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Hi :smiley:
I am going to Jamaica in 6 weeks time and wondered what to do about tipping.
Have been to Cuba and Dom Rep and always tip and leave gifts for the maid.
Is this done in Jamaica ?
I was told the hotels dont like you to tip the staff.
I like to give something back to show I appreciate them taking care of me.
Please help
Thanks :slight_smile:

I show that I appreciate them by placing my dirty towels etc in an easy to access place, like the sink.

I do not see the reason for tipping someone for doing thier job. Tip for above and beyond service. Do not tip out of guilt or feeling you need to tip.

We always tip, not sure if the management is against this, but if I receive good service I tip. ::slight_smile:

Ok then, I’ll add another question to the existing question.

I’ve never been to Jamaica, but went a lot of time in Cuba, Dom Rep, Mexico. These are underdevelopped Countries, Jamaica is not. In order to show appreciation what do you tip with? Is it acceptable to tip with Dollar Stores gizmos like we would in Cuba. Is it always $?


I’m wondering about the tipping also, $ or other items such as toiletries, clothing, novelties etc. Can someone advise?

We were in Jamaica last year, and although I would love to go back this year, it is not in the cards.

However, I can shed some light for you.

The practice in the DR or Cuba is to leave some small “daily” gift on the pillow case. In Jamaica they will not take it. They are not allowed and will be accused of thievery if caught. We tipped the maids daily by leaving money (which she will only take if her supervisor is not around) on the pillowcase, or by handing it to her directly. Be discreet.

Bartenders and waiters also are not allowed to accept tips, so if you want to tip them you must be very discreet. Crumple or roll the bill up and “toss” it like garbage along with the paper from your straw into the straw boxes kept on the bar. Never ever leave money sitting on the bar. They are not allowed to pick it up. DH became very good at shaking hands and I became proficient at “hugs” and handshakes.

If the management sees them accepting a tip, or picking money off the bar or table, they can lose their jobs. What we did was to tip our usual bartender every couple of days with a 10 spot. We are in the bar business so we are used to tipping. A 10 spot to several favorite staff members a couple times a week was not a hardship for us. We would normally tip a dollar a drink, so this actually was cheaper for us in the long run.

I hope this helps you somewhat…and if it is too late for your trip, I hope it helps others with the same question.

Everyting Irie Mon!

I just got back from Jamaica. Yes, they do have access to everything. I tipped via cash and gave a few spa like gifts to those outstanding and they were well received. I left this on my pillow each day for the maids, it was always taken, and gave to cooks,waiters, grounds keepers…anyone who made my day and it was always well received.

Perhaps I should clarify…

At Starfish Trelawney, the staff is searched and fired if they are caught with “gifts”. The maids there will not take anything from the pillows even if it accompanied by a note saying it was a gift. We gave our maid money, very discreetly, as the floor supervisor was always accompanying the floor maids (1 per floor section) from room to room to assist with the cleanings…

The bar staff would toss a tip left on the bar quickly onto the floor behind the bar or into the straw trash box, so quickly that you almost don’t notice them doing it. Then, when they were sure no supervisors were around they would retrieve it and pocket it.

When we asked about both practices, we were told that they were, under no circumstances, allowed to accept tips from guests, (although they did appreciate getting them…)

Maybe it is just this resort that carries that policy, but friends of ours stayed at Holiday Sunspree and it was the same there when they were there. They ended up bringing home most of their “gifts” and just tipping with money.

Maybe things have changed in a year… that would be great!

Hey Sandytoes, the “hug and greet”, is a well practiced practice all over the world ;D. It is really a good way to get the “goods” across to those who deserve it ;). We all tip for different reasons, but the main thing to remember, we are guests in their country and we are there to have a good time and most of them try their best to make sure we do enjoy our vacations, so give a little extra.

Jake, eh

P.S. I used to spend my summers on Gifford Island off Indian Point, not too far from you :wink:

If this helps, I was at the RIU Ocho Rios in Feb 07 and Dec 08 ( yes very lucky me) and both money and gift were allowed to be given with no reprimands. Actually our maid thanked us tremendously and told us her daughter was fighting her for the gift. AS for gift tipping in Jamaica, they don’t have any trade issues and have access to alot.

I just got back from the Riu Negril (fabulous!). We too were unsure about tipping so asked some questions. We left a tip on our pillow every day for our maid and tipped our regular busboy in the buffet before we left. On the bus to the resort and on the cruise we went on they passed a hat so make sure you have small bills with you.

Our tour bus had a sign saying tipping is complimentary and customary

wow , there really isn’t a “rule” for it is there? Heading to the Decameron in Montego Bay on the 8th and thought to try just money but it sounds like gifts are welcome also?!! Can someone clarify? Thanks

I brought a spa like gift and the maid told me she loved it and her daughter was fighting her for it. It seemed like a genuine thanks. but…they do have access to everything, its just the cost. My son was handing out gum to kids who seemed to be happy as well.

Which resort did you go to?

Some resorts strictly prohibit the distribution of tips and as previously mentioned but that is very clearly advertised and there would be no miscommunicaiton about that; being caught in the act will most certainly result in immediate dismissal and most staff would never take the risk. Everywhere else in Jamaica (resorts that allow tipping or anywhere off property) is very accustomed to tipping, and frankly…the extended hand is expecting cold hard cash.
I suppose if you visted a village and gave school children supplies and trinkets it would be acceptable but I suspect those who received gifts were just being gracious.
As they say…when in Rome…
and in Jamaica, it’s the almighty Dollar

Some resorts have a NO TIPPING policy and any employee caught accepting a tip can have their employment terminated at that resort. This is common in ALL INCLUSIVE resorts.

TIPS= To Insure Proper Service.
What you give when it is appropriate is based on the level and quality of service you have received. The normal tipping rate on a meal here in the USA is 10% to 15%. I have never heard of maid service being tipped for performing their job.

While Jamaica may be a poverty stricken country they welcome your $$$ any time you want to give it away and in most cases that is simply what you are doing.

We usually go to an ALL INCLUSIVE resort because we pay one price and don’t worry about additional fees. We have on many occasions brought small gifts of chocolates for the maid service to share. At the end of our stay we have usually left some $$$ behind as a gift with a note for them to buy something for the children. Gifts at resorts that do not allow tipping is allowed.

I should add to my post that in order to get to know Jamaica and its people you need to go off resort. Find a reputable service or driver and experience Jamaica.

TOTT is an excellent service.

Buy some fresh fruit from the kids at the corner. Stop at a roadside kitchen for lunch. Explore and experience. You’re almost guaranteed to make new freinds along the way.