Do You Tip Hotel Maids and How Much Should You Leave?

Written by Jim Belt in Hotel

While it's common to tip at restaurants, tipping hotel maids is just as important, though it's often overlooked. This article explains whether and how much to tip hotel maids. It provides tips based on room price, nights stayed, and service quality.

The recommended tip for a hotel maid is $1 to $5 per day, and it's best to leave this tip daily rather than at the end of your stay, as housekeeping staff may change.

Tipping Customs

Tippping is customary $ 1 $ 1 - $ 5


  • Recognize the hotel housekeepers' role and tip accordingly.
  • A standard tip ranges from $1 to $5 per day, tailored to service level.
  • Tip daily to directly appreciate the staff cleaning your room.

The Basics of Tipping Hotel Maids

When you enjoy the comfort of a well-maintained hotel room, showing appreciation to the housekeeping staff through tipping is customary. This section will help you understand the appropriate amounts and times to tip hotel maids.

General Tipping Guidelines

Tipping is a key way to express your gratitude for the cleanliness and comfort provided by hotel maids during your stay. As a hotel guest, it is important to recognize the hard work that goes into maintaining your hotel room. Generally, tips are not mandatory, but they are a widely accepted form of acknowledging good service.

How Much to Tip

The appropriate tip amount can vary, but it’s typical to offer between $1 to $5 per day. For more luxurious accommodations or exceptional service, up to $10 a night might be common. Remember, if the service exceeds your expectations, feel free to tip more as a gesture of your appreciation.

When to Tip

It's considerate to tip daily since the housekeeping staff may change during your stay. Place the tip in an envelope or on a note with the word "housekeeping" to ensure it’s clear whom the tip is for. Leaving tips on your pillow or by the bed is also a common practice.

Understanding Tipping Etiquette

When staying in hotels, it's important to recognize the hard work housekeeping staff put into maintaining your room. Tipping is a way to show your appreciation for their dedicated service.

Etiquette Experts' Advice

Etiquette experts, including those like Diane Gottsman from The Protocol School of Texas, advise on the appropriate amounts to tip hotel housekeeping staff. You're encouraged to tip $1-to-$5 per day depending on factors like the quality of service and hotel type. For example, you may consider the higher end of that range for a luxurious setting. Gottsman and other experts underline that this gesture is not just about money, but it’s also a sign of respect and gratitude for the person who’s taken care of your stay.

Special Considerations for Tipping

Certain situations might prompt you to tip more generously, such as a particularly messy room or additional requests outside of the normal housekeeping duties. If housekeeping has gone above and beyond to make your stay comfortable, showing extra appreciation with a higher tip is a considerate action. Similarly, if you're staying at a hotel during a high-traffic event or holiday season when housekeepers are exceptionally busy, a larger tip can reflect your consideration for their increased workload.

Tipping During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the hospitality industry, and understanding updated tipping etiquette for housekeeping staff is vital. These workers are on the front lines, ensuring your health and safety by adhering to enhanced cleaning protocols.

Adjusting Tips During Pandemic

Your usual tipping habits likely need an update during the COVID-19 period. It's recommended to tip generously, considering the extra precautions and additional workload housekeeping staff undertake. If before you might have tipped a few dollars per night, it's now considerate to increase this amount to reflect their increased efforts and risk. For example:

Health and Safety Concerns

The pandemic has introduced new health and safety standards. When you think about tipping, remember that housekeeping staff are instrumental in implementing COVID-related cleaning protocols to protect your well-being. These added tasks often go unseen but play a crucial role in ensuring that your room remains a safe haven. Therefore, consider tipping daily rather than at the end of your stay, since different team members may tend to your room each day.

Tipping for Additional Services

When you receive service beyond what's typically expected, it's customary to recognize the exceptional service with a corresponding tip. Remember, these extra tips are a token of your appreciation for the personalized attention provided.

Tipping Beyond the Room Service

If the concierge has gone out of their way to secure those hard-to-get reservations or theater tickets, a tip between $5 and $20 is a considerate gesture, matching the difficulty of your request. Similarly, if a valet provides additional services like keeping your car up front or having it ready at a specific time, $2 to $5 on top of the standard tip would be generous.

Tipping for Special Requests

When you have special requests such as requiring extra towels, bedding, or having a suit pressed and the housekeeping staff or bellhop accommodates your needs, a tip of $2 to $5 shows your gratitude for their extra effort. At a hotel restaurant, if the restaurant server ensures your dietary preferences are met or arranges a to-go meal for you, consider a tip higher than the standard 15-20% to acknowledge their additional care.

Practical Tips for Hotel Tipping

Understanding the right way to tip hotel housekeeping ensures that your appreciation for their services is appropriately expressed. It's also a kind way to reward the often unseen staff who contribute to a pleasant hotel stay.

Where to Leave the Tip

When you're ready to leave a tip for hotel housekeeping, it's important to make your intentions clear. Place the cash inside an envelope labeled "Housekeeping" and leave it in an obvious spot, such as the pillow or the nightstand. This way, the housekeeper knows the money is intended for them and not left behind by accident.

Preferred Tipping Methods

Cash is king in the world of hotel tipping. While other payment options like credit cards are convenient for you, they are not typically practical for housekeeping staff. To ensure you have enough cash for tipping each day, plan to visit an ATM at the beginning of your stay or ask the front desk for change. Always tip daily as the hotel maid servicing your room may change day to day.

Discussing Tipping with Hotel Staff

When you're traveling, it’s important to know how to approach the topic of tipping with hotel staff. This section will guide you through conversing with the front desk about their tipping policies, which can vary by hotel.

Approaching the Front Desk

It's perfectly acceptable to walk up to the front desk and inquire about the hotel's tipping practices. Guests often find that front desk staff are knowledgeable about not only the operations of the hotel but also customary tipping rates. Don't hesitate to ask them explicitly about the appropriate amount to tip the housekeeping staff.

Asking About Tipping Policies

Initiate the conversation by explaining that you want to ensure you're adhering to the hotel's standards. It's important to frame your questions clearly — ask if there is a standard tipping amount or if the hotel recommends tipping per night or per stay. This helps you understand how much to tip bellhops and other staff in a way that reflects the quality of service received during your stay.

Tipping at Different Types of Accommodations

When staying at a hotel, you'll encounter various levels of service. Your tipping should reflect the type and level of accommodations you experience.

Tipping at Luxury Hotels vs Budget Accommodations

Luxury Hotels: At a luxury hotel, consider tipping more generously due to the higher standard of service. For housekeeping staff, $5 or more per night is typical, and if extraordinary service is rendered, tipping upwards of $10 a night is a kind gesture.

Budget Accommodations: For stays at less expensive hotels, the American Hotel & Lodging Association suggests that a $1-to-$5 tip per day for housekeeping staff is standard. Lean towards the higher end of that range if you've received exceptional service, notwithstanding the affordability of your stay.

All-Inclusive Resorts and Tipping

At all-inclusive resorts, gratuity may already be included in your resort fees, but additional tips for housekeeping at the end of your stay are appreciated for outstanding service. A daily tip isn't as expected since many services are included, but $5 per day is a considerate amount for noticeable attentiveness and tidiness in your room.

Understanding the Impact of Tipping on Hotel Operations

In the hospitality industry, tipping is not just about rewarding service. It deeply influences hotel operations, especially in terms of staff morale, employment practices, and labor relations.

How Tipping Affects Staffing

When you tip hotel maids, it can directly augment their income and affect their job satisfaction. Hotels often rely on tipping to supplement wages, which means that your generosity could help alleviate staffing shortages. In times of high demand, a strong tipping culture might attract more individuals to the profession, leading to a fuller and more content workforce.

The Role of Unions in Tipping Practices

Unions, such as UNITE HERE, play a pivotal role in advocating for fair wages and treatment of hotel workers. Your tips become a topic in union negotiations, as they reflect on the service standards and expectations from the workforce. Unions use tipping practices as a barometer to evaluate the adequacy of wages and champion the cause of their members, ensuring that their efforts in operations get the recognition they deserve.

Tipping Hotel Housekeepers Around the World

When you travel, understanding the tipping customs of each country can enhance your experience and show appreciation for the services you receive. This is particularly important for the hotel housekeeping staff who play a vital role in ensuring your stay is comfortable.

Global Tipping Practices

In many parts of the world, tipping hotel housekeeping staff is customary and seen as a direct way to express gratitude for their service. Generally, it is suggested that you leave a tip daily, as the staff attending to your room might change from day to day.

Country-Specific Tipping Guides

In other countries, such as those in the Middle East or Latin America, the expectations and norms can differ substantially. Always research your specific destination or ask at the hotel front desk to make sure your tipping aligns with local customs.

Published: 10-01-2024

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