I'm lucky enough to be going on a business trip to China next month. The (rather posh) hotel I'll be staying at states its rates at $xx per night excluding 15 %service fee. I live in NZ where tipping is not the norm an prices tend to be all inclusive. How does this service fee work, do they simply add 15% to the bill when I pay, is it compulsory? Does it apply to the room only or will it be added to any other facilities I may use (e.g. phone, internet). Will I still need to tip staff?
Tipping is unusual, but is getting more and more popular in places
receiving foreign guests. Porters, bell boys are expecting tips: usually 5 yuan. Taxi drivers, room maids, waiters dont
Hotels add taxes and fees to the final bill.
Have a nice trip.
The 15% will probably be added to the final bill. They are just separating it for advertising purposes. Personally, I would prefer them to not bother mentioning it.
I think tips are personal things if you feel someone deserves it particularly. As has been said, taxi drivers won't expect it - they get paid a set rate (this is usually displayed on the car window in Beijing at least.)
People who carry your bags will be paid a pittance and rely on tips, so you might want to give them something. For me, waiters/esses are a difficult one. If service is included in a bill, I leave it at that, but if a particular individual has been very good to you, hardworking, or just made sure you had a pleasant meal, then tip if you feel like it.