Although it is customary to tip at London 5 star hotels and for other services in different aspects of life in the UK, the practice is quite controversial as different people have different views about it. There are many people who feel that Tip at 5 Star Hotels in London and elsewhere is not necessary and should not be encouraged because as it is the charges for the room and for other facilities are high and in some cases, they include service charges. However, there are many more people who find the system of tipping to be necessary since it expresses appreciation for the services being rendered to them, despite the high cost of the services.
It has always been difficult to decide the art of tipping as there is no science involved in it. Each aspect of tipping such as when to tip, how much to tip and how to give the tip, always causes unease. What should then be the correct approach? If you are staying at a 5 star hotel in London, you will find that there are so many occasions where you might be expected to tip and as such where do you draw the line. You are taking your dinner and when the bill comes, you are expected to leave at least 10 to 20 percent of the total bill amount as a tip as you feel that it is polite to leave something for the waiter. You would also be expected to tip the coat-check person who takes your outer garment; the lavatory attendant who provides tepid water and hands you a clean hand towel, the door man who opens the door for you and of course the taxi driver. You may start wondering as to where to start from and where to end and whether such largesse is necessary and not excessive. Opinions may differ but you will get the answer if you place yourself in the position of the person who is offering the service and whether you would do that job such as being near the urinals.
There can be no hard and fast rules regarding tipping as there are many aspects of tipping that each person has to decide for himself. For example, if you are dining at the restaurant of a 5 star hotel and if you have just had soup, the cheapest of the main courses and only tap water, you may find that the general rule of 10 to 15 percent of the bill may seem very low because your bill amount would not be high. Similarly if you have had expensive starters, the best main course, pudding and an expensive wine, your bill amount will be high and that same percentage of tip will appear to be extremely high. You then have to use your discretion for giving the most appropriate tip.
As such, till such time that someone comes up with a hand-held electronic device that will flash the amount of tip when you feed in the amount of your bill and the country and place where you have availed of the service, you have to abide by the accepted norms of tipping at various places, such as at Five Star Montcalm Hotel at The Brewery London City.
When you stay at a high-end hotel in London, it is important to know that tipping is customary. In a 5 star hotel, you can tip your porter about 5 pounds per bag. For the services of a hotel porter you need to consider: the floor on which your room is to be found; the distance from the service elevator to your room; the number and weight of your pieces of luggage; and, finally, time elapsed between checking in and your luggage arriving in the room.
If you wish to tip your housekeeper, you can leave a few pounds on the night table. Tipping the room service is up to you. At the restaurant in the hotel, a service charge of 10 to 12 percent is usually included. If it is not included, you should tip about 10 to 15 percent of the bill. For the concierge service, you should tip at least 10 to 15 pounds depending on the difficulty of the task that has been performed. You should tip the hotel doorman £2 for hailing a cab and £1 for each piece of luggage handled by him. The cloakroom attendant should be paid at least £1 for each item.
You are expected to tip 10 to 15 percent of the taxi fare to the driver of black cabs and the licensed minicabs in London. However, the most common practice is that people usually round up the fare to the nearest £1 and tell the driver to “keep the change”. However, in the case of a long journey and if the driver has been helpful in handling your luggage, you should tip a little more, up to £5.
If you order at the counter of any eating joint in the UK or at a fast food, in cafeterias or for coffee, you are not expected to tip. Moreover, it is acceptable to tip the tour guides but it is not expected. However, you should not tip more than 10 percent or a few pounds.
An important aspect of tipping is the way and the time when it should be done. At many places you will find a saucer/ash tray/begging bowl where you should drop a few coins. If a tip cannot be left, you should fold a note into a small square, hold it in your palm and transfer it to the tippee’s palm.