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How do you "take care of" the concierge in a luxury hotel?

How do you "take care of" the concierge in a luxury hotel?

Old Apr 21, 19, 5:38 pm
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How do you "take care of" the concierge in a luxury hotel?

[Searched and there doesn't seem to have been a tipping thread in a few years.]

I recently posted a bit about my experience at the George V which was marvelous. I am curious how my practices compare with others.

If you contacted the concierge prior to your arrival with requests (e.g. restaurant reservations), do you tip on arrival? In that case, might you also tip on departure?

If there is a large concierge staff, do you tip the ones who helped you or the head concierge? Are the tips pooled, by the way?
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Old Apr 21, 19, 6:09 pm
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Yes and yes. At top places such as the George V, the concierge can make your entire trip a far better experience. Often, the concierge is cashing chits for you. So, the way to handle it is both on arrival and departure. The next time you come back, you want the guy to know that he will be compensated for the magic he works.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 9:26 pm
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In the US - pay the Tax, sorry, tip.

Anywhere else, assume the staff get paid for what they do.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 10:12 pm
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It varies from country to country and also what you're asking of the concierge. If it's just booking restaurants, taxis and so on, a tip when you arrive is fine. If it's getting a table at an impossible-to-get-a-table at restaurant or the best seat in the booked-out-for-months-in-advance show, then you tip well when you arrive and probably again when you leave - especially if you've been using their services during your stay as well.

If you're just passing by the concierge and asking for a map or directions somewhere and not taking up more than a couple of minutes of their time, no need to tip, unless you're in the US where it seems to be mandatory.

The more effort you require of the concierge, the more difficult-to-get things they're getting for you, then the more you tip. The only exception to this might be Japan where tipping is still frowned on. In Europe, doormen and concierges do expect to get tips and can make some seriously good money.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 9:31 am
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If I ask for stuff in advance, I tip on arrival. Unless I then ask for something difficult (as someone else mentioned, a hard to get reservation), I might leave it at that.

I still would like to know if you folks tip individual concierges or the head guys.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 2:17 pm
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How much of a tip would be appropriate?

Are we talking $20/$50/$100?

I don't think I've ever tipped because I don't really know what the appropriate dollar value for good service would be, but I've bought gifts for concierge who went above & beyond for me in the past.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 2:36 pm
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I live in Europe and find it odd to tip Concierges. The few instances in which I did was at the Beverly Wilshire, because we were made feel it would be necessary (which speaks volumes about that dusty old lady of hotel).

As with GMs, there are rare occasions when I do give gifts (to honor incredible stays oder gestures), such as Hermès ties or something of that kind -- given there is a personal relationship that warrants it.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 2:44 pm
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If a concierge or concierge team has been particularly impressive in organizing special excursions out of the norm or in getting reservations at tough gets, I will tip for sure. But it isn’t something I always do. I most certainly tipped the concierge team at the St Regis New York (after getting us into EMP and the Rose Bar), the Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho (after getting us into Yoshitake, Sawada, and Narisawa PLUS getting us the private samurai lesson with the Kill Bill choreographer), the Suiran Kyoto (the whole team after crazy efforts on our behalf), and St Regis Florence (after arranging so many excursions and private wine tasting events).

I’ve regularly tipped the StR San Francisco concierge team (and other teams) for always getting us crazy restaurant bookings even when they’ve not been generally available or before the booking window even opens; I suppose it’s not surprising that they always go the extra mile for me whenever I need it.

I do tend to leave one comprehensive tip with a front office manager for housekeeping, concierge, front desk, and bell staff—only at luxury hotels or other hotels that have treated me particularly well. Depending on the hotel, I’ve left comprehensive tips as small as $10/day and as large as $50/day.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 3:18 pm
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
In the US - pay the Tax, sorry, tip.

Anywhere else, assume the staff get paid for what they do.
This is the answer I almost invariably see from Europeans when I read Tripadvisor (are we allowed to mention TA in this forum?), other than suggesting things such as rounding up taxi fares.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 4:36 pm
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Pretty much never ask anything of the concierge, as such don't "take care" of them in any way.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 5:04 pm
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Originally Posted by passionforhotels View Post
The more effort you require of the concierge, the more difficult-to-get things they're getting for you, then the more you tip. The only exception to this might be Japan where tipping is still frowned on. In Europe, doormen and concierges do expect to get tips and can make some seriously good money.
Tipping the concierge in Europe when they secure impossible restaurant reservations or organise whatever the European equivalent to a session with the ninja from Kill Bill is one thing and certainly makes sense... but the doormen... are opening and closing the doors and handling luggage? How do you even tip the doormen discreetly - hand out notes like they are a toll booth while entering and exiting the hotel? I don't mean to be in any way disrespectful to the work that they do but this seems crazy.

I am not from the US and so this culture of constantly needing to tip as you're travelling doesn't come instinctively to me and it zaps mental energy to worry about "what is the right amount", "how do I pass it discreetly", "do I have the right change", "am I going to do this every time they do something for me", and also a bit of "ok I'm paying $x amount per night surely opening the door or sending my luggage to the room is included in the room rate"

Part of what I like about the luxury hotel experience (outside the US...), is to not constantly have to worry about things like this (am I naive?) I do sometimes feel that travelling Americans are constantly expanding the global universe of situations where tips are expected by bringing US tipping practices to the rest of the world, which I appreciate for its kindness and generosity as a gesture but I feel it doesn't take into account the large differences in the underlying economic system between the US and say Europe.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 6:47 pm
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In the past when I have asked a lot of the hotel concierge pre-arrival, I will usually bring a gift/souvenir from home along with a hand written card for them upon arrival.

The last 2 trips it has always been a bottle of Canadian ice wine, and the concierge has always been super appreciative, and usually gives us extra attention during our stay to make sure everything is going smooth with our stay.

For my trip coming up, I'm thinking of doing the same for Amanoi and Aman Tokyo where I've been in contact with just one individual, but for the upper house where the entire concierge team has been helpful, I will likely bring a box of Chocolates from Canada along with a hand written card for the team.

I find this to be a much more sincere way to show my appreciation than just slipping them a $20 or $50.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 7:13 pm
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Agree that gifts are far more personal, but I tip in the $100-$200USD range. One Concierge, in particular, organises all of our trains and vehicles in Egypt. He knows our preferences and the entire experience is seamless from one FS to another. He coordinates with the other Concierges so that picnic boxes are packed and we are met immediately outside our train carriage.

The most exceptional experience was when I wanted a pair of Gucci trainers and he had the luxury department store photograph their collection and emailed it to me with the prices. When they didn't have the particular model I wanted, he ordered them from Gucci.com and had them delivered to my home before I finished my vacation.

Last edited by m0hamed; Apr 22, 19 at 9:48 pm
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Old Apr 22, 19, 11:10 pm
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Originally Posted by ajca View Post
I am not from the US and so this culture of constantly needing to tip as you're travelling doesn't come instinctively to me and it zaps mental energy to worry about "what is the right amount", "how do I pass it discreetly", "do I have the right change", "am I going to do this every time they do something for me", and also a bit of "ok I'm paying $x amount per night surely opening the door or sending my luggage to the room is included in the room rate"
I'm from the UK, but a lot of practice has got me over this fear. In Europe it's easy, just remember to put a £1 or €1 coin in your pocket and simply hand it over to the doorman with a smile and eye contact when you get into your taxi. If they're only opening the door to you as you leave, no need to tip - just smile and say thank you as you go past. You won't believe how far just treating someone like a human being will get you, because you'll see so many other guests acting as though the staff were inanimate or invisible objects.

For bellboys, it's around £1 or €1 per item of luggage they bring up to your room or out to your taxi. Just have it ready and hand it over as they leave the room. Again, make eye contact, smile and say thank you as you give it to them - there's nothing shameful or furtive about tipping and no reason to have to be discreet.

Is it necessary? Not really, but it's the done thing.

For me, the hardest part is when travelling in foreign countries when I can't immediately figure out the currency exchange rate in my head AND be sure I have the right change/notes to give them, especially when just coming in from the airport.
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Old Apr 24, 19, 7:46 am
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Some luxury hotels impose a standard service charge of 10% or 15%. In such places, I would tip only for something truly extraordinary.

One doesn't tip in Japan or in fact, in most of Asia.

Also, if you just get a map from the concierge or something similar, no tip is expected.

In the USA, some hotel concierges get kickbacks from restaurants etc. to which they send guests, although this shouldn't happen in a luxury property. IMO the tip should be adjusted accordingly.
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