When staying in a nice hotel for the first time, many guests are unsure of how to convey appreciation to the various members of the staff that see to their needs. Unless the hotel routinely includes gratuities in the charges for room service, spa usage, and other hotel based services, tipping hotel staff is the gracious way to let them know you do recognize their efforts. If you have an upcoming stay at a luxury hotel, here are some tipping guidelines to help you feel more at home.
For many people, the first hurdle with tipping occurs upon arriving at the hotel. Nicer hotels provide a bellhop who will help take your luggage to the room. A good rule of thumb is to tip at least a dollar for every bag transported on your behalf. If the bags are somewhat awkward or heavy, increase the amount per bag by another dollar or two.
One of the amenities many guests use is room service. Enjoying a leisurely breakfast in the privacy of your room can be a treat, especially since someone else does the cooking, setup, and clearing of the dishes. Assuming a gratuity is not automatically added to the charge, include a tip of fifteen to twenty percent of the total charge for the bill. You can either add the tip to the room charges or tuck the cash under the edge of the plate.
Help from the Concierge
The concierge is often the source of all sorts of information and services. This invaluable hotel employee can handle the details of renting a car for you, provide ideas on sites to see and local restaurants that are of interest, and in general provide answers to just about any question you may have. For more simple services, offer a tip of around five dollars. More complicated requests, such as securing concert tickets at the last minute, deserves a higher tip, perhaps in the range of twenty to twenty-five dollars. In most hotels, the tradition is to total all the services and discreetly slip the gratuity to the concierge at the end of your stay.
Housekeepers appear while you are out sightseeing or otherwise away from your room. They make sure the bed linens are fresh, the bathroom is clean and inviting, and you have a full stock of toiletries and other amenities that are part of the basic guest services. Since several housekeeping personnel may freshen your room during the stay, calculate a tip that is roughly three to five dollars for each day, slip the money into an envelope and write “Housekeeping” on the front. Leave the envelope at the front desk on your way out. This ensures that all housekeeping personnel that took care of your room will receive a portion of the tip.
Miscellaneous Staff Members
For other staff like the masseuse, weight room trainer, valet, or spa therapist, a simple tip of ten to twenty percent of the charge for use of those facilities is usually considered appropriate. If those amenities are included in the basic per day cost, a five dollar tip for each hour you enjoy the service is a nice gesture.
It is important to remember that while the work environment may appear to be a comfortable one, many hotel personnel do not earn top dollar salaries or hourly wages. Tipping not only helps to demonstrate your appreciation for good service, but also helps hard working employees earn a little extra and enjoy a slightly better standard of living.
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