Do You Tip in Hotels: Understanding Gratuity Etiquette for Your Stay

Written by Jim Belt in How Much To Tip

When staying at hotels, you may often wonder if tipping is expected, and if so, how much you should give. This guide explains hotel tipping etiquette and shows when and how much to tip.

In hotels, it is customary to tip for personal services provided. Standard tips include $1-5 per bag for bellhops, $2-5 per day for housekeeping, and $10-20 for a concierge if they provide a special service. Tipping practices can vary by country and hotel policy.

Tipping Customs

Tippping is customary


  • Tipping in hotels is a common way to show appreciation for service.
  • Various hotel roles have specific tipping guidelines.
  • The quality of service can influence tipping amounts.

Understanding Tipping in Hotels

When you stay at a hotel, understanding who to tip and how much can enhance your experience and acknowledge the dedicated service provided by hotel staff.

When to Tip at Hotels

You should consider tipping whenever you encounter helpful service. Upon arrival, if a bellman assists with your luggage, that's a moment to tip. Housekeeping staff should be tipped daily since the person cleaning your room may vary from day to day. When making use of valet services, a tip is customary each time the valet brings your car.

General Tipping Guidelines

Service Provided Suggested Tip Additional Information
Bellman/Porter $1-$2 per bag More for heavy luggage or extra effort
Housekeeping $3-$5 per night Leave daily with a note
Concierge $5-$20 Based on the difficulty of the request
Valet $2-$5 Each time the car is fetched

Remember, these amounts can vary based on the quality of the service and the hotel's level of luxury. Always tip in the local currency and hand it directly to the service provider when possible.

Who to Tip in Hotels

When you're staying at a hotel, certain staff members traditionally receive a gratuity for their service. Knowing who to tip ensures you extend your appreciation to the right individuals.

Tip-Eligible Hotel Staff Members

Staff Role Suggested Tip Additional Information
Housekeeping $2-5 per night For room tidiness and restocking amenities
Bellhop/Porter $1-2 per bag, $10-20 for extra services For handling luggage and additional services like room preparation
Room Service 15-20% of the bill If service charge is not included
Doorman $1-2 For hailing a cab or assistance with directions
Front Desk Discretionary For exceptional service beyond their usual duties
Concierge $5-20 For complex requests or securing reservations
Valet $2-5 Upon car return
Luggage Attendants $1-2 per bag When delivering luggage to your room
Special Requests Discretionary For hotel employees who provide additional comforts or services

Specialty Staff Tips

Remember, these are general guidelines, and tipping can vary based on the quality of service and regional norms.

How Much to Tip

When staying at a hotel, knowing how much to tip can show appreciation for the services provided. This section guides you through the standard tipping amount and what might influence the tip you give.

Tipping Amount Guidelines

For hotel housekeeping, the typical amount to tip is $1-$5 per night. It's customary to leave this tip in cash to ensure that it goes directly to the person cleaning your room. You can place the money on the bedside table or in a clearly marked envelope. At luxury hotels, the amount can range from $2-$20 per night, reflecting the higher level of service and amenities provided.

Factors Affecting Tip Amounts

The size and condition of your hotel room can affect how much you tip. A larger suite or a room requiring more clean-up might warrant a tip on the higher end of the scale. Furthermore, tipping is not just about the amount; it’s a gesture of gratitude. If the staff went the extra mile to ensure your comfort, consider tipping more. Small change or a thoughtful note alongside your cash can also express your thanks. Always be mindful of the tipping rules of the hotel, as some may include service charges in their bills which could adjust how much you decide to tip.

Tipping Practices by Hotel Type

When staying at any hotel, knowing when and how much to tip can vary greatly depending on the type of establishment you're residing in. Your experience may range from the personal touch of luxury accommodations to the practicality of a budget stay, and each comes with its own tipping expectations.

Accommodation Type Service Suggested Tip Additional Information
Luxury Hotels Housekeeping $2-5 per night For room upkeep
Luxury Hotels Valet $1-5 When car is delivered
Luxury Hotels Porter/Concierge A few dollars per bag/request For luggage assistance or making requests
Budget Hotels Housekeeping Small tip For services provided
All-Inclusive Resorts General Check for service charge Service charge may cover most tipping needs
All-Inclusive Resorts Room Service 15-20% of the total bill If gratuity isn't included

Luxury Hotels Vs. Budget Hotels

In luxury hotels, it's customary to tip for the personalized services you receive. You might consider a tip for housekeeping typically ranging between $2-5 per night. For a valet service, the American Hotel & Lodging Association suggests $1-5 when your car is delivered. If you're using a porter or concierge services, a few dollars per bag or per request is a standard acknowledgment of their efforts.

Budget hotels may offer less individualized service, but tipping is still appreciated for the services they do provide. You might not encounter a valet or concierge, but for housekeeping and any other personal services, a small tip is considerate. Be mindful of potential service charges that may already be included in your bill, which can sometimes occur even in budget accommodations.

All-Inclusive Resorts and Their Tipping Policies

All-inclusive resorts can be more complex with their tipping policies. Often, a service charge may already be included as part of your package deal, covering most tipping needs. Despite this, tipping for exceptional service from staff or for specific services not encompassed by the resort fee is seen as a generous gesture. It's best to clarify with the resort about their policy on hidden fees, so you're not caught off guard by unexpected expenses. For occasions when tipping is appropriate, the same guidelines for room service apply — about 15-20% of the total bill if a gratuity isn't already included.

Tipping Etiquette in Different Services

When staying at a hotel, you'll come across various services, each with its own tipping expectations. Understanding these will enhance your experience and ensure that those who assist you are fairly rewarded for their efforts.

Service Type Suggested Tip Additional Information
Room Service Delivery 18-20% or a few dollars If gratuity is not included in the bill
Special Housekeeping Requests A couple of dollars per request Leave on the pillow or bedside table each day
Hotel Dining 15-20% of the pre-tax bill Standard for restaurants and bars
Bar Service $1-2 per drink Customary for drinks ordered at the bar
Concierge $5-20 For securing reservations or tickets to events
Spa or Salon Services 15-20% Standard for personal care services

Room Service and On-Demand Requests

When you order food or make special requests, a gratuity may be included in your bill, typically around 18-20%. However, if it's not, consider tipping the person delivering your room service a few dollars for their convenience. For special requests that housekeepers fulfill, like extra towels or pillows, leaving a couple of dollars on the pillow or bedside table each day is a considerate gesture.

Dining and Bar Service at Hotels

At hotel restaurants and bars, follow the same guidelines as you would at any dining establishment. A standard tip is 15-20% of the pre-tax bill. Remember your bartenders too; if you're just ordering a drink at the bar, $1-2 per drink is customary.

Special Services Provided by Hotels

If the hotel concierge goes out of their way to secure a dinner reservation or score tickets to a sold-out show, a tip is a great way to say thank you. For exceptional service, $5-20 is typical. Don't forget spa or salon services offered by the hotel. A tip of 15-20% is standard for these personal care services, showing appreciation for their skilled assistance.

Regional Tipping Practices

When staying at hotels, it's important to be aware of the regional customs for tipping the staff, as practices can vary greatly.

Tipping in the United States

In the United States, tipping is a common practice in hotels. The American Hotel & Lodging Association suggests offering housekeeping staff $1-5 per night, and you should consider the quality and frequency of service during your stay. When interacting with the valet, a tip of $1-5 when your car is delivered is customary based on the level of service provided. If a concierge assists you with special requests, such as booking tours or obtaining tickets, a gratuity of $5-10 is appropriate to show your gratitude for their efforts.

International Tipping Standards

When you're traveling internationally, tipping norms can vary widely. It's crucial to research the customs of your destination country. However, it's worth noting that in some parts of the world, like Japan or South Korea, tipping in hotels is not customary and may even be considered impolite. In European countries, a small tip is appreciated but not always expected. Typically, a few euros for maid service or front desk assistance when they have gone above and beyond is a considerate gesture. Always check local guides or ask at the front desk upon arrival for the most accurate advice.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hotel Tipping

When you're staying at a hotel, understanding the ins and outs of tipping can make your experience smoother and more pleasant for everyone involved. Here's a quick guide to some common questions about tipping etiquette in hotels.

Addressing Common Tipping Queries

Should you tip hotel housekeeping? Yes, it's customary to tip housekeeping staff. The American Hotel & Lodging Association suggests about $1-5 per night. If you're traveling with your family and the room is messier than usual, consider tipping on the higher end of that range.

Is it better to tip daily or at the end of your stay? Tipping daily ensures that the person who actually cleaned your room receives your gratitude, as housekeeping staff may change from day to day.

How do you tip when there's no face-to-face interaction? Leave your tip on the pillow or in a marked envelope, alongside a note indicating it's for housekeeping.

What about other hotel staff? For any staff who handle your luggage, a tip of $1-2 per bag is standard if they deliver it to your room.

Creating a Personal Tipping Cheat Sheet

Remember, while there's a recommended minimum wage, many hotel staff depend on tips to supplement their income. Use these guidelines to ensure you're contributing fairly to the hardworking individuals who help make your stay comfortable.

Miscellaneous Tipping Scenarios

When navigating the ins and outs of tipping during your stay at a hotel, you may encounter a variety of services that aren't typically covered by standard tipping guidelines.

Tipping for Tours and Transportation

For the vibrant city tours, whether it’s cruising down the Las Vegas strip or exploring historic sites, it's common to tip your tour guide 10-20% of the cost of the tour, depending on the quality of the experience. If you're taking an airport shuttle, a tip of $1-2 per person is appreciated, or $4-5 per party if traveling in a group.

When to Tip Extra for Exceptional Service

At times, you'll come across service that goes above and beyond. For the porter who swiftly carries your heavy luggage to your room, a tip of $1-2 per bag is considerate. If a maintenance worker promptly fixes an issue in your room, a $5-10 tip can demonstrate your gratitude. Exceptional waitstaff at the hotel's buffet or restaurant deserve an additional tip on top of your bill, especially if they elevate your dining experience. For a truly relaxing massage that melts away your stress, consider tipping 15-20% of the service charge.

Published: 31-01-2024

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