Forget Mints On The Pillow: Marriott Leaves Envelopes So You Can Tip The Maid

If you’re staying at a Marriott-branded hotel this week you may notice a new addition to your guest room: An envelope encouraging you to tip the housekeeper. The gesture is part of a new initiative at the hotels to recognize the work that housekeepers often do behind the scenes.

The Washington Post reports the new measure, called “The Envelope Please” is a partnership with the nonprofit organization A Woman’s Nation. The organization’s founder, Maria Shriver, approached Marriott after speaking with housekeepers and hotel guests from around the country.

“I was talking to room attendants, who were overwhelmingly women, and they would tell me that people were pretty sophisticated about tipping the bellman or concierge, but they hadn’t been educated that they could leave a tip for a room attendant,” Shriver says in an interview with the Post. “There didn’t seem to be a general awareness that you could, or should, tip a room attendant.”

The American Hotel and Lodging Association tells the Post that it suggests tipping housekeepers between $1 and $5 per night. It also recommends tipping daily rather than at the end of an extended stay to make sure the tip goes to the person who cleans the room each day.

Marriott currently employs more than 20,000 housekeepers at it 18 branded hotels including the Marriott, Gaylord, Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance hotels.

Those employees are often paid by the hour with varying schedules based on the level of hotel occupancy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, housekeepers and maids earn a median salary of $19,780 – or $9.51 per hour.

Marriott president Arne Sorenson tells the Post that the initiative is a step in the right direction and recognizes one of the hotel’s most valuable employees.

“In a hotel, obviously we tip the bellman or wait staff,” he says. “But often we don’t see our housekeepers. We don’t have that personal interaction, so we just don’t think about it.”

Marriott to urge guests to tip their housekeepers as part of new campaign [The Washington Post]

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