by Matt Alderton | September 23, 2014
The folks who tidy up your hotel room deserve more gratitude, and more gratuities, according to Marriott International, which last week became the first hotelier to join "The Envelope Please," a new initiative that encourages hotel guests to leave tips and thank-you notes for hotel room attendants in designated envelopes provided in hotel rooms.

Launched by A Woman's Nation (AWN), a nonprofit started by journalist Maria Shriver to acknowledge women's value at home and in the workplace, The Envelope Please was developed to recognize hotels' housekeeping staff, whose hard work is often overlooked by guests who typically don't see or interact with them. As part of the program, Marriott will place dedicated tipping envelopes in more than 160,000 guest rooms at participating Marriott-managed hotels in the Untied States and Canada. It also has invited franchise hotels to participate.

"The Envelope Please was born from having conversations with women I've met who have taken care of my room during hotel stays. Their stories of hard work and perseverance inspired and informed me. They told me that room attendants, who are often the primary breadwinner for their families, are often forgotten when it comes to tipping, unlike other front-of-house employees, since most travelers don't see them face-to-face. I hope this gratitude initiative will make these women feel seen and validated," Shriver said in a statement.

According to Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson, room attendants are Marriott's largest employee group. "Marriott is proud to support The Envelope Please to shine a light on the excellent behind-the-scenes work our room attendants do day in and day out," he said. "Room attendants are … the heart of the house."

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) says hotel guests leave an average of $1 to $5 per night, depending on the hotel class, and recommends tipping daily rather than at checkout to ensure that it goes to the person cleaning the room.

"Room attendants are one of the largest employment categories in the hotel industry, and their work behind the scenes is so important to the quality of the stay in any hotel," said AH&LA President and CEO Katherine Lugar. "The Envelope Please is an effective way for guests to recognize their room attendant's work and show appreciation for making every stay a memorable and pleasant experience. The American Hotel & Lodging Association applauds this effort."