Tipping the hotel desk clerk in Italy??

Sep 8th, 2001, 01:12 PM
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Tipping the hotel desk clerk in Italy??

We are leaving for Italy next week and wondering how Italians respond to tips? Specifically wondering about hotel desk clerks. Often in the U.S. we will give the desk clerk a $20 tip and they will give us a free upgrade or at least one of the better rooms in the same category. Thinking about trying this in Italy at a couple of the larger hotels we are staying in Rome and Venice. I realize it would likely be a waste at the smaller hotels where they would not have as much flexibility. Has anyone tried this with good results? Wondering if an Italian desk clerk could possibly be insulted by a tip?
Sep 8th, 2001, 01:23 PM
If I was a hotel
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... and you had a $150 room reserved, and you gave me a $20 tip, I would upgrade you to a room that goes for $170.

Knowing full well that better customers get it for a reduced rate of $110.

Were you expecting a $190 room. and hoping that I would steal from my employer on your behalf?

Is this what you are asking?

Sep 8th, 2001, 01:45 PM
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Hey "if I was a hotel"

Who's talking about stealing here? Desk clerks may or may not have the latitude to give out free upgrades but they certainly have the power to decide which room to give a customer within the same room category. As anyone who travels knows, there can be a huge difference in rooms even in the same price category - some rooms are quieter, larger, or have better views. All for the same price. The question I believe was: is tipping the desk clerk an effective way to get one of the better rooms in the category or is the clerk likely to be insulted?
Sep 8th, 2001, 05:57 PM
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If it 'costs' $20, it ain't no free upgrade.
Sep 8th, 2001, 06:19 PM
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I don't tip until I'm just about to leave. The tip is a thank you for service already received. I don't tip to buy favors.
Sep 8th, 2001, 06:58 PM
Marc David Miller
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I find that it often helps to tip at the beginning of the stay; I may or may not get better service than if I did not tip, but the money does have a way of establishing "alertness" to a staff member of my requests.
Sep 9th, 2001, 10:55 AM
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To the top

I too am curious if a tip to a hotel desk clerk in Italy would be well received and perhaps would result in a getting a nice room in the price category?
Sep 9th, 2001, 03:55 PM
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I work in receptionin a 3 star hotel in Florence and I would be completely offended as would my Italian co-workers if someone presented me a tip on arrival. Firstly I take pride in my work and tips are acceptable only after service is received and appreciated. Second, my employer would kill me if she knew I was taking "bribes" from guests for any reason. Thirdly, contrary to opinion, we don't always have the latitude to switch or upgrade rooms on demand. Trying to give money to facilitate something that cannot be done is uncomfortable and embarrassing to the receptionist.
Sep 12th, 2001, 10:58 AM
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Funny, we were wondering this same exact thing at a wonderful hotel in Florence. The clerk was SO nice and so helpful during our stay that we decided we'd at least offer him something as we left. We did, he took it graciously and we're glad we did. Doesn't hurt to at least ask if it's OK to tip as you're about to leave.
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