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Should I leave tips in hotels in Latvia? Each day I put 2-3 lats (about 4-6 dollars) on the table, but each evening I'm returning to the room I find money untouched.

This is my first country where tips are ignored. May be, I'm doing something wrong?

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Perhaps it wasn't clear that the money are a tip rather than spare change? At any rate, if I'm happy with the service, I'd usually write a short thank-you note as well, or instead, of leaving cash. –  mindcorrosive Mar 14 '13 at 8:31
    
There's a very good chance that the cleaning personnel doesn't understand English. –  gerrit Mar 14 '13 at 9:17
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Normally the tips for cleaning staff are left on the pillow of your bed. Money on the table may have simply been forgotten. –  Karlson Mar 14 '13 at 10:47
    
@mindcorrosive A thankyou note with cash in an envelope would be the most appropriate gesture. –  Simon Mar 14 '13 at 14:06

4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

In my experience of holidaying in Europe & North Africa, tips for chamber maids etc are given at the end of the holiday/stay and more often than not given directly by oneself to the chamber maid, rather than being left anywhere.

Money left on a table would almost certainly not be seen as tips for cleaning your room, as indicated in Karlson's comments.

(Hotel staff wouldn't dare touch money left on a table simply for implications of theft, their job is too precious to risk, beside it simply not the done thing (at least in Europe, North Africa & I'm certain most parts of the world). To be perfectly honest with you I have never actually heard of people leaving loose change, be it coins/ notes on a table indicating it is for chamber maids/cleaning staff).

In terms of leaving a tip, you should definitely give it (unless you have grave reservations not to), they definitely expect it, even if they don't directly ask or hint at it. Wages are generally very low.

The same would apply when tipping a so called "Bell Boy" (hotel porter)

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Given the definition of Tips being gratuity for good services why not use that as a basis for whether or not you leave a tip?

While in United States, Canada and elsewhere tipping in restaurants is expected it is still optional, so if you like the service you leave more if you don't you may not leave anything, so while it may not be expected by the hotel staff in Latvia if you feel that you got good service I would leave a tip anyway.

If not for nothing just for not touching money left on the table.

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I'm pretty OK with the concept of tipping, it's just that nobody wants my tips))) –  shabunc Mar 14 '13 at 13:39
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@shabunc As I mentioned in my comments before. On the table it's not tips. Just forgotten money. :) –  Karlson Mar 14 '13 at 13:52
    
-1 Whatever people might say or write about tips, they are either unnecessary (most of Western Europe) or an essential part of the person's income (e.g. in the US). The notion that because, unlike in many other professions, that income is not agreed to in advance or paid by the employer would means it is perfectly acceptable not to pay someone for their work because you have some sort of objection about the “service” is absurd. –  Relaxed Oct 15 '13 at 10:44
    
@Annoyed Don't get your comment at all. –  Karlson Oct 15 '13 at 13:14

Leaving a tip is a personal decision and on average I only leave a tip in about half of the places I stay. When I do, I never leave it loose on the table as i was told the maid is not allowed to take it. I use Merci Envelopes that I have bought online. These are small red envelopes that I carry in my wallet and can personalise if necessary. You could just leave a note, but I find the envelopes more stylish.

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It depends on hotel, but usually you do not have to give tips. Leaving money on table is not considered as tip. It's not allowed to touch anything what belongs to customer - you.

If you are in small hotel, you can give tips to the personnel, if you meet them in person.

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Why -1? This seems to be the only answer based on actual local experience and not on the North American notion that you must actively punish or reward service staff instead of simply paying for their work. –  Relaxed Oct 15 '13 at 10:24

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