The Essentials

Tipping at Hotels: What I Leave Now

Tipping was always a confusing, or often even a forgotten subject at hotels — even before the pandemic.

How much should you tip? When? And to whom? It’s now even more confusing because in many cases, new COVID-19 hygiene protocols don’t even allow housekeeping in your room during your stay. But that doesn’t mean that the maids aren’t working hard. In many cases, they are working even harder after you leave.

Pre-pandemic, I tipped $5 per day to the housekeepers. They were — and are — the unsung heroes at any hotel. Now, I’m tipping even more. Why? With most hotels only operating under 40% occupancy, the maids could easily be earning less.

So I’ve upped my tip to $10 a day. And I always leave a thank you note to let them know how much I appreciate their hard work, especially during these extraordinary times. I hope you’ll follow suit.