Marriott’s New “Tipping Envelope” May Be a Tipping Point

by  Anne Roderique-Jones | Sep 17, 2014
Hotel room
Hotel room / Kwanchai_Khammuean/iStock

Tipping envelopes in travel are not a new concept. For years, hotels across the globe, big and small, have left a place for monetary appreciation for the cleaning staff -- oftentimes using hotel stationary. It seemed subtle and voluntary.

But Marriott -- along with A Woman’s Nation, a nonprofit organization founded by Maria Shriver -- has raised eyebrows over a new initiative called “The Envelope Please.” The Marriott hotels are now outwardly asking guests to tip workers and leaving envelopes for that purpose in the rooms, which has many questioning the attendant’s wages in the first place.

When announcing the new program, Marriott explained its overall goal as follows: “Hotel room attendants often go unnoticed, as they silently care for the millions of travelers who are on the road at any given time. Because hotel guests do not always see or interact with room attendants, their hard work is many times overlooked when it comes to tipping. The Envelope Please makes leaving them a gratuity simple and secure.”

If you’re in support of tipping (which I am), The American Hotel and Lodging Association recommends that hotel guests leave $1 to $5 per night, depending on the hotel class, and recommends tipping daily rather than at checkout to ensure that it’s given to the person tidying the room.

Tell us: What do you think of Marriott’s new “tipping envelope”? How much do you usually tip, and how do you do it? At checkout? Daily? Do you leave it in an envelope, or just on the dresser or the TV stand? We’re curious to hear your thoughts.

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