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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    12

    Default What kinds of gifts?

    I've read on this board that people are allowed to leave gifts for the staff rather than tips.

    What kinds of things do you leave?

    10 sleeps til our first trip to Couples Tower Isle!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    893

    Default

    I got a bag of Ghirardelli chocolates & left a few each day...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    277

    Default

    I've left chocolates, lip gloss, nail polish, etc. Point to note...you will need to leave a note as well, advising your name, room #, what the gift is and who you've given it to. The staff have their bags searched when they come to work and then again when they leave. Sounds intense, but as long as you've written a note, they are allowed to leave with the gift.

  4. #4

    Default

    Hi Amy - I'm jealous!! Hubby and I just returned from CSA and so wishing we were back!

    I took a few thank you notes/cards and a bag of Hershey's Kisses. We also brought some T-shirts and caps (FSU) to give out. Each night, I would leave a handful of kisses on the bed before dinner with a little note thanking our housekeeper for a wonderful job. The T-shirts and sports caps were given out our last night with a note. They were very appreciative. We also left the shampoo, conditioner, Woolite, etc., things our housekeeper could use on the day of our departure. Just small tokens of your appreciation would be fine, candy, little Christmas ornaments and especially a Thank You. Enjoy!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    249

    Default

    We bring big bags of snack(mini)size candy as the staff loves it, it's hard to get in Jamaica(snickers,m&ms, etc), and 2-3 bags can go a long way in spreading it around to all..you can use it like currency to "tip" folks guilt free
    The sun & the sand & a drink in my hand, with no bottom

  6. #6

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    Hi Amy girl, The ladies enjoy anything from Bath & body. The guys like sports shirts/jerseys and sports hats. Enjoy !!!

  7. #7

    Default

    I was told American chocolate is a treat since Jamaican chocolate doesn't taste quite the same...you can leave it out for your housekeeping staff everyday and also they really appreciate school supplies. I hope you have an amazing trip!

  8. #8

    Default gifts

    I had to reply to this message after seeing more and more posts about gifts and what to get for the staff. This topic I'm sure is a very touchy one but wanted to put my two cents worth in. Couples has a no tipping policy which makes our trips so enjoyable by not having to worry about that aspect of our vacation. I am left to wonder if we are creating our own problem by giving gifts to the staff. I know that on a previous post someone said that they were approached by an employee with how much they liked their sunglasses, or whatever it was the guest was wearing. This happened a couple of times at least and if I remember correctly the guest even felt uncomfortable because they did not want to give the employee their personal belonging. With more and more people bringing gifts to the staff are more of them going to be looking for it from the guests and expecting it? More importantly, what about the staff that we never see but still are an integral part of our stay at Couples and contributor to the Couples experience: cook staff, gardeners, administration and any others I might be forgetting. They are left out of receiving gifts because we never see or meet them but they are no less important than the others. I believe that Couples has a no tipping policy for the equal benefit of all employees. I don't know the answer to this question that keeps coming up but it bothers me enough that I finally had to post a message.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    132

    Default

    We took bags of M&Ms, nail polish and ball caps for the guys. Every time we had room service, we tipped a hat. Our waiter for our dinner on the beach we tipped a cap and candy for his family. I even took the "sax man" a hat for his music.
    Mike & Martha

    CSS 2010, 2013, 2014
    CTI 2011
    CN 2012

  10. #10

    Default

    At CN, every morning when we left our room, I'd leave a small thank you note to the maid along with a few things like small packs of M & M's, gum, lifesavers, lotions, nail polish, toothpaste, Advil, shaving cream/razors, etc. ...sometimes pencils, coolpens, markers/crayons, etc. On the day we would leave for home, I'd leave a nice thank you note saying something like "Please accept these gifts: [and then I would LIST what I'm leaving so they wouldn't get in trouble]. I always brought a nice jewelry set (usually something I'd already used), perhaps my beach hat or sandals, etc.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    179

    Default

    We took a dozen or so well-stuffed pencil cases which we gave to staff with children - they all checked out accepting them officially as far as we could see. We took extra toiletries which we left for room staff, together with nice clothes we chose to leave - all these we left with a note that could be shown to a supervisor to save misunderstandings. We took a box of school supplies ( pens, pencils, rubbers etc) which we gave to the front desk. We gave a second big box of school supplies together with a box of reading glasses to the nearby catholic church. All the ideas for this had come from this messageboard, and these tokens all seemed well received by the lovely people we gave the items to.

  12. #12

    Default

    We have brought things like candies, nice hand creams, medicine, vitamins etc for kids.

    The one thing that we were told last year at CN, is that the gift has to have your name and room number on it for the staff member to take it off the resort. We will now pack everything in small gift bags.

    You can also bring school supplies to leave at the front desk.

    Jenni

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,932

    Default

    While you can leave things, such as, chocolates, baseball caps, lotions, OTC meds; the best thing you can do is to learn the staff names, use them, show respect--common good manners, pleases, thank yous, look in the eyes, get to know them. IF you do leave something, leave a note with your name and room number or they can't leave with it. I will leave my magazines that I have read, one year, hubby got a new pair of sandals, couldn't stand them, so we left with a note hoping someone on staff could use them or they would know someone who could use them. We have also left school supplies at the front desk and the Issa Foundation takes care them. You can also upon departure mention the staff names on the comment card. They are rewarded for good service to guests. Couples does take care of their staff when they take care of the guests.
    Vicky

  14. #14

    Default

    We bring pens, markers, crayons, etc. Last year we also brought Nyquil, cough syrup and ibuprofen. I give some to whoever cleans our room but last year I gave a bag full of the above to a lovely gentleman I saw every day working on the grounds. He was so thankful it really touched my heart. Moral to the story is I think the staff who clean the rooms are wonderful but there are many more staff who work very hard to make our stay enjoyable so lets not forget them.

    The staff also need a little thank you note to go along with your gift.

    Mainegirl

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    708

    Default

    I have to agree with weluvjamaica. I've pondered this myself and have somewhat come to the same conclusion, aren't we trading monetary tips for gift tips? I do love the people of Jamaica and I do appreciate their plight as far as the cost of things there and the small wages. We've vacationed there 15 times and come to feel it is our second home just as many others have and love to do what we can to help the people out.

    On our trip to CSA this year we really came to appreciate Danny, one of the vendors on the beach...I realize he isn't a Couples employee. We had bought two little bracelets from him early in our stay and every day he waved and said hello and never again pressured us to buy anything again. All week we pondered how we could help him out, in the end we bought more stuff from him that we really didn't even want but felt that was the best way to preserve his diginity but yet "give" him money. I think that buying the trips we buy, mentioning the staff by name, supporting the vendors, and giving to charities we know to be reputable are the best ways to help the people.

    I guess those who want to give gifts will continue to do so but it's just something to think about.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    155

    Default

    I agree with weluvjamaica and sherrynchuck. I am leaving in a few days and I barely have enough room in my luggage to pack my own stuff, if I had to worry about getting more stuff in, it would be hard. And I have felt under pressure about this, because you do want to give to these wonderful people. But the same thing was running through my mind. Who? What about the people we don't see that do so much? And then is treatment based on what kind of gifts you bring? To me it would be easier to just tip some dollars. But then again the no tipping policy is one of the things I love about Couples. I love that everyone gets treated the same, and its not based on tips or what room you book. I think that our thank yous, and comment cards, and supporting venders and charities is good. I think Couples taked care of their staff, since it is a no tipping resort, and from what I can see they do a good job of this. Besides the people of Jamaica being such wonderful people, I think it also trickles down from management and the way they are treated. So I agree with weluvjamaica and sherrynchuck, and I think if we are not on the same page we are creating an atmosphere of tips being replaced by gifts.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    12

    Default

    It certainly is a difficult position. I work in the travel industry here in Canada (my family runs a resort) and I basically live on my tips. However, since Couples has a no tipping policy, I would think that gifts, etc, would fall into that category. I don't want to make things more difficult for other people who don't know about or feel comfortable bringing gifts.

    I guess I'll just play it by ear, eh?

    Thanks for all the feed back, gang.

  18. #18

    Default

    To weluvjamaica; Good point and very well said. If we feel we must take gifts, please take those that can be given to the schools that the resort sponsors. Guilt free, and very much appreciated.
    Ken & Gina

  19. #19

    Default

    I just wanted to comment to those that are leaving stuff at night for their housekeeper.

    The housekeeper we had during the day was awesome and did all the cleaning (20-30mins). A different lady came at night, and she would just unfold the blanket/sheet, and sometimes provide ice in the carafe (2-3 mins max).

    This was our experience at CTI. So your gifts may not go to the person that you intended.

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