Here's a general tipping guide to follow whenever you travel. Remember, tipping more or less is at your discretion and should be guided by the quality of service you receive. Use this tipping guide to give you an idea of the appropriate tipping ranges.
Tipping Guide: Drivers
- Courtesy Shuttle Driver -- $1-$2 per person, or $4-$5 per party
- Taxi or Limousine Driver -- 15-20% of the total fare
Tipping Guide: Checking In
- Porter/Doorman -- $1-$2 per bag they help you with (more if it is very heavy). Tiping is not required for just opening a door (a smile and thank you is always appreciated).
- Bell Staff -- $1-$2 per bag if they bring the bags to your room. If they prepare your room and show you around, tipping $5-$10 should cover everything (including the bags).
Tipping Guide: In Your Room
- Room Service -- In most hotels, a gratuity of 12-15% is already included in the price of your order (check the menu). Tipping extra is OK, particularly if the person delivering the order takes extra care to set up your meal. Room service tips are generally "pooled," or shared between everyone. If you hand something extra to a person who provides you extraordinary service, he or she can keep it.
- Maids/Housekeeping Staff -- A wide range is acceptable here, depending on the level of extra service and hotel level, but generally from $1-$5 per night. It is best to do your tipping daily, since you might have different people cleaning your room. Whatever you decide to leave, be sure to put the money in a sealed envelope, clearly marked, so there is no confusion as to who it belongs to. How To Tip a Hotel Maid
- Maintenance/Service People -- For fixing something that was broken, or bringing something that was missing, tipping is not required.
- Delivery of Special Items -- For a special request (like an extra blanket), $2 for one item, or $1 each for more than one item.
Tipping Guide: Coming and Going
- Doorman -- $1-$2 for calling a cab; extra if he covers you with an umbrella in the rain, or has to actually hail a cab (rather than just signalling one from a cab line). If you wish, tipping a few bucks at the end of your stay (rather than each time) is fine.
- Valet Parking -- $1-$2 to the attendant retreiving your car. Tipping when they park the car is optional.
Tipping Guide: Dining Out
- Waitstaff -- 15-20% of the bill, excluding tax and expensive wine. Many restaurants automatically add a 15% gratuity for parties of six or more, so check the menu. You can add another 5% for exceptional service.
- Wine Steward/Sommelier -- If they help you choose a bottle of wine (or choose it for you), 10-20% of the wine bill only. Use discretion based on how much service was provided (did he allow you to taste before you selected?) If the wine is very expensive, it's generally acceptable to cap your tip at a reasonable amount (say, about $20), since you are tipping on the service received. Leave cash or specify on the credit card receipt which portion is for the sommelier.
- Buffet Servers -- $1-$2 per person dining. Lean toward the higher end if they bring you drinks.
Tipping Guide: In the Lounge
Tipping Guide: Special Services
- Concierge -- Tipping varies with the level of service provided. For simple requests like directions or restaurant recommendations, no tipping is required. If the concierge arranges show tickets or restaurant reservations, tip $2-$5. If he goes above and beyond (a table at the hottest restaurant in town), tip $10-$20.
- Hotel Staff -- If they set up something special for you (say, for your anniversary), tip at the end of your stay.
Tipping Guide: Leisure Time
- Hair Stylists -- 15% of the total bill. If someone else shampoo'd your hair, leave them $2-$5.
- Manicurist -- 10-15% of the total bill.
- Massage Therapist -- 15-20% of the total bill.
- Swimming Pool Attendant -- Tipping is not required, unless you request extra service (i.e., the attendent inflates your pool float). If you want to keep the same pool lounges every day, leave $2-$3 at the beginning of your stay.