How Much to Tip the Hotel Maid
Tipping is on the rise and we now see tip jars nearly everywhere we do business these days. What’s not new, however, is the unwritten rule of tipping the housekeeping staff of your hotel. That’s right; it’s common courtesy to tip the housekeeping staff, yet many people are seemingly unaware of this.
Studies have shown that only about 30% of hotel guests leave a tip for the maid, so we’re helping to spread the word on why and how much to tip housekeeping. In our increasingly cash-less society, it’s important to remember to keep some cash on hand for tipping your hotel staff.
Why Should I Tip the Hotel Maid?
In an ideal world, everyone would make a living wage, or a wage commensurate with the difficulty of the work being done. Hotel housekeeping staff, or room attendants as they are now called, have incredibly hard jobs for very little compensation. Pay often starts at minimum wage for back-breaking work and difficult hours.
There are few breaks during a shift as the hotel needs to turn over rooms as quickly as possible. Between late checkouts, early check-ins, and do-not-disturb signs left out until early afternoon, it is a constant struggle to have the right rooms ready on time and keep hotel guests happy.
Some of the job requirements for a room attendant include cleaning, dusting, polishing, and vacuuming. Then there are the linens: changing the sheets and blankets each day, lifting the heavy mattress, and swapping out wet, heavy towels for clean towels. They also have to scrub down the bathroom and restock your toiletries, taking care to keep your personal items as you left them. In more upscale hotels and resorts, you may also have a turndown attendant who gets your room ready for the evening. I dread cleaning my own bathroom once a week; imagine doing this several times each day!
When Should I Tip the Hotel Maid?
This is probably the biggest question when it comes to hotel tipping etiquette. In the past, I always tipped at the end of my stay. After all, a crisp $5 or $10 is better than a few singles here and there, right? That may be true in a very small hotel or motel with a small housekeeping staff. In fact, I’ve noticed envelopes appearing in smaller hotels, telling me the name of my room attendant.
In most hotels and resorts, although the housekeeping staff is typically assigned to a section, you can’t be sure if the same person will be servicing your room every single day. For that reason, it’s best to tip a smaller amount each day of your hotel stay, rather than waiting until the end.
If you are staying up to a week or more, there’s a good chance you’ll meet your room attendant and you can even ask them if they will be working each day of your stay. However, keep in mind if you wait to tip the maid until the end of your stay, you may not be tipping the person who did the most work. Tipping each day is also likely going to net you better service from your room attendant, who will be super appreciative and go out of their way to make sure you have everything you need. And remember to leave a note with the money, indicating it’s for the staff as they should not be in the habit of just picking up any loose money lying around!
How Much Should I Tip the Hotel Maid?
How much to tip the hotel maid will vary greatly on several factors, but I recommend a minimum of $2 per day. Some of the factors to consider when deciding how much to tip a hotel maid include:
Messiness of you or your family: be honest, if you are leaving a disaster area every day, or tons of personal items scattered about for the staff to work around, then you might want to tip a little extra.
Length of your stay and frequency of housekeeping: If I’m in a hotel for several days, I won’t request housekeeping every day, so I’ll just tip on the days when I do have them clean my room.
Special requests: often, hotel guests may have special housekeeping requests in the evening once they’ve settled in to their room. Maybe you have housekeeping come make up the sofa bed, or have them trade out feather pillows for allergenic ones. Did you request turn-down service? Perhaps you forgot your toothpaste and have someone bring some to your room at 1 in the morning? These are great opportunities to tip your room attendant little bit extra.
So, how much you tip the hotel maid is entirely up to you, but general consensus is $2-5 per day. Some would suggest a higher amount for a fancier or more expensive hotel, but given that less that half of hotel guests are tipping at all, I think $5/day is satisfactory. After all, you will likely have a whole slew of other staff to tip at an upscale resort.
Do you usually tip your hotel maid? How do you decide how much tip?