housekeeper at hotel with linen cart

A survey by TripAdvisor found that almost a third of Americans don’t tip hotel housekeepers, while only three percent don’t tip restaurant staff.

A few years ago, the Marriott hotel chain started a new program to put envelopes in their rooms reminding visitors to tip. But the effort in some ways backfired, instead raising questions about whether the hotels adequately pay their staff, according to an article on the Travel & Leisure website.

Etiquette expert Lizzie Post, told Travel + Leisure recently that hotel guests should leave a few dollars every day, since different people clean the room each day. She added that you should leave a note so the housekeeper knows the money is meant for him or her.

Tom Voss, the dean of hospitality management at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, said over time, some hotels have made efforts to increase communication between guests and housekeepers.

“This includes incorporating room attendant postcards with personalized notes into hotel rooms, which both encourages tips and provides a place to leave a tip,” he said. “This has helped make tipping a norm.”

Of course, superior service is also key to encouraging gratuities.

An article from recommends honoring the idea that the hotel guest is each employee’s guest — as if in their own home. It is often the sense of pride and hosting that makes a huge difference.