Too often lumped in with North America, Mexico is a country that stands out on its own.

leaving a tip at a cheap hotel in Mexico

EMH

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  • Added on: January 14th, 2008
I´ve been staying at a cheap hotel ($20 per night) for five nights in Queretaro. Last night, I noticed a tip jar in the room for maid service. Anyone know what an appropriate amount might be???

Thanks!
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Not the first Travis

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  • Added on: January 14th, 2008
I usually leave a couple bucks a day.

EMH

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  • Added on: January 14th, 2008
Wow, that much! That´s normally what I leave in a US hotel where I paying $50 or more a night.
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Not the first Travis

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  • Added on: January 14th, 2008
The daily minimum wage for a housekeeper in a Queretaro hotel for 2008 is 59.87 pesos, or a little less than US $6. Per. Day. (Item #66 on that chart, QRO is in zone C.)

Without tips they don't eat.

Of course, the amount you tip is a purely personal choice, and depends on the service they are providing. Making the bed? Changing sheets? Mopping? New towels? When I was staying in Queretaro my room cost about $25 per night, and she was doing all that, so I felt it was easily warranted.

Felix the Hat

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  • Added on: January 14th, 2008
Ten pesos per night.

JohnnyMac_

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  • Added on: January 14th, 2008
Don't be stingy, as long as your intentions are good. I'd say a few bucks are fine.

EMH

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  • Added on: January 15th, 2008
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I hope I didn´t come across as cheap in my last post. I was more surprised than anything. I know tipping in Mexico can be a challenging thing so I want to leave a reasonable amount and yet not overtip. One website I found suggested 5% of the cost of the room. I also found out that I should be leaving a tip every day, since it may be someone different cleaning the room each day. Lesson learned!
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Cristi Farrell

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  • Added on: January 15th, 2008
Reading this post, I almost feel sympathetic but my Euro-tipping mentality (service included in the price) is stronger. When I stay at hotels for more than one night, I usually tell the management NOT to clean my room because I prefer privacy over a new towel every 24 hours. So not only am I taking jobs away from maids, but I am not tipping since, after all, clean sheets and a towel is something that's included in the price of a room. If the staff go above and beyond the call of duty, a tip is rightly deserved.

I know I am in for it, so let the beatings begin....
Cristi Farrell
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Not the first Travis

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  • Added on: January 15th, 2008
quote:
Originally posted by Cristi Farrell:
I know I am in for it, so let the beatings begin....

Well, I don't know how you expect people to respond. What you're basically saying is you're unwilling to adapt to a cultural difference. How is this different than someone from Europe traveling through the U.S. and refusing to tip waiters in restaurants? (Are hotel housekeeping staff in Europe paid something close to a living wage? I honestly don't know. I can assure you that they are not in Mexico, and tipping is part of the compensation system.)

If you're unwilling to adapt to the difference, maybe you shouldn't stay in hotels in countries that don't conform to the Euro model. Or get comfortable being a jackass. Smile

Cristi Farrell

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  • Added on: January 15th, 2008
By cultural difference, you are implying that at a hotel in (insert city outside the US here), the locals tip the cleaning staff. I am skeptical that happens.

I am not by any means saying I never tip, period, in any situation. I am just saying that for something such as a hotel, I don't see the point unless someone is going above and beyond the call of duty. Tipping may be expected in many situations, but it should never be required. Tipping hotel staff ought to be at your discretion, and should be thought of as a reward for excellent service, no? Otherwise, we'd tip for everything. I don't even know if I had a point in bringing this up...Devils advocate I guess.
Cristi Farrell
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Felix the Hat

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  • Added on: January 17th, 2008
quote:
By cultural difference, you are implying that at a hotel in (insert city outside the US here), the locals tip the cleaning staff. I am skeptical that happens.


When I go to Muslim countries, I demand they consider my left hand clean, since I´m left-handed. I point my feet at Buddhists in Thailand, because cultural difference is stupid. In fact, I demand everyone adapt to what I do at home when I travel, especially if it saves me money.

Sorry, it´s a crap argument. I´m always amazed at how backpackers are so sanctimonious about respecting different cultural practices, until it costs them money. As someone on this thread noted, the minimum wage in Querétaro is just under 60 pesos a day. Most backpackers spend more than that on beer every night - it´s downright mean and stingy to refuse to observe the cultural norm of tipping in such a place. I get positively infuriated by the Euro attitude toward tipping in countries where it´s practiced. Euros get paid a living wage - that fact in no way should justify refusing a living wage through different means elsewhere. If you don´t have any respect for different cultural norms, stay home.

HampdenHoop

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  • Added on: January 17th, 2008
To the original question, I usually go with 10 pesos per night plus whatever loose change I might have.

As for the question of whether to tip at all, I agree that it seems pretty mean (in the cheap sense) not to. I doubt that hotel cleaning staff are rolling in dough anywhere. I tip in Europe, too. But to stiff them in a place like Mexico where it could really make a difference just seems mean (in the not nice sense). Regarding cleaning the room everyday, I don’t want or need clean towels every time I use one, but in a quite a few hotels now they have notices that they won’t change towels and linens everyday unless you want them to for environmental/conservation reasons. But they can still come in and make up the bed, clean around the sink, etc. without invading one’s privacy too much. At least I don’t hang around the room waiting for the maid to turn up.

Callilucy

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  • Added on: January 17th, 2008
quote:
Originally posted by Cristi Farrell:
I am not by any means saying I never tip, period, in any situation. I am just saying that for something such as a hotel, I don't see the point unless someone is going above and beyond the call of duty. Tipping may be expected in many situations, but it should never be required. Tipping hotel staff ought to be at your discretion, and should be thought of as a reward for excellent service, no? Otherwise, we'd tip for everything. I don't even know if I had a point in bringing this up...Devils advocate I guess.


I think the difference here is that in the context of a cheap hotel in Mexico where the maid is making such a paltry sum (there are other examples as well but we'll stick to this) you aren't really paying for a fantastic turn down service. This is a different economic concept where you, the patron, are sharing the cost of the maid with the hotel. You aren't just tipping for fantastic service, you are helping pay for that service in the first place. In a hotel in Europe or maybe even a higher level resort in Mexico the housekeeping staff will make a reasonable, liveable wage and yes, any tip above that would be the above and beyond service but in your classic backpacker, cheapo hotel/hostel that's not the case. And again, if you don't like it rent an apartment, without a maid, camp or stay home. This is the way the economic system is set up. If you disagree with it well that's fine but don't take it out on the maid who had nothing to do with it becoming that way.

You seem like a relatively intelligent person and now you've been fully informed of the economic situation (thanks to NTFT and Felix who both have pretty extensive knowledge and experience on this very topic). I hope that in the future you'll take this cultural and economical understanding and make different choices.
I don't want to be fearless, I want to be brave.

Felix the Hat

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  • Added on: January 17th, 2008
But hey, who are dirt-poor Mexican hotel workers to deprive wealthy first-world backpackers of their evening´s beer money? After all, a living wage is not a right, although you DESERVE those extra ten pesos for a bottle of Indio because you have an EU passport, and the hotel doesn´t add her wage to your nightly charge.

Sorry if that sounds harsh, but people from wealthy countries who act like cheapskates in poor countries are utterly revolting to me. Give them a month in the shoes of a genuinely poor person (not some patchouli-stinking backpacker on a self-imposed budget), and they´ll change their tune.

blueatjustchill

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  • Added on: January 18th, 2008
Saying that we should good give money because we come from ricer countries is not tipping, it's charity. If locals wouldn't tip the person then it is not culturally demanded. By tipping in that situation you are putting your culture on their society. If enough tourists do it then you change their culture from a non-tipping to a tipping society.
In this case i've never been to Mexico so i don't know if they tip cleaners or not. I would probably leave some money if they did a good job not because i pity their poor wages but because they delivered a good service. After all isn't that what tipping is about.


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