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tipping in hotels?

Hey Everyone,
Quick question, I know usually service is included at restaurants, and for taxis. what about tipping at Hotels? I'm thinking particularly of the maids...thoughts?

Posted by
5901 posts

jandjlasich,
Few subjects generate more heated discussion on the forum here than tipping. Do a Search on "tipping" and you'll see. Here is what Rick Steves has to say: tipping in Europe
There are many people who insist on following US customs abroad, and others who insist on following the local customs.

Posted by
6826 posts

Do what you normally do wherever stay in the world but don't be awkward about it. I have seen Americans try to tip people and the recipient looked confused and then the language barrier made the situation worse.

Posted by
2090 posts

To complicate matters further, which countries are we talking about?

Posted by
7877 posts

Depends on the country. In Germany, the service charge goes to the restaurant, not the server, so please do not confuse this with a tip. In restaurants, about 5-10% is good, unless your service was bad and then it is ok to leave nothing. Hotels, I leave 1-2€ every day, no matter what country it is. Put it in the middle of the pillow. Taxis, it depends on if they were helpful or not, but usually a couple of €.

Posted by
3117 posts

Thanks, Ms Jo. I was glad to hear someone chime in who lives in Europe. My opinion is that whatever the local custom, I leave something for the room cleaners. They have the dirtiest jobs; and, from their appearance, often seem to be refugees. Once or twice I found the money left on the pillow still there or placed on the bed side table. Okay, message received.
I will reiterate what others have said on this topic. Tipping is ridiculously out of hand (no pun intended) in the U.S. It was even built into minimum wage lesgislation, with tipped workers, e.g. waitstaff and cabdrivers, being entitled to less than other workers. Now I’m seeing tip jars on counters in retail establishments and places for tips on their charge slips.

Posted by
3145 posts

If we stay at a hotel for more than a couple nights, and we have the same housekeeper, we’ll leave £1/1€ per person, per day, at the end of the stay. More recently, with hotels trying to be more environmentally conscious, we tend not to have the towels changed daily or have the housekeeper stop by; therefore, we don’t leave anything.

Posted by
1266 posts

Idk, Stan, checking bags vs carry-on is still pretty inflammatory. Reminds me of the endless declawing vs natural paw arguments on a cat forum I used to participate in.....

Posted by
2023 posts

Rosalyn, when we leave a tip for the maid, we always put the money on top of a piece of hotel paper with thank you in the native language, this gets the message across. Also, it depends on the place. In Dubrovnik we are staying at a friends B&B but will tip because he does not do the cleaning. In Korcula we are staying at a family B&B. Even though the cousins live on premises and do the cleaning, I will not leave a tip as I don’t want to insult her. We do though insist on paying the going rate and not take a family discount. We know they could use the money, especially after this past year.

Posted by
4350 posts

They have the dirtiest jobs; and, from their appearance, often seem to be refugees.

What does a refugee look like?

I suspect many houskeeping staff would take offence at the suggestion that many of them are refugees. For the most part in more prosperous countries in Europe many of the housekeeping staff are from poorer EU countries. They're not refugees they've simply taken opportunity of the free movement allowed within the EU. Outside of the major cities you'll often find housekeeping staff are local nationals.

It's not the best paid job in the world but it's typically commensurate with the skill set required and the job itself. The average wage for hotel housekeeping staff in the UK is £9.21 per hour, slightly more than the national minimum wage of £8.91 for over 23's. The hourly rate for a police officer in their first year is £10.25, a job that is far more dangerous, challenging and with a far greater degree of responsibility, nobody tips police officers.

Posted by
3117 posts

@ jc: O.K. So some are economic refugees. I happen to subscribe to the view that everyone, no matter what their “skill set,” deserves a living wage. The figures you cite are close to the $15/hour minimum instituted in some states here and being fought for in others. Do the math. $15/hour translates to approximately $30,000/year. It’s hard to compare countries because of difference in social benefits, but that’s not enough to survive on in most parts of the U.S.
Bottom line: I’ll keep leaving tips for housekeeping staff.
P.S. Maybe your police need a raise.

Posted by
25571 posts

Different countries have different levels of income and benefits. In the last year before the covid changes to the world came, according to the UK ONS Office of National Statistics the average UK wage for a full-time role was £36,611 and part-time was £12,495.

People move to get a better income - my father did at one point - bat that doesn't make them a refugee. When people move you can't always tell them by their skin colour or the type of clothes they wear.

Posted by
4350 posts

P.S. Maybe your police need a raise

The Home Secretary says no.

Posted by
5198 posts

Your an American, tip everyone, the guy at the desk, the cleaning staff, someone sitting in the lobby, the breakfast person, the maintenance guy if you see him. Tip at least 20 euros every time you see somebody. It will make you feel superior to the poor working folk...you can afford a vacation, so you can afford to tip, damn, the local customs.

Seriously, no need to tip in a hotel.

Posted by
7877 posts

Paul, have you worked in a hotel? On what do you base your judgements that no one in a hotel should be tipped?
Do you tip the bartender that just poured you a glass of beer? The busser that cleaned your table, the server that simply brought your plate of food from the kitchen?
I would rather tip the housekeeper than anyone else, except maybe the kitchen staff in a restaurant.

Posted by
45 posts

Let's answer the "do I tip in Europe" a different way: when Europeans travel and eat in Europe, do they tip the maids and restaurant servers: The answer is almost NEVER.

Europeans understand that service is included in hotels and restaurants. Always. It has been that way for a century.

The only tipping you will see from Europeans is the rich guy who tips the porter at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco 100 Euros to park his Ferrari out front, or the rich guy who tips the bouncer at the Regine Nightclub in Paris $50 Euro to let him in and cut the line.

European servers and maids who get tipped view the practice and the tipper with amusement.

Posted by
7877 posts

Possumracing just lumped 20+ countries together. Certainly, Germans and French are not the same as Icelandic, Belgian, Italian, Polish, Spanish, or Croatian, etc. Every country is different. Stop expecting them to all have the same behavior, beliefs, and practices.
Yes, Germans tip. It is not the same as in the USA, but they tip. You just don't see it because they don't leave their tips on the table. They tip while they are paying.

Once again, service charges in restaurants do NOT go to the server. These are NOT tips.

Posted by
4350 posts

I don't pay the 'optional' service charge in the UK either, commonly set at 12.5 % but sometimes 15%. The cost of the meal includes service which is why a meal for my family of four often costs the same as my weekly food budget, it reflects the cost of someone else doing the cooking, serving you and the costs of running the restaurant. Expecting your customer to pay extra on top of that is simply greed.

Posted by
203 posts

FWIW, here is what I do. BTW, I travel every summer to Europe for 3-4 weeks, sometimes staying in the same hotel for 2 weeks. If I only stay one night, I usually don't tip. If it's two to seven days, I might leave 5 euros - a bit more if I've had a positive interaction with the chambermaid(s). When we stay for two weeks, I like to leave 20 euros, because it more likely than not that we've talked to the staff and asked favors (like come back a little later to clean the room, or can we have more towels). These are my general guidelines in my mind. Of course if someone goes beyond the call of duty, there might be a few more euros left.

Posted by
45 posts

Service is included in Germany. It says so on every restaurant bill (bedienung inbegriffen) you get. Germans may offer Trinkgeld at the beer hall if they were generously and attentively served and if they happen to have extra change. Germans and Austirans will also typically round up a small bill... say 6.48 Euro becomes 7 Euro left on the table...

Service is also included in Italy, Belgium and most other European countries. Tipping is rare and is even frowned up, such as in Greece.

The British tip and that is where Americans and other Anglo countries got the idea.

Posted by
7877 posts

Possumracing - Just because your bill says Service Charge on it, does not mean that money goes to your server. Believe me, it doesn't. It goes to the owner of the restaurant.

I have lived here for over 35 years and for many of those years I was in the restaurant, hotel, and bar business and I have many friends who work in restaurants, bars, and hotels. Just because you want to believe that Germans only round up and never tip more doesn't mean that is so. Most Germans I know certainly tip better than that. Servers also tip out the kitchen. 5-10% is normal.

Posted by
25571 posts

The British tip

bit of a generalization. Not me, not much....

Posted by
3145 posts

I look online to search for a country’s general tipping guidelines before heading over. Italy is generally no tipping, while others round the bill up, or just leave a couple Euros. As stated, the service charge does not go to the server and tipping guidelines vary between countries. For the longest time, my wife wanted to leave tips in Europe like in the states, and it took quite the convincing to get her to do otherwise.

Posted by
5652 posts

We spent three plus weeks in Germany in 2010 with a West German companion and a German speaking Swiss companion. Two of the three weeks were in the northern part of Old East Germany and the start and end of the trip in suburbs of Düsseldorf. Our West German and Swiss friends both tipped generously. They explained that (in 2010) Germany did not have a minimumum wage requirement and that wait staff were poorly paid. Pay in the former East Germany was also lower than the former West Germany.

Our friends tipping practice was consistent to what the Germany Way blog suggest:
https://www.german-way.com/the-truth-about-tipping-trinkgeld-in-germany/
An interesting note is that:

Under German tax law, Bedienungsgeld (“service money”) is a mandatory
service fee that restaurant customers must pay, since it is included
in the menu prices. That means it is subject to income tax, and that
tax is deducted/withheld from the food server’s pay. It is not “tip
money”! On the other hand, Trinkgeld (tip money) is a voluntary
“gift,” an extra amount of money willingly given to the food server as
a reward for his good work, and is therefore not taxable!

Germany implimented a minimum wage law in 2015 that started at at 8.50 EUR and is currently at 9.50 EUR.

And BTW, I have never seena "service charge" on my lodging bills for housekeeping services.

Posted by
1744 posts

Be a non-ugly American, tip your hotel cleaners. At the least.