Marriott's Envelope Please program urges hotel guests to tip housekeepers

Guests staying at Marriott hotels are being prompted to leave tips for housekeepers in envelopes provided in their rooms - a move drawing mixed reaction.

Guests should be tipping housekeepers $1-$5 US per day, hotel group suggests

Marriott's tip envelopes spark etiquette debate


7 years ago
Guests staying at Marriott hotels have a clear prompt in their rooms reminding them to tip their housekeeper 1:46

Marriott hotels are urging guests to leave tips for housekeepers in envelopes provided in their rooms.

Marriott International is the first hotel chain to join The Envelope Please program to help hospitality staff earn extra bucks.

"Room attendants arguably do the least glamorous job. And, because we don’t see them, there’s very much an out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude to gratuity," etiquette expert Karen Cleveland, who blogs at Manners are Sexy, told CBC News. "So we should absolutely be tipping them."

More than 160,000 Marriott hotel rooms across Canada and the U.S. include special envelopes to encourage travellers to leave tips and thank-you notes for housekeeping staff.

The program is the brainchild of Maria Shriver's foundation, A Woman's Nation, created as a response to under-appreciated housekeeping staff who are often overlooked for tips because they have little contact with guests, according to the foundation's site.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association supports the foundation's work. It suggests guests tip between $1 and $5 US per night.

Cleveland seems to agree with the suggestion, saying anyone staying in a ritzy hotel should spring for a toonie or so every morning.

Hotel customers interviewed by CBC News were asked if they already tip housekeepers — and their thoughts on the tipping service.

Not everyone said they felt comfortable with the idea of being prompted to leave gratuities.

"I think it's down to the individual to sort of make that choice," said a tourist from the U.K. staying in a Toronto-area hotel. "I don't think it should be imposed."

He said he generally tips housekeepers if he's happy with their work.


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