Amount to Tip A Concierge?

Jun 30th, 2004, 12:13 PM
  #1  
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Amount to Tip A Concierge?

A recent thread got me to thinking about something that's been bugging me for some time. Let's say you're in a major city (Paris, London, Rome, Madrid) staying in a big hotel and the concierge is nice enough to get some tickets for you or maybe make dinner reservations or get you a car. What is considered a decent tip for such services? I assume the harder it is to secure such, the higher the tip, but let's just start small and say he/she gets tickets to the theater. What's the tip?

M_Kingdom2 I hope to hear from you on this. Somehow I know you're going to give me the straight dope.
offwego is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 12:37 PM
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ira
 
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Hi off,

You do not tip concierges for what you have mentioned; that is their job.

You only tip for service above and beyond the call of duty, eg, an audience with the Queen at short notice.
ira is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 12:41 PM
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10% for IRA's recommendation!
M
mikemo is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 12:53 PM
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I'd tip them around 2-3EUR per item, so if it's tickets and dinner combined in one transaction (you go to their desk once) then 5EUR will suffice. However, if it's something special, more is required. Once I'd booked a trip up with non-refundable tickets, and I was ill in the night and unable to go. It wasn't a large enough amount to claim on insurance (I have a 150GBP excess to pay), but still amounted to dinner in a smart restaurant. The concierge not only offered me something (at 3am) for my illness, but said he'd endeavour to get my money back. The next day, I had my money refunded, and even a cent extra (they'd rounded the price up) - for this exceptional service I gave the concierge a 20EUR tip.

The general rule of thumb is to tip a concierge how you would tip in a bar - i.e. slightly less than a restaurant, so 2-5EUR amounts. If it's a top quality five star deluxe property then 3EUR should suffice for the most basic things. If it's just asking for directions, don't bother to tip - if you're asking daily then give him a tip at the end of your stay.

If they get you a car, but no free upgrade then 3EUR will suffice. Now for London concierges convert the EUR to GBP straight i.e. 1EUR to 1GBP. If the concierge gets things wrong, don't tip them!
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 01:22 PM
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A fantastic question!! I have been picking my brain over it as well, for a while now..

We usually stay at more upscale places and I like to give tips- but without breaking our budget and without giving something that is too low to insult..

I find that concierge's are crucial for a good trip- they can make or break your entertainment and get you into top places others have to queue for! Most of our average trips are 3-5 days..I usually give 20-30 euro up front and then forget tipping for the rest of the stay, and think nothing of using their services often ..I find I get quality service that way- they might think that there could be more to come and are generally happy with that lump sum... So, basic restaurant reservations and theatre tickets (although they tend to be more expensive through hotel and they do get their cut)...

If I got a reservation to some top-notch place on short notice (e.g. once I got a reservation at the Ivy from Calridge's with same-day notice and was very, very impressed), I would give as much just for that... I also do not tip for directions or information- it is their job...

But, I would also like to know everyone's opinion on tipping chambermaids who clean your room- do you leave a tip on the nightstand after checking out? This used to be standard 20 years ago, but now it seems like it is changing. Do you tip a person who brough you a sewing kit or a razor? Do you tip room-service or presume it is in the bill, as they often charge 15%? I am more confused about this other hotel staff and when to tip- or not...
sempronia is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 01:36 PM
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I always tips anyone who brings me anything to my room, unless of course it's something that they've forgotten to include in the service.

If I order room service I tip 10 per cent of the value of the meal. If I see the chambermaid I'll give her 10 or 20EUR. I tip the bell boy who brings my luggage up around 5EUR, maybe a little more if they explain the room features to me.

As for tipping in advance, tip after you receive service - I never give money up front for nothing in return. Sewing kits should be standard, and any gentlemen who is so hasty to travel without a razor and has to request one should certainly tip. For unique services, such as certain flowers, chocolates, or other items an higher tip is appropriate.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 02:02 PM
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Tipping of the maid should be done everyday $3-5 leaving it on bath vanity.Concierge tipping is as stated above.
mgmargate is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 03:00 PM
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Does anyone tip the doorman (not the bellman)?

mgmargate,
Would you tip the same in GBP, on parity with the USD or EUR?
Patty is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 03:05 PM
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You never tip the doorman, he's there to open a door, it's vulgar to tip him everytime he opens it for you. If at the end of your stay he organises a taxi for you then maybe a small token of your appreciation in the form of a tip is acceptable.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 03:49 PM
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Patty: I tip the maid $3-5 US in the local currency
mgmargate is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 03:53 PM
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Good Grief!

I've been tipping them FAR too much. No wonder they know me by name when I walk in a year later! Hmm... I may need to re-think my tipping strategy as regards the Concierge.

I agree with you M_Kingdom2-- anyone who brings me anything up to the room is going to get a tip.

He who totes my luggage gets a tip; extra if he shows me the features in the room and/or fetches some ice. (I have yet to get ice as a matter of course in europe however)

I never tip a doorman unless he gets me a cab in the rain and breaks out an umbrella.

I think tipping the chambermaid is a must and should be done daily since they often aren't the same ones each day. I'm sure I overdo that as well, but having once done that job myself in college I can't help it. (You can't imagine how awful that job is) I have a similar empathy for bartenders.

I appreciate the input on the Concierge thing.

offwego is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 04:25 PM
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m_kingdom2,
I didn't mean tipping every time a door is opened for us. I've had doorman bring me umbrellas, hail cabs, etc. for which I usually leave a small tip upon departure. Was just wondering if others did the same.
Patty is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 06:53 PM
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concierges should be tipped basd on the difficulty of what you have asked them to do. If the are handing you a map or selling you a package tour you don;t tip - that's their basic job - and they get a percentage of the tour.

If you ask them to so something specific - get theater tickets or make a restaurant reservation or reserve a car for the airport - you tip them based on how difficult it is. If the tickets/resies are easily available I would give $5-$10. if they are getting tickets to a sold out show or a restaurant you need to reserve 30 days in advance I would tip from $25 up. Also take the price of what they're doing into account - if these are very rare scalpers tickets and you're paying $1000 for them - tip the concierge at least $100.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2005, 02:45 PM
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How much would you tip the concierge (London hotel) for arranging an early morning (5 AM) taxi to Waterloo Station?

Kayb95 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 12:32 AM
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If he carries your cases to it, then tip him a pound a bag, however, if he simply arranges the taxi then i wouldn't tip him anything...you could just as easily stand outside with your hand aloft and enjoy the same results.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 03:35 AM
  #16  
ira
 
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Agreed, although I think a euro per bag is sufficient.

ira is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 09:36 AM
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I wouldn't tip anything for dialing a phone number to reserve a taxi. Now I don't stay in hotels with concierges in Europe, actually, but any night desk clerk in a 2* hotel or higher that I've stayed in has done that for me. It's just a phone call. I also wouldn't tip for the baggage as that is part of the taxi driver's service and what you are tipping them for. At least, that is what they typically do for me when I have a hotel reserve a cab -- they come by the hotel, come in and take my bags.
Christina is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 01:10 PM
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Normally I would not stay anywhere that boasts as exotic a lifeform as a concierge, but I've been following this discussion with interest nevertheless. In general it seems to me that the tipping regime followed by most of the posters here replicates American practice. Does this mean that chambermaids etc., etc., in Europe work under the same conditions as in the US - i.e., a notional wage (if any) which must be supplemented by tips in order to approximate a living wage? Is anyone in possession of the facts of the matter?
Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 03:16 PM
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Thanks for the tipping advice. We won't have any luggage - we're just taking the Eurostar to Paris for the day.

Regarding chambermaid's wages... as far as I know, the only people in the US who make less than the legal minimum wage are waitstaff in a restaurants (because of the tipping practices here, waitstaff normally make only about $2/hour.)
Kayb95 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 04:06 PM
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Thanks, Kay - yes, I thought that was the situation in the US, but I was wondering whether a similar situation applied in some European countries.
Neil_Oz is offline  

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