Hotel Tipping: A Change is Gonna Come
Travel Blog • Alexander Basek • 04.01.09 | 10:30 AM ET
I’m pretty good about tipping in hotels. I don’t mind dropping the bucks for bellmen—especially after I spent two days as one at the Hotel Giraffe for the New York Post—and I agree that some money for the maid in an envelope is usually the way to go. However, I had an interesting situation in Buenos Aires that made me wonder whether I made a cultural faux pas.
At the moment, BA is in the throes of a change shortage. There simply aren’t enough coins—you see signs everywhere that say “NO HAY MONEDAS” or demand exact change if you’re buying a pack of cigs. The buses in Buenos Aires only take coins, so the commute for a lot of working people in the city is rather difficult. I accumulated a fair amount of change over the course of my stay, and on the recommendation of a friend who lived in the city, I gave it to one of the front desk fellows at my hotel who had been helpful. He seemed a little ... surprised, though he said “Great! For the bus!” after an awkward pause. Still, I felt weird just giving someone a handful of change as a thank you.
Have you guys ever given unorthodox tips in hotels? Cookies? A hat? Tell me I’m not the only one.