I stay in a lot of hotels.  Mostly nice ones. For an average of three nights per trip.  I am very, very aware of the effort made to keep my room clean.  I also have a pretty good imagination. On the list of all the jobs I could ever want to have, cleaning hotel rooms is not there.  The only thing worse I can think of would be working in a hospital. Or teaching high-school.

Anyway, I get paid a lot, and the housekeeping staff get paid crap.  They clean up other people’s grossness and they get half minimum wage  (http://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm)  just like the wait staff in a restaurant.  They make my room a clean, comfortable place to collapse in after 14 hours hunched over a computer in a frigid ballroom. The very least I can do is pick my clothes up off the floor, wipe the hair out of the sink and leave a tiny bit of cash on the dresser.

note from housekeeping
I don’t believe in god, but I know the housekeeper believes she is saying something nice, so it makes me smile.

So, I tip five dollars a day, every day that they clean my room.  (I hang the do-not-disturb sign every other day when it is a long stay. I imagine the next best thing to an extra five bucks in your pocket is not having to clean a room at all.)  I also leave a note – nothing fancy, just a simple, “For the housekeeper, Thank You!” Just so that it is clear.  And I leave the money every day because I don’t know if the person cleaning my room at the end of the stay is the person who cleaned the rest of the time.

Why am I sharing my hotel-tipping practices? Simple. Because I think the world would be a better place if everyone tipped more.

And that is all I have to say about that.

9 thoughts on “Hotel Tipping

    1. Don’t feel bad! They don’t ‘expect’ a tip – most people (at least as far as the people I know) don’t tip.

      Also – I’m usually at hotels to work – I’m getting paid, so it makes sense to share. But vacations are expensive and I know it is hard to share when you feel broke!

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  1. I would definitely tip if I visited the USA, I recently watched a programme on your hospitality workers (waiters etc) and can’t believe how low their pay is. Here in Australia, the minimum wage is a living wage and most people earn a lot more than it, so tipping is not part of the culture. When I have visited other countries that employ people from the Third World to their menial work (like in Dubai), I always tip, but in Europe I just don’t know what to do, especially as it costs so much to get there in the first place 😦

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    1. Yes – we treat our hospitality workers just slightly worse than our teachers. I do honestly love my country – but there are certain things about it that are really embarrassing.

      I have the exact opposite problem in Europe – coming from a tipping culture – it is really hard to not tip!

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