The hospitality industry is built on showmanship and flattery. When you arrive at a hotel, people spring into motion to make your life easier: The door attendant helps you with your bags, the bellhop takes them to the room, housekeepers clean and restock your room and the concierge knows where to get the best steak in town. Extra work warrants extra pay, and knowing how to tip isn't just good manners -- it can help ensure quality service throughout your stay.
Ask whether the hotel charges a resort or luxury fee. This fee, typically 15 percent to 20 percent, is divided among the men and women who will serve you during your stay, according to Forbes magazine. A resort fee eliminates the need to tip.
Wait to tip the valet until he brings your car. It is unnecessary to tip a valet for parking a car, but it is customary to tip a dollar or two for returning it.
Tip the door attendant and bellhop. For the door attendant, tip $1 or $2 for helping unload your bags or hailing a taxi. Bellhops generally should receive $1 to $2 per bag, Forbes recommends an extra $5 to $10 if you have an unusually large amount of luggage.
Give the front desk attendant $1 or $2 for arranging an early check-in or late checkout.
Leave a minimum of $3 per day on your nightstand for housekeeping and include another dollar or two every time you make a special request, such as extra toiletries.
Tip room service workers 15 percent to 20 percent, just as you would in a restaurant.
Check your spa treatment bill. If the hotel has added a service charge to your massage or other primping services, no additional tip is necessary. If not, tip 18 percent, according to Forbes.
Tip the concierge $5 to $10 for making dinner reservations or securing tickets to a performance. If you're simply asking for advice or directions, a tip is optional, but should be at least $5, according to the etiquette information resource Tip Guide.
Have plenty of small bills or dollar coins on hand when you arrive at the hotel.
If you're traveling internationally, study local customs. In some places, tipping is customary even after service charges; in others, it can be misconstrued as an insult.
Never ask a service worker if she requires a tip: most will answer no out of good manners, even though tips are the bulk of her salary.
You can tip the concierge all at once at the end of your stay, but if you do, keep track of how frequently you used the services.
If you find yourself short on cash, get the staff member's name and leave a complimentary note for the hotel manager.