Should you tip a hotel maid?  I am not a frequent hotel traveler, but whether or not you tip a hotel maid is a question that many frequent travelers wonder.  Tipping in general is a subject with very strong opinions from all sides! Recently I read this post about the “basic rules of tipping” in the Washington Post, an article I found extremely irritating.  For the record, what I do personally for tipping is: I do tip on the full original price if I have a coupon or gift card, I will tip 15-20% at restaurants (depending on the service), I’ll tip ~$1 / pizza if I order delivery (I don’t), then nothing when I pickup carryout or eat at fast casual restaurants, as well as nothing if I’m ordering water or pop at a bar.

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Should you tip the hotel maid?

Tipping in general (and especially in hotels) is something that is very prevalent in the US, and unheard of in many other cultures around the world.

To me the difference between tipping a restaurant server and everyone else is a matter of wages.  Restaurant servers (at least in the United States) specifically get lower than minimum wage and then they make much of their income from tips.  I’m willing to be corrected / educated on this, but it’s my understanding that (setting aside being paid under the table and other extra-legal scenarios) everyone else is paid at least minimum wage.  Of course many people feel passionately about the minimum wage itself, but that’s a separate conversation.

(SEE ALSO: Tipping on Amtrak – how much and to whom?)

With that said, if you’re going to tip a hotel maid, many people will suggest $2-3 / day, with higher amounts if it’s a higher-end hotel, or if there are more people in the room, or of course if the service is more than usual.

Should you tip hotel maids?  I don’t

I will weigh in that, personally, I don’t tip hotel maids, unless there is something extraordinary going on.  Generally, when we travel as a family, we prefer housekeeping just stay out of our hotel rooms when we stay there (typically we keep the do not disturb sign on our room doors).  And when we leave, we basically clean up the room and don’t leave a mess.  When I was recently at the Hilton Seattle (READ: I’m p*****d I didn’t get upgraded), when I left, I put the trash in the trash can, the pillows and sheets on the bed, the towels in the bathroom, etc.  For my 4 day stay, I only had them come in one time (and then of course again when I checked out)

There are only a few times that I could see leaving a tip for a hotel maid.  One would be for extraordinary damages. Things like:  your kid vomits and makes a giant mess, or you’re at the beach and you get sand all in the bathtub and over the room, etc.

Other travelers weigh in

When I first asked how much to tip a hotel maid over at Points With a Crew, I got a variety of answers from all sides.  Here are direct quotes from the commenters:

Pro hotel maid tipping:

  • I’m shocked that so many of the responses are that folks don’t tip unless there’s an extraordinary circumstance. Add this to the reason I tip: to make up for you cheapskates.
  • I always tip a few dollars a day and write a note thanking them for either making my room up or respecting the DND sign
  • If you can afford to travel, surely you can afford to tip the maid. (That goes especially for those of us who are so adept at getting free rooms.) During a weeklong stay at a five-star resort, I asked the maid if most guests tip and she claimed they did not. If true, that’s pretty pathetic
  • I leave $5 and a thank you note every day. I sometimes make requests on the note, too… please leave me a toothbrush and toothpaste, extra towels, wine glasses, etc. I still pick up after myself and don’t leave a huge mess.
  • As a rule I leave $4-5 per night and write a note saying thank you for taking care of me

Against hotel maid tipping:

  • I thought tipping was essential for those who make a salary of tips. Maybe I should tip my postman and the guy who takes me around in the hospital too
  • No, I don’t tip maids. It’s their job to clean the room and they get paid for it. I never got tips when I was working, but I did get a paycheck. I prefer the latter.
  • As for hotels, I think the small envelope that Marriott leaves in my room soliciting for cash tips is a disgrace. If they care so much about their maids they would pay them 2$ for every room they clean. I would bet they would still turn a profit from a 250$ nightly rate. I don’t tip the maid as I believe it’s a service I have fully paid the hotel for much like the check-in clerk or the life-guard at the swimming pool
  • Tipping has got insane! Pull up to the hotel, tip the taxi driver, tip the guy who wheels your luggage to the desk, tip the bellhop who shows you your room. tip the maid, tip the waitress, then tip most again when leaving.
    The maid in Vegas told me she gets $20/hour plus tips, and lives quite well, so if they haven’t done anything special, I don’t feel guilty if I don’t tip.

Now it’s your turn to weigh in on hotel maid tipping

So now I want to hear your comments

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What about you?  How much do you tip a hotel maid? I’m curious to hear your thoughts in the comments

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