, $10 or $20 or more is appropriate depending on the amount of work involved and your satisfaction. Sometimes you spend a lot of time with a concierge and tipping may feel awkward to you. Personal gifts are a wonderful idea, but before buying something, figure out if it is an item they can actually use. A bottle of fine wine is an appropriate gift to a wine-lover, but given to a recovering alcoholic, not so great. Food can be a welcome thank-you, but what if they’re on a diet. If possible, find out what store or restaurant they love and give them a gift certificate.Room service:
Room service is tricky. The hotel usually adds a service charge which sometimes includes a tip. The attendant does not get the service charge, so tip accordingly. An appropriate tip is between 10% and 20% of the food and/or drink bill before taxes. If your bill for your food delivery is high, $10 or $20 dollars is sufficient.The pool attendant:
If there is a swimming pool or beach attendant and they bring towels or do other personal services tip $1 or $2. If you order food or drinks delivered to you, tip at least 10% of the bill. If a tip is added, give them a few dollars. You never know if these tips go to the server or the hotel.All inclusive:
If you are staying at a hotel where a service charge is added “to cover tips”, don’t presume that the staff gets it. If you feel that you want to tip anyone or everyone who provides good service, go for it. It will ensure great treatment during your stay. If you are at an all-inclusive hotel or resort, operate under the same theory.No tipping policies:
Some places have “no tipping” policies in place. This is a little tricky. It is usual for the employee to refuse once. If you really want to tip them, offer again. If they refuse a second time, it may be that their job is on the line and you don’t want to get them fired.
If you can afford to stay at a luxury hotel, you can afford to tip. If the stay is a splurge or you got a great promotional rate, factor in the tip; you’ll earn good karma points. Tipping can make the difference between a good and great stay. You’ll be rewarded for your generosity.
Bringing you everything about the hotel world!