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Tipping and gifts for other employees


I’ve seen a lot of posts about tipping/gifts for the maid anywhere from $1-5$ a day. This must be a great benefit to them (20 rooms X 2$ = 40$/day extra as a guess) and technically they could end up with more perfume and candles than they need or can use.

My question:

What about other employees? The guy who serves you the free drinks on the beach, the person outside the bathroom with the hand sanitizer, the table staff in the buffet or a la carte, desk clerk…I’m sure I am missing tonnes of other helpful people. These people must get very little compared to the maids.

Do people tip them and give them gifts? If so how much? Why not tip everyone in pesos as it is their currency? Can they do more with US$? And wouldn’t you also have to give them a note saying you gave them the money/gift as they would get checked by security also?

Any information would be helpful so I can plan how much money I need to beg, borrow and steal so I can live in a manner I am not accustomed too. :slight_smile:




We’ve always made a point to tip the bar tender(s) that make our trip more enjoyable. We tend to do this at the end of the trip as you know who has gone that extra mile for you. Don’t get me wrong, they all work their butts off.

This past trip was the first time that we tipped our morning table attendant. This year we had the same person on most days, and we was always friendly and made sure that the tea and coffee never ran empty. We tipped him. In the past we’ve never experienced this type fo service. And we always tip a couple bucks at the a la cartes as they are serving you.

If I recall correctly we also gave a small thank you tip to the front desk girl who took care of our every need.

I’m sure that there are others who deserve to be tipped, but the question is, ‘Where do you draw the line?’. It’s too bad that you can’t deposit a large sum tip into a jar and have them all split it!


Not that my husband I have lots of experience in this, but what we have done so far is leave gifts and tip for our maids, and leave tip on the table for breakfast and lunch. If there were certain staff members who went out of their way to do things for us, we would tip them individually.

The a la carte, we usually tip individual waiter or waiters who have served us.

Last year, when we were at Pureto Plata, my husband befriended the food and drink manager, who really worked very hard, and told him that we had brought things from Canada that we wanted to share with the staff in the kitchen and other places who were not the front line staff members. He was delighted, and when we brought the gifts to share, he had them go around the kitchen, etc. to be shared by other staff members.

The bartenders we became very close in the evening were tipped indiviudally, as they were usually the staff who served us while we were there. Actually, we get to meet one of them as a “friend” this time when we go to Puerto Plata. Really looking forward to it.

The desk staff, we had a box of goodies for them as well. They loved them, and I saw that they shared them among themselves. This time, I have to remember that the there are two shifts working at the front desk, so we need to distribute one set during the day and one set during the evening.

Usually, during brakfast and lunch we tend to leave $2.00 or so on the table and sometimes tip indiviudally $1.00 to $2.00, plus we give them little gifts from Canada.

A la carte, my husband tips them $5.00 each.

The bartenders, he tends to tip them $3.00 to $5.00 per evening.

Not sure if we are correct in anything, but I think it is the thought that counts, and I believe that we are showing our appreciation for their excellent hard work and service.



We spent 2-3 hours per night sitting at the bar of the Iberostar Costa Dorado. The bar was always very busy and had 4 bartenders. One tender was a very outgoing person and everyone loved him, especially the ladies. In the space of three hours, we counted the amount of people who shook his hand, and then his hand went into his pocket. We counted 52 in three hours. You do the math. I am not sure of the amount of each tip but I guess that he was making more than $150 every 3 hours, six days a week. His favorite saying was "I love my job"
I guess so. In tips alone, he is making more than me.


We would also tip the hostess of the a la cartes, as well we left clothing, sewing kits and sandals for the less fortunate of the DR


When you say “small gifts” what would that include? We’ve left a couple of dollars as tips for different people.


What we’ve left as small gifts, were kids toys (dollar store items) for their families, t-shirts, key chains, pens, etc with Canada on it (seems to be well liked).


Had a very interesting experience about 3 years ago when we stayed at Breezes PP over New Year’s. Mom, dad and 3 kids at the time 22, 19, 16.

Our last morning, we had one Blue Jays T-shirt left (after having given them to bartenders, etc.) so my husband walked over and gave it to an older man doing clean up around the pool. Well, he leaned his broom against a tree and disappeared downstairs under the pool deck. Didn’t know where he was going–maybe to put it away. He came back about 10 minutes later, walked by us with a big grin on his face and pulled down his uniform shirt so we could see that he had put it on under his uniform. He was so happy and just kept smiling. So remember these folks too.


Folks I am new to this.

It will be our first visit to DR in May 2007, we are staying at the new Hotel on Cayo Levantado, and this tipping will be a new experience to us.

Do we Tip daily, or at the end of our stay, and what do we take with us for gifts, I would be so embarrassed if I took things that were of no use to them, and upset if they felt I had offended them in anyway.


We tend to tip daily. That way, the person who is taking care of you gets the money. If you wait until the end of the trip, you stand the chance that it might be that persons day off.


I like to leave a dollar a day in the room and one in the mini bar. We took a package of “school supplies” when we went last year to Breezes PP. We gave it to the manager to take to the nearby school. It had paper, pencils, pens and work books. I think it costs us each $4.00 and they were thrilled. We bought some Canadian things at the dollar store to give to employees that we thought might like them. All the bartenders at the lobby bar we hung out at during raining afternoons were adults and I was worried they would not be to thrilled with a silly Canadian pen. One afternoon I took the 2 packs down ( 8 pens $2.00) you would think I was giving out $100.00 bills the way they reacted. We also took feminine products, kids little games and hair things and left them on the bed for the maids. We always had something in our beach bags just in case we wanted to show our appreciation for someone going the extra mile or the extra smile. One of our co travels brought a bag of her leftover clothes and shoes and gave it to one of our maids, she cried. We also tip daily or drinkly. We do not do these things for better service we do it to make things a bit easier for the employee and also because we can.
PS. Mac if I had to deal with demanding people from richer countries all day I would like to make $150.00 every three hours. :slight_smile:
PSS items with Canada on them are handy to haggel with also


When we go to the DR we tip the usual staff members, maid(s),bartender(s), waiter(s) but we also take down some baseball hats for the people you sometimes just don’t seem to notice, the gardeners. We give them the baseball caps along with any pesos in change we have left over. The smile from their faces is well worth it as they are so grateful. :sunglasses:



The maid does not do the mini-bar when she’s in the room? Is this in most or all hotels that you (frequent travelers) have seen? I would hate to not know if there is a seperate person doing work because Im not in my room except in the evenings.

Also, does it feel strange giving gifts to other people. I would feel fine leaving gifts/cash in my room for the maid, but am wondering on the etiquette of handing the bartender/gardener a gift. Would you also have to give them a card so they don’t get stopped by security?

Perhaps leaving them a gift bag at the end of the week with card/gift/cash might be best (or tip with cash and give a gift at the end)? Any suggestions.

I’m sure once I get there I’ll get to know the people (as much as I can in a week) and it won’t feel odd. I hope!!! I have no problems giving away things to people i know, but this is the first time i’ll be giving away things to people i dont know well. (With charities i don’t see the people face to face).


Most if not all resorts require a note with the room number,and the signature of the person giving the gift. If there is no note the gift in most cases will be taken away as I have seen on several occasions. Just make up a dozen or so cards for the purpose. Also in most resorts that we have stayed at the maid does not refill the mini-frig, however this may be a false statement as others might have their maid do this service. :sunglasses:


You’re right stillgotit…in the resorts that we have stayed at (BPRSJ, PCPrincess, Riu’s) there has been a “refreshment person” replenishing the mini-bars. He usually drives around in a small truck/ golf cart type vehicle, with all the beverages in the back. Depending on what is in the mini-frig on our first day of arrival, I will leave him a note (in Spanish) of what I would like more or less of & leave a tip for his services.

deacerte: I leave both. A monetary tip each day, & somedays an added gift bonus. At the end of our stay, then a gift bag complete with a thank you note in Spanish & our name and room #. The bartender, your server in the dinning room, the gardener etc, all appreciate that little extra that we give them. (we don’t give it in a card, just slip it to them unobserved).


Well I left Tips in our Mini Fridge on this years holiday in Greece, and they never took the money. Is it best to leave a note.

And why leave the note in Spanish?? I`m sorry if I come over as an Ignorant British person…but perhaps I am!!


You’ll find that administration and front desk personnel speak good English, waiters and bartenders reasonable English, but maids, groundskeepers and security not a whole lot (if any). So the maid needs a note in Spanish to let her know that the gift really is for her and it would be nice if the security guy that’s checking as she leaves the property could read and understand it … ;D


I leave cash for the maid and I put it in an envelope with a label preprinted in Spanish thanking her for taking care of our room. I also put two little chocolate bars in the envelope, I figure the sugar rush will help her with her job :slight_smile:

We tip at all three meals and the bartender at the beach where we spend our days and the bartender at whatever bar we spend the evening. If we receive table service at the bar in the evening we tip there too. Last year was our third time at Breezes and I had some special people that I wanted to gift. I did these up in gift bags and covered the top with tissue paper just like you would a gift at home. I bought the bags with tags attached and wrote a note in Spanish and put my name and room number. I had a couple of ballcaps with me too and I gave them to the young man on the beach that bought us chair pads each day. He would see us setting up and come over with them over his shoulder and set them up for us.


I print up thank you cards with the following phrases. There is a space on the note to put my room # and I sign it.

Acepte por favor estos regalos como símbolo de nuestro aprecio
Please accept these gifts as a token of our appreciation.

El servicio aqui ha sido grande
The service here has been great!

Gracias for todos que usted ha hecho, El servicio aqui ha sido grande
Thank you for all you have done, the service here has been great.

Gracias por todo, Este regalo esta para usted
Thanks for everything, this gift is for you.


OOOooooo Im soooooo looking forward to this holiday, I like shopping for things, so for the next 6 months, Im going to do some gift shopping for my DR trip, I need to get a Spanish Translation book now!!

Thanks to you all for your input