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Tipping in a British B&B

Old Feb 14th, 2007, 08:56 AM
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Tipping in a British B&B

I've been told it's customary to leave about 1 pound per night for the chambermaid at a British hotel (that's per person, I think), but I'm wondering if tips are expected at a B&B. My gut instinct is that they probably are not, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask.
Thanks.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 09:02 AM
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Have never tipped, and we've stayed in loads of B&Bs. I suspect the owners would probably be insulted; but, perhaps, I've been insulting them all these years without even knowing it!
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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Chambermaids in B+Bs?

Whatever will they think of next? Who on earth has been feeding you this?
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 09:13 AM
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Not chambermaids in a B&B, but I've stayed in some where they hire someone local to clean up the rooms etc., instead of doing it themselves.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 10:18 AM
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If the place is large enough that they have cleaning staff then tip - as you would in a hotel. If it's strictly family run - then don;t leave anything.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 10:39 AM
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nytraveler - I'm shocked that there are some conditions under which you would tip in a B&B. How do you know if the person who cleans your room is/is not family?
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 10:45 AM
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For the avoidance of doubt:

Do not tip in a British B+B. It's a filthy foreign habit, and we don't want it here.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 12:15 PM
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While on a driving tour of Cornwall this past October, my parents and I stayed at a gorgeous 5-diamond B&B in Falmouth that we found out about through the local TIC. Dolvean House was the lovliest hotel one could imagine--all Victorian furnishings, antiques, and luxury bedding and toiletries.

At the end of our stay, I asked the owner about leaving something for the staff because our stay had been so pleasant, but I wasn't sure of the protocol, especially since we had two rooms and I was going to handle the tip. The owner said the housekeeping staff would appreciate it very much and would be able to divide the tip amongst themselves. At my request, he gave me an unmarked envelope and I left 10 or 20 GBP for our 3-night stay on the dresser.

I've never tipped in a hotel before but when you really do receive 5-star treatment, whether from hoteliers or other service providers, why not show how much you appreciate it? For the most part, the service we encountered in the UK was mediocre at best. Outstanding service should be recognized.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 12:27 PM
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Hi M,

The hotel staff will not think less of you if you leave a tip.

However, I think 1 GBP/day per room is more than sufficient.

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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 04:18 AM
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Having stayed in many a B&B and hotel I have to say that I have never tipped (Probably that's because I'm a Yorkshire man)

I note that Roundtrip left a tip for 5 star treatment in a 5 Diamond B&B but isn't that what you would expect?

You already pay a premium for the stars so why when the service is good (or what you expect from a 5 star) do you then provide a further tip?
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 05:34 AM
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I don't tip in B&Bs. I hate to think I've been commiting fauxs pas for the last couple of decades - but I don't think I have.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 05:42 AM
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Why would anyonbe be insulted because they received a tip? Is that because a tip makes a person "feel like a servant?"

I cannot imagine anyone who has ever WORKEED for a tip feeling that way but perhaps I am incorrect.

And I'm sorry but I disagree with Ira about the "sufficient" amounts for someone who makes your bed, straightens up your room, perhaps deals with your piles of dirty clothes, and actually cleans the toilet and sink.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 05:58 AM
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To TeddG,

The Dolvean is a 5 diamond B&B, but we only paid 50 and 65 GBP per night per room. I tipped the housekeeping staff, not the owner. I wanted them to know that I appreciated the spotless rooms, the tea/cookies tray always being refilled, the discreet service, the friendly smiles, etc. When my parents and I returned to London we had the misforture to encounter a truely horrible proprietess (she threw my money back in my face when I asked for a receipt!), so I'm glad I took the time to recognize outstanding service when I encountered it.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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We own/operate a B&B in France and we have NEVER had a guest leave us a tip, nor do we expect them to. We did have our niece stay with us last summer, helping us with the room-cleaning, and a couple of guests did leave her a tip, specifically.
A five-star "B&B" with chambermaids is really a hotel that serves breakfast, and you should tip them (or not) as you would normally tip at a hotel.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 06:17 AM
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no, you don't tip in a UK b&b, whether they use family or outside help to clean the room (nytraveller is wrong on this). many UK b&bs do use external help to clean the rooms but this is not relevent to tipping.

usually the cleaner is just a person that stops by to clean the rooms that need to be cleaned and any public areas or the kitchen...they are not usually full time staff. the owners often have more important things to do than clean toilets (market the business, keep the books, order supplies, cook, live their lives, etc).
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 07:33 PM
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This discussion has been really interesting, and I appreciate the varied points of view. The general consensus seems to be that one doesn't tip in a B&B (and for the record, I'm not going to be staying in 5-star ones anyhow). Thanks, everyone.
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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 04:49 PM
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Right, wrong, or indifferent, I go with the "don't tip owners (or family members); do tip hired staff."

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Old Apr 10th, 2007, 01:33 PM
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Why do we think that we should tip on top ? I mean for someone that is doing his/her job?
This feeling OHHH should I tip?? for me shows some insecurity. I am not saying that if in a hotel , b& b , restaurant or whatever someone goes out of his/ her way to help in something out of the ordinary you can either tip or bring a box of chocolates or something. That is another story.
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Old Apr 10th, 2007, 10:52 PM
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No, don't tip in B&Bs. Even if you suspect someone is hired staff (but how would you know unless you ask them?).
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 12:53 AM
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My wife and I have run various kinds of accomm places including B&Bs and never expected a tip. It never came up as an issue with most nationalities except Americans and Canadians, and then we always declined on the grounds that we charged what we judged was a fair tariff so why would we want something more on top? Our belief (and this goes for room cleaners and other employees as well) is that if everyone receives a fair income they should be happy to provide excellent service without further reward on top of it. I accept that some cultures have tipping ingrained in them, and some Americans from whom we declined tips sent us gifts after they had returned home. Some of these people have remained friends with whom we still correspond, but since those friendships were established while they were still our guests I like to think the gifts had little to do with that. I do not tip in B&Bs - or anywhere - unless they actually do something over and above 'excellent service' (like a time in Chartres where our host used to ply us with liqueurs of an evening at no extra charge).
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