Heading to a luxurious Sandals all-inclusive adult-only resort? Here’s what you need to know about their unique tipping policy.
Are You Allowed to Tip at Sandals Resorts?
Most staff members at Sandals resorts are not allowed to accept tips, as gratuities are included in the all-inclusive rate. In fact, accepting tips could get that employee into trouble!
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. You should expect to tip for:
- Butler service
- Spa services
- Any outside vendors
While tipping can often feel like a great way to show appreciation for exceptional service, there are a few alternate ways you can do this at Sandals. You can compliment the staff to their manager or the front desk team, send a message on the Loop App, or mention them in reviews on platforms like Google or TripAdvisor.
How the No-Tipping Policy at Sandals Works
Sandals prides themselves at being truly all-inclusive, which means you don’t have to worry about tipping service workers like bellhops, cleaning staff, bartenders, concierges, etc. This can make your stay extra relaxing since you’re not bringing cash around with you, and there’s no expectation from staff that you should be tipping them.
However, if you book a stay in a room that includes butler service, you should expect to tip those individuals at the end of your stay. (We’ll share more about this below.) You should also expect to tip for spa services, and for any outside vendors like excursions and experiences off-resort.
Many Sandals resorts offer on-site or nearby golfing, and your golf caddies do accept tips.
Also of note is that the drivers who take you to and from the airport are not Sandals employees, so it’s great to bring a few dollars for them, and for anyone who helps you with your bags.
Tipping Your Sandals Butlers
We recommend tipping your butlers $20-$30 per day, per butler, depending on how much you used their services. Usually you will have more than one butler on your team during your stay, so they are available to make sure your stay is perfect.
They will greet you, help you get checked in, and help you with anything you need, including making dinner reservations and excursion plans. Your butlers will even help create romantic moments, like leaving rose petals in a warm bath for you to enjoy.
One thing we love about having a butler is when they get up bright and early to reserve your beach or pool chairs so you don’t have to, and when they bring unexpected snacks and meals so you don’t have to lift a finger.
Many people recommend leaving a tip for your butlers at the end of your stay. Some resorts will provide an envelope for you, or some thoughtful guests bring thank you notes for their butlers and include the tips there. You can also tip daily if you prefer, which can be nice as staff schedules rotate, and if you get particularly good service from someone you can show your appreciation sooner. Tipping daily also means tips are individualized, rather than being distributed evenly amongst the staff that helped you.
The best way to tip your butlers is with cash, in your native currency is fine (American dollars or British pounds, whatever the case may be). This is particularly true in Jamaica, where we found our native currency to be preferred.
Tipping at the Sandals Spa
If you take advantage of services at the Red Lane Spas on Sandals Resorts, we recommend leaving tips of 15-20% of your spa bill, just as you would at a spa at home.
During our experiences getting a couples massage at Red Lane Spas, the spa staff offered to let us pay and tip before our service began, so we could leave the service fully relaxed and not having to worry about settling a bill afterwards. We enjoyed this option, but one thing to note is we weren’t able to tailor our tip to the quality of services received.
Tipping outside of Sandals
If you explore outside of your Sandals resort, you will want to bring cash with you for tips. You should plan to tip anyone you would otherwise tip at home, wether that’s a tour guide, a taxi driver, restaurant wait staff, or bartenders.
Even if you book an excursion through Sandals Resorts, the tours are provided by an independent company. These drivers and tour guides are not Sandals employees, and should be tipped well. Tips range from just a few dollars, to $20 and more, depending on what type of service they provide.
We found it especially helpful to bring small and medium bills with us on excursions, as there can be a number of people who help you on your excursion, who you may want to tip, even if they don’t play a major role.
Please remember that even though shuttle transfers to and from Sandals are included in your Sandals vacation, you should still consider tipping the drivers and anyone who handles your bags. Airport personel can be tipped just a few dollars, or more if they provide excellent service. Shuttle drivers are often tipped somewhere around $5, and anyone who helps you with bags can be tipped $1-2 per bag.
That should cover everything you need to know about tipping at Sandals Resorts! If there’s anything we’ve missed, please leave a comment below.