Marriott Drops a Hint: Please Tip the Maid

Photo (cc) by bradleygee

The next time you stay at a Marriott-branded hotel, your room will have a new addition – a simple white envelope encouraging you to tip the person who cleans your room.

It’s part of a new initiative called The Envelope Please, a partnership between Marriott and A Woman’s Nation, a nonprofit organization aimed at recognizing the value of women. According to a press release, A Woman’s Nation founder Maria Shriver said the idea for the campaign was the result of conversations she had with hotel maids. Shriver said:

They told me that room attendants, who are often the primary breadwinner for their families, are often forgotten when it comes to tipping, unlike other front-of-house employ­ees, since most travelers don’t see them face-to-face. I hope this gratitude initiative will make these women feel seen and validated.

Michael Lynn, a professor at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, told The Associated Press that only 70 percent of hotel guests leave a gratuity for the maid.

If you don’t know how much to tip, PBS said to follow this advice:

In its gratuity guide, the American Hotel and Lodging Association recommends leaving between $1 and $5 per night. Tips should be left daily rather than at checkout, to ensure the person cleaning the room each day receives the money. Money should be left in a marked envelope, or with a note.

In 2013, the average hourly pay for hotel housekeepers was $10.48, although maids in more high-profile urban hotels likely made more, PBS said.

Up to 1,000 Marriott-branded hotels in the U.S. and Canada will participate in the envelope campaign.

Despite the potential boost to hotel housekeepers’ pay, the AP said not everybody supports Marriott’s new envelope campaign.

“It is not Marriott’s responsibility to remind customers to tip; it’s their responsibility to pay their workers enough so that tips aren’t necessary,” said author Barbara Ehrenreich, who tried working as a hotel maid for her 2001 book “Nickel and Dimed,” which chronicled her experiences in low-wage jobs.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t aware until recently that it’s customary to tip hotel housekeeping. Leaving a few bucks to recognize a job well done will hardly break the bank, and it seems like the right thing to do.

Do you tip your hotel housekeeper? What do you think of the Marriott’s new campaign to encourage tipping? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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