Filed under: Luxury Travel & Hotels
One of the most valuable assets a fine hotel has, the concierge is there to help make a guest's stay a happy and memorable one. But have you ever been baffled by whether or not you are supposed to tip the concierge if he or she has done something special for you?
To find out these answers, we sat down with Spencer H. Wadama, who is the General Manager of The Surrey Hotel, the tony and newly renovated boutique hotel located on Manhattan's upper east side. Spencer previously served as the general manager of the Ritz-Carlton in Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt). The Surrey Hotel's staff of concierges, for example, regularly make special arrangements for their guests, often before the guest has even arrived at the hotel.
According to Spencer, "The amount is really to your discretion, and what is the appropriate amount really depends on the service that was provided," he says. "It is very appropriate to tip a concierge if you had a special request that you knew was difficult to get access to."
In America, tipping is a way of saying "thank you", but tipping is not expected in all countries, such as in Japan, where tipping is not part of the culture.
The amount you tip should take into account the city where the hotel is located; for example a tip in New York should be higher than a tip in Cleveland, for example, to compensate for the difference in the cost of living.
When you approach a concierge, take a look at the lapel of his or her uniform. If you notice a pin that resembles a small set of gold keys, he or she is a member of an elite organization called Les Clefs d'Or, a French term that translates into "keys of gold". If that is the case, you can be assured that you are dealing with a seasoned professional. Curious about whether you should tip the housekeeping staff? Find out how to do so here.