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how much to tip staff in hotels in Italy, France etc

how much to tip staff in hotels in Italy, France etc

Feb 16th, 2007, 02:39 AM
  #1  
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how much to tip staff in hotels in Italy, France etc

my husband & I are first time travellers to Europe from Australia. tipping is not the done thing in Australia. how often should you tip? example - staying in a hotel should you tip every day that the maid cleans or do you just leave tip the last day and how much? do you tip everyone that offers you help? very confused about tipping!! Do you tip because in Europe staff are not paid well unlike Australia? all advice gratefully accepted. thanks
64kerry is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 02:56 AM
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Maybe I'm mean but unless a maid does something really special for me, I don't leave a tip. You rarely get the same maid everyday anyway.
I leave a tip when I have a meal, just round the bill up to a convenient amount, again unless the service was really spectacular when I will tip more, and I don't tip if the service was awful. Same with cafes, I'll round the bill off to a convenient amount. Staff are low paid yes, but it is a living wage -we have a statutory minimum wage and they are paid atleast that. They don't have to rely on tips to live.
hetismij is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 03:25 AM
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There is no "one size fits all" answer, because customs vary throughout Europe.

Many guidebooks give guidelines on tipping in particular places.
Padraig is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 03:44 AM
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In Italy, we tried to tip the maids but they didn't take the money we left for them. We even asked the front desk for an envelope and wrote the work thank you on it but still no takers. We have experienced similar elsewhere but not in the States.
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 03:54 AM
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Tipping for hotel staff in Europe is not usually done, as AnnMarie_C says. Don't bother.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 04:02 AM
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In Italy, you don't tip the hotel housekeeping and you don't tip in restaurants. Although restaurants in Milan, Florence, Rome, and Venice will hint that they want a tip after they hear your voice and detect that you are not Italian. They might think you're American and expect a tip by stating "tip is not included" as they give you the bill. Che peccato.

I did actually tip a bell boy in a Milan hotel once for bringing my bags to the room. As an American, I couldn't resist the urge.
amy_zena is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 04:11 AM
  #7  
ira
 
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Hi 64,

In Italy and France, you are not expected to tip hotel staff - bellhops, carhops, porters, maids, concierge, etc unless they have done something extra special.

Ditto for waiters - just leave the change.

Cab drivers don't expect tips.

Tour guides needn't be tipped.

The pilot needn't be tipped.

ira is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 05:03 AM
  #8  
 
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Just to muddy the waters, even though a tip isn't "expected" you can still do so.

I have never seen a tour guide who wouldn't accept a tip and you can easily get around the "you rarely get the same maid every day" thing by tipping directly if you have the opportunity.

If the person declines to accept that is perfectly OK since they already know you are attempting to make an appreciative gesture.

I am certain there will soon be a post telling you that tipping is "insulting" and/or that if you attempt to tip the people will think you are stupid. I'll let you be the ultimate judge of whether or not that is true.
Dukey is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 05:29 AM
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"I am certain there will soon be a post telling you that tipping is "insulting" and/or that if you attempt to tip the people will think you are stupid."

I made the mistake of tipping in a beauty salon in Italy. You will insult most definitely. Am still not completely clear on this matter (even after living here in Italy for almost 4 years), but I think it is very insulting to tip the owner of the salon. So if the owner is the one cutting/doing your hair, don't tip!

And yes, fellow Italian diners and Italian waiters do tend think Italians are silly if they leave a tip. (However this rule does not apply to foreigners, especially Americans.)
amy_zena is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 05:45 AM
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Do Italian waiters start with the presumption that foreigners, especially Americans, are stupid?
Padraig is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 06:08 AM
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Padraig, this is only my theory...

I think Americans are known for tipping. They are used to it in the States and they continue to do so in Italy. The waiters in the big tourist cities like Florence, Rome, Venice know this.

When my family and my friends have visited me here in Italy, they find it difficult not to tip...ridiculous as it may sound. "Oh Amy, we need to at least leave SOMETHING for a tip." No you don't. Therefore when I dine in Florence with American friends or family, I always get the "tip is not included" when the waiter drops the bill. When I dine in Florence with my Italian husband, the waiter doesn't say a word because he knows my husband isn't going to tip a cent.

So really the American tourists are doing a disservice to the Americans living here in Italy by tipping all the time. It makes me a bit angry because the waiters and shopkeepers in Florence just assume that since I am American, I am rich. A big misconception a lot of Italians have about Americans - that ALL Americans are rich. Maybe the ones that travel to Europe are I guess.

But I get defensive sometimes and explain to the Italian waiter or shopkeeper or market vender that I live here and I earn an Italian salary just like they do (averages about 1000 euro per month and doesn't really matter whether you're a degreed engineer or a waiter). Then, I get the "Ahh, ho capito, scusa." (I understand, sorry.) and a big smile to let me know that I'm off the hook for any further attempts of being ripped off by them.
amy_zena is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 06:11 AM
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Am I understanding correctly -- you do NOT tip a cab driver in Italy? I thought it was 10% or something... No?

What about a cab in France?



Celiaanne is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 06:37 AM
  #13  
LJ
 
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On tipping the owner (or even staff) of a Italian salon, I had the pleasure of getting to know the owner of the aestheticians (every beauty treatment except hair) over the time we lived there and she told me that, though she understood North American customs were different, it is considered insulting to tip the owner in Italy.

However, she was also considered more of a friend and equal than is likely to be the case in North Amercia. For example, she would have considered it very odd NOT to be invited to the wedding of one of her clients (whereas, I think most Americans and Canadians would not likely invite their hairdresser or manicurist to such an event.)

This kind of friendship also meant gifts of mimosa on Womens' Day, panetonne, plants and gift bags at Christmas, Columba cakes at Easter etc. so much so that the place overflowed...

Different strokes...by the way, she also said it would be a very cranky aesthetician that would feel insulted by a tip from a foreigner, they just don't expect it. On the other hand , they can get quite absurdly upset over lack of correct change! Go figure...
LJ is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 01:27 PM
  #14  
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thanks everyone. I'm sure glad I asked this question!! we will be travelling to California and Canada before we get to Europe so I understand we tip in California what about Canada? thanks Kerry
64kerry is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 01:31 PM
  #15  
ira
 
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Hi Celia,

You can tip a Euro or so, if you wish, but tips are not expected.


ira is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 01:41 PM
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Re: tipping the hairdresser

It's an insult to tip the owner here in NY also but no excuse to stiff everybody else in the salon who has contributed to the cause!
smarty is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 02:16 PM
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Amy here is a question:

Let's imagine that I eat lunch in a restaurant in Milan, let's say, and my bill comes to 38 Euro. Would your husband round up and leave 40 euro?

This subject comes up again and again when I am traveling with my usual partner. I receive such conflicting information that I would like to settle this once and for all. And for the record, I have never been asked for, directly or subtly, a tip anywhere in Italy or anyplace else in Europe that I can remember. I would be most annoyed if a waiter told me "tip is not included!"

Also, if a bellhop or hotel staff member brings my bags to the room on arrival and shows me how to work the tv, etc etc, do I give him anything at all? I gave the guy 2 euro recently at my hotel in Rome and had the feeling that he was slightly embarrased by my gesture and that perhaps I had made a gaffe. This is not the first time this has happened in Italy, by the way..

Your verdict? And if you would tip, how much?

There is a very interesting (well,, to me anyway..) discussion on tipping in the post about Rome Side Trips..
ekscrunchy is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 03:42 PM
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Ira, Thanks. We've always tipped cab drivers about 10/15% No wonder we always get a big

Celiaanne is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 08:43 AM
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In Italy, I had always left just a small tip, rounding up as some have said. I had always read that if you do want to leave a small tip, you should leave it in cash on the table, never add it to a credit card bill, because if you do that, the waiter doesn't get it, the restaurant owner does. However, when I was just in Rome over Christmas & New Year's, one restaurant had a separate line for tip on the charge slip when they brought it for me to sign. This is the first time I've seen that. Can't remember now which restaurant it was. I ignored it and left my usual couple of Euro on the table.
SusanP is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 08:56 AM
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SusanP, that is what I do..always in cash and usually just rounding up. But from what Amy writes, even that is "not done" by Italians. Just curious..!!
ekscrunchy is offline  

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