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Old 01-22-2013, 12:09 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 6,565
Tipping at an all-inclusive in Cancún, Mexico

My SO was awarded a work trip to an all-inclusive hotel in Cancún, Mexico next month. I've done a lot of travelling but have never stayed in an all-inclusive (excluding the work cruise we went on last year). So I'm unfamiliar with how tipping works.

From what I've read on TripAdvisor, some people had wonderful service and others did not. I'm extrapolating from that that the difference could be in tipping. I know to tip the maids on a daily basis, as well as the bartenders and waitrons and bell hop. The question is how much? A dollar or two? Can I tip with US currency there?

Who else would need to be tipped? If I want a good dinner reservation or excursion to Chichen Itza, do I grease the palms with a $5 bill or more or is that obscene?

Even though it's a paid for trip, I don't want to go over the top either. I'd just want to keep it in line with what should get me good service.
Old 01-22-2013, 12:30 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NW PA
Posts: 1,748
As usual, it depends. But when I went to one in Riviera Maya last February, I tipped a goodly amount. If we went to the pool and knew we were going to be there all day, I'd tip the waitress like $10 first thing and my wife would sometimes give her a dollar or two throughout the day. Service was impeccable that way. I think most people did like a dollar every few drinks.

I say make your dinner reservations now. Yes. Now. Before you leave. There was nothing short of moving heaven and earth that could get us good reservation times after we were there.

You can absolutely tip in USD. In that whole tourist zone on the Yucatan, USD is just as good, if not better than pesos. If you go into Cancun, be sure you know your exchange rates.
Old 01-22-2013, 01:09 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: The Midcon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnPitt View Post
I say make your dinner reservations now. Yes. Now. Before you leave. There was nothing short of moving heaven and earth that could get us good reservation times after we were there.
Did you try tipping the front desk/concierge? Only partially joking.
Old 01-22-2013, 04:25 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NW PA
Posts: 1,748
Sure did. They had "public relations" people who served as concierges for the restaurants and excursions for the 4 sister resorts. My wife and I offered a tip but no luck at all. First time anyone ever refused money from me in Mexico.

Other reviews on TripAdvisor said basically the same thing.
Old 01-22-2013, 04:36 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 39
Tip. First, the resorts don't pay their employees much at all. They really depend on the tips.

If you don't, they will probably still serve you with a smile.

If you do, don't be surprised if they go out of their way. The upscale places they really go to extra trouble when you tip. I've been to a lower level one and they did not seem to care. Not sure why.

My screen name should give you an idea if I I've been to any MX resorts.
Old 01-22-2013, 05:42 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Minneapolis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COGringo View Post
Tip. First, the resorts don't pay their employees much at all. They really depend on the tips.

If you don't, they will probably still serve you with a smile.

If you do, don't be surprised if they go out of their way. The upscale places they really go to extra trouble when you tip. I've been to a lower level one and they did not seem to care. Not sure why.

My screen name should give you an idea if I I've been to any MX resorts.
Thanks, now the question is, how much to tip?
Old 01-22-2013, 09:40 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 839
I was recently in Cozumel at an all inclusive for a week. You can tip as much or as little as you feel like. I was there to dive and drink, mostly. The dive boat got $20 USD per day to split up as they saw fit and the bartenders got $50 MXN whenever I felt like it, which was usually 3-4 times a day/night. You'll be seeing the same bartenders often, so don't worry about tipping every round or anything close to it. Included room service, restaurant dinners and maid service also got $50 MXN when I enjoyed their services.

I tip very discreetly. I don't do it to be seen as a baller or anything. For me, if I'm staying as a guest in a country where the locals don't get paid much of a wage, I tip very well. Some people feel that they paid for all inclusive and tips are included. They're not wrong, either.

If you're inclined to tip, I would keep 20 peso and 50 peso notes on hand. They're worth about $1.50 and $4 USD, respectively. Use them to tip whomever and however the hell you want to. You can tip in US currency and it will still be appreciated, I just think its more respectful to use local currency. In my opinion, the only way to be "wrong" in tipping at an all inclusive is to be loud or otherwise conspicuous about it.

Have a great vacation!
Old 01-22-2013, 11:41 PM
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Suburban NC
Posts: 329
Depending on the date next month, it may be that your SO and I work for the same company.

I can tell you for our company incentive trip (this is my fourth year) everything is paid by the company, including all tips. To be sure this is clear, every receipt has a huge NO TIPPING stamp on it. Makes things very easy and nice.

If he/she does work for the same company I do, then you are in for a great time. We know how to do it right when it comes to incentive reward trips.
Old 01-23-2013, 08:14 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 6,565
Doperfest in Cancun! (That is, if your company is located mainly in the Netherlands and you went on a cruise instead last year).
Old 01-23-2013, 12:33 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: aquí
Posts: 301
On the advice of some friends, I made a point of tipping a buck every time someone brought me a drink. My glass was rarely empty for more than a few minutes.

Maybe it was that way for non-tippers too; having been only once I have no basis for comparison.

Last edited by trabajábamos; 01-23-2013 at 12:33 PM.
Old 01-23-2013, 01:57 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: detroit, east-side
Posts: 4,405
I went to the Mayan Riviera for my honeymoon in 2009. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort and tipped for the reasons already mentioned.

We left like $2 each morning for the maid and then a bit more when we checked out. We probably overtipped for drinks ($1 for every drink), but we felt that $1 for whatever drink you wanted is an absolute steal anywhere. Besides, doing so also means you tend to get stronger drinks. For actual restaurants, we tipped 20% of what the bill would have been if it wasn't all-inclusive, like we do at home.

We had absolutely phenomenal service, part of which, I'm sure, was due to consistent tipping. However, I really believe the biggest factor is: don't be an asshole. Yknow how there are people who will be assholes to everyday customer service people in the US? Multiply that by 100 at resorts.

I honestly found it illuminating but disturbing to see how many people would flat out order around/demand things from staff, pretend like they were invisible, or act like it was their opportunity to pretend to be Snobby McRichypants who was Inherently Of A Better Sort. Yes, of course the staff's jobs are to take care of what you want/need, but they're still people. If you need/want something, still ask politely, and thank them afterwards. If you make a mess or accidentally get in their way, apologize. Hell, in some places (like a poolside or beachside bar), just TALK to them. You'd think this would be common sense but I saw almost no one besides me and my husband do this.
Old 01-23-2013, 02:10 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpauler View Post
My SO was awarded a work trip to an all-inclusive hotel in Cancún, Mexico next month. I've done a lot of travelling but have never stayed in an all-inclusive (excluding the work cruise we went on last year). So I'm unfamiliar with how tipping works.
When last I went to Punta Cana for an all-inclusive experience, I was specifically told not to tip. However, if you give anyone money for a service (especially when it's unexpected), it certainly does change their attitude and willingness to go out of their way to cater to you.

That said, I limited my tipping to specific occasions where I could easily do something myself, but instead, relied on service to do so. For example, drinks on the beach/pool? I tipped. Late night food delivery to my room or a non-routine refill request (room had a bar)? I tipped. Normal dining at a restaurant? I generally didn't, but had exceptions (and I will say, at first, it feels awkward to just get up, say thanks, and leave).

When I came back to the states, it was the complete opposite. Tip is expected (and even going up), while service remains where it was or worse, depending on the place. It's a very interesting experience.

Enjoy the trip.
Old 01-23-2013, 02:35 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,784
It's really sad to see people on here basically ruining the whole point of an all-inclusive resort.
Old 01-24-2013, 09:13 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NW PA
Posts: 1,748
Ruined? Really? Don't tip then if you don't feel inclined. I don't see how other people tipping makes your all-inclusive any worse. You still get transportation to and from the airport, your room, your meals, and access to the resort's amenities. I don't see what's not inclusive for you.
Old 01-24-2013, 10:42 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Luriekistan
Posts: 2,869
I went to a semi-inclusive place in the Mayan Riviera in November. The rates posted at the front desk and online, said the nightly room rate covered "breakfast, dinner, and all taxes & gratuities". We tipped our lunches, and any drinks during the day/with dinner. And in addition tipped our waiters (we had the same two - breakfast & dinner - every day) about $50 (US, but paid in Pesos) on our last meal there (we were there 6 days). I also left about $50 for the maid when we left with a note that said "Gracias".

Next time, I would probably tip a little more, but spread it out over the stay instead of all at the end.

As someone up thread mention - it's easy to get yourself a stack of $20 & $50 Peso bills to pass out like Pez if you're so inclined.
Old 01-24-2013, 10:34 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,178
I've been to Mexico several times, although not to an all-inclusive place. I have always left the maid my change (which you can't exchange for cash upon leaving) and my phone card. Pay phones in Mexico use cards instead of money and you'll likely want to buy one for emergencies. Leave that phone card in the room.

Bob
Old 01-24-2013, 10:40 PM
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Suburban NC
Posts: 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpauler View Post
Doperfest in Cancun! (That is, if your company is located mainly in the Netherlands and you went on a cruise instead last year).
No, we are US based and always Cancun. Have fun!
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