Hotel Association Publishes New Guide to Hotel Gratuities

Meeting planners and attendees alike struggle with the question: How much should I tip? A new resource can help them arrive at the right answer: the AH&LA Gratuity Guide, published yesterday by the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

Developed by AH&LA members, the AH&LA Gratuity Guide helps guests determine appropriate gratuity ranges for services rendered by hotel staff throughout their stay. It covers a wide variety of hotel employees, including parking attendants, doormen, housekeepers and room service staff.

“The hotel industry is an area of high career growth, and for many of our 1.8 million U.S. hotel employees it is the pathway to the American dream,” AH&LA President and CEO Katherine Lugar said in a statement. “AH&LA’s Gratuity Guide provides guests with valuable information on how to best acknowledge superior service — at their discretion — received during their hotel stay.”

Among the guide’s recommendations:

• Tip concierges from $5-$10, depending on how involved the service (booking a restaurant versus hard-to-get tickets) or a lump sum upon departure.

• Tip housekeepers and housemen $1-$5 per night. The tip should be left daily in a marked envelope or with a note.

• For special requests, like an extra blanket, tip $4 for one item, $1 for more. Tipping is not required for someone fixing something broken or bringing something missing.

“Hotel staff are the heartbeat of luxury hospitality. When service goes above and beyond expectations, gratuities represent a deserved reflection of a guest's appreciation,” said Michael Cascone, president of Forbes Travel Guide, which is promoting the guide. “A gratuity can be a monetary gift, and is often accompanied by a written note of appreciation. At luxury hotels, it is not unheard of for guests to occasionally lavish high-value gifts on hotel employees in recognition of exemplary service.”

A copy of the AH&LA Gratuity Guide is available on the association’s website.