Hotel Employee Tipping Guide

Hotel housekeeper fluffing pillows

 

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Although not all accommodations have extended services like valet parking, shuttle services, or bell boys that will bring up guests' bags, many luxury hotels have a full staff of employees dedicated to providing guests with a variety of services.

From the moment you arrive (or sometimes even before) at these full-service destinations, a team will be there to take care of your every need. From driving you to and from the hotel to giving you a massage, these hotel employees typically earn a good living through offering their services—which are often included in the price of your stay—but it's considered proper etiquette to tip many of them for their time and work.

However, you should remember that tipping more or less is at your discretion and should be guided by the quality of service you receive. Otherwise, you can use this tipping guide to give you an idea of the appropriate tipping ranges for each step of your stay.

Overview of Tipping Hotel Employees

  • Courtesy Shuttle Driver: One to two dollars per person, or four to five dollars per party.
  • Taxi or Limousine Driver: 15 to 20 percent of the total fare.
  • Porter or Doorperson: one to two dollars per bag they help you with (more if it is very heavy), or if they help you hail a cab. No tip required for holding the door, but a smile or "thank you" is always appreciated.
  • Bell Staff: one to two dollars per bag if they bring them to your room; if they prepare your room and show you around, you can tip 10 to 20 dollars, which will cover assistance with the luggage and the additional help.
  • Room Service: Although a 12 to 15-percent gratuity is typically added to all bills, you can tip additional cash if your server provides extra care when presenting your meal.
  • Maids and Housekeepers: You should tip five to 10 dollars per day, depending on the level of services required for your room.
  • Repairmen: No tipping required if someone comes to fix something wrong in your room.
  • Bartender or Cocktail Waitress: 10 to 15 percent of the total tab. One to two dollars per round for free drinks inside casinos.
  • Hairstylist: 15 percent of the total bill; five dollars for the person who washes your hair.
  • Manicurist: 10 to 15 percent of the total bill.
  • Massage Therapist: 15 to 20 percent of the total bill.
  • Waitstaff: 10 to 20 percent of the total bill, depending on the quality of service.
  • Sommelier or Wine Steward: 10 to 20 percent of the bill for fine wine, up to 20 dollars total.
  • Concierge: Tipping varies with the level of service provided. Simple tasks don't require a tip, but booking tickets or reservations should earn between two and five dollars. Tip between 10 and 20 dollars for extraordinary service.
  • Valet Parking: When retrieving your car, tip one to two dollars. When parking your car, tipping is optional.

Getting There and Checking In

When visiting some of the best resorts and hotels in the world, guests will immediately be greeted with a litany of services, oftentimes even at the airport before they arrive at the destination itself.

Whether you're taking the airport shuttle to your hotel or you're hiring a personal driver for your transportation to the hotel, you should tip your driver if you've received good service. For courtesy shuttles, you should tip one to two dollars per person or four to five dollars per party, and for taxi or limousine drivers, you should tip 15 to 20 percent of your total fare.

Once you arrive, you'll likely be greeted by a porter or doorperson (especially at some of the fancier establishments); you should tip him or her a dollar or two if they help you with a bag, but a smile and thank you is all that's needed if they open the door. At the check-in desk, the concierge will often offer you a bell staff member to assist with your luggage. You should tip one to two dollars per bag if they bring them to your room, but you can also tip 10 to 20 dollars instead if they prepare your room or show you around the hotel.

In the Hotel: Room Service, Maids, and Maintenance

Whether you're planning to stay in your room ordering dine-in services or you're planning to hang in the hotel lounge, bar, or restaurant, there are several rules you should follow when it comes to tipping hotel staff.

When ordering room service, most hotels include a gratuity of 12 to 15 percent for your server and wait staff in your order total, but you should check the menu to make sure. Tipping extra is okay, particularly if the person delivering the order takes extra care to set up your meal. Although room service tips are generally shared by all staff working on the meal, you can personally hand your server an additional tip he or she can keep if you wish.

You should also tip the maids and housekeeping staff each day you stay in the hotel (as well as when you check out). Depending on the level of services and the price of accommodations you're staying in, you should tip between five and 10 dollars per night, and it's best to do your tipping daily since you might have different people cleaning your room from day to day. When you check out, you should leave a tip in a clearly marked envelope to avoid confusion.

However, if something breaks in your room and a maintenance or repair technician has to come to fix it, you do not need to tip that person for their services because their payment is covered entirely by the hotel, who is at fault for their visit in the first place.

Other Services at the Hotel: Bars, Restaurants, and Leisure

From waiters and bartenders at on-site lounges and cocktail bars in luxury hotels to manicurists and massage therapists inside all-inclusive resorts, there are a number of other employees and services available at hotels, many of which rely on tips from their services to make a decent living.

When having a drink or a bite to eat at the hotel bar or lounge, you should tip your bartender or cocktail waiter 10 to 15 percent of the total tab. For free drinks in Las Vegas, you should tip one to two dollars per round, and it's okay to tip with your chips in lieu of cash. If you instead spend a day at the hair stylist or a manicurist, you should tip 15 percent of your total bill, and for a trip to a licensed massage therapist at a resort, you should tip 15 to 20 percent of your bill.

When dining out, you should tip your waitstaff 15 to 20 percent of the bill, excluding tax and expensive wine—the latter of which should be tipped for separately. Many restaurants (especially inside hotels) automatically add a 15-percent gratuity for parties of six or more, so you should check the menu to see if you should leave an additional tip. On the other hand, if you are visiting a buffet, you can leave a tip of one to two dollars per person dining for the server who brings you drinks and takes care of the table.

If you have a wine steward or sommelier help you choose a bottle of wine, you should tip 10 to 20 percent of the price of the bottle and can use discretion based on the service provided. If the wine is very expensive, a cash tip of 20 dollars should suffice, since you are tipping for the service received and not a commission of the sale.

Coming, Going, and Other Special Services

If you need to leave the hotel or wish to request a special service, there are a few etiquette tips you can follow depending on the size, difficulty, and ease of your request.

The doorman can call you a cab, and you should tip one to two dollars for him doing so—more if he covers you with an umbrella in the rain or has to actually hail a cab from the road for you (rather than signaling one from a cab line). Meanwhile, a valet parking attendant should get a dollar or two for getting your car, though tipping when he or she parks it is optional.

Similar to the doorman, the concierge can provide a variety of services, each of which should receive a varying tip depending on the quality of work provided. For simple requests like directions or restaurant recommendations, no tipping is required, but if the concierge arranges show tickets or books reservations for you, you should tip between two to five dollars; if he goes above and beyond, you can even tip between 10 and 20 dollars instead.