I'm with you, I always wondered if the actual service provider ended up with the gratuity, this helps increase those odds. I also share some of Ms. Ehrenreich's (in the article) concerns and hope hoteliers don't squeeze additional savings from future wages. We'll see how it works out.
Housekeepers, mostly women, should initially be carefully screened to ensure that they have the attitude, aptitude, physical ability, and clear understanding of what it means to clean up behind others(sometimes others who are not so clean).
And we, the traveling public, do need to tip, some of us generously, when we use (and some of us overuse) their services. The tip envelopes are good.
Let me say I don't like this approach at all! I am not mean with tips, but I don't want to be practically blackmailed into them. I do tip good service, but at my discretion, not because I am asked. For instance, at a hotel I stayed in recently, there was a particularly nice young man on at breakfast in the restaurant. He had learning difficulties, and full marks to him for holding down a job. As the days went on he came out of his shell with us more and more. On our last morning I gave him a tip. He was delighted as he said "no-one ever tips breakfast staff". I tend to tip porters for helping me.
But where does this envelope thing potentially end. Receptionists for giving an upgrade? Executive lounge staff? The guy who sweeps the leaves from the door in Autumn? And so on. No, I want to choose.
My first job was with a large consulting company and we had a week long training at a central location. Our partner made sure to let us all know that he expected everyone to leave a tip at the end of our stay and I have done so for the past 20 years now. The sad thing I guess is that the amount I give has not changed.
I don't see any issue with an envelope request for tip. When it gets automatically added to the bill and only a % goes to the actual person doing the work then I would not be happy.
***** I am shocked people are complaining about leaving a dollar or two a day. At home I am sure you do not clean your shower, sink and toilets daily but housekeeping does.
The problem with putting down cash at the end of the stay are those situations where the maid that took care of you during the preceding days isn't working the day you leave it, essentially giving a windfall to the maid that is.
It's my policy to place $3 each day on the pillow.
But do you give $3 each day to the barman, chef, kitchen hand, gardener etc too? The problem to me is not giving a tip to the maid, but why only the maid? Any hotel has many different categories of employees, all of whom are paid to do their job. I have no doubt the maids are not paid too highly, but then none of the others are either. Where does one draw the line? Or will we end up with multiple envelopes for every category of employee?
I also like the idea as long as it ends up in the correct hands, many times the housekeeper that left the envelope in the room the previous day is not who cleans the room the next day. I don't think you can police that issue well enough to keep those who are somewhat less than totally honest from being themselves.
NO housekeeper and I mean NOT ONE should be tipped for just doing the job they are paid to do; the tip is a voluntary exchange for service that is above and beyond the norm.
Please do not ever feel that you must to augment the salary of those poorly paid. I myself do not use the services of the maids, but I respect them and what they do for a living. I would rather pay an increase fee per night stay so that folk can take home an adult salary (livable wage) than to feel as if I must tip. Some of what we the traveling public experience from those employed to provide a service to us is just not tip worthy.
This is outrageous; Marriott corporation should pay an appropriate wage and not depend on the guest to supplement the housekeeping staffs' income.
I leave a tip only when the housekeeping is outstanding or I have a special request of the housekeeping staff. The wages of the housekeeping staff, though low, are greatly above those paid to 'tip' staff such as waiters/waitresses, etc. I do not believe in tipping someone to "do their basic job." One of my biggest complaints in Marriott hotels is the poor housecleaning service; it is rare that I find the room 'clean' with a complete set of towels, and consumables (soap, shampoo, etc) or do they keep the room clean and fully stacked, and frequently they do not service the room..
I tip "bell" staff when they help me, such as moving luggage into.out of room. But not for opening the hotel door.
What is next, tipping the Front Desk staff for checking you in or giving you an accurate bill?
Don't get me wrong, I completely support and agree with what you and other folks are saying about the wages. However; my take on this is that is the very reason the envelopes are showing up because Marriott will NOT be increasing wages so this is a bone they're tossing out to this sector of the hotel staff thus my liking the concept, not liking the lack of appropriate salary.