How Much Should You Leave as a Tip in a Hotel

How Much Should You Leave as a Tip in a Hotel

Tips are the international way of thanking people. They are understood in every hotel all over the world. When leaving a few coins or some notes, you’re really saying “thank you guys. Job well done”.  Without a doubt everyone feels good when their efforts are appreciated. For your gratitude to be appropriate and for it to reach the right people, it’s important to know the best ways to tip good service. Here goes.

In some hotels you pay a local or luxury tax (15-20% of the total cost of the reservation). These fees are not included in the price when booking but have to be paid on the spot in the hotel. The money is then divided up among the staff. USA Today, citing a report in Forbes Magazine, writes that this helps you avoid having to deal with the complexities of tipping. But of course we understand that such formalities should not prevent anyone thanking the hardworking chambermaid or the ever-smiling concierge. If there are no taxes or surcharges, tips are not compulsory, but are very much appreciated.

Try to get into the habit of carrying some cash with you, and never tell someone that you will tip them later – it’s not very tactful. You’re likely to forget it as soon as you’ve turned away and then only remember when you come across that person again – very awkward.

Parking attendants

Here the rule is very simple – car first, tip later.  Once you’ve handed the keys over, how does it look? Does this person inspire confidence?

Did they slam the door when they got in? If all is in order, you’ll happily tip them when you get the car back, normally anywhere between $2.00-$5.00

The doorman

He flashes you a friendly smile with a jaunty “Good morning” as he opens the door to the hotel and asks how you are. He’s the one to arrange a taxi for you with minimal fuss and even make sure you don’t leave without an umbrella if it rains..how can you not leave him a couple of dollars?

Receptionist

This is the person with power over early check-in and late check-out. All it takes is a couple of dollars to encourage this person to go that extra mile.

Porters

They are often called bell-boys, but addressing them as “Porter” is much more respectful (especially when pronounced like the beer…).

 

Only you can decide whether or not to entrust your luggage to the porter or carry your own bags, but if you opt to go it alone, don’t even think about using the porter’s trolley. That would be like hailing a cab and then getting into the driver’s seat.

But if you do hand over your belongings to the porter, be prepared to show appreciation for their work, especially if the wonder-trolley is not available and your bags risk leaving the unsuspecting hero with a slipped disc. $1.00-$2.00 per bag is normal but when you know that your baggage is particularly heavy or cumbersome it’s the done thing to be a bit more generous, maybe $5.00-$10.00 dollars.

Concierge

This is the person who will make your restaurant reservations or, with a thousand apologies, will feel it necessary break the news that your choice is really not up to scratch…but he can suggest the ideal alternative only a very few minutes’ walk from here – and before you know it, you have a reservation at the best place in town.

He can also get you tickets to museums and other attractions – this is his responsibility and tipping is optional. But if your dinner turned into a gastronomic delight and you managed to jump the queue with the tickets he sold you, tipping this guy is a must – generally between $5.00 and $10.00

Housekeeping

Leaving a daily tip of $2.50-$5.00, depending on the category of the hotel, is quite normal. It might sound rather generous but in fact it’s not uncommon for different housekeepers to clean your room on different days.

If you only leave one tip for the whole stay then you can’t be sure that the housekeeper who so kindly gave you that extra towel will be the one to get the appreciation. They get disheartened and then stop bothering to show such small kindnesses.

Don’t ever leave tips on bedside tables, tables or on top of the TV – no self-respecting housekeeper would touch it. How are they to know that this is meant for them and that you haven’t simply left your change out to pick up later? Pop the gratuity into an envelope (ask at reception if there isn’t one in the room) and write Housekeeper/Maid on it. If English isn’t widely spoken where you are, why not check on the internet what the word for Housekeeper is in the local language. You can then leave the envelope on your pillow or the corner of the bed.

Whom should we thank with a gratuity and how much?

To sum up – whom should we thank with a gratuity and how much (according to Business Insider and USA today)?

  • Parking attendant – $2.00-$5.00 when they return the car
  • Doorman – $1.00-$2.00 for the smile and greeting, for hailing you a cab or giving you an umbrella to keep the rain off
  • Porter – $1.00-$2.00 per normal bag, $5-$10.00 if your luggage is particularly heavy or cumbersome
  • Concierge – $5.00-$10.00 for providing that exclusive service, that piece of invaluable advice or simply for being pleasant
  • Receptionist – $1.00-$2.00 especially for that early check-in or late check-out
  • Housekeeper – $2.00-$5.00 best left daily in an envelope marked “Housekeeper/Maid

One last thing – remember that not everyone in the hotel will give you a broad smile and greet you with open arms. In some cultures it is traditional to behave in a very reserved manner. Don’t think that that they have it in for you and use it as a reason not to be generous. In all probability it’s not the done thing to show feelings openly. However, if someone is blatantly rude to you and ignores your requests, feel free not to leave a tip and to take it up with their superior. You’re not going behind their back – the hotel’s reputation has to take priority.

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