Tipping Advice

Recently, Marriott debuted a program to encourage travelers to tip hotel staff while staying in its properties. Starting this past Monday, Marriotts will now have an envelope in each room, specifically for clients to place tips for the hardworking housekeeping staff, who are among the lowest paid employees in any hotel.

While the program is not without controversy (many guests feel that Marriott should instead raise its wages to housekeeping staff), it’s indisputable that housekeepers in hotels can single-handedly make or break an in-room experience. Who else can’t stand it when they return to their room at 2pm, after a morning away, and their room still hasn’t been made up? What about when the soaps and travel-size shampoos aren’t replaced for days? I could go on and on, but a good housekeeping hotel experience is often easy to overlook, while a bad housekeeping experience is hard NOT to focus on. So why not buck the trend of tipping everyone but the housekeepers, and show them some love, too?


And now, the million dollar question: how much do I tip?


Before I share, here’s my own personal advice, given to me from my Momma, a tipper extraordinaire: consider tipping at the beginning of an experience. That way, you can enjoy the benefits of the extra attention a housekeeper, concierge, bellman, or butler may give to you during your stay, rather than have them realize how grateful you were after the fact. It’s pre-emptively encouraging good service, and you’d be lying if you said money didn’t help you perform better.

Now, check out these great guidelines I found online today, from etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore:

Tipping In Airports:

  • Taxi drivers: 10 to 15 percent of the bill.
  • Car service: 20 percent of the bill. In some cases, the tip is included. If you’re not sure, ask.
  • Shuttle drivers: $1 per bag.
  • Skycaps: $1 to $2 per bag.

Tipping In Hotels:

  • Doorman: $1 to $2 per bag for moving your bags from the car to the bell cart. Tip $1 to $2 dollars for hailing a taxi for you.
  • Bellman: $1 to $2 per bag and $1 to $2 for every delivery to your room.
  • Concierge: $10 or more for special services such as securing you a hard-to-get reservation to a popular restaurant.
  • Housekeeper: Tip $2 to $3 per night, add an additional $1 to $2 for special requests. If you have the same housekeeper throughout your stay, place the money in an envelope labeled “Housekeeping” at the end of your trip and leave it in a location where it can be easily seen, such as on a pillow. If there are multiple housekeepers, tip each day.
  • Room service: 15 to 18 percent of the bill before taxes. Tipping is optional if a service charge is included in the bill.
  • Valet: $2 to $5 each time an attendant retrieves your car.
  • Spa service: 15 to 20 percent of the bill.

Tipping In Restaurants:

  • Coatroom attendant: $1 to $2 per item.
  • Maitre d’: $10 to $100 depending on the restaurant, occasion and level of service you expect. Present the tip before you sit down at your table.
  • Wine sommelier: Gratuity is optional but recommended for extremely attentive or helpful sommeliers. A tip of 5 to 10 percent of the wine charge is appropriate.
  • Restroom attendant: 50 cents to $1 for handing you a towel or if you use any products displayed on the sink.

Full text of the article can be found here.