Tipping Guide for your Sandals Vacation
Part 1 of the Sandals / Beaches All Inclusive Vacation Series
By Shellie Wylie
If you have done any research into the Sandals brand, you know that tipping is included in the price of your vacation. But – not all tipping is included. Some staff you should continue to tip. In this article I will present to you my observations and recommendations of who and how to tip while on a Sandals or Beaches vacation.
Spa Service Providers – These people do expect a tip. The standard is 10 to 20 percent. Personally I always tip at the high end of 20% unless I was unhappy with the service provided. Honestly that has only ever happened one time in my life! You can add the tip to your room charge / credit card receipt or leave cash.
Butlers – Butlers are well trained to provide you with exceptional service and your tip should reflect your gratitude. I have seen many guidelines on how to calculate that amount. It does get confusing and no one wants to be embarrassed by not tipping enough for excellent service. 5% of room cost is a rule of thumb for a butler. That is a little harder to calculate at an all inclusive resort since much more than your accommodation is included in the price you paid. Sandals assigns you 2 butlers, so you will be tipping two people. I recommend $25 to $75 per day, per butler. I use $50 per butler as my Great Service starting point and adjust from that point. A butler’s tip can be given at the end of your trip in a sealed envelope with a nice Thank You note.
Bar Tenders on site – No tipping. They should never ask for or imply they should receive a tip. What should you do if a bar tender asks for a tip? Be mindful that if reported the bar tender can lose his job so be careful what you say and to whom.
“Oh, I was under the impression that tips were included”
“I had the understanding that tipping is not allowed. Is this not the case?”
“I am sorry, I have no cash as I was told that bar tender tipping was not allowed.”
If the response isn’t a quick “You are correct, my mistake” or something similar; or you discover you are waiting longer and longer for your drinks, you will have no choice but to report the bar tender to other staff onsite. You can also use this link that serves to report a Compliment, Concern, or Request.
Drivers/Pilots – These are the non-Sandals employees that pick you up and drive you to the resort, to an excursion, or to / from the airport. If it is a private experience, meaning only your party is being transported, a flat tip of 10 to 20 percent of the transportation fee if it was a standalone purchase (like upgraded airport transfers) is appropriate. If you are on a bus with other travelers, $1 to $2 per person is appropriate.
And always remember that tipping is up to the guest. It is exceedingly rude to ask for a larger tip or tip a great deal lower than average. I tend to err on the side of over tipping because I really appreciate good service.
Do you have questions? Feel free to call us at 864-649-1016 or use our Quote Request Form if you do not already have a relationship with a Wishes Concierge Travel Planner.