Don’t be a Scrooge This Holiday Season

No one wants a Scrooge staying at their Hotel

I’ve talked a lot about tipping before. Specifically about tipping the hospitality professionals that service you when you’re at a hotel. That’s an important word “professionals” we don’t do it for fun. OK…not just for fun. We do it to get paid as much as because we find some enjoyment from it (those of us that aren’t twisted bitter Gollum like creatures). I’m of the firm belief that tipping is one of the smaller expenses you encounter while traveling, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Far from it, and the nicer of a place you’re staying at, the less of a cheap bastard you should be.

A fellow blogger and hotel worker, The Hook, had a recent post on this exact matter. Here is his post: The Hook’s Definitive Guide to Tipping and Service I recommend you read it if you travel even a little. Even if you’re staying at a Motel6 you should tip your housekeeper at least.

I left a comment on his post that I felt like highlighting here.

Don’t forget that tipping your Housekeeper, Concierge and the Valet is just as important as the Bellman. And the 55 cents you had at the bottom of your pocket and you dumped on the dresser and didn’t feel like picking back up before leaving doesn’t count as a tip for housekeeping, it should just count as littering you cheap douchebag. How much did your car cost? Or how much will it cost if the valet dings up your rental? Throw the guy a tip or park your own car. And you know how the Concierge knows about that really awesome restaurant they sent you to? They went and eat there, and only occasionally did they get some sort of “industry deal” to do it, and the hotel likely didn’t pick up the tab. They likely paid for it out of their own pocket, so that they could experience it, recommend it to you, and improve your vacation, throw a few bucks into the cause. If you don’t have cash hit the ATM. If you’re not willing to tip, then stay at a Motel 6 or stay home.
And I can’t agree more that you need to actually express to the Front Desk what your expectations and needs are. And it’s so much easier to accommodate those requests if you ask while you’re at the desk, before you get into the room. We’re not mind readers. But we are very good listeners.

It’s nothing I haven’t said before. But I think it bared repeating.

Lastly, I wanted to share these two pictures I snapped from my phone while checking rooms a couple of weeks ago. These rooms were right next door to one another, are identical in size and layout, and yet one was noticeably messier than the other, there was also one other noticeable difference.

You're a bad person if you do this.

All the piles put together added to a little under $4, which for the size of the room is descent. If everyone left $4 I wouldn’t have anything to complain about. This was just insulting because they don’t know that I’m going to come along, find this crap, scoop it up, and turn it into dollar bills for my housekeepers. I can’t even tell if they were trying to send a literal message or not. It doesn’t seem to spell anything to me. Seems more like coins stacked into a giant middle finger, or at least that was the message I received. It’s not like they were too lazy to go out, get dollar bills, and leave a real tip, this probably too more energy than that. And this wasn’t just the bottom change in their pocket that they dumped out the night before and decided they didn’t want to bother picking up. This was someone’s idea of a joke. One of my female staff said “That would be like a guy offering to buy me a drink at a bar and ordering a water!”

You're a rock star

This is far and above what they needed to leave. This person probably has worked in some sort of service industry in the past. Either that or has money and doesn’t mind sharing it around. Either way they’re awesome in my book. That’s a tip that says “I know there are some cheap bastards out there. I’m going to make up for it.”

Now does anyone want to guess which room was a bigger mess? The stacks of change or the $20 bill?

I won’t even dignify that with an answer. I think we all know what the truth is.

Good day to you.


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  1. #1 by Blink on December 24, 2011 - 4:25 AM

    nice one..
    and contains good suggestions too
    visit my blogs too whwne ever you like 🙂

    • #2 by hotelnerd on December 24, 2011 - 12:24 PM

      Thanks Blink. I’ll have a look.

  2. #3 by The Hook on December 24, 2011 - 6:16 AM

    You’re absolutely right, housekeepers, valet, etc. get the short end of the stick most of the time. I simply write from my persepctive so my posts sometimes come off as selfish.
    Your views are of a more balanced nature. Good work!

    • #4 by hotelnerd on December 24, 2011 - 12:23 PM

      Can you please tell your countrymen that leaving a $1 Canadian coin does not count as a tip in the U.S.

  3. #5 by mikemonaco on January 5, 2012 - 7:06 AM

    The messy room was probably rented by someone with a young child, and said child was occupied for a few minutes arranging the coins in a pattern. Not justifying, but offering a likely explanation that occurs to me as the parent of a small child.

    So they are extra-douchey, really, for teaching their kid: “You don’t have to leave a decent tip to the people that are taking care of you/your stuff/your room.”

    • #6 by hotelnerd on January 5, 2012 - 7:51 AM

      You would think that could be it, but we don’t let children stay in that building. No one under 18 in fact. But good thought.

  4. #7 by confessionshotelmanager on January 15, 2012 - 5:09 PM

    tip everyone! its an incredibly nice gesture and as great as it is to hear “thanks for a wonderful stay!” tip my housekeepers at the very least. they work their asses off for not much at all and they understand monetary appreciation.

    • #8 by hotelnerd on January 22, 2012 - 2:45 PM

      The wife and I just got back from Cancun where we stayed for 8 nights. The really great thing was at the end of our stay our housekeeper left a little envelope for us with her name on it saying that she had been our housekeeper the entire time and any gratuities were greatly appreciated. This was a pre-printed envelope from the hotel with just her name handwritten in, but it was really great. Tipping on a stay-over like that is tough for the guest and the housekeeper. Can I not leave any money out or she’ll think it’s a tip? Or should I be tipping every day because every day I’ll have a new housekeeper? Generally on a stay of that length you wouldn’t have the same housekeeper the entire time, depending on how the department is set up. If I just leave a big tip at the end of my stay will that person I leave the tip for that cleans my room be different then the person that cleaned up after me all week? This eliminated all of those issues. I was able to leave one worthwhile tip at the end of my stay and feel like it was going to the right person. It also remind people that tipping your housekeeper really is proper etiquette.
      We pool our housekeeper tips at my current property, for a variety of reasons, but I’m wondering if there’s something similar I can do here. Just to give our guests that little extra reminder. I bet it would make a big difference in the tips they get at the end.

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