Hotel Tipping Guide
What's an appropriate tip these days when you check into the Chateau Swank?
First of all, heavy lifting should always be rewarded. If someone takes your overstuffed suitcase out of your trunk or brings it up to your room, figure on tipping at least 50 cents a bag--twice that in big cities. But you knew that.
What if an assistant manager shows you to your room?
Don't tip. They're management, and they're in training and, in fact, should refuse money if you offer it.
What about room service?
Most hotels add a service charge to the bill. Some guests don't notice that, and I imagine many a room service waiter has skipped back down the hall with a 30 per cent tip. It's best to simply ask, "Is service included in the bill?" That way, a server knows you mean to acknowledge his or her effort. If someone has gone beyond the call of duty, or if the built-in gratuity is only 10 or 12 percent, you might want to add a few bucks on the top.
Better hotels offer a concierge desk to help you with restaurant or theater reservations. Any extraordinary effort by a concierge, such as securing sold-out tickets, deserves a ten or twenty spot. Much of their income is in tips.
Americans still aren't accustomed to tipping housekeepers. And they may have the most thankless jobs in the place. Leave a few bucks for every day you stay. Better yet, tip your housekeeper in person when you ARRIVE--after all, then you know the right person is getting the cash, and you might find an extra mint on your pillow or bottle of shower gel in your bathroom.
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