Hotel Tipping Has Benefits

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There are a few reasons to tip the people who service hotel rooms. Obviously the main reason is that they work to clean the room and the extra tip can go a long way. But a tip with the room cleaning crew can get some mileage.

For example, on a recent stay at a Hampton Inn I left a small trip ($2 a day) and received the following note from house cleaning.


Bottom Line

Not only did I come back to a clean room with plenty of amenities, I can back and received a nice note letting me know a light bulb I didn’t even know was out would be replaced.

What’s the biggest surprise you’ve ever received from leaving a trip for the cleaning crew?

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The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. Do you tip daily? I always tip but do so upon checking out. Do you write a note?

  2. I typically tip $1-2 daily, and $3 on checkout – I’ve occasionally gotten a note (did today in fact, at an IC hotel), but don’t expect anything. Just seems like the right thing to do for people who are working hard to make my stay pleasant, for very little.

  3. I have been tipping at the end of stay but perhaps a small amount every day is even better. I strongly believe that tipping these people is very important because usually they are the least paid in the industry with minimal benefits.

  4. I think I’m a cheap skate. I rarely to cleaning staff at hotels. The exception is when I’m traveling with my family and want to teach my kids proper etiquette. I have my kids write a note and leave a few bucks. I tip the bell desk, valet etc but just don’t often remember or think enough about tipping the cleaning crew.

  5. I always tip as I had a housekeeping job when I was in high school (back in the 80’s) & I know how hard it was. Getting those rare tips were such a treat. The only thing better than a tip was getting a stay over that didn’t want service or just wanted towels – I could then spend more time cleaning the check out rooms a little better before I was expected to be done for the day.

  6. The only people I tip during hotel stay is room cleaning crew. I once met a cleaning crew who was from the same country I was from. I talked with her for 3 minutes and when I asked her if she is happy with the tips guests leave for them, she said she is happy when she gets them, she told me the tips guests leave for us gets stolen by house keeping supervisors and managers and they are too afraid to complaint to hotel manager about not getting their tips. she said she is happy what she does and doesn’t think too much about tips.
    Since then, I always try to find the cleaning lady during check our and give her the cash directly or leave the tip at the front desk and ask them to make sure to give ie to the employee who cleaned my room.

  7. Biggest surprise ever was a thank you note from the housekeeper for my tip. I was floored. It puts things in perspective. These are very hardworking people dragging around carts that weight hundreds of pounds and being subject to cleaning some pretty gross stuff sometimes. A tip goes a long way and lets them know their effort is appreciated.

  8. I usually either find the housekeeper who will do my room and hand them the cash so it doesn’t get stolen by supervisors or leave it hidden under a place that only they will find, like under a pillow for them to find when they are actually making the bed. I usually leave a thank you note so there is no misunderstanding that it’s money I misplaced so they know it’s for them.

  9. I tip $5 daily/ $10 on checkout for a standard room and $10 daily/ $20 on checkout for a suite since I started traveling with my 2 young children since they make more of a mess than standard single or couples traveling. I also tip more at restaurant if I’m dining with my children. Better to tip daily since different people are likely cleaning. I’m always happy I tip well if I left something behind at a hotel.

    I figure that their efforts are much more worthy of a tip than even the best service at an expensive restaurant.

  10. At many high-end hotels in Asia (I don’t know about other regions) tips left in room after checkout are often stolen by butlers or supervisors who check the room to make sure guests don’t forget or steal anything from rooms. I worked in a Park Hyatt before so I know that it’s a fact.

  11. Does anyone tip the people who bring more towels/toiletries? I tip $2-4 each day for the person cleaning the room, but I never the tip people bringing me extra towels/toiletries since it doesn’t require much work.

  12. Tipping is easy and a small token for the folks that earn little helping us have a grand time. $3/day in the room with a note of thanks and any requests, $2 for deliveries. Any blog with the word Martinis in its title should have classier (not cheapskates) readers. Please!

  13. So the supervisors/managers enter the rooms before the housekeepers and steal the tips? Really?

    I like the idea of tipping mid-stay – when I tip, I do it when I leave – but I hadn’t realized the tips might get stolen.

  14. The supervisors and managers always check out guests room first and when guests leave, they enter first to see if there is anything they can steal. It was so sad to learn that what was left for these very hard working ladies by guests gets stolen by the supervisors whose job is just checking out rooms. We leave tips in room not for any desk agents or supervisors or managers who already earn more than the cleaning ladies, we leave it for the cleaning crews. Therefore, don’t forget to give it directly to the cleaning lady. When I see them, I would ask if they clean my room , if yes, I give her, If I can’t find the lady or don’t know who, I would hide in pillow case or leave it with a note at the front desk.

  15. I tip between $5 to $10 per night, every night. I usually stay at Marriotts (from Courtyard up to JW), Hiltons, etc. When I stay at a timeshare, where housekeeping only once a week (perhaps trash only daily), I usually tip $20. I’ve never received a note (I travel quite frequently and I’m a pretty tidy person).

  16. I leave a modest tip daily, with a quick note to housekeeping so that they are clear that it IS for them. If I need anything else (not often), I mention it in the note. My room usually looks better than the norm for a given hotel.

  17. Where do you leave a tip in the roon? do you market somehow? I want to make sure it gets to the right person.

  18. I’ve always leave tips each day throughout the stay to increase the odds of getting better service. Most of the time I do not leave a tip on the last day. After reading about supervisors stealing the tips on check out I feel good about my method.

  19. I tip daily ($2-3), usually leave on bathroom counter with a note marked “Housekeeping”. I do this daily since I know different people may be servicing my room during my stay. On departure I usually leave $5 or so with a thank you note.

    Have only received a thank you note once, but have usually been blessed with tons of extra supplies, towels and great service. And any requests have always been quickly fulfilled. These folks work hard. If you can afford a hotel stay then you should count the tip as part of your cost.

  20. Thanks, WF, for this post and thanks, commenters, for clarifying this topic. My son travels 100% time for his work and I will be sure to clue him in if he doesn’t already know!

  21. I do not use the bell desk or anyone else, I most definitely tip the room cleaning lady, I leave the money on the bed so they know it is for them. I do not get my room cleaned everyday, but whatever the case may be I always leave $5 for each time they clean the room. If the stay is long I do not get it cleaned everyday, so it all balances out. The one person you want to be happy with you is the person who has access to your shit when you are not around, If I do not want to tip for whatever reason I do not have my room cleaned and I always have a DND sign on the door.

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