What is appropriate Tipping?


Earning My Ears
Feb 2, 2001
I will be at the HRH on the 12th, and doing 3 days of IOA/US. Being young enough to be stupid, I dont know who I should tip, and how much. I have heard about the shuttle driver, valet, bellhop, maid, minibar stockboy, concierge, waiters and waitresses, pool boy, bathroom attendant, room service, and the neighbors cat. Is their percentages, a flat fee, or nothing for each of these, and what is normal vs. extra service for each?
I would be interested in several peoples perspectives on this, and if you dont mind, your approximate ages, situations, etc. I prefer the detail of an explanation over a poll, and I need to know, so I dont tick off the help, but I also am just curious how different people see it!
Thanks very much!
Opinins will likely vary ...

If you valet your car: $1 everytime you drop off or pick up (some people prefer bigger tips less frequently, every day or only at drop off and/or pick up).

Bellhop: $1/bag

Maid: $1/day/person or $2/day (whichever is greater)

Concierge: Depends on what they do for you. $1 - $2 for directions or minor things, more for bigger things (reservations at nice restraunt, etc.)
I find it very difficult to tip appropriately at Portofino Bay, given that they charge so much for valet parking to start with.

Brian Charles Kohn
"in my own words"
Some Imagination, huh? - Mickey Mouse
Bicker, I find myself agreeing with you once again. It almost seems in some ways that, just as PB creates the illusion of Italy, they also are a pretend posh hotel. Any Real hotel would provide complimentary valet parking. I think because they are associated with an amusement park, they know a lot of their clientele will be more middle class, and just assume they have to pay for every little thing, just like anywhere else (mc donalds, taco bell, Sunoco, etc.)
Maybe PB is the fast food restaurant of fancy hotels! (Still fun though - I like taco bell!)
They probably put an extra $1 on your bill for mints!

I am a waitress and you will find in the bigger cities such as orlando a standard 15-20% tip is about right. I know it sounds like a lot, but remember, this is what I do for a living. As for the valet, bellhop, conceirge....etc....you make the call. It'll be easy once you're there. I always start with $2 no matter who it is and work up from there. You'll do just fine. Reply if you have anymore questions.

Please plan to pay for valet parking if you are coming to any deluxe resort in Hawaii. :)
(And I am not talking about the Taco Bells ;) )

I doubt very seriously the power brokers that make the money decisions about major hotels in Orlando think for a second that they're only dealing with just middle America.

I don't know of many higher end hotels that DON'T charge for valet parking, and if the charge is not separate, you can bet it's including in the room rate.

There are MANY choices in Orlando if you want options. HRH and PB know that they are the only players onsite at this point at Universal and charge accordingly. Hey, Days Inn is across the street.

Keep LOTS of single dollar bills on you for tipping. These service people are grossly underpaid and are offering a service. I enjoy giving them a bit of what they deserve.


Mother of Michael
Proverbs 3:5-6


<font color=purple>Co-Moderator of the Community and Universal/IOA Boards</font color=purple>


I'm confused by some of the comments here ...

I've stayed at some very nice hotels in many cities, and none of them have ever had free valet parking. I'd be interested in one example of a fine hotel with free valet parking. Do the upscale Disney properties provide it (never stayed at them, so I wouldn't know)?

I really don't have a problem with them charging for valet parking since they offer free self parking, which is more than you'll get at many fine hotels. Of course, it sucks when self parking is full and you're forced to valet park (as I had to do Saturday night at the HRH)
Sales tax in orlando is 6%. So you can look at the amount charged for tax on your bill and double it for a 12% tip, triple it for an 18% tip.¸

Kelly Monaghan
Author of "Universal Studios Escape: The Ultimate Guide to the Ultimate Theme Park Adventure" and
"The Other Orlando: What To Do When You've Done Disney & Universal"‡
All deluxe Disney resorts provide free valet parking.

Brian Charles Kohn
"in my own words"
Some Imagination, huh? - Mickey Mouse
That's what I suspected. Well, in general, hotels do not provide free valet parking. I have never seen or heard of (except now for Disney deluxe resorts) a hotel that provides free valet parking. As a matter of fact, the nicer the hotel, the more expensive the parking usually is! Of course, I'm sure there are others, but fine hotels charging for valet parking is certainly the rule and not the exception, and I don't think knocking them just for charging for valet parking is fair.

I guess Universal is just losing out on the usual comparisons to Disney here ..
I withdrew my exageration on the valet parking. The point I was trying to emphasize, and that I thought I got from Bickers is this: The more expensive the place, the more we expect included as 'part of the package.' Indeed, this is WHY a hotel is given a 4 star rating: more attention to detail, more than just 4 walls and a floor. One aspect of his post was that everywhere he went, there was some 'gotcha.' Either a fee was charged, something was promised but missing, things weren't provided in the manner one would expect. Most details were annoying ones, not happy surprises. That was the focus I meant to convey.
By the way, the hotels in Manhattan require Valet parking. I cant remember what the Hyatt did, but the Holiday Inn gives a pass, and the garage charges you half (12 bucks a day - which for New York City is practically free!)
Damn it, I said that wasnt the point!!! Oh well...
I definitely believe that the more you pay, the more you should EXPECT to pay for extras here. The only problem with that in this case was that Universal and the Portofino seemed to make us pay extra for a lot of things that Disney and the Grand Floridian didn't. Yes, the problem was that Universal was poor in comparision with its close competition. In the absence of that competition, I agree that they wouldn't have looked as bad to me on those points.

Brian Charles Kohn
"in my own words"
Some Imagination, huh? - Mickey Mouse
Well, since you folks are so intent on comparing the Grand Floridian to PBH/HRH ... what are the rates at the Grand Floridian like?

I'm going to let everyone in on a little secret ... even if these hotels provide something for "free" ... you're still going to pay for it, one way or another. The thing is, if they provide it for "free", that means everyone pays for it, even those guests that don't use that "free" service, as opposed to a hotel that charges for the service, where only those guests that actually use the service pay for it.

This is why NYC hotels charge for valet parking, they charge those guests that actually use it $30/night instead of charging every guest an extra $10/night in the room rate to provide it for "free".

"The only problem with that in this case was that Universal and the Portofino seemed to make us pay extra for a lot of things that Disney and the Grand Floridian didn't. "

You have made mention twice now( 2 different posts) that you pay extra for a lot of things at Portofino that you do not at Grand Floridian. I asked once already and will ask again...are a lot of things? Also in case you werent aware Grand Floridian charges "a lot" more for a room than Portofino does. I have stayed at both properties and in my opinion Portofino was nicer and my package was MUCH cheaper. Can you book the Grand Floridian at half off rack rate using the entertainment card? Or any discounted program for that matter? One could stay at Portofino for $160 a night, can a rate like this be attained at Grand Floridian? Here are the compared rates for 2001 (official off Disney's and Universal's site)

2001 Room Rates Value Regular Peak Holiday
Garden view, King/2-Queens $314 $359 $414 $479
Lagoon View, King/2-Queens $380 $425 $495 $555
Lodge Tower, King/2-Queens $385 $435 $500 $565
Lodge Concierge, King/2-Queens $435 $490 $560 $615
Main Bldg Concierge $540 $600 $675 $750
Concierge Dlx/Hnymn $565 $630 $710 $790

Portofino Bay Hotel
2001 Room Rates Room Category Value Regular Holiday
Garden View $240 $260 $290
Bay View $280 $300 $330
Deluxe Pool View $300 $320 $350
Butler Concierge $400 $420 $450

A Gardenview room for both properties has Grand Floridians rates at a HIGHER $74 a night.

So if you want to say Portofino charges more for a lot of things, how about starting with room rates as a comparison.
That said having nothing to do with the parks paling in comparison, because that is after all just your opinion. Just compare the resorts for what they are and what they offer and you will see where the real bargains lie. You can say that Valet parking is free at Grand Floridian...but is it really?

Thanks Jessica ... that's what I suspected ...

Now, what exactly, besides "free" valet parking, that I may or may not use, does that extra $74 get me?

Are the rooms bigger? Are the furnishings nicer? Do I get HBO? What other services are "free" that I don't get at the PBH?

I've never stayed at a nicer Disney property (I stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort once over 10 years ago when my parents took my brother and I to Disney), but I really have no intention of ever staying onsite with Disney because:

1) They are more expensive than a comparable off site hotel (which is not the case for the PBH and HRH).

2) They provide no significant added benefit, such of FOTL (or whatever the new system is), that I would find of significant value.


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