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Leave a tip at Irish B&Bs?

Old Jul 20th, 2005, 03:09 PM
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Leave a tip at Irish B&Bs?

This is kind of a touchy thing, as there are no chambermaids, etc. (I would assume!) I also would feel wrong not doing it...

I have read the comments on the site about tipping in pubs, so I wonder...

Is it okay to leave a tip at a B&B, or is it considered rude?

I have little note cards with envelopes that I planned on using, but I don't want to be remembered as the "Ugly American".

Thanks for any answers!!
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Old Jul 20th, 2005, 03:22 PM
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Who exactly are you looking to tip in the B&B? The owner has already charged you and would not expect to be tipped.
There is not the great expectation to tip as in the US in Europe (apart from restaurants and taxis) - especially in the UK and Ireland.
I find it odd to tip a chambermaid as it would not be expected in the UK.
I'm almost certain that the B&B landlord/lady would be puzzled to receive a note card which contained money. It's just not done.
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Old Jul 20th, 2005, 03:22 PM
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No - don't tip. Most B&Bs don't have "staff". The owners/family usually do all the cooking, cleaning etc. Some larger guest house types do do evening meals and sometimes hire local girls to serve - but that is unusual.

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Old Jul 20th, 2005, 04:40 PM
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Thanks very much for the help!

(BTW I always tip chambermaids, etc. in Russia, and it is considered to be a polite thing to do there!)
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 03:16 AM
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No I would not and have never left a tip in a B&B. It is a business run by the owner so it is not done in my experience. My aunt had a B&B for years and has never mentioned such a thing to me before.
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 03:42 AM
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I would never leave a tip in a B and B.
I never leave a tip for the chambermaid in the UK. I also don't tip waiters at the table.
At the checkout or pay desk, I will ask if they have a staff box. Often it will be in full view. I put my tip in there and it will be shared amongst all the staff.
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 03:56 AM
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i doubt it would be interpreted as rude...perhaps unusual but not rude.

if you wish to thank the owner with a nice card (assuming they went out of their way to make it a special stay), then this would be very much appreciated by the owner. Adding money to such a card is a little weird. while not standard or required, i'm sure most b&b owners have had tips left on the dresser (without a card).
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 04:00 AM
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You're quite right, Miss Prism.
Coming from the UK, I never knew about tipping at the table when I first visited the US and wondered why our drinks waitress avoided coming back to our table when I wanted more drinks! Oh well, you live and learn.
Many people in the UK say that they tip the same amount at all times for service in a restaurant. This means that you reward good service that is not linked to how much your bill was and so the waitress in a tea room is not given less than a maitre d' in an expensive restaurant.
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 04:44 AM
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I wouldn't tip in a B&B either. I think it would make me feel a little uncomfortable actually if I had to do so. They're the owner, not help, is how I thought of it.

Or course, I'm a little thrown by how many positions are suddenly tipped positions in the US as well. Waiters yes, they're not paid a wage really, but for many others, I don't get it. It's all starting to feel sort of empire colonial, without ever leaving home.
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 05:54 AM
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We stayed at bigger B & Bs in Ireland, guesthouses really, and we did tip at some of those. At Ballinalacken Castle, for example, we ate dinner there one night and had two breakfasts. So my husband added a percentage on to our final bill.

At Greenmount in Dingle, we noticed a plate on the hall table by the guestbook and breakfast room had money on it, so we added some euros after breakfast.

At Shelburne, when we checked out, my husband gave the owner some euros for "the girls" who had served us breakfast each morning. She did not act like it was weird, in fact, she called them out to receive it. They were young (early 20s) and I believe her daughters. They seemed happy to have it.

At Butler House in Kilkenny, which felt more like a hotel, we left money on the bed after our first night (which we do in the U.S. for the maids), but it was still there when we returned, so maybe they didn't understand it was a tip. We're so used to tipping in the States it never occurred to us that it could be considered rude. Although as I said, these places were all big, with about 12 guestrooms, so I assume some of the help was hired, not just family.
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 06:06 AM
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In Ireland I have never tipped at a B+B,I have never even thought about it!!
The irish don't tip so don't think you have to when in a bar..a restaurant is different but most add a service cherge already to the bill..check at the bottom
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 06:27 AM
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I've not stayed in a B&B in Ireland but the three Guest Houses I've stayed, I have left something. For one of them I gave the lady who cleaned our rooms a good tip and she was not insulted, very happy about it. She was not a member of the family. As Bucky said at Greenmount they have a tip tray and I tipped. The other Guest House I left something for the cook and the other ladies who cleaned and served. They seemed pleased enough. A small family run B&B, I don't think I would.
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 06:37 AM
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My local greasy spoon has a tip tray but nobody ever puts anything in it!!
It would seem from the answers that we Europeans wouldn't think of tipping but if they can get anything out of people that have a tipping culture then why not?
On the subject of my travels in the US once again, I was astonished to hear our driver say that he expected a tip for a half day excursion. We would have tipped anyway, but I thought it brazen to actually ask for one. In the UK we used to have a "whipround" for the driver in some old man's flat cap!
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 07:08 AM
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I was quite surprised to be given a tip tray "so we can afford a trip to the Caribbean" by the owners of the b and b in which we stayed in the Jasper area of Canada. It was a two room b and b and I thought it was awful to be solicited in that fashion. The other couple travelling with us thought it was routine.
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 05:49 PM
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This tipping discussion is fascinating to me. I had no idea that Europeans don't usually tip. Do the maids and waitresses make a decent living wage then? Because in America, waitresses are not even paid the minimum wage. They count on those tips.

We did not find that a service charge was routinely added in Irish restuarants, by the way. In fact, I think only a couple places added one during our trip. We then were perplexed by how much to add. I thought I remembered reading somewhere that 10% was standard, so that's what we did, although it felt a little strange since we are used to tipping about 20% at home. But the prices were so high, we got over it pretty fast!

I agree it is quite tacky to be solicited outright for a tip as in the Canadian B & B referenced by cmcfong. That is not routine in the states and I've never experienced that.
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 05:51 PM
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Just reread my post and realized it sounds as if we added a tip AFTER a service charge had been added to our bill. That's not what I meant. It was when one wasn't added that we were uncertain of the proper amount to add on.
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 11:18 PM
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Tipping when travelling is definitely confusing. I like to tip for service above and beyond what is expected. But sometimes the tip is refused! On the other hand, to actually ask for a tip is unprofessional...better to raise your rates and let us know up front what we are expected to pay!
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 11:54 PM
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Bucky, the tipping culture is different here in Europe. In the UK, it is expected to leave 10-15% of your bill at a restaurant but you wouldn't tip at a bar (however, you could offer the barperson a drink which would usually be taken in cash in lieu of a drink).
In the rest of Europe, most countries add the service charge to the bill.
When talking of wages, the UK has a minimum wage of £4.85 per hour. That is around $8 an hour. I don't know how this compares to US waitresses/man but I assume that it is more due to the fact that they don't have to live on tips. Incidentally, the Inland Revenue tax the waitresses etc on tips that they could expect to earn - irrespective of whether they actually receive them.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 12:28 AM
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I rarely in Dublin have seen service added to the bill. The onbly times is usually when there are 6 or more people at a table and theis is pretty standard then. Myself and a friend were quite surprised to have a service charge added last weekend sitting outside a Dublin cafe/restaurant having a meal. I have no problem with this but I felt a bit annoyed and that possibly they thought we were tourists. We did pay it but asked for an itemised bill as it was not received intitially. The standard for meals in Ireland is 10-15%. Also you don't normally tip the bartender and you do give some change to a lounge boy/girl in a pub if they bring drinks to your table. As for buying a drink for the bartender I have never seen this and in Dublin it would not be appropriate.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 04:50 AM
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Wow it is amazing how different these things can be in different countries! Thank you to everyone for their input- I think my BF and I will just avoid nicer restaurants and really make sure we know who is cleaning our room! That way, we can tip appropriately!!

Okay, so what about cab drivers?
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