You can start tipping as soon as you enter the country by tipping the guy who helps you with your bags to your transfer bus/van. A $1 per bag is a good tip for him. You can tip the transfer bus/van driver who takes you to your hotel, $1 per person or $5 if traveling alone is recommended. Most people do not tip the bus driver as they are being welcomed to the resort, so this is a nice gesture..
After you have checked in, a porter will carry your bags to your room for you. You tip according to the number of bags, the distance he has to carry them, etc. of $1 – $5 per bag.
- Waiters at the buffets at all-inclusive are generally tipped $1 per person.
- Waiters at beach bars, snack shops are generally tipped $1 per person.
- Waiters at ala carte or dinner restaurants are generally tipped $5 per person.
- Bartenders are generally tipped $1 per drink or $5 per night.
Our experience with resort buffets and specialty restaurants is that if you want the best service, tip something at every meal. Not a big tip but something adequate depending on how much service was provided. The reasoning for this [beyond tipping for good service] is that you may enjoy a certain table at the buffet and you will probably have the same waiters for your entire stay at the hotel. If you plan to tip “big” on your last day and do not tip during the week you may miss the waiter(s) you like as it may be their day off.
You definitely will get better service at a specialty restaurant on a return visit if you tip generously on your first visit. The waiters at specialty restaurants are usually very professional and friendly, speak Spanish and English [some will surprise you with a smattering of French and German] so you will more than likely “want” to tip them.
Staff at the Beach Restaurants rarely gets tips. This is because people usually do not bring money to the beach. If you eat at the Beach Restaurants a lot, or your children do, please take some money to tip the staff there, at least once.
Bartenders are often forgotten. Many are around the pool area where people don’t carry cash. Others are available at night where you may have wait service. If you meet for drinks before/after dinner, try to order your first round at the bar directly and tip then.
TIPPING THE MAID
- Housekeepers are generally tipped $2-$5 a day.
You can actually stay an entire week at a hotel and never bump into your housekeeper. Most often you will, so you will know who your housekeeper is. There is usually a card in your room identifying your housekeeper. You may have a housekeeper, towel attendant, and fridge attendant. You do not need to tip all 3 people but keep in mind if something is not done, it might not be the housekeepers’ fault.
You can tip the housekeeper(s) when you see them or leave them a tip daily. Hotels sometimes provide an envelope for you to put money in to leave for the housekeeper. If they don’t, write a quick note of Thank You or with any requests you might have and place it on the money on your bed or nightstand. We feel if your housekeeper provides extra amenities, does good towel sculptures, respects your property and is friendly, then tip them personally. Keep in mind that your last day may be the housekeeper’s day off. You can ask them before you leave if they will be there on your last day.
OTHER TIPPING SITUATIONS
If you enjoy the person’s company and they do a good job, tip them as you would back home. If you have never gone for a massage before tip $5.00.
If you are doing an excursion, where the staff is also a guide (a catamaran or cenote tour), we recommend $5 per person.
If you have separate transportation to the excursion, we recommend $1 per person for the driver.