Tipping in Scotland

Sep 25th, 2005, 05:17 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 103
Tipping in Scotland

Will welcome any advice on tipping; but I am specifically concerned about hotels.

Does one leave daily tips for housekeeping, as we do in the US, or leave a staff tip at the end of the stay? We are staying in large hotels in Edinburgh and Glasgow, but we are staying at more intimate hotels in Ardeonaig, Inverness, and Skye.

These are not b&bs, they are small hotels: Ardeonaig, Dunain Park, Eilean Iarmain. They have real restaurants, and we will be eating breakfasts and dinners there as part of our stay.

When we stayed at a boutique hotel in London a few years back, the manager suggested a staff tip at the end was best; perhaps I should just ask management when we check in at each place?

Dschoening is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 11:52 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,176
We don't tip in hotels in this country.

Not quite period: in the very, very unlikely case of someone carrying your bags to your room, you (or rather we) tip. And we tip for dinner or lunch in their restaurants (but not, unless there's been some extraordinary service, for breakfast.) We might tip for outstanding service - but I've seen those flocks of sheep take off and fly more often than I've sene any such service in Scotland or anywhere else in these islands.

And that's it. Of course the management would prefer you to increase the hotel's take. So asking their advice is in pretty much the same league as asking a car dealer for the fair value of a car.

If you get seized by altruism during your stay here, you'll find no end of deserving real charities collecting money on the streets. Last time I checked, our hotel industry wasn't one of them.
flanneruk is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 06:28 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 103
Thanks for the information - am still chuckling over your Beatles joke in another thread and will therefore believe everything you say!


Dschoening is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
I wouldn't be QUITE so hard and fast as Flanner.

Definitely do not tip daily. I, personally would leave a staff tip at the end of a stay. I would not tip meal by meal.

I agree about the porter; a coin in his hand is the way to go.

Dunain Park is big, and part of a chain. the other two are small and the service is personal, and in the case of Ardeonaig, the owners are on site at all times. Don't tip the owners.
sheila is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 12:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 103
Thanks for the input, Sheila. We don't want to insult anyone but we also don't want to slight anyone.

By the way, the Dunain Park where we are staying outside Inverness only has 11 rooms - maybe you are thinking of another place with a similar name?

Dschoening is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 05:53 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 794
We've stayed in big and small hotels in both Glasgow and Edinburgh, and only ever tipped the porter on arrival, and then then night before we checked out with tipped the restaurant waitress, and the chamber maids, we didnt feel the need to tip every day, just at the end of our stay.
lucielou is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 06:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,575
I would certainly not leave a daily tip or tip for meals.

At the end of my stay, I ask if they have a staff box and leave a tip then.

MissPrism is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 03:40 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 993
Wait! Just to clarify -- is this correct?

1) Tip porters. (Does the equivalent of $1 perbag sound right?)

2) Never tip owners of a B&B

3) After breakfast in a B&B/hotel if you are only staying one night do we tip?

4) What percentage tip is left at restaurants?
misha2 is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 04:31 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 147
Sheila, that coin had better be at least a pound coin or else that coin, I'm sure, will be connecting with the back of your head very shortly afterwards.
Stellarossa is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 06:27 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 391

1) Tip porters. (Does the equivalent of $1 perbag sound right?)

My dad's from Yorkshire. I can carry my own bags.

2) Never tip owners of a B&B

What? The people you've just handed $100 over to for one night in a bad bed and a miserable breakfast.

3) After breakfast in a B&B/hotel if you are only staying one night do we tip?

See point 2

4) What percentage tip is left at restaurants?

I usually leave a couple of quid for the waiter/ess.

Pumbavu is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 06:36 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 558
I have never tipped in a b&b. I tip about 1 pound for room service in a hotel. I carry my own bags, but would tip a porter about 1 pound (not per4 bag, per trip). In restaurants, if the service is very good, I tip up to 10%, but usually 1 - 2 pounds. I rarely tip for meals in pubs, only for exceptional service. Taxis, I tip 5 - 10%. If meals are included in your stay, maybe leave something at the end if you like. Only if staff have been helpful.
Carolina is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 07:03 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,282
My two-pennorth...

1) Porter : £1 altogether, or £2 if it's hard work for him - like if you have 2 very big & heavy suitcases.

2) No tipping in B&B : correct

3) Not sure what you mean. If you mean leaving a general staff tip when checking out (in a hotel & not in a B&B), then yes if you think it's particularly deserved.

4) 10% in restaurants. Nothing in pubs.

Taxis - round up to give 50p-£1, depending on the fare. E.g. if the fare is £6.10, £7.20 or £8.30, I'd just round up to the next pound. If it's more than £10, stick to £1.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 11:54 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Depends on the hotel. In large hotels you tip bellmen as they carry things - and agree loose change is never aceptable, waiters (even if breakfast is included) and maids at end of the stay.

If it's a B&B run by owners obviously the situation is different.

As for carryng my own bags - I gave up being pack mule woman a long time ago - this is only one of the reasons I would never stay at a B&B - including AC, multi-channel cable TV with pay movies, mini-bars and 24 hour roon service.

But - I guess that's why there are all different kinds of hotels.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,142
Very useful info.

A question for the Scots:
Do/would you follow customary tipping if visiting NYC (20-25% at meals, 15% for taxis, $3-$5/day for room clearners, $2 doorman, $2/piece of luggage, etc. ??

I'm a US resident and I always follow the local customs when travelling abroad (which usually means tipping much less than I'm used to here in the US) but still have an uneasy feeling when I do.
bardo1 is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 12:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
No idea, having never done it. A slightly snippy point sometimes made here, is that we pay living wages here so the tips are a top up and not how people live.

But I do have a funny story (well, I think it's funny)about a friend on holiday in New York- this would have been 15 years ago- leaving the change from a round on the bar as she left, and being followed down the road by a barman SHOUTING (New York, remember) "Excuse me; you left your change ma'am. At least, I assume you left your change. This couldn't have been meant to be a tip, could it? I mean it's pennies. You LEFT YOUR CHANGE MA'AM!"
sheila is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,439
A slightly snippy point sometimes made here, is that we pay living wages here so the tips are a top up and not how people live.

i think this is pure fantasy. do you have any idea what bar staff earn?
walkinaround is online now  
Aug 31st, 2006, 01:12 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 247
As a former waitress in Edinburgh I completely agree with the previous poster.

While my hourly-wage was more than I made in the U.S. (It was 6 years ago and at the time I made 4 pounds an hour), it was certainly not enough to live on. Especially when you consider that 4 pounds in Scotland is equivalent to $4 in the US (not $8---since most things cost much more).

Lucia78 is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 01:17 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 246
This isn't really a tipping question, but it was funny. I couldn't get the hang of your coins in so many different sizes so, as I was trying to pay for a postcard at the Wallace Monument, in frustration I dumped the whole coin purse down on the counter and said to the man "Could you help me and just take what you need?" Three other people who were obviously from Scotland (at least I think so from their accents) started laughing as one of them replied that it was "dangerous to tell a Scotsman that". The clerk went on to tell me "That is how the Grand Canyon was formed - a coin was stuck to the ground and a Scotsman kept digging to find it". We all had a good laugh. My grandma's family has deep Scottish roots and she always told me that is where she learned her good business sense, the value of things, and her thriftiness. I truly enjoyed the good-natured spirit of the people I met in Scotland - especially the ability to laugh at oneself!
dbaker is offline  
Sep 1st, 2006, 09:56 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 488
I was told by a bartender in Edinburgh that they did not expect tips (although buying them an occasional drink was much appreciated.) The same bartender told me not to tip taxi drivers either, because a service charge was built into the fare. I wasn't positive he was correct on that point however and still gave taxi drivers tips especilly if they helped lug the luggage.
Daisy54 is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2006, 05:48 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,190
A rule of thumb is that a tip is a thankyou for particularly good service.

It's much more common in London than elsewhere.

In pubs you may find that if you offer to buy the bar staff a drink they will take a £1 instead. Don't be offended most pubs provide their staff with free soft drinks and do not let them drink alcohol at work.

Personally I tip if someone carries my bags, and leave something for the maid at the end of the stay.

restraunt meals (and by that i mean somewhere with a tablecloth and waiter srervice) £2ish unless the service has been out of this world. pub meals or cafes I would never tip.

Taxis - the change so if a fare is £4.50 I would pay £5 but if the fare was £4.90 I wouldn't add anything to it - just pay the £5.

sashh is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Jul 29th, 2011 11:24 PM
Jul 9th, 2009 02:21 AM
United States
Nov 5th, 2004 03:33 PM
Caribbean Islands
Oct 18th, 2002 05:19 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:07 PM.