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Guide To Hotel Tipping: Who, How Much & When

It can be confusing to figure out who to tip at a hotel. Get all the answers to your questions at you go on vacation, it can be expensive. You have to pay for transportation (either gas if you drove or plane tickets if you fly), a place to stay, and food. It definitely adds up. But that doesn’t mean you get to be cheap. You still have to tip at a hotel if you’re staying there. So we put together this guide for hotel tipping. We go through the who, how much, and when questions.

Even if you’re at an all-inclusive resort, where people often say you don’t have to tip, you really should.

So, then you wonder who do you actually tip at a hotel. Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.

A quick note. This is based on United States tipping guidelines. Internationally, things may be different. In Japan, for example, you don’t tip. The first time we were in Japan and went out to eat, we left a tip. A server chased after us to tell us we accidentally left money behind.

Policies are different in different places, even now in Japan. So be sure to look into the local etiquette for tipping if you’re traveling abroad.

Guide To Hotel Tipping

I’m trying to create this list in the order that you will meet these people at the hotel. You may bump into them out of order, though.

I skipped staff you might encounter at a spa hotel/resort, like a massage therapist, just to keep this list neat and compact.

Who do you tip at a hotel?

The easy answer to who do you tip at a hotel is this: everyone you can afford to tip. If you scraped all your pennies together to go on this vacation, and you don’t even have a nickel to spare, it’s okay to skip tipping.

But, I’m sure that if you’re on vacation, you have a couple extra dollars that you can spare for the people who are working to make sure your trip is incredible.

And if having money to tip means that you skip desserts at dinner or order one less drink at the hotel’s bar, then so be it.

But, the full answer is a little more nuanced than that.

How much should you tip at a hotel?

How much you tip is really more personal than people think. They say tip 15% at a restaurant and more if you have good service. We always tip waitstaff 20% as a base and more right now.

But, I did give you guidelines of how much to tip. Of course, you are welcome to tip more (or less, honestly). These are just guidelines, not standards.

When should you tip at a hotel?

To make this easier for you too, I’ve included when you should give your tip. In general, though, you tip at the end of the service, but there are exceptions.

Shuttle drivers:

Some hotels will have shuttles that pick you up from the airport and drive you to the hotel and vice versa. The majority of these shuttles are a complementary service offered by the hotel.

Tip? Yes
How much? $1 to $2 per person or $5 if you’re traveling as a group.
When do you tip? When you’re exiting the shuttle.


When you pull up to the hotel, you may encounter the valet. If you are helped with your bags, offer a tip. If you take your own bags out of the car, don’t tip.

You should, however, tip the valet driver who retrieves your car, but not the valet driver who originally parks your car for you.

Tip? Yes and no
How much? $1 to $2
When do you tip? When the valet driver hands you your keys.


If all the doorman does is open the door as you’re walking in from dinner, you don’t need to tip.

But if he or she helps you get your bags out of the car, carries them inside, and opens the door for you, tip the doorman. Chances are, though, the doorman won’t do that. A bellhop will.

Tip? It depends
How much? $1 to $2
When do you tip? As you walk through the door after the doorman brings in your bags.

Front desk staff:

When you check in, you’ll do so at the front desk. Although that person will be very nice and print your keys and point you to the elevators you need, and maybe even draw you a map to your room, you don’t need to tip the front desk staff.

Tip? No
How much? $0
When do you tip? You don’t.


If the bellhop helps you bring your bags to your room, tip the bellhop when you get to your room.

Tip? Yes
How much? Usually $1 per bag or $5 if you have a family’s worth of bags
When do you tip? When you arrive at your room.


Need a drink after your travels? If you get one from the bartender, tip. Tip the bartender at the hotel’s bar in the same manner you would tip a bartender at a bar.

If you’re at a resort where all your drinks are charged to your room, you should still tip the bartender in cash at the hotel’s bar rather than trying to tip on the room charge.

Tip? Yes
How much? $1 per drink
When do you tip? Tip as you pay for each drink.


If you’ve decided to eat in the hotel’s restaurant, the hostess may help seat you. But you don’t need to tip the hostess.

Tip? No
How much? $0
When do you tip? You don’t.


If you eat in a hotel’s restaurant, your waiter deserves a tip.

Not all hotel restaurants will have a waiter or waitress, especially if you’re dining at a buffet. But there’s a busboy who will bus your table after you’re gone. So, even if you don’t aren’t actually served by a waiter or waitress, leave a tip at your table for whoever cleans up behind you.

Tip? Yes
How much? 15% to 20% of your total at a sit down restaurant or $1 to $2 per person at a buffet.
When do you tip? Leave a tip on the table as you leave.

Room service:

If you get room service, give a tip to whoever assists you. This includes room service in the traditional sense (ordering food), but if you need something that’s missing from your room (we needed a coffee maker once when the room didn’t have one), tip whoever brings that to your room.

Tip? Yes
How much? $1 to $2 if you are asking for something to be brought to the room (like a coffee maker). If you are ordering food, tip 10% of your total but check your bill first because some hotels add gratuity on to room service orders.
When do you tip? After the service is delivered.


If you’ve just gone to ask the concierge a question about a restaurant recommendation or something similar, you don’t need to tip him or her. That’s the job of a concierge.

If he or she goes above, like books you a restaurant reservation or car service, you may want to tip for that.

Speaking of the concierge, if you’re not sure what one is, check out our post to find out what can a concierge help you with.

Tip? It depends
How much? $5 if they make a reservation for you; $10 if they make a reservation that you wouldn’t be able to make yourself (like a restaurant with a “members only” list, a sold out show, etc.)
When do you tip? After the reservation is made.


Tip your housekeeper every day. I actually do most of the work in my room (straightening up the counters, tying up the garbage, etc.), but I never make the bed. I just really, really like someone else making my bed.

Every day, I leave a tip and a thank you note for the housekeeper. That way the staff knows you appreciate them, and they also know the money left is for them.

Some people like to tip housekeeping at the very end of the trip, but you might not end up with the same staff every day of your trip. So if you tip every day, you make sure you’re tipping the person who is cleaning up after you that day.

Tip? Yes
How much? $5 per day
When do you tip? Every day before housekeeping comes in to clean the room.

Who else do you tip at a hotel?