It seems to me that recently I have been confronted by many aggressive housekeepers that appear to want to be tipped for their service. None of them have actually asked me for a tip, but by their behavior and by offering to tell me all they did in my room, it's obvious that they are seeking a tip. I have tipped in the past, but only when a housekeeper did something extraordinary which I thought merited it. But on a normal stay, I don't tip the housekeepers. Unlike waitresses at restaurants, housekeepers' wages don't rely on tips. So is there a protocol for tipping housekeepers? Has this become a norm that I am unaware off?
You might find this poll (and the comments), and this thread, interesting.
Housekeepers are not well paid and I believe that they depend on tips to make a "living wage." We generally ask them for a few extra things (extra towels and tissues) and tip according to how they respond to these requests in addition to the quality of the housekeeping. We also ask for a more thorough vacuming on our first day, due to allergies.
I leave about $2 per day for adequate service and $3 for excellent service. I leave a bit more when I have a suite, since the suite takes more time than a room. I try to find out who will service my room and when so that I avoid having the tip for a 1 week stay picked up by someone who only cleaned my room on checkout day. If the regular maid is not going to clean my room after I check out, I give her the tip earlier in the week.
I also find that service tends to be better if I give a partial tip on the first or second day.
Thus, I might, for a five day stay, give $5 when the extra requests are filled and then leave $5 to $10 upon departing.
I am not sure what the "rules" are for tipping but for me it depends on how long the stay is, and how much work they actually have to do. For a one night stay, I generally don't leave anything. I am one of those people who does not leave a hotel room a mess. When I leave the towels are on the floor in one spot, the bedsheets are on the bed not all over the floor, if there was any food/drinks consumed they are in the trashcan/wrapped in the bag they came in and not scattered all over the room. I don't make it a habit of spilling things and leaving crumbs all over the floor.
At the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott I have been upgraded to the Executive Suite a few times and we often have other family members staying at the property at the same time. We often order food and eat in the suite as there is a huge coffee table and plenty of seating. As I know the housekeeper has more work to do cleaning the table (food/smudges) and throwing out neatly stacked trash, I leave a bigger tip. On the last trip there was an envelope/folded paper on the table with the housekeeper's name on it (I believe it was Karen) specifically for tips. It was only a two night stay but I left her $20. For a vacation, when staying 5+ nights and towels and sheets are being replaced, etc, I will leave say $5 a couple times throughout the trip as there can be more than one housekeeper for a stay that long.
I love this thread!! I, too, have often wondered this many times.
I usually base it off of my stay. I try to leave a few dollars out if I am staying multiple nights, just so the proper housekeeper gets it. However, there have been times when I opt out of cleaning, yet the room still gets cleaned and I never know what do to do in those cases.
On the off chance that the room is really dirty, rarely happens for me, I'll be more inclined to leave a bigger tip. Most of the time, it comes down to what I have in my wallet.
I usually leave $2-3 per night and more if it's a large suite or MVCI villa. But sometimes I just don't have cash and don't have time to find a way to get small bills. In that case, I sometimes don't tip which I truly feel bad about. But I'm not leaving a $20 bill for one night at a $89 FFI I wish there was a way to add tips to the bill as I'm a business traveler and have no way to expense tips unless I can show a record of the transaction.
BTW, what on earth are you supposed to tip valets? If I have my own car, I try to tip well as I drive fairly pricey luxury cars. But when I've got a beat up KIA that I rented from Alamo, I'm not inclined to be tipping a premium for that and would prefer to avoid valet parking, but that's not always possible.
I never leave for one night stays...why would I? The room is already prepared and I don't need anything else and will more than likely never even encounter room service. I will tip (usually leave on bathroom sink area) if I do stay more than 2 nights.
I tip all the time at above industry standards at restaurants so it is not that I am cheap...in fact far from it.
I have a simple system - have done this for years (prior to Marriott's effort )
One to two nights stay = Zilch
More than two nights I identify the regular housekeeper for my room/suite. Then I advise the person what I expect (towels,replace soaps etc etc )
If, at the end of the stay all was provided three dollars a day is left - if service was not there - Zilch
I guess, i'm considered generous tipper? I tend to tip over industry standard.
When I travel alone, I do not tip for one/two nights stay simply because I normally have "do not disturb" sign on the door during my stay and use my towels several times (Trying to be environmental friendly). But, when I travel with my wife and 22month old daughter for longer duration, I tend to tip around +/- $10 dollars each day depending on how I feel and what I need done.
I ALWAYS leave a "thank you" note explaining what I need such as extra bathroom amenities (wife be using all the shampoos for her long hair) or thorough vacuuming carpeted area(daughter likes to run/roll around...). At this particular JW, I left $10 tip since my daughter made the entire room a mess and asked for extra amenities. Came back in to the room after long day and found 10 of each shampoo/conditioner/body wash and etc... Needless to say, wife was happy (Stuff to take home and use LOL).
Bottom line, I don't know how much they make income/tip wise. We all work for someone or self employed. It is not easy taking care of other people mess. Doesn't hurt to tip well as you will receive that service back one way or the other.
Just my two cents.
I do $2 per day and leave the whole tip on the second or third day. I see if things kick up (e.g. generous replenishment of amenities, special fluffy bathmat appears, extra bottles of water, etc.) If so, I'll boost it and leave another $5 or $10 depending whether I'm staying one or two weeks.
Housekeepers are like good referees- you know they are good when you don't know they are there. It is a hard job- in fact I can't think of many worse. I'm not tip happy in my life- but I do believe these people deserve a tip, but I do have my own rules. If I stay more than one night- I always tip $2 per day. I never tip on last day because that is useless- your not staying there anymore so its not like they can offer anything. If I stay one night- I usually leave whatever change is on the dresser.
Sometimes my money is still there when I come back but most time it isn't.
I found that too, so I take one of the notelets on the desk and write a quick "Thank you!" and leave it on the nightstand with the cash. The provided envelopes in some properties annoy me as it seems like they're prodding you against your will to compensate the underpaid. I think a tip should come from the heart.
If you do not receive a special and/or high quality service in return for a gratuity the gratuity becomes an increase to your room cost.
I mentioned earlier - make it clear (on longer stays) to the housekeeper what your special requirements or desires are and if provided reward accordingly.
I tip $3 to $5 and I do tip on the last day. What's a few bucks? Nothing to me, but to someone who cleans rooms it'll mean a lot.
As for when it became the norm or if it is the norm, I have no idea. I've traveled for nearly 30 years and I've always done it. Figure it brightens someone's day and I'll never miss it.
Leaving a gratuity for housekeeping raises the cost of a stay - whether it impacts a person's budget or not.
If the gratuity is for exceptional service I see no problem in rewarding the housekeeper. I don't believe that any tip, whether a hotel, restaurant, etc,,,, without receiving something in return (good or special services) is allowing the establishment to raise prices without publishing the real cost.
The point is not the amount or how important the amount effects or doesn't effect one's pocketbook. The point is do we allow the establishment to raise our expense without advising the public of the real cost.
I agree with you, garywhalen. I always leave at least $2. It doesn't add that much to our hotel stay and as you say, it may really mean a lot. It is not a job I would want. Several years ago, we were staying in downtown Salt Lake City in a lovely room. I left a small tip with a thank you note. Later in the day, I saw the housekeeper and she thanked me with tears in her eyes. I also left a small tip and a thank you note for a the housekeeper at the Courtyard in west Little Rock. She left me a sweet note in return and ended it with "GO HOGS". Of course, I loved that.
I always get $1 bills from the bank when I am getting some cash for a trip. That way I have money available to tip valets, bellhops, housekeepers, etc. without having to rely on getting change from the front desk.
I have always left the tip on a pillow; but after reading the note about dirty money, I need to change that habit. Don't know why I haven't thought of that.
THANK you, garywhalen. This thread was starting to make me very sad. Housekeepers wouldn't be cleaning toilets if they didn't need the money! I ALWAYS tip. Every day. $3 minimum. $5 at a higher-end property, unless they go above and beyond. I tip in the lounge; I tip the valet; I tip the porter. These people all work for tips, and they rely on them for income. I appreciate the effort they make to make my stay enjoyable. I would gladly pay someone to clean up after me and bring me extra product! lol
I'm with ya, missgee. Makes me sad to hear that some people are very resentful about tipping and refuse to do it. phctourist, I'm going to inquire with my office about getting reimbursed for tips even without a receipt. I figure with valet, CL, housekeeping, bellhop, Starbucks, concierge, etc., I'm tipping at least $20 on even a short trip, and I do about two (or more) trips a month, so it does add up.
I think there are also very big regional differences;
I have never travelled to the US (yet), but even I know that tips represent a needed part of the very low pay of waitresses;
but how about Asia, South-America's, etc.?
should I leave a tip in China? how much? when? etc.?
furthermore, what to do with declarations to your boss?
I am not on holiday, but travelling for business;
currently I would have to pay all these tips myself...
I travel extensively in Asia, and generally don't have the same problem I have with tipping in the USA. For the most part, it is not customary to tip in Asia. Not at restaurants and certainly not at hotels. I have lived in Japan, Korea, and traveled extensively in several other countries in Asia, and they just don't tip. On the other hand, Americans tend to tip everywhere, regardless of what the local custom is. So when I've gone to some Asian countries, like the Philippines, and they see that I am an American, they expect a tip, even though no other customers, be it Asian or European, leave a tip. So you could say we have a bad habit of changing custom by leaving tips anywhere we go. This whole conversation began with whether I should leave a tip in the USA, and some have said we should because of the low wages housekeepers make. Well in Asia, their wages are far below that of the USA, and yet the rates for Marriott Hotels are on par with US hotels. Meaning that the profit margin is far greater, and there is no custom to leave tips there. So this is why I question whether we should leave tips in the USA. Granted they don't make a great wage, but shouldn't we expect good service based on the cost of the hotel? What I've learned from this discussion is that if I want to expect good service from a housekeeper, I better bribe her/him with a tip. Not sure I like that idea.
I just got back from a trip where I had no cash and no reason to get any. All my transactions are on credit cards, and even the small purchases like Starbucks are done through my Starbuck account on my phone. Toll roads now offer passes so that you don't have to stop at a booth. Even fast food places take plastic now. So no cash changes hands. This makes it difficult to get small bills unless I do so purposefully, and as a time-crunched business traveler I rarely have time for that. As we move toward iPay and other e-payment systems, I think this is only going to get worse. Tipping at restaurants is easy to do on a credit card, but that doesn't work for hotel housekeeping.