Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa
Photograph ©2009 by Brian Cohen.

How Much to Tip at Resort Properties: Your Opinion Is Requested.

When does tipping become too much?

Many people have not traveled in greater than three years primarily due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — so when heading to a resort property on the Big Island in Hawaii, how much of a gratuity should the staff be given?

How Much to Tip at Resort Properties: Your Opinion Is Requested.

When this question was asked by FlyerTalk member david55, the following answer was given by FlyerTalk member gaobest, who typically uses an automated teller machine to withdraw ten dollar notes because it allows for the specific selection of the types of bills:

  • One dollar to two dollars for mandatory car valet per car pickup
  • $10.00 to the bellhop — or $20.00 whenever his or her services are needed, depending on how much luggage and how far between room and car
  • $10.00 per day housekeeping or $25.00 for the stay if daily housekeeping is not offered or performed
  • $10.00 for anyone who brings requested items — for example, extra towels and extra pillows
  • $10.00 for anyone who comes to assemble the sofa bed and the related bedding

“I fully accept and understand that tipping is the way of things in the USA – it’s not how it is here, and I think it’s a bit daft, but when in Rome, etc. So, I’ve no problem with tipping when I am in the USA” is what FlyerTalk member Scots_Al posted in response. “That said, if everyone tips on the scale above, there are some well-paid hotel staff over there! Even assuming that the rooms are very large and a housekeeper can only do 2 an hour, that’s $20 in tips per hour on top of $12/hour Hawaii minimum wage. So, $32/hour — pro-rated on a 38 hour week equates to over $60k/year (and let’s face it, not all of the cash element will always be declared and taxed, and housekeepers will probably be expected to clean more than 2 rooms an hour). I’m all for people doing as well as they can for themselves, but that level of tipping is surely distorting the local employment market.”

Final Boarding Call

I can tip generously to members of the staff at a hotel or resort property if the service is significantly exceptional and beyond what I expected…

…but if members of the staff at a hotel or resort property are being given gratuities by every guest for every service that they perform for guests, then exactly what are they being paid to do by management at the lodging establishment?

Remember that tipping is in addition to any mandatory resort fees which are required to be paid.

I am curious as to your thoughts: is what gaobest suggested not enough money, just enough money, or too excessive?

Please post your responses in the Comments section below.

Gratuities and tips have long been controversial with regards to travel and dining — to the point of contentiousness from all sides of the issue, as evidenced by the following articles which I wrote for The Gate over the years…

Photograph ©2009 by Brian Cohen.

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