Tipping at All-Inclusive Resorts

Source: Linda Kurtzweil

I’ve been writing blog articles for over a year now and until now, I’ve never seen the need to write one reminding people of the importance of tipping while visiting Mexico. Since the majority of my readers are either American or Canadian, they are very familiar with tipping. They certainly don’t need me to point out the obvious.

It would be like writing an article about the importance of wearing sunscreen at the beach — what a waste of time that would be.

So, why the change now? The answer is simple: we just returned from an all-inclusive resort and I noticed that people rarely tipped the waiters and waitresses working in the restaurants. The thing that amazed me most was that these cheap guests were often Americans or Canadians.

I spoke to one such guest in the pool and he said that he thought that the tips were included in the package. After I told him what the average salaries were for the employees working there, he looked embarrassed and vowed to change his ways.

Why You Should Tip

If you’ve ever been to a quality all-inclusive resort, you know that the employees bend over backwards to ensure that you have a wonderful vacation experience. These men and women usually work a six-day work week for very little pay. How little? I’m glad you asked.

I checked a few job sites online and there were several listings for positions at all-inclusives. The average starting salary for both waiters and bartenders was only between $4,000 -$6,000 pesos a month. In U.S. dollars, that equates to $226 -$339 dollars a month. The salaries for other positions, such as concierge and housekeeper, weren’t much better.

Tipping Advice

My advice to you is to bring plenty of small bills and to tip frequently. There is no set formula for how much you should tip — that’s up to you.

For example, this is what we usually do:

Waiters / Waitresses – This one depends on the meal (buffet or table service), the time we spent there and the level of attention we received. We usually leave $2-3 USD for breakfast, $3-5  for lunch, and $5-10 for dinner.

Porters – $1 USD per bag.

Bartenders – $1 if we are just passing through. If we stay there for any length of time, we usually leave between $5 -$10 USD.

Housekeeping – $2-$3 USD per day.

Special Employees – If someone really goes out of their way to make our trip a great experience, we will often give them an additional tip of up to $20 USD.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Many of my friends joke that I’m cheap — and in some ways, I suppose they’re right — however, my desire to save money whenever possible does not extend to tipping. I think that it’s of paramount importance to recognize the hard-working men and women who make my vacation and/or dining experience enjoyable.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Become a Patreon member to get access to our live Q&A sessions as well as our private Facebook group where you can ask us questions. For more information, click HERE.

About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

100 Comments on "Tipping at All-Inclusive Resorts"

  1. Very well said Q-Roo Paul and an important reminder we all need! Gracias

  2. Rosarito Gal | July 24, 2017 at 11:10 am |

    I agree with everything with the EXCEPTION of tipping housekeeping on the last day. The girls who clean your room usually change from day to day. You should tip daily in order to be fair.

    • Good point. I omitted the “pay the last day” part and I plan on tipping daily the next time we go to a hotel.

  3. Agree. Since we own a fixed week in a timeshare that we visit every year, we have come to know the maid, the bellman, the waiter. They recognize us and go the extra mile to give a us a pleasant stay. Because of the poor salary base and our “friendship” we try to tip generously. We hope to be a blessing in their long day’s work.

  4. Ana Solorzano Miller | July 24, 2017 at 11:25 am |

    I hope you don’t mind I re-posted your blog on FB since I have many friends that are ex-pats in Rosarito Beach MX
    I used to reside there myself but after 2 years of not meeting a suitable Man to share my life with I came back to the USA!!!

  5. Linda McHenry | July 24, 2017 at 11:29 am |

    Thank you …..we see too many Americans who don’t adequately tip….unaware or just plain cheap.

  6. I always tipped, but increased my “tip budget” when I found out how little these wonderful, hard-working people make per month. Thanks for helping spread the word, Q-Roo Paul!

  7. Whenever my girlfriend and I travel to Mexico which is quite frequently, we bring at least 250 in one dollar bills and leave two dollars per person on our bed each day in the room, as well as tipping exactly as you have stated for meals and bartenders. Throughout the trip We make sure that everyone is tipped including our drivers and because we bring so much luggage, we tip about $15 on that. LOL

  8. shannon collier | July 24, 2017 at 11:38 am |

    I’m a retired Canadian looking for a reasonably priced place In Mayan Riviera near or on the beach for Jan, Feb and March. Thanks scollier@tbase.com

  9. We always tip well as the service we receive in Mexico is unparalleled. It is an eye-opener to go back to the US and get the poor service in most restaurants here and we tip 15-20%, why not give our Mexican service experts the equivalent (even if it is all-inclusive-estimate the value). Thanks for the article Paul!

  10. We always tip and tip well. We tip bartenders and maids at the time of service in case they at off our last day. We also tip the activity staff as they are usually great entertaining grandchildren who often come with us.

    People work HARD for their money.

  11. Ric Alvarado | July 24, 2017 at 11:49 am |

    Very well said. Most of the housekeeping people live in extreme poverty, in areas far from the hotel zone and take considerable time commuting to work in ¨colectivos” every day

  12. Do you always tip in US dollars? Any issues with tipping in pesos?

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 24, 2017 at 3:46 pm |

      Since we live in Mexico, we don’t even have dollars. We’ve never had any problem tipping in pesos.

  13. Many of us middle class Canadians are like millionaires to those hard workers. Tip !!!

  14. The reason why many people don’t tip is because when you are buying into most all inclusives, the sales people tell you it is included. They told us that once you get to the resort…you need no money unless you want to buy souvenirs. We always tip waiters and servers on the spot daily, the housekeeping daily but the butlers and others at the end of our stay. So people need to be educated. The staff do,get tips in their paycheck according to occupancy but it isn’t closed to,what they are worth.

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 24, 2017 at 3:49 pm |

      I realize that the all-inclusives tell people that tips are included. It’s sad because they don’t pay the employees that much.

  15. We always tip in pesos! We think the staff appreciates it, even though they always say dollars are fine too.

  16. Tita Sokoloff | July 24, 2017 at 12:14 pm |

    How about tipping everywhere. It’s not just an issue at all-inclusive places. I’m appalled at the miserly tips by some expats (not all).

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 24, 2017 at 3:50 pm |

      In my experience here in the Riviera Maya, the Americans and Canadians tip 20% — sometimes more — at local restaurants and bars. The ones who don’t tip are the Europeans.

      • Martin Price | February 2, 2018 at 3:11 pm |

        I’m from England and now live in the USA. It’s true that Europeans don’t tip. That being said, in Europe people get paid a fair wage so tipping is not required . I choose to tip in Europe on meals but not for drinks .

        • Thanks for sharing that, Martin. Now I know that I don’t have to tip when visiting England.

      • Martin Price | February 2, 2018 at 3:15 pm |

        Also I’ve been to Mexico many times and always tip like I would in the US. Just seems like the right thing to do. If you tip 10 dollars on the first drink the staff will look after you much quicker.

  17. Agree with everything you said. We were generous tippers in the US and continue that here.

  18. Stephen Slater | July 24, 2017 at 12:23 pm |

    Mexico is a culture and country where the tip (propina) is very common and very important. The smart money tips big on your arrival and tips housekeeping daily (a simple thank you note makes it all the better), it sets the tone of who you are and what your expectations are. You will be very impressed at what comes back to you in terms of kindness, service, assistance, smiles and goodwill. It will make your trip and your visit all that much better and memorable. ALWAYS carry small bills and large coins with you. I split them, large bills with a
    credit card (am express) in one pocket and tipping bills/coins in the other. Tipping can become an enjoyable art, and investment for insuring the pleasures of your trip. Think of tipping in Mexico as not only recognizing and encouraging excellent service, but also as acknowledgment for those who work very, very hard.

  19. I’m from canada I leave a Looney or a toony that’s it. Get good service for that.

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 24, 2017 at 3:52 pm |

      I’m not sure what a Looney or a Toony is, but I’ll assume that it’s money…lol

    • June Hughes | July 24, 2017 at 5:46 pm |

      I’m from Canada too, but giving the Mexican people loonies and toonies is a slap in their face as the banks do not take them there. Coins are heavy and to send coins back to Canada is not feisable, just like in the US they do not take our coins! Take US dollars or pesos for tips. They will actually be able to use this currency, as for our coins they might as well throw them into the ocean for all the good it does for them!!!!!

      • Agree. My wife’s sister, she works in the resort, always on our arrival to Mexico, asking me to change a quaters and dollar coins to paper bills because she cannot use an American coins in Mexico

        • Helen McNamara | October 8, 2017 at 10:45 am |

          This country’s legal currency is pesos. When you leave dollars these poor people have to take time to go to a bank to change them so they can spend them. They do not shop in the places you do and their neighbourhood tiendas do not take dollars. Most of them work six days a week, finding time to go to a bank to change their tips into pesos is both an inconvenience and time consuming. Leaving any foreign coins is a huge no no, and that is true anywhere in the world.

  20. Great article. Hate to see people not tipping these hardworking folks.
    A reminder….if you are bringing a gift to a favourite employee, put a note on it with their name, along with your name & room number. At most resorts the staff have their bags checked when their shift is over. You wouldn’t want them to be accused of stealing.

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 24, 2017 at 3:53 pm |

      Great tip! We live inside a resort complex and if we give an employee something, we have to give them a signed note so they can get through security.

  21. Agree completely. Thanks for spreading the word.

  22. I applaud your generosity. I love reading about your life in Mexico and you’ve been great help to me with referrals and suggestions!

    Consider that you may be raising the prices for everyone who follows, potentially lowering the level of service tourists receive due to expectations. Please be mindful that not all countries have the same tipping cultures. And not everyone can afford to tip a percentage amount that is unparalleled in the world, nor would they want to or feel obligated.

    Mexico has a different culture than the US, which should be respected; theirs is not one of tipping 15-20% like in the US. Consider Europeans who come from a culture of no tipping. Will Mexicans resent them for not tipping $10 for a $30-40 lunch? Consider the expectations big tippers may have on service providers. Will Japanese visitors receive the same service?

    Another consideration is that hotel owners might lower their wages once they realize Americans are tipping at least 20%. Or raise the price of hotel rooms. Or both. Big tippers could be negatively altering the labor market without realizing it, or pricing someone out of their dream family vacation in the Riviera Maya.

    There are lots of unintended consequences from exorbitantly high tipping, which I didn’t learn until immersing myself in different cultures through volunteer work in Indonesia, Bolivia and Zambia. Those experiences, and talking with town elders, forced me think through whether I was giving money to help, or to feel good about myself. I came to realize that volunteering our most precious commodity, time, will have more positive impact on people than giving money, with far less unintended consequences.

    Your blog is extremely popular with lots of influence, so I wanted to give an alternate view. I’m a huge proponent of tipping, and give generously commensurate with local customs. However, I strongly believe we should respect and adapt to foreign cultures, not impose ours on them.

    Lastly, please remember one of the main reasons you moved to Mexico in the first place: low cost of living.

    Thanks for all you do. Keep the posts coming!

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 24, 2017 at 4:19 pm |

      There is no doubt that people who tip get better service at the all-inclusives than people who don’t; however, even people who don’t tip get exceptional service. These businesses rely heavily on repeat customers; therefore, the emphasis is always on customer satisfaction.

      Our tip amount depends heavily on the type of meal and the time we spent there. For example, If we spent over an hour at lunch, eating and drinking, then $5-$10 is appropriate. At dinner, we may spend an hour and a half a a specialty restaurant eating multiple courses etc. We’ve even had waiters run to another specialty restaurant to bring us a dish we wanted for there. That type of extra attention deserves monetary consideration.

      One of the reasons that we tip so well is because we speak Spanish and know the back stories of several people who work in all-inclusives. Many come as far as the west coast of Mexico looking for more money to feed their families back home. Some of them work 7 days a week so they can save up enough days-off in a row to visit their families. My $5 tip doesn’t impact me much but it makes a huge difference to them and their families.

      Tipping is not obligatory in Mexico and everyone should make their own decision. Tipping around 10% is customary in Mexico, but these rules are always applied at all-inclusives. As I used to tell people when I was a deputy sheriff, “Let your conscious be your guide.”

  23. This is an excellent post and I’m sorry it was needed.

  24. We tip everyone that are connected to our stay. We normally take for seven days stay, 300 one dollars bills and spread them out accordingly. We love Cancun and know that without the people taking care of all of our services, it would not be the Cancun we love. The workers make Cancun, Cancun.

  25. I absolutely agree and we had the same experience as you and your wife did a couple of weeks ago. We saw so little tipping that we actually went to ask if there was a gratuity added to our bill that we hadn’t realized. No, people just weren’t tipping which shocked us! I also feel that tips should be in pesos– not dollars. The currency here is pesos. Yes they will take your dollars. It doesn’t mean they wouldnt prefer pesos. And no, they won’t tell you if you ask, they will tell you that anything is fine.

  26. Ben Troemel | July 24, 2017 at 1:53 pm |

    All good comments Paul. One thing unfortunately is I always see many westerners who don’t tip worth anything, all inclusive or not, and it has more to do with their superior attitude than anything else (maybe it’s not the norm but disgusting any way). They probably are the same in their home countries. Also there is the other extreme where people feel bad about the locals and tip WAY out of proportion to reason. That doesn’t help anyone. For example (and please correct me if I am wrong) most people don’t understand that it is not customary to tip taxi drivers and the other locals (not the taxi drivers) don’t appreciate it when they do.

    • You are wrong. It is customary to tip taxi drivers in Mexico. Locals tip 10%, 15% for very good service. Just like you tip servers. When you drive your own car in Mexico and you leave the Mall or cinema parking lot if someone has watched your car for you they get a peso or two also. When you fill the tank and they wash the windshield they get a couple of pesos. The baggers at the grocery stores (the elderly during school hours and school children in the evenings) get tips.
      Tip everywhere. Don’t over tip wildly. Ask the locals. They’ll tell you how to tip if you aren’t sure.

      • Q-Roo Paul | July 26, 2017 at 8:36 am |

        I wouldn’t call the practice of tipping taxi drivers in Mexico “customary” at all. Granted, in areas like Cancun and Merida with large foreign populations, it’s probably more common to tip taxi drivers than in other parts of the country.

        I asked some of the locals here if it is customary to tip the taxi driver and they said it was not. They did say that the cab drivers may make a few extra pesos, but only if the passenger doesn’t have exact change. For example, the fare is $57 pesos and they give the driver $60 pesos.

        Some added that they would only tip if the driver provided some additional service like helping them carry items inside, waiting for them while they shopped etc.

        I found similar “tipping advice” on different web pages and blogs operated by Mexican businesses and resorts. Here are excerpts from two of them. Sorry, the information is in Spanish:

        “En general, los conductores de taxi no reciben propina en México, aunque puede dar entre $20 y $50 pesos dependiendo de la situación, si por ejemplo le han ayudado a cargar o descargar sus maletas, compra de supermercado o han esperando por usted por un período extendido de tiempo.”

        “Como regla general, los locales no acostumbran a dejar propina a los taxistas. Sin embargo, si el conductor ofrece algún servicio adicional como esperarlo, cargar o descargar equipaje o la compra del supermercado, no dude en incluir una propina (entre 10 y 50 pesos dependiendo de las circunstancias).”

  27. Ethel aka Fran | July 24, 2017 at 2:21 pm |

    Yes, tipping is important! Even when we stay at a hotel where you serve yourself at breakfast, we always tip the person who is putting out the food and cleaning up. Most people don’t even think about tipping them. We also leave a generous tip for housekeeping.

  28. Sandy Gerow | July 24, 2017 at 2:21 pm |

    Is there a Beaches resort in Mexico? I know that in Jamaica leaving a tip there can get your server fired? In their info they state tips include. The staff have turned down our tips and explained this . I’ve booked places in Mexico that also state tips are included. I have tipped, maybe not to the extent you posted, but never the less tipped.

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 24, 2017 at 3:57 pm |

      I’ve never been to a Beaches in Mexico, so I’m not sure. In 15+ years of vacationing in Mexico, I’ve never had a tip refused so far.

  29. Sandy Gerow | July 24, 2017 at 2:25 pm |

    BEACHES is a Sandals resort

  30. Just a note. In my opinion bellboys or porters as you call them deserve a bigger tip than $1.00 per bag. If you travel with only two bags $2.00, again in my opinion, is not enough considering how hard it is on their backs and arms lifting these suitcases on and off trolleys, in and out of taxis and buses. They do way more heaving lifting than a waiter or maid. Please consider this when you tip. They make next to nothing in salaries. Thanks.

  31. Bud Gallagher | July 24, 2017 at 3:28 pm |

    Paul I agree with the comments and benefits of tipping, and we do so. However, it should be pointed out that the promotional packages for a week long stay at an all inclusive resort frequently state that tipping is included in the price.of the package. Do those hotels actually give the employees extra money for tips? I know several expats who take these packages at Thanksgiving and they don’t tip because they believe that the employees do get tips out of the price. It is an important issue because I know from my role as a volunteer at LCS in Chapala that many expats have to scrape by on their Social Security or CPP (Canada Pension Plan). They put aside a few pesos at a time in order to make these package trips once a year and they do believe that tips are included in the package costs. They are not misers; they believe the promotional advertising

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 24, 2017 at 4:00 pm |

      Many all-inclusives do state that tips are included. The problem is that the hotels don’t pay the employees extra for tips. By law, once a year there is some profit sharing and paid leave, called aguinaldo, but that’s about it. I’ve reviewed the employment offers of several resort chains. In know — I really need to find another hobby….lol.

  32. Trish Richard | July 24, 2017 at 3:43 pm |

    Are you tipping in USD? Hope not so your tip isn’t reduced by currency exchange rates. As you know the hotel cambios have the least favorable exchange rates and I’d bet that’s where hotel employees would convert foreign currencies into pesos.

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 24, 2017 at 4:02 pm |

      We tip in pesos but the employees exchange their dollars at nearby businesses that offer good rates. In fact, some businesses offer even better rates to taxi drivers to attract their business. We don’t even have dollars anymore…lol.

  33. Gwendolyn Sheder | July 24, 2017 at 4:14 pm |

    I think housekeeping should get more than $2-3 USD a day. They work the hardest. I think $4-5 USD a day is more appropriate. I take into consideration if they are working on Christmas and New Years Day, also. In regard to servers, 20% is appropriate. Also, taking into consideration if it is a holiday or if the service is exceptional, then nothing is wrong with giving a little more.

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 24, 2017 at 4:23 pm |

      It’s always better to leave more :). My problem is that I am far too analytical. The average housekeeper spends approximately 20-25 minutes cleaning my room (yep, I’ve paid attention). The average waiter spends 45 minutes to 1.5 hours with me. Some bartenders might have to deal with me for several hours. I guess that’s how my analytical side justified these amounts…lol. But it’s impossible to overtip — at least in my view — so feel free to leave much more. The employees and their families will appreciate it.

  34. Pamela Bruno | July 24, 2017 at 4:38 pm |

    Well said! One more thing – if possible and practical, tip in MX pesos. Keep in mind that Mexican nationals cannot exchange for USD at banks; they must go to money exchanges, where they take a haircut of 5-10%. I live here full time, have easy access to MX cash at ATMs and from my local bank account – I always pay and tip in MX pesos.

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 24, 2017 at 4:44 pm |

      Hi, Pam! We always tip in pesos. I haven’t touched a U.S. dollar in almost a year…lol.

  35. Thank you for all your informative information you provide. We too basically tip all our servers and basically all the workers that take care of us at the hotels we’ve stayed at. We know how work in 6 days a week for little pay. I hope you blog enlightens everyone who didn’t know about tipping. Enjoy your life in beautiful Mexico

  36. Kristia Snider | July 24, 2017 at 6:30 pm |

    Well said! We’ve been going to Mexico for over 20 years and always tip. Cash is king.

  37. Luanne Bauer | July 24, 2017 at 6:31 pm |

    Cheers to you, Paul for writing this blog!!! We overheard some very well-dressed Americans bragging the other day that they never tip more than 10% in an area of Mexico where the wait staff are often expected to live on pooled tips with little or no additional wages. Thanks again. We can all be thrifty but we don’t need to take it out of the hides of our gracious hosts.

  38. Great article and interesting comments. I live in a non-resort area of Mexico. There is a different mentality and it is easy to remember that these kind, happy, and helpful people that surround me make very little. In the U.S. I am middle class; in Mexico I am very well off. I find it easy to be generous in Mexico, and I make it a practice.
    Kudos to Linda K. for her awesome photography at the top of the post.

  39. Great article Paul. Rick from Canada that tips a Looney or a Tooney, please note that as a fellow Canadian the staff that you tip with these coins cannot use them. No Mexican bank will take foreign coins, thus is the same in Canada. These people have to sell them to other Canadians to get currency that they can use. Please save them a lot of hassle by tipping in their currency.
    Glad you are tipping these fine, hard working people.
    Enjoy Mexico.
    Regards, Dave

  40. Follow up comment for Canadians… please don’t leave loonies & toonies (for you, Paul – that’s our $1 and $2 coins, lol). Canadian coins are useless as no one will take them as currency and nowhere will exchange them. I’ve bought them back from staff several times & given pesos in return.

  41. Wow, Paul! Your tipping issue seems to have struck some nerves! What a bunch of responses! I agree with the folks who suggest tipping in pesos, because of the exchange sharks, and besides, 20% of a meal that cost you less than half of what it would have in the states, is still a bargain, even with the tip included!

    Just to stir up my Canadian buddies:
    Do you know the difference between Canadians and canoes?
    Sometimes canoes tip!!

    (I’ll hear from them in November, no doubt! Hahaha!)

    Keep up the good work!!

  42. We go down often at least once a month to Puerto Penasco (Since it’s only a 3 1/2hrs from home) as well as visiting Cancun and Cabo once a year. Typically we stay in an all inclusive resort when we do our once a year trip and I tip everyone 20% (of course depending on the service). Our resort lately just imposed a $5 a day Resort Fee which would help take care of maids, bellhops, etc…. we are more then glad to do that, but always leave an additional tip. Like you mentioned they all work very hard to make your experience exceptional. So take care of them just like you where back home!

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 25, 2017 at 7:53 am |

      I hope that $5 is going to tips and not just covering the base salaries. That’s the cop side of me talking — always suspicious. 😉

  43. tip in the local currency, there is a lot of Mexico that uses the peso not the US dollar. Have you ever watched the tipping of locals in restaurants? Their contributions pale to your suggested rates.

  44. This is an interesting article Paul. It has given me over two hours of thinking/writing/deleting. I had to go back to your About Us page and reread the title of this posting. Tipping In **All-Inclusive Resorts**.
    You have sort of crossed into blogging for the tourist here perhaps. More than for living in Mexico.

    Paul, may I ask how you tip in-town? At the places you and your wife go to for lunch regularly.
    Do you leave $10US lunch tip each time? Or do you tip based on a percentage of the bill?

    My wife and I will move to Merida full-time in 2018. Our grown child will remain in the USA. Just a one day airplane flight away.

    • When we tip in town, we tip 15-20% of the bill; however, some of the places that we go regularly are very inexpensive, so we’ve tipped higher than that if the service demands it.

      For example, the other day we went to a local place, ate two large meals, had several drinks each, spent two hours chatting with friends and our bill was less than $20 USD. The waiter worked hard waiting on us for 2 hours, so we exceeded the 20% in that case.

      If we go to the same place quite often, we will occasionally go back and tip the cook.

      We actually did the same thing when we lived in the United States. We would even give servers and bartenders we know BIG tips on their birthdays etc.

      • On the flip side of this, if the service was bad or the business tries to cheat us by adding additional charges to the bill, we either a very low tip or perhaps nothing. It depends on particular circumstances.

  45. Dave Johansen'i | July 25, 2017 at 12:07 pm |

    I have a funny story about tipping. On one of our group trips to puerto Vallarta in an all inclusive. 3 of us men would set up on the for a day on the beach and the wives would prefer the pool. One morning after breakfast I headed to the beach, along the way I ran across the waitress for us on the beach, I gave her $10 told her we would be there most of the day and take care of us. I arrived at our spot and my friend Bart was there I told him I had already tipped our waitress he said “well so did I, i gave her a 10” we laughed just then our 3rd showed up Barry and quickly announced that he had seen our waitress and had given her a 10 for the day. We had quite the laugh and an abundance of beer and food for the day. These people are hard working lots of hours on their feet with little gratification.

  46. Note that many places pool tips and give a percentage to the waiter staff, bartenders and the kitchen. If you are particularly impresses with the service of one employee you might think it is great to pass them a little more. However, this can cause the employee problems with other employees and I know of some waiters who ended up fired for taking the “little extra”.

  47. I usually tip about $200 or so for a week. It is appreciated. Also, we leave behind some hats/t shirts for the special ones. It’s a small price to pay and they love stuff from the States..

  48. Vincent O'Driscoll | July 29, 2017 at 6:37 am |

    You need to do your homework or have a good travel agent who knows the tipping policies for each brand of resorts. Sandals, for example, has a no tipping policy. You do not tip housekeeping, restaurant servers or bartenders. In fact, employees taking tips at Sandals can be fired. The only Sandals employees who are allowed tips are spa employees and butlers. Other resort brands also have a no tipping policy. Educate yourself.

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 29, 2017 at 7:16 am |

      Yes, I’m familiar with the Sandals policy but so far here in the Riviera Maya, we haven’t encountered a resort where tipping is prohibited. The worst thing you can do is offer and if they refuse, at least you know you’ve tried. 😉

  49. I LOVE this article and will be sharing it! I am a travel agent and I sat down with a group of service staff at a resort about a year ago. These folks know me as I have traveled here often! I asked them to (over a week in a mid to low season) to count their guests and give me feedback. In the end, we came up with an idea of what the smallest amount a guest could tip to really impact their lives by ten fold!!! They told me – and it was a general consensus – that the following would multiply their salaries by as much as 10 times — and honestly — everyone should be able to do this – even if they overspent on the trip or are on an extreme budget:
    For breakfast, if every guest at a table gave $1 usd equivalent $2 for lunch and $3 for dinner – a server would make 10 times the amount of his or her salary in a year!!!!
    For bartenders – if every guest gave $2 for their beginning order and $5 for the end of the day, they would make 10 times their salary each year!!!!
    For bellhops $2 for the first bag and $1 for every bag after – again, this would be around 10 times their salary each year!!!
    For poolside servers – very similar to bartenders $1-2 to get started and $5-10 at end of day if waited on all day (seriously – all day – that’s like a dollar an hour per guest!!!)
    For housekeeping: $3-5 for a single room or $6-10 for a family in multiple rooms – again, makes it ten times their salary!
    Tour guides and spa personnel – 5-10% of the cost of the service or excursion = 10 times what they make!
    Drivers: $2 per half hour drive – come on, that is like Uber pricing!!!
    There is no reason we (who are wealthy Americans in their eyes) shouldn’t be able to help make their lives 10 times better!

  50. We always take $200 or so for a week just for tips. Also my wife teaches cardio and Zumba at the resorts so we generally leave behind hats, t shirts, and a pair of tennis shoes for someone on the entertainment staff. Means a lot to them, and the cost is minimal.

  51. I get what you are saying about their salaries being so low, and I appreciate that. I do however think that it should be more a “tip if you can”. For example, my fiancee and I are going to RM in April next year for our honeymoon. We have saved long and hard for the wedding and our “once in a life-time” type holiday to Mexico for our honeymoon. And to be honest, and take this as you will, we have not budgeted for tipping. Not because we are mean or tight, but because we can’t afford to. If we can tip something we will but it would be no where near the amounts suggested above.

  52. Great post, and spot on! Always leave something. It’s truly appreciated and your service will reflect that. Even $1, if that’s all you can spare, goes a LONG way.

  53. Nigel Ferreira | October 6, 2017 at 8:12 pm |

    Though I agree totally with what you have written and your views regarding the tips, where $4000pesos could be a bit low, $6000 is not all that bad. Don’t forget the cost of living in Mexico is cheap by comparison to the States or Canada, so by converting $6000 to US is not all that fair. But I do agree, tips are very important as these people work hard. I have always found Americans bad tippers.

  54. We always tip in pesos; I don’t understand the thought of tipping in another country’s currency as we would not accept it here in the States. Anyway, do the workers really appreciate “local” gifts such as football t shirts or hats? Or American logo wear? I just can’t see them appreciating that more than tips, but I’m curious to know.

  55. Paul Calabrese Sr. | October 6, 2017 at 9:03 pm |

    It is a sin that travel co’s do state that tips are included, I really wish they didn’t do that. I work at a 5 star resort in Cancún and try to encourage guests to tip.

  56. We tip the same as we do at home – maybe the percentages seem excessive but it isnt a lot for us and it makes a big difference to those that provide such great service. We stay at places that have the same housekeepers all week – we stay for a few weeks and tip at the end of each week. My husband tips the Dive Masters and boat Captain at the end of our holiday – but a number of day divers dont tip at all which is a hardship for such hard working crew!

  57. Tracey@ MyBajaKitchen.com | October 7, 2017 at 12:04 am |

    We tip because it makes me happy to share and we tip according to time and effort in pesos always. I don’t buy into the “you’ll increase prices for everyone else or you’re making the Mexicans expect tips arguments.” I’m calling shenanigans on that. It’s not my blog so I can say my truth. We save money by creative cooking at home so I understand that tipping slightly increases your expenses.

  58. Waiters and bartenders get paid a lower wage because the hotel knows they make good tips it’s the same way in Canada the minimum wage is lower for service people because they are known to make double or triple there wages in tips and this is true in Mexico as well. So a job as waiters and bartenders is in fact a very high paying job here. I have know a few people that work in these areas and they were very happy with what they made overall. I agree a few dollars here and there is a good thing but $10 to $15 for a meal I think is a little much. Can you imagine a waiter making even $5 per table and he serves only 10 tables a day between lunch and dinner this would amount to almost 1000 peso a day in tips . i know they work 6 days a week that would make there wage almost 24000 peso a month plus what the hotel pays them that would put them at close to 30,000 peso per month which = $1600 us even more if Canadian $2000 per month this is an excellent wage more than most. Now if everyone tips 10 or 15 this would bring there wage up to 50,000 to 70,000 peso per month. At 50,000 peso this would make there wage $2650 us per month lol. In Canada on every trip we booked it does say all tips included but we do bring a little extra to tip anyway 🙂

  59. We notice the Europeans rarely tip. Americans always seem to tip.

  60. Thank you for the valuable information on tipping. We travel as a 3-generation family: grandmother, 2 adult parents, 2 children (teen and tween). Are we expected to tip $3 per person per day for breakfast buffet plus $10-15 per person at dinner? At dinner, that would be about the cost of going out for a meal where we vacation. Lunch is not included at our resort, so I understand about paying for and tipping for that. Thanks for clarifying.

    • No, you don’t have to tip that much at all. Those tips are what we leave for the table, not per person. That would get way too expensive.

  61. Danielle Priest | February 2, 2018 at 10:39 am |

    Thanks for this article. It’s timely as we’re heading to an all inclusive tomorrow. I’m Australian and come from a no-tipping culture due to strong wages. I do always tip in countries where it’s the norm though. What I find interesting is the notion that doing your job well, with a smile and efficiency = monetary compensation. I also wonder how “tipping culture countries” will become cashless societies like Sweden, Denmark, etc. We spent a week in London recently and never needed any cash as you “Tap & Go” everywhere with VISA. It was wonderful! I’ve noticed that small card wallets are becoming the norm to purchase, rather than larger cash wallets.

  62. Christopher Jankowski | February 4, 2018 at 11:46 am |

    Hi Paul, me again…it is true what you are saying here but I need to add my 3 cents. 1st I need to know what regular goods cost in Mexico to understand if $300 US per month is high or not
    2nd I agree $appreciotion will get you farther but not only that- simple word gracias, how are u ,smile, small talk can help you to enjoy your vacay a lot.
    3rd we traveled to Europe, Africa, USA, some islands here and there in our life. Mexico is the country where we recived the best service ever- the charm comes from the culture, warmth of Mexican souls and the hospitality of the people. We do travel to all inclusive resorts, yes , there are differences between them but as soon as you get to know people than they treat you the same way as you treat them. I am always super thankful to be able to be their guest in the resort and they know it. I treat everyone the same way from the housekeeper to the manager saying that I am not going to tip the resort manager of course . We follow very similar rule you presented here. What else I do besides giving them $, I do write my comments/reviews on TripAdvisor , that way some employees can be rewarded with points which can be used for their pleasure in the future. Paul great post thank you. You are lucky man to be where u r.

  63. Just adding one more thing- I know some of our friends in Mexico they never complain but also I onow they do very well by working in upscale resorts- they buy new cars, apartments etc. I bielive if they do good job they can really make good money. We tip as we go, for example housekeeping we always leave money every day. I can’t wait until the end of our stay because they can put someone else to work in my room and than what? I often get to the point I go and find the person who was helping us and tip them right there on the spot. We always bring some school supplies/ backpacks for less furtune children and just distribute them to the manager of the resort. Just a simple thank you gesture.

  64. The all-inclusive resort we go to actually “recommends” you don’t tip. However, we tip and our service is always outstanding. Think about it. If you worked there, who are you going to seek out at the pool, the guy who tips you, or the one that doesn’t? In one resort, we asked a lady working at the pool, “Are you working here all week?” We tipped her $50 on Day 1 (group of 6 people). Every day, we had the best spots saved for all of us and our drinks never went dry. One thing I learned at this particular resort, at the bar for example, all the tips were compiled and split amongst the staff. This way the bartender at the swim up bar (where no one has money) gets tips too. However, if someone treated you well and you want to give them a big tip, often it is shared by everyone. So, if a particular bartender or waitress serves us well, we seek them out and personally hand them the money. Even if I have to palm a bill like a Goodfella (LOL).

Comments are closed.