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All inclusive American resort - tipping

86 replies

PossiblyDreaming · 01/02/2022 21:54

In a few weeks I’m going to be staying at (what looks like) a very lovely, all inclusive resort in Grenada. Looking at the reviews it looks like it’s an almost exclusively American’s who stay there and it’s American owned. There’s lots of mentions about how the staff can be a bit standoffish and unwilling to help but once you tip they all become lovely and attentive and constantly bringing you amazing cocktails, reserving tables in the restaurant etc.

But I don’t know who to tip, when you tip or how much. Any suggestions? It’s a fairly pricey place to stay - for two of us it’s about £700 per night in the cheapest room but at an all inclusive rate. I just have no idea about tipping and don’t want to piss off the staff by tipping them not enough or tipping them at the wrong time and I don’t know if I have to tip everyone and I’m getting in such a faff about it already.

It’s supposed to be an absolute trip of a lifetime but I hate not knowing what the rules are.

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PossiblyDreaming · 02/02/2022 07:22

Hopeful bump

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SalsaLove · 02/02/2022 07:26

I believe the standard tip is 15% of the bill. Also check with the concierge desk when you arrive and they should be helpful.

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MaggieFS · 02/02/2022 07:29

If you read that on somewhere like Trip Advisor, you can ask a question of the people who left the reviews and see what they say.

Good luck. I hate the tipping minefield.

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SalsaLove · 02/02/2022 07:30

Also, you should tip anyone serving you, so waiters, luggage handlers, room cleaners at the end of your stay. Luggage handlers should get $2 per bag. Room cleaners maybe $20?

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underneaththeash · 02/02/2022 07:37

We've stayed at lots of Caribbean AI resorts including a couple in Grenada and I've never tipped!

There's lots of nice hotels in Grenada and it's still fairly underbooked, just move to one where the service is better.
Having said that, the service is never amazing in the Caribbean - their pace of life is slower and there is less urgency in general.

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girlmom21 · 02/02/2022 07:37

£700 a NIGHT and they want tips?!

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PermanentTemporary · 02/02/2022 07:40

Service staff may be paid less on the assumption they'll get tipped and taxed more on the assumption they'll get tips too.

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CeeceeBloomingdale · 02/02/2022 07:41

This is very unusual, none of the Carribean AI resorts I've stayed in have permitted tipping. Does the resort have a website? Tipping policy may be on there.

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Anotherhill · 02/02/2022 07:42

That sounds so stressful. Surely the point of AI is that you don’t have to worry about money!

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ImInStealthMode · 02/02/2022 07:46

I found in Central America what was described as 'stand-offish and unhelpful' by American reviewers was perfectly normal service behaviour by my British standards.

I don't need the barman to know my name, hear my life story and gush on constantly about whether I'm having a great day, thank you Grin

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deeplyambivalent · 02/02/2022 07:49

I put a small tip (maybe a couple of dollars) for housekeeping every day. That ensures you're not just tipping the person who cleans your room on the last day. The cleaners tend to be among the poorest paid, so they really appreciate the money.

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Longdistance · 02/02/2022 07:54

I’ve never tipped at any of the resorts I’ve stayed at. One was in Antigua and an American guy tried to tip the bar server, she point blank refused it.

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PossiblyDreaming · 02/02/2022 07:58

@underneaththeash I’ve stayed at Beaches resorts before so that I don’t have to think about tipping and the staff have been openly hostile to customers. Pretty much all resorts other than Beaches and Sandals expect tipping across the islands I’ve stayed at before and I’ve stayed pretty much everywhere in the Caribbean other than Dominican Republic. Tipping was always done by my ex husband before though so I never really thought about it.

I’ll definitely tip cleaners. I like tipping cleaners as they’re not there when they take their money. I really hate handing over one or two dollars and having people thank me for it. It’s just a dynamic I really don’t like.

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PossiblyDreaming · 02/02/2022 07:59

Ooh, thanks @MaggieFS. I didn’t realise you could ask questions on trip advisor

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Hoppinggreen · 02/02/2022 13:31

When I have done Caribbean AI the staff have sometimes been standoffish with the American guests because they treat them like crap but if you are decent to them they are fine. I have been absolutely shocked and appalled at the racist behaviour by some American guests at these places. On the other hand we have been almost treated like a Royalty just for treating staff like human beings
We have occasionally tipped when appropriate but not as standard. I always leave some money in my room at the end with a note though

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BackToWhereItAllBegan · 02/02/2022 18:57

Outside of Sandals / Beaches resorts, tipping is fairly standard at all inclusive hotels across the Caribbean.
We usually tip $5 with breakfast and lunch, $10 at dinner and $1 per drink at the bars.
For housekeeping, I try to leave $5 per day, I know some people prefer to tip at the end of their holiday but you don't always get the same staff every day so I think leaving the money daily is fairer.

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DirectionToPerfection · 02/02/2022 19:04

@BackToWhereItAllBegan

Outside of Sandals / Beaches resorts, tipping is fairly standard at all inclusive hotels across the Caribbean.
We usually tip $5 with breakfast and lunch, $10 at dinner and $1 per drink at the bars.
For housekeeping, I try to leave $5 per day, I know some people prefer to tip at the end of their holiday but you don't always get the same staff every day so I think leaving the money daily is fairer.

Bloody hell, that adds up very fast.

As a PP said, what's the point in AI if you have to keep thinking about money.

We're staying in a Secrets resort in Mexico this summer, anyone got any experience of what's the norm there?
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BackToWhereItAllBegan · 02/02/2022 19:19

I agree @DirectionToPerfection, I also forgot to add tipping bellboys and spa staff is expected so budget for that too.
I haven't stayed at Secrets but I have stayed at Excellence resorts in Mexico which is a similar brand so I'd expect tipping to follow the same 'rules'.

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PossiblyDreaming · 02/02/2022 19:32

@BackToWhereItAllBegan thank you, I’ll get lots of 5’s and 1’s. When you say tipping spa staff is expected how do you do that? Sorry, probably sounds really daft but they normally collect you from the changing room or you go into their treatment room in a dressing gown. Do you make sure you’ve got cash in your dressing gown and hand over after they’ve polished you? It’s a bloody minefield.

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PossiblyDreaming · 02/02/2022 19:34

@DirectionToPerfection it certainly seems to be the case at places other than Sandals and Beaches who make a real point that tipping isn’t allowed (it’s still done though, you know who has tipped as they get their sub beds reserved and are openly served in front of you at bars and seated at restaurants. It’s bonkers. They even say it’s instant dismissal for the staff if they’re seen accepting tips but it’s still done.

I would assume Mexico would be the same as most places in the Caribbean unless it is an All Inclusive specifically aimed at Europeans.

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BackToWhereItAllBegan · 02/02/2022 19:40

@PossiblyDreaming for the Spa staff, you'll usually find they'll accompany you either back to your dressing room or to 'help' you sign out at the end of your treatment so I'd just tip them then.
I've lived in the US for a long time so tipping in person comes more easily to me now but I used to find it so awkward and cringey at first.
And you're right about Sandals staff accepting tips, last time we went I tipped the bellboy out of habit when we first arrived, he certainly had no problem accepting the money!

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mathanxiety · 02/02/2022 19:59

@girlmom21, the average minimum wage worker at the resort on a poor island isn't going to see a fraction of the $700 room rate in their paycheque.

OP - you should pay 20 percent in tips to all servers.

Baggage handlers should get $10.
Cleaners should get $10 per day.

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mathanxiety · 02/02/2022 20:08

In a spa, there may be little tip envelopes at the reception desk. You put in an amount that will be divided among the various people who have worked on you.

Please do not stock up on $1 and $5 bills. Those denominations are far too small.

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MrsTerryPratchett · 02/02/2022 20:11

We usually tip $5 with breakfast and lunch, $10 at dinner and $1 per drink at the bars.
For housekeeping, I try to leave $5 per day


I've stayed in heavenly, beautiful, idyllic places in the Caribbean and elsewhere where the entire cost of breakfast, lunch and dinner was that. Total. And the people were delightful regardless of tip.

Go a locally, preferably family, owned place, spend your money on the people, not vast shitty corporations whose business model is to screw you, screw their staff and you're left worrying about tips. Angry

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MrsTerryPratchett · 02/02/2022 20:13

Meant to say, I dip the housekeepers generously at the end. I don't want to treat people like vending machines. I tend to get good service because I'm friendly and nice and treat people well. I also go to a lot of socialist and/or non-touristy countries to avoid that awful americanised service model.

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