I come from a culture where we don't normally tip people.
However, I do know that it is the cultural norm in the US. I've basically had to tip everyone there. The tour guide, the taxi driver, the person who opened the doors at the hotel, et etc.
Basically the way I see it, if all these people (some who do 5 seconds of work!) expect to be tipped, then I don't think it is unreasonable that those who spend ?10mins in my hotel room is tipped.
Plus, of everyone who works, I expect that those who clean the rooms are paid the least.
Until a time that there is a decent minimum wage and bosses actually PAY their employees (and not expect consumers to pay them instead) - then I think this is acceptable.
No, hotels should not make the guests tip the housekeepers. The burden should be on the hotel to hire good staff and to pay them well to keep them. Housekeepers should be able to count on a reliable paycheck from their employer. Also, the guest should have the discretion to tip the amount they want to tip based on how good the housekeeper is. They should not have to pay a hefty tip to a housekeeper who did not clean the room well.
I believe that hotels should not require guests to tip housekeepers. Tips are inherently optional, and are something that should only be given if a customer believes they have received exemplary service. Hotels should pay their housekeepers fair wages so that it is not necessary for hotel guests to leave a gratuity.
When I tip, I tip well. I am thankful for a service which is why the true name of a tip is a gratuity. It is a way of saying thank you for doing more than what you are paid to do and making my life easier. If a hotel requires someone to tip then I become an employer and that is not my job. My job at a hotel is to get settled in, perhaps order room service and get some sleep. Now some will mention that hotel staff is typically paid minimum wage and require tips to make a decent living. The same can be said of almost all retail employees. Despite that fact I have never seen someone tip someone at a toy store who finds the toy their child wants. It is because the store takes responsibility for paying their staff. The staff takes responsibility for their own finances in return. I believe the rest of the work force should do the same. Yes it may mean higher prices as hotel staff gets paid a decent wage, however then when we do tips, the staff truly will be grateful.
Hotels are not like restaurants or barbershops, where customers have direct contact with the person they are tipping and tip extra for a job well done. In a hotel, guests do not even usually ever see the staff members who clean their rooms, and they're usually not being tipped extra for a job done extra-well done because there's not really an "excellent" way to clean a room-it's either clean or it's not.