No tipping at Sandals/couples?

I am from the US and I am used to tipping for service. We will be going to a Couples resort that has a no tipping policy. From what I've read these resorts are pretty strict with the policy, and I certainly do not want to get am employee in trouble. But before I book, I wanted to make sure that couples (and sandals), pay their employees a fair wage to make up for the lack of tips. Do these resorts pay better than other resorts? Are their employees treated fairly?

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Advice

I have a friend who’s a driver and his best friend works at an all-inclusive resort. I don’t know if resort staff get in trouble for accepting tips but I do know they get paid absolutely abysmally. They weren’t paid well before Covid, then most lost their jobs in 2020. When they started getting hired back, they were offered even less money and pretty much had to take it or starve. People got very little help during the lockdown so things are dire.

Anyway, if you decide not to tip at the resort, please know that, unless a driver picks you up in a resort van, they are contractors and are not getting paid from the resort. My friend who’s a driver gets paid $60 a week (yes, week). His boss tells him he has to rely on tips, then the resorts tell their patrons not to tip, leaving my friend to live off next to nothing.

If you do decide to tip, be aware that cash app does not work in Jamaica. My friend says people ask him if he accepts it (though he suspects they are just using that as an excuse not to tip). Cash is best.

Thanks for reading.

Advice

We didn’t stay at Couples, but I’ve stayed at other all-inclusives. The staff was not allowed to ask for tips and would get in trouble if they were caught doing so, but you could tip if you desired. It’s a way for the resort to avoid having guests give them bad reviews (“this place says they’re all-inclusive but every person had their hand out while we were there!”).

I always tip but do so discreetly. Knowing what I know now about the pay, especially since Covid, I’d make sure to have loads of small bills when I get there.

I’d be happy to ask my friend what he knows about Couples specifically. As a driver he’s been to every resort.

Advice

Just to follow up, I checked in with my friend and he said that they only get in trouble if a manager sees it or someone reports it. He said it’s fine (and very much appreciated) to tip if you do it discreetly.

Advice

Because you did it in front of management. You’re using this rule to justify your cheapness. I’ve always been taught if you cannot afford to tip on service you can’t afford the service, and that includes vacations.

Advice

Come on dumb ass. I didn’t do it in front of management. I did it discreetly at the bar which is where I’ve seen it refused on a number of occasions.

I’ve been to this brand resort 20 times and have only seen a few successful tips, but I’ve heard of a number who were fired for either asking or accepting.

Advice

FYI, Sandals now allows you to tip your butlers if you have them. We were caught off guard on a past trip, and only had a tiny bit of cash left. It would have been embarrassing to tip them the cash, so I had to do it on the credit card. I was told the resort takes a cut of it, so I prefer to tip cash.

Advice

Sandals has that policy, but you can discreetly tip. Fold up the bill and give a hand shake, or ask if they would like u order some food for the staff or get them a round. Just gotta be smart and the staff so deserve it.

Advice

I can only speak for the couples resorts but overall it is very good atmosphere and pretty friendly staff, you’ll definitely enjoy yourself…. Participate in the water sports and entertainment activities and you’ll have a blast.

Advice

You absolutely tip, just don’t do it in front of others, you can wait until the end of your trip and give them a larger amount in private or be very discreet about it. I also like to bring small items for children to leave for housekeeping, chocolates, money, fancy lotions. It’s just a kindness I like to show for hardworking people. A lot goes into making your trip special and it’s nice to show your appreciation.

Advice

I stayed at a couples resort and I’m from Jamaica originally. If you’re getting exceptional service and you feel the need to express gratitude go ahead and do so! If you’re worried about it simply get their name and make a review on their google/Facebook page. Talk to the manager about that staff member.

🤫🤫 still tip! Just don’t make it obvious or too noticeable in public. When I ordered room service I sort of waited and knew when it was arriving (mask on) I opened the door and tipped. When I went to the lobby bar I made eye contact with the person I wanted to receive it while putting it in my glass and made sure they took that glass, it’s all about being stealthy.

Advice

That may be something they’re instructed to tell guests. Or perhaps some higher level staff gets paid decently. My friend is a driver and has worked at a few resorts. His best friend currently works at an all-inclusive. They barely make enough money to survive. The pay has gotten even worse since Covid.

Advice

Thank you. I know tipping is very much an American thing, but it’s so ingrained in me, that I think it would be weird not to . We went to Mexico last year, and tipped very well because we knew covid really hurt employees. But it was also a tipping resort.

Advice

That’s not necessarily true, they get compensated well for Jamaican Standards. If you compare to US dollars it may not look that way though.

But most receive benefits and competitive pay rates. ps it’s also dependent on the job…. MOST hotels contract drivers so your friend may not be providing accurate information.

Advice

You are joking - right? If there is one thing that hotels are known for, its poverty wages for regular workers. I’m not sure what “Jamaican Standards” you are going by, but it is certainly not the country Jamaica.

Advice

Coveted, by who?

My dad did managerial work at one of these places, and he told me that if it weren’t for tips , a lot of children wouldn’t be in school. The idea that waiters, janitors, and cleaning ladies anywhere much less Sandals, are “treated and compensated well” is ridiculous.

Get real man.

Edit:

Posting this here

https://www.reddit.com/r/Jamaica/comments/q7fxrf/plea_to_those_traveling_to_jamaica/

Advice

As stated earlier, my father, let me know, most line and staff hotel workers cannot manage without receiving, because the money they earn is a poverty wage. He actually started as a Sanitation Manager, so he was actually managing cleaners and janitors. But, you do you. I hope you enjoy the island.

Advice

Actually I wrote that post, and since then I learned my suspicion was correct based on friends living and working there. When people were rehired in the tourist industry after the massive layoffs in 2020, they were offered less than they were making before and had to take it or continue to be unemployed. That includes resorts.

As for tips, again, I reached out to my friends there and they said tips made discreetly at the resorts are happily accepted and much-needed. They only get in trouble if someone sees it and reports it, but it’s really not difficult to slip someone a few bucks when no one is looking.

Advice

I always tip really well in Jamaica. Generally this is best practice anywhere in hospitality? The average pay rate for most jobs in jamaica is disgracefully below livable wage. Be really discreet but always tip. People are happy for foreign currency too. Tell your friends ✨

Advice

We’ve been to multiple Couples brand resorts multiple times over the years. Never tried Sandals. The previous replies are a pretty accurate cross section of opinions everyone this is discussed. Join a Facebook group specific to Couples and do a search on tipping if you want the deep dive.

Official policy is tip the driver that brings you to the resort, tip the spa staff, tip the crew on the catermoran cruise, but don’t tip anybody else. What happens is ultimately up to the guest and employee. Housekeeping is really easy to tip because there’s no interaction if you leave a little $ on your bed. The bellman are easy to tip if they get you a little something extra 😉 because you’ll be alone in room with them. Everybody else puts some risk in the transaction. It’s not just management looking but potentially other employees looking to settle a score by reporting a rival. Oh, and not all managers are against it because there is undoubtedly a bit of an organized operation in action (the bellman group was its own enterprise when we started going years ago).

Some people who make personal connections with staff become Facebook friends, stay in touch and contribute directly later.

Does the pay suck, yes, but probably sucks less than a lot of other options. Couples is a great choice if you are doing All Inclusive in Jamaica.

Advice

Thank you. Do you does housekeeping refill the mini fridge in the room or is that a different person? In Mexico it was two different people, so we topped housekeeping, and we also left a tip inside the fridge

Advice

Just wrap/roll your tip in a piece of paper or something and push it in their hand and turn and walk away (same way you pay off the cops). trust me and don’t ask questions and don’t look back if they say “hey” just act like you’re deaf. Everything will be fine. Hear no evil, see no evil.

Advice

American driving rental and speeding scenario

JP: (siren) or (walk in the road M16 in hand)“Pull it over”

American: why am I being stopped officer

JP: Well you were speeding, license and registration

American: oh I’m sorry I don’t live here officer, it won’t happen again

JP: you don’t live here? So that means you won’t be able to come to court eh?

American: possibly not officer but I don’t want to get in any trouble

JP: So what you want me to do for you?

One thing I can say, when you hear those magic words, “yuh betta know sump’n” lol 😂

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