Marriott is doing a good thing by joining the "The Envelope Please," an initiative developed by A Woman’s Nation, a nonprofit organization founded by journalist Maria Shriver that strives to bring more respect to women for what they do at work and at home. It's a little thing—just leaving an envelope to introduce the concept of leaving a tip for housekeeping—but it could help raise awareness that those who clean up our messes and make our beds deserve a tip just as much (I would argue more) than bellmen or doormen.
I make a point of having a few dollars on hand each day to leave on the desk, with a note thanking her (usually they are women) for anything I notice is done particularly well. And we should do it daily, not just at the end of a stay, so whoever has your room each day gets the tip. Anyone who has to lift those monster mattresses that make today's hotel beds so comfortable deserves a lot of respect, including the kind that's expressed in financial terms!
My only quibble is that I wish they would have made it a tip jar, instead of adding hundreds of envelopes to the daily recycling pile. But regardless, thanks for bringing this little-discussed topic to light, Marriott, and likely a few more dollars to your hardworking housekeepers.
And housekeeping staff everywhere, know that we really do appreciate what you do for your guests. You may not be paid accordingly, but yours is arguably one of the most important jobs in a hotel when it comes to guest comfort and satisfaction. Just like no one appreciates—or even notices—the great job a meeting manager had to do to produce a flawless event, so do people tend to take the cleanliness and order in their hotel room for granted. I hope this helps.