Our tipping guide can help you avoid confusion when you stay at hotels and resort areas

META DESCRIPTION: If you’re wondering what to tip when you’re at a hotel here’s a rundown of generally accepted tipping amounts for most major hotel services.

A traveler’s experience at hotels can make or break their trip. Nothing keeps your visit on the right track more than prompt help when you pull up to a hotel door, courteous valet parking, a broad smile by someone helping you take bags to your suite, and helpful dining staff during meals.

One of the best ways to show appreciation for high levels of customer service is to tip well. However, it can be hard to know just how much you should be tipping for services you receive. Our guide to hotel tipping etiquette can help you get it right the first time — before you leave someone feeling unappreciated after they’ve gone the extra mile to make your stay memorable.

Housekeeping staff: $3 to $5 dollars a day

Most travelers know to leave something extra for housekeeping staff who have made beds, restocked towels and bathroom supplies, and generally helped keep their room in order. In some hotels, they may even have performed turn down service at night, offering a cozy, welcoming environment for you to return to. Unfortunately, these staff members aren’t always paid very well. Your tips not only indicate your appreciation, but they can also help supplement a housekeeper’s income.

Most travelers leave their tip for housekeepers on a daily basis rather than just at the end of their stay. That helps to ensure that everyone who cleaned the room during the week receives some of the money.

A survey by the magazine Travel and Leisure indicated that only 2/3 of travelers leave a tip for their hotel housekeeper, and that when they do, the rate is between $2 and $5 for each day of their stay, plus an additional amount if they’ve left behind a larger mess. They leave these tips on a daily basis (rather than all at once at the end of their stay) because housekeeping staff tends to vary from day-to-day and travelers want their money to go all of the people who did the work.

Bellhop: $1 to $2 per bag generally

It’s a well-worn comedic image. A traveler stands in their hotel room after the bellhop has dropped off their bags, doing everything other than tipping the service worker who is standing uncomfortably nearby. Don’t be this clueless guest. Show some appreciation for this person who has dragged your luggage from your car to your room so you didn’t have to.

If your bags are especially heavy or cumbersome, say you’ve got skis and snowboards that are going to your room instead of being stored, consider adding to your tip.

At a hotel, you’ll run into bellhops in a couple of areas. There’s the person who greets you as you pull up to the hotel’s front door and unloads your luggage. Sometimes they are the same person who brings your bags to your room, sometimes they pass off the duty to another worker. In either case, it’s proper etiquette to offer a few dollars to the person who unloads your bags and then to tip a dollar or two for each bag once they are brought up to your room. If your bags are especially heavy or cumbersome, say you’ve got skis and snowboards that are going to your room instead of being stored, consider tipping more.

As you’re considering bellhop etiquette, keep in mind that in many hotels it is considered rude to borrow the bellhop’s cart and bring your own luggage to your room. They use their cart for the guests they’re helping and who are likely to tip when the service is complete.

Room service: 15% to 20% of the bill

With room service, you’re going to wind up tipping similarly to how you’d tip at a sit-down restaurant. Consider the promptness of the service, the quality of the food, and the demeanor of the person serving it. As with restaurant service, keep in mind that most of these staffers probably aren’t being paid very well. Your tipping is part of their compensation and is very appreciated. In addition, keep an eye on your bill to be sure that your gratuity hasn’t already been added in. If it is part of the standard bill, you don’t need to tip again.

Valet parking: $3 to $5 each time you receive your car

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Valet parking at hotels is approximately the same process you’re used to at restaurants, nightclubs, and events in major metropolitan areas. In addition to typically paying a nightly parking fee that is added onto your bill, parking attendants save you the time and hassle of having to navigate a hotel’s garage on your own. Just like Valet parking in other situations, consider tipping $3 to $5 each time you pick up your car.

Hotel shuttle driver: $3 to $5 per trip

If your hotel is located several miles from a resort town or a desired area of the city, it is likely that your hotel offers a free shuttle service to help you get there easily. If they do have a shuttle, it can be a great advantage. You don’t have to drive to take your own car and have to worry about parking or designated drivers, and you can skip any worries about paying for a taxicab to get to unfamiliar areas of the city.

If you take a shuttle, show your appreciation by tipping the driver a few bucks each ride. If you’re with a group you can tip a little more, but you don’t have to worry about shelling out an individual tip for each person who is in your party.

Concierge: $5 to $20 per question or service

Your hotel’s concierge is a great source of information and you should use them as needed.

Sometimes during your trip, you’ll want the services of a local expert with connections to help you get spa bookings, make dining arrangements, obtain tickets to the theater, or decide between excursions. Your hotel’s concierge is a great source of information and you should use them as needed. If your questions get complicated, going beyond asking for simple directions or making a reservation in the hotel restaurant, it is proper etiquette to provide a tip. This can range from between $5 and $20 depending on the level of services you requested.

Spa services: 10% to 20%

A lot of hotels feature a spa on their property and it can be a relaxing treat to enjoy some time there. The amount you would tip depends on the services you select and how long you spend there. Manicures, pedicures, and lighter services involve less time and attention from staff and the tips would be smaller. Massages, facials, and deeper work require a larger tip provided you’re happy with the service.

Other services: Generally between 5% and 15%

While this brief has covered the major tipping situations, there’s likely to be something unique about your trip that includes a different service you’d like to show your appreciation for. Maybe it is a coat check or a storage service for large items like skis. At extremely luxurious properties, maybe it is even butler service or a caretaker for a family pet that you’ve brought along. For these kinds of situations, consider tipping between five and 15 percent depending on the cost of the service and how useful the employee’s help was.

General rules of thumb

It makes sense to always consider the possibility that tipping situations should be flexible. Tip larger amounts when staff goes above and beyond or when you require more help, such as having heavier luggage or if you had a great time in your room and left a huge mess behind.

As you experience areas in other parts of the world, keep in mind that tipping practices in these regions may be different than what you are used to.

You also should keep in mind that tipping varies throughout the world. Though it can be relatively consistent in North America and some parts of Europe, other areas may expect tips for certain services that you wouldn’t have thought of, or they may not expect tips for things like foodservice because staff in those industries are paid more.

In addition to all of the variable situations above, currency exchange rates may affect the amounts of your tip. Overall, you may be able to find more information by talking to area travel experts or someone you know who has visited the area previously.

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