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Tipping in US motels

Israel
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Tipping in US motels

Traveling on a budget, our accommodation of choice is with the $70-$80 range motels.

I've been doing some reading about tipping in the US and people mention fairly high tips in hotels, mostly for services you don't even have in motels.

My question is who to tip on motels, how much and when/how. Maids? Receptionists? Anyone else?

Houston, Texas
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1. Re: Tipping in US motels

I travel some for work and personally....If I tip, I generally tip 3 categories of staff - the housekeeper that cleans my room (a few bucks a day, max $5), the concierge who makes special recommendations or arrangements for me (amount dependent on service received), and the bellman who helps with bags or calls a cab (a few bucks each time). This is not a "requirement" and not everyone does it, especially in more budget-friendly hotels or hotels that don't offer the services - but that's my guide.

Israel
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2. Re: Tipping in US motels

Thanks - I was wondering more about budget motels where there are no doormen, bell boys or concierges? Do you tip there as well?

Houston, Texas
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3. Re: Tipping in US motels

In that case, I would still consider tipping the housekeeper and maybe the front desk clerk if they assisted above and beyond.

Kingston, Canada
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4. Re: Tipping in US motels

I've only ever tipped the housekeeping staff in budget motels. That's a thought though about tipping the front desk staff - honestly have no idea why I never have even thought about it. I may start tipping, although I tend to tip based on service received - the better the service the more likely I am to tip, and tip more generously.

ktown

San Diego
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5. Re: Tipping in US motels

You don't tip the front desk staff at budget motels! You may choose to leave the maid who cleans your room a small tip like $2 per day (not per person).

NOone will harass you if you leave nothing. Those folks who clean make very little money and so if you feel you can afford it then know it will be appreciated!

Kingston, Canada
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6. Re: Tipping in US motels

I respectfully disagree with riffsmom. Do you tip in upscale hotels then? Why a difference?

I think you tip anyone you want to. They can always choose to decline. I wouldn't stress yourself about tipping in hotels though. If you want to tip a few dollars, do. If you don't want to tip, don't.

ktown

Portland, Oregon
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7. Re: Tipping in US motels

I'm in the camp that tips the housekeeper daily, usually $3-5 USD, depending on how much of a mess we left the room in. To be clear, especially in a budget hotel where i assume they don't often get tips, I fold a piece of notepaper over the tip and write "Housekeeping - thank you," So they know it is for them and wasn't something left behind.

I can't count the number of times a housekeeper has ran after me to thank me for doing that - so I assume tips are not always the norm.

I rarely tip the front desk unless the arrange something for me, like blocking a group of rooms for my group, etc. Bellhops who bring luggage up (rarely seen in a budget hotel) I tip the $1 USD a bag plus one or two total depending on how fast they were and if they offered any other services.

If I'm in a very small hotel and find that the the person who checked me in is ALSO servicing all of the rooms (Think the little strip motels like the Bates motel!) and is basically the only person responsible for my experience there - then I'll leave about $10 USD on the very last day.

I don't think my tipping changes much between very high priced hotels and budget hotels. Seems the staff is getting paid very little in each.

-Noah

P.S. and I agree whole heartedly with ktowntravllr, this isn't a huge deal. Do it if you feel it is warranted. It is optional (but encouraged) I often found the staff to be extremely helpful once it is known that you tip.

Edited: 03 September 2010, 09:47
Charlotte, NC
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8. Re: Tipping in US motels

There is a similar question on Quebec Canada forum; same tipping in Canada & US, IMO; having lived in both....

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g155033-i134-k3896…

In motels - I usually leave $1/person/day with a little note...Thank You for such a good cleaning....if applicable. If I am not happy with the housekeeping, no tip...

Tip on a daily basis is better as they rotate their housekeeping staff...

Front desk or anyone else; if outstanding service, letter to the manager with the name of staff; sometimes small gifts (chocolate or restaurant gift card) - if the front desk staff was extremely helpful - such as upgrading me or finding out something....

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9. Re: Tipping in US motels

Yes, of course IF the front desk person at a small roadside motel did something outstanding then by all means I would tip them .

The OP was asking about general customs and it is NOT necessary as a "general rule" to tip everyone you see in a motel(or in a hotel)

I don't tip the front desk person at a big hotel usually either!

Sometimes folks who read about "tipping culture" in the USA think that you MUST tip everyone for every little thing or else you will be a "bad visitor".

I was trying to explain that THAT was not necessary!!

Israel
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10. Re: Tipping in US motels

Thank you everyone. That is actually fascinating, culturally, for me, that you would tip for a special service. Let me try and explain.

In the culture I come from, if there's a tipping norm then we tip and consider it part of the price (for example in restaurants). However, if someone goes out of the way, it would feel more like a personal favor. They would get a lot of gratitude and positive thoughts and words, but it would be insulting to tip them for it. It would sort of diminish from what they've done out of the kindness of their heart. Does that make sense?

Again, totally a cultural thing, but I would feel awkward tipping someone for going out of their way and arranging me a special room or something. What I would feel more comfortable doing is giving them a small souvenir from my country and even leaving a card telling them if they ever visit Israel, to give us a call.

Please note I am in no way passing criticism here. Just sharing a different cultural perspective.

I did make up my mind to tip housekeeping generously in our next trip, as long as we're satisfied with the service. It's less personal and thus I would feel more comfortable with it.