How Much Should You Tip Hotel Housekeeping Staff?

It’s a question that’s gone on for decades – how much SHOULD you tip hotel housekeeping staff? We intended to find out.

Tipping, although not limited to the United States, is certainly prevalent here. So much so that websites and publications specifically tell travelers who are not from the USA that tipping certain service people is part of the American culture and even though it’s not done in the country where they live, it’s customary and certainly strongly recommended to do so. Here’s what some well-known publications suggest:

  • TripAdvisor.co.uk: $2-3 per night up to $5, more in high-end hotels. Also more if there are more than 3 people in a room or suite.
  • CNN Money: $2-$10 per day depending on the quality of the service and the hotel.
  • USA Today: $2 to $5 per night. A $2 to $3 tip is more common for a moderate hotel or smaller room, while $5 is acceptable for luxury accommodations. Give your housekeeper a dollar or two each time he completes an additional service, such as delivering forgotten toiletry items to your room.
  • Traveller.com.au: $2-5 per day depending on the room (more for suites or rooms with kitchen/ettes) left each day of the stay (in case different employees are working). Leave an envelope or note to make it clear the cash is in fact a tip. $1-2 for evening turndown service, left on top of a pillow or with a note.

Screen Shot 2017-09-03 at 5.50.55 PMObviously, the amount varies by publication but then again, so do peoples’ thoughts on how much to tip. I’ve seen some non-Americans be almost proud about tipping poorly and, to make matters worse, I was very disappointed to read that about 1/3 of Americans don’t tip housekeeping at all.

We asked on one of our Sunday Morning Surveys on Facebook, “How much should you tip housekeeping staff?” The vast majority of respondents were Americans and the answers varied from $1 per day to upwards of $5 per day.

Two of our respondents worked in hotels. Their responses were, I think, particularly interesting:

Zeau M.: As a former hotel Sheraton housekeeper who worked full-time (7am-3pm 5 days/week), I know that maids get paid minimum wage and have to clean up a lot of very nasty stuff each day. (It’s amazing what gross things people will do in hotel rooms when they know they can check out and not have to deal with their disgustingness themselves.)

Sheeri Lee H.: I work at the Super 8 in Wilmington NC and can verify most housekeepers don’t make more than $8 per hour. And are not full time employees!!! On average our housekeepers work maybe 30-35 hours a week. What you need to remember that not only do they clean the rooms before you check in, but daily while you are there and then upon your checkout!! And on average they do up to 20-25 rooms a day depending upon the size of the staff and hotel!! I know my girls work hard and look forward to those tips to give them a little extra for all they do!!

Sheeri Lee H. also mentioned she asked “her girls” what they thought a fair tip would be – they said $3 per day, per room. Personally, I think that’s a fair amount, as well (with increases for being in a higher end hotel, specific requests or if we’ve somehow made a huge mess of something).

What do you think?

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2 thoughts on “How Much Should You Tip Hotel Housekeeping Staff?”

  1. I actually decline housekeeping services on a multinight stay. I don’t need someone to make the bed, I don’t need them to replace soap bars that I haven’t used up yet, and if I can use the same towel for a week at home, I can do it at a hotel. I will also leave the room neat – no trash lying around, used towels all together on the bathroom floor, rinse my shaving stubble down the drain, etc.

    Specific to your “insider” commentary: Cleanup before I get there is on the prior guest, not me. Otherwise it’s double counting.

    Will I leave a couple bucks? Sure. I don’t stay in luxury hotels.

    1. Hi Tom! Curious…do you pay less when you decline housekeeping? I’m asking because I know Walt Disney World was playing with guests opting out of housekeeping at some of their hotels, and the guests received a credit (or voucher? I don’t remember) in exchange. Thanks!

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