Should you leave a tip for hotel staff when your stay comes to an end or not? How much should you tip the bellhop, the maids or the valet? And most importantly, are tips included in hotel room service? The answers to these questions may vary depending on the hotel star rating, the type of traveller you are and the country you are visiting.
Contrary to what many might think, tipping in hotels is not that common, and many travellers and tourists opt for not leaving any tip unless the service provided has been an outstanding one. In addition, an increasing number of hospitality chains are introducing “gratuities included” policies to their customer management, which leads guests to relax in terms of tipping etiquette, as they feel everything is already included in their final bill.
That being said, as a business traveller on a work trip or a first class tourist staying in a high-end resort, you will surely want to leave a good impression. You should not overlook quality service provided at budget accommodation either and tip staff accordingly if you deem it appropriate, yet, especially when you travel on a tight budget, we are aware that this is not an easy decision to make, so we are about to give you some guidelines to avoid confusion and get it right regardless of your destination.
Should you leave a tip when the hotel delivers room service?
The receipt or bill of your room service order may give you some hints: if there is 15-20% delivery fee included, a tip may still be added on top of the total amount to be paid. Tips are included in room service prices only when expressly stated either on the bill or the menu: “service fee” or “tip included” are clear indicators. Always leave a tip to hotel room service staff if you ask for modifications or extras that make the personnel deliver to your room more than once.
Tips for hotel personnel: porter, concierge, parking valet, bellman, maids and maintenance workers
It is highly advisable that you read carefully the fine print of your hotel reservation documents in order to find out whether gratuities and tips are already included in the nightly rate; this will prevent you from adding extra tipping unnecessarily. Also, most hotels in Asia have a strict “no tipping policy”, while in many other cases, you will need to figure out by yourself if it is required or deserved.
In case you know that tips are welcome at the hotel you are staying and you are willing to tip staff, ensure you have small change handy at all times. The door staff, the concierge, the parking valet and even the shuttle driver should be tipped right after they finish their service, and tips for hotel maids who clean your room should be left every morning upon leaving it, as different ones will be assigned to do it each day of your stay.
Providing maintenance workers need to repair something in your room, or should you ask for extra pillows, blankets or appliances that are delivered directly to your hotel room from the front desk, that would be an ideal moment to tip the people involved too.
Tipping etiquette in hotels around the world
Tipping at hotels across the world is something that only expert travellers and globetrotters have mastered. When you land in a new country with an entirely different culture and their own rules about tipping hotel staff, the only way to know what is right is observing what others do or asking locals to solve your doubts. In the meantime, find some general tipping guidelines sorted out by country below.
United States and Canada: following established practice, travellers staying in hotels in North America tip porters, bellhops and maids on a daily basis or right after they provide service (in US or Canadian dollars).
Argentina: although tipping is not frequent in Argentina, a few pesos given to the hotel concierge or housekeeping staff is a sign of politeness and consideration.
Chile: not only is tipping widely accepted across Chile, but they even take tips in US dollars.
China and Japan: never tip hotel staff in these countries, as it is often seen as insulting; gratuities are already included in your nightly rate.
France: small tips to valets, porters and maids at hotels are welcome.
Germany: it is usual to tip bellhops and maids but read your reservation conditions carefully; if the world “bedienung” appears, that means tips are already included in the total price.
India: hotels in India accept tips in rupees; by way of example, guests should ideally tip 50 rupees per carried bag and 200 rupees per cleaning service. Usually, establishments put a tipping box at the visitors’ disposal.
UK and Ireland: it is common that both small and luxury hotels in the UK and Ireland have already included tips in the nightly rate; nevertheless, leaving an extra tip for excellent service will be appreciated.
Italy: if you consider that a hotel worker has gone the extra mile to provide you with exceptionally good service, you may tip them personally and directly.
Mexico: tips in Mexican pesos are always expected when you are staying in a hotel. Note, however, that many holiday resorts in Mexico have a staff fee already included in your nightly rate, so look at your reservation thoroughly.
Spain and Portugal: when staying in 5-star hotels across the Iberian Peninsula and the islands, tipping is a must, yet things get more flexible in establishments with lower rating. Rely on your own judgement and do not hesitate to reward good service regardless of the category of your chosen accommodation.