Watch Out For Tips Included When Drinking At New York Hotel Bars
The rooftop bar at Hotel Gansevoort.
UPDATE: In response to this story, the Gansevoort Hotel Group let us know that the Hotel Gansevoort does not include an automatic 20 percent tip on all beer, wine, and cocktails ordered, and has never done so. The Gansevoort Park Ave, however, had included a 20 percent gratuity on all bar tabs since opening in the summer. But, as of today, this automatic gratuity has been eliminated. Yippee! Moving forward, the only automatic gratuity charges at both hotels will for large parties and bottle service.
As you might have guessed from our frequent Hotel Cocktails and Hotel Bars coverage, we're fond of a tipple. But a tip? We prefer when that's left to our discretion. Unfortunately, as reported by the New York Post, we can't always get what we want. Many hotel bars in NYC are now charging mandatory tips on drinks tabs.
Hotels mentioned in the article include top spots in the city for getting sozzled--such as Hotel Gansevoort, The Standard NYC, the Tribeca Grand and the Ace Hotel.
A bartender at the Tribeca Grand told the Post:
"It's a hotel policy, because we have a lot of European tourists who don't tip."
And those European tourists are not just here in abundance these days--they're integral to the city's tourism industry.
We can understand that bar staff deserve gratuity for their good service but we don't like the idea of an 18–20% tip being snuck onto our tab without our knowledge. If only because we're not always at our best and brightest at the bottom of two cocktails and may not realize that the extra charge has been added.
If hotel bars must do this, we think staff should mention the tip inclusion--or make it obvious, like the Ace Hotel bar did in the Post's example: the reporter's bill came with a red stamp alerting them to the included gratuity.
More importantly, when she complained that she should pay whatever gratuity she wished, "the bartender scratched it off without a fuss."
[Photo: Courtesy Hotel Gansevoort ]