Americans split on whether to tip hotel staff

hotel housekeeper
Maria Jimenez, a housekeeper, closes a door on the 12th floor of the Wilshire Grand Hotel in downtown Los Angeles in 2011. A survey commissioned by the travel site Expedia finds that Americans are split on tipping hotel staff.
(Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times)

If you are unsure whether to tip your hotel housekeeper, you are not alone.

There is no consensus among Americans travelers about which, if any, hotel staffer should get a tip, according to a survey commissioned by the travel company Expedia.

The survey of more than 1,000 American travelers found that 30% don’t tip anyone at a hotel. Of those travelers who do tip, 46% say they tip housekeepers, 40% tip room service attendants, 30% tip the valet, 20% tip the porter and 10% tip the concierge, according to the survey.

Although travelers are not obligated to tip any hotel workers, it is proper etiquette to leave a tip for those workers who helped make your visit enjoyable, said Lizzie Post, the great-great-granddaughter of etiquette queen Emily Post and president of the Emily Post Institute.


On the other hand, it is acceptable to withhold tips from a valet or the concierge if you didn’t use the valet or didn’t talk to the concierge, said Post, who has written several books on etiquette.

“If I’m dealing with them directly and they are doing a good job, I tip,” she said.

As for the hotel housekeeper, Post said she typically leaves between $2 and $5 a day on the nightstand or a desk, along with a note, thanking the worker for his or her effort.


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