Conversations at Shoemoney and FMF about tipping Hotel room attendants. As an aside, Shoemoney’s readers seem to be better tippers, or at least more understanding of hotel tipping. The general argument against tipping housekeepers has always been along the line of “That’s what they get paid to do.” This is true, but it’s still a demanding and sometimes demeaning job to do for relatively little pay, and more often then not the good ones do it well. Besides, you’re asking people to pick up after you and look after your belongings, and on occasion you’ll leave behind a mess that may border on unhygenic. Even if you consider yourself clean.
I understand the supply & demand side of the econiomics behind the pay for this job, but that doesn’t change the reality for those actually doing the work. If your room is consistently clean and stocked, somebody is working very hard to keep it that way.
As a hospitality vet, I’ll recommend this simple principle: If the service warrants it, tip a buck or two for every night of a stay longer than one night. Perhaps more in big cities with a higher cost of living. Nobody expects you to tip for a one-nighter. Even leaving the change in your pocket before you head off to the airport is appreciated. If it makes you feel better, consider this: housekeepers in most markets generally don’t expect tips, so leaving one will make them feel really good. A tip for a housekeeper will never be scoffed at or considered an entitlement, unlike some other lines of work.
For some real karma points, strip the sheets and pillowcases from your bed and bundle them up in the corner by the door along with your used towels. It takes 30 seconds, they’ll love you for it (seriously), and it’s a good way to ensure you aren’t leaving items behind at the end of your stay. Win-win.