We’re launching Travel Etiquette, a weekly Proven Principles FAQ where we’ll be answering your questions (covering the known ones and the ones you’re a little embarrassed to ask) about hotel policies, procedures, etiquette and all of the other weird and quirky detail about hospitality.
We’re starting with a short series on tipping where we’ll explore how to tip hotel staff. This is a subject that comes up a lot between staff and customers. Tipping etiquette can be tricky — some people hand out dollar bills with little regard for the quality of service, while others weigh their experience before deciding what to tip. It’s important to note that there is no wrong way to tip, however, in countries like the US and Canada where employees depend on tips to supplement their wages, it can be seen as rude not to do so - that’s why we’re starting off with a big one - How much should you tip a hotel bellman?
First off, it’s Bellman, not Bell Boy. Please stop calling them Bell Boys!
Now that we’ve covered that, notice that we’re not talking about “should you tip a bellman”… because the answer is unequivocally YES! You should tip a bellman.
The answer to “how much” is a little more detailed.
A good rule of thumb is $1.00 to $2.00 per bag, but if they provide great service or go above and beyond then consider a little more. If you’ve got multiple heavy bags, golf clubs or ski and are provided a hotel tour or maybe the bellman makes you dinner reservations and the person is engaging and conversational along the way, you should be in the $7.00 to $10.00 range.
Here’s a bit of insight for you… Most people are uncomfortable getting a tip together with a staff member in their room so, if the bellman is offering to fill your ice bucket after delivering your bags to your room, they're giving you time to get a tip together.
Have an suggestion or feedback for a future subject? Let us know in the comments below.