“Our caring room attendants enjoyed making your stay warm and comfortable. Please feel free to leave a gratuity to express your appreciation for their efforts.” That’s the message that appears on Marriott’s new in-room envelopes that launched this week as part of their “Envelope Please” campaign. The envelopes will appear in 160,000 rooms in the U.S. and Canada across the major Marriott brands including Marriott, Courtyard, JW, and Ritz Carlton. Each envelope will include the name of the housekeeper responsible for cleaning your room.
The program is actually being launched with Maria Shriver as part of her efforts to empower women. “There’s a huge education of the traveler that needs to occur,” she said. “If you tell them, they ask, ‘How do I do that?'” She said envelopes make it easy for guests to leave cash for the right person in a secure way.
The AP reports that Marriott’s CEO is even offering up advice on the appropriate amount to tip and that Marriott housekeepers are quite happy with the initiative:
CEO Arne Sorenson says $1 to $5 per night, depending on room rate, with more for a high-priced suite is recommended. Sorenson noted that housekeepers “are less frequently tipped” than other hotel workers because they do an “invisible task.” In contrast, workers who carry bags, hail cabs and park cars tend to get tipped because they “make a personal connection” with guests, he said. Rosario Rodriguez, who works as a housekeeper at Marriott’s Times Square hotel, says many guests don’t tip and she welcomes the envelope campaign as “a good idea. Jessica Lynn Strosky of DuBois, Pennsylvania, who earns $7.75 an hour cleaning rooms at a hotel that’s not a Marriott, says only 1 in 15 or 20 guests leaves a tip. When they do, it’s a dollar or two; she’s lucky to get $20 a week in tips. “I’ve talked to lots of people who say they don’t know they are supposed to tip,” she said. Unlike waitresses who earn less than minimum wage because tips are expected to raise their earnings, hotel housekeepers are paid minimum wage, and in expensive markets, substantially more. In Washington D.C., Sorenson said, Marriott housekeepers start in the mid-teens per hour.
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