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  1. #1

    Default Tips or small gifts

    I appreciate that there is a no tipping rule at Couples resorts which as a Brit I understand that service is included within the holiday price.

    However when we receive good service we like to at the end of the holiday show our appreciation to the cleaner, bar staff, & favourite waitress etc

    What suggestions would you make that May be appropriate that we either take with us or buy in country. alternatively would you simply ignore the no tipping rule & discreetly slip something which shows your appreciation for the hard work I'm sure the perform.

    Thanks

    SteveG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    2,402

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    Don't do it, they could be fired. Take names and fill out the comment card at the end of your stay. They appreciate that more I've read. There is a profit sharing program i think or something like it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    1,169

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    Hi SteveG,

    From what we understand from our visits to Couples, the no tipping policy is meant to make it fair for the staff as usually those that provide direct service (i.e. wait-staff) would get a tip while those behind the scenes (i.e. cook-staff) would not. We have been told that another reason is that Couples offers its staff a profit sharing incentive in that at the end of the year all the staff get a share of the profits. Of course Couples does take this "no tipping" policy very seriously as we've been told by staff that they can lose their jobs if caught accepting a tip.

    Typically what we bring is gifts for the staff. For women it can be chocolates, perfumes, candles or lotions and such. For guys t-shirts and ball caps from our "home team" and sun-glasses are just a few of the things we've brought. Be sure to give them a "thank you note" with the gift so it is understood that what you've given them is a gift and is not something they took from a guest (don't want these great people to be at risk of losing their jobs as they're not easy to get).

    Hopefully this helps and you'll also have suggestions of appropriate gifts from others like gifts they can share with their kids.

    Have a great stay at Couples!

    Bart & Bug

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    3

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    I appreciate you following the no tipping policy. I started a new thread and wrote a somewhat lengthy piece on how I think tipping has gotten totally out of control at CTI. At least the 2 weeks I was just there in OCT I thought it was from what I saw. For example, guy reaching in his pocket to lay down 3-4 bucks after supper on the patio....which is buffet.....for what must be the guy pouring his water. Really? And that is just the start of what I saw.

    Must be a touchy subject as my thread didnt make it past the moderators and to this site. TBH, I have considered personally writing Randy to get to the bottom of some of this. If what I saw for 2 weeks in Oct is the norm, than it is running rampant at Couples.....at least CTI. And this has more to do with the new people than repeaters. In fact, one new couple told us that their TA advised them to bring extra cash for tipping. WHAT???

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    766

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    I think you will get a lot of the same answers.......DON'T TIP! The staff can be fired and it isn't worth it.

    Small gifts, I think are OK, but I think the best thing you can do for them is to remember their names and comment on the comment card at the end of the trip.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    33

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    Please do not tip the staff. There are cameras everywhere on the resort and it could result in the staff member being fired. Hugh, an amazing bellman at CSS was recently let go for not putting his tip quickly enough in the tip jar! He was wonderful and we enjoyed seeing his smile everytime the bus pulled up to the entrance. It always amazes us that the wonderful, loyal, kind staff who make one small error get fired, yet there are a number of staff who contravene the rules but are never caught, and stay employed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Haha! Can o' worms!!!
    "Brutalize me with music..."

    CN: 11/2007, 11/2010, 11/2011, 11/2013

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    128

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    Steve,

    I have heard that if you slip them something they could possibly get fired. The best way of showing appreciation is to mention them by name at check out, I believe they have a rewards system for them. There have been many posts on here about this same thing. Some suggestions were to take chocolate or candies to give out, school supplies, or over the counter medications (they are expensive in Jamaica). You could take candies that are popular to your country to share. If you decide to take something larger you are suppose to write a note saying it was a gift and attach it to the items withy our name on it so they don't get in trouble.

    I am a quilter and have made a couple of small lap blankets for people I remember from last time. I will be sure to attach a card to it so they don't get in trouble. I felt bad for our housekeeper last time, it seemed like we went through endless amounts of towels and messed up the bed with afternoon naps. I will be sure to bring some chocolates for her!!

    Hope this answered your question. It is hard if you are someone that appreciates good service you want to reciprocate but not at the expense of their job. I am sure a smile and a sincere thank you are appreciated too.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2009
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    I think the people that tip are just compensating for something. I'm not sure what...but something.

    "Oooh, look at me, I'm above the status quo"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    81

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    One of the reasons I picked Couples was because of the no tipping policy.

    Don't get me wrong I have no problem tipping at places that require it, however, my wife and I thought it would be wonderful to really escape to a place where you can truly put your wallet away. A place where the service you get isn't because of how big you tip.

    I feel confident knowing that the normal money I would tip is already included in the overall cost of the vacation. Couples cost more than other resorts however it includes multiple excursions as well as the satisfaction of knowing that everyone (including those you don't see working behind the scenes) are getting a share of that premium you pay up front.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    182

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    I expect that based on this thread there will be a crack down at CTI and we won't witness this going on much longer. In my experience at CSA, the no tipping policy was strictly enforced. I have seen several instances of staff refusing tips, saying they could loose their jobs. They do appreciate positive comment cards, which are considered by management when granting promotions etc. Also, I think small gifts are nice, and appreciated. As others have said, make sure to accompany any gifts with a note. The whole point of the no tipping policy is that guest can arrive, put their wallets in the safe and have a care-free holiday where they don't need to worry about anything (money included) for a week. Those who tip, ruin the experience for other guests and put staff at risk of loosing their jobs.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    206

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    If they are given a tip or left a tip, the employees must give to their manager/disclose it right away so they do not risk getting fired. They do not get to keep the money you leave them so DO NOT DO IT. One of our favs almost got fired because someone thought he took a tip. From what I understand, Couples is one of the best resorts and so many people want to work there because they do treat their staff well. Do not risk this for them. We have been 3 times and yes we feel bad that we cannot give our favorites extra money, but they are the ones that tell us to write their name down. If this is what they want us to do...then that is how I can show my appreciation and that is what I do.
    Holly Irvin

  13. #13

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    When we arrive in November we are taking an entire bag just with "goodies" for staff. We are taking small bags of school supplies for children (housekeeping staff), Lots and Lots of candy bars and m&m's for bar and housekeeping staff, and boxes of beauty supplies (lip gloss, pony tail holders, barrettes, make up, perfume samples and lotions from bath & body) and for the gentlemen we are taking some ball caps from OSU (we are huge fans) and some sunglasses and shaving cream,razors, and cologne samples.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    I totally understand and appreciate the no tipping rule. While at CTI, we quickly came to realize how and who to tip is a problem as we encountered several dozen staff by noon each day. What I'd like to suggest (and I've thought about this one for a while) is that Couples provide a no-obligation tip box at the registration desk where I could drop my extra unused cash when checking out - which could then be used by Couples to share with all the staff - fairly - or to provide a wonderful event (eg - party, gifts, etc.) courtesy of the guests. We had a great time and I be happy to kick in a little something at check-out to thank the staff and hopefully give them a great time.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    188

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    We talked to so e new comers to CTI who told us they liked the staff but saw so many all the time they where getting tired if tipping! I couldn't believe it! I told them they where putting those staff members in danger of losing their job and that there is a stricked no tipping policy. Maybe this rule should be more publicized or mentioned more clearly in the email right before you go?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    766

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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisJamie View Post
    I think the people that tip are just compensating for something. I'm not sure what...but something.

    "Oooh, look at me, I'm above the status quo"
    Love this answer! So true too. I saw a review on TA that said they felt like they "HAD" to tip their favorites, as they had done in the past even though they knew it was wrong. I don't get that....knowing you are risking someone's job and deliberately doing it anyway.

    Like another poster said, one of the things we love is that you don't have to tip and your service isn't based on whether you choose to do so or not. You don't tip. You don't have to carry money around all day. Wallet is in the safe from the time we get there until it's time to go home.

    I hope the OP on this thread will respect that rule. It's a good rule for us, and it's not worth risking our friends jobs.

  17. #17
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    Sep 2011
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    456

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    Canadude,

    That is an awesome idea !! Couples could then share the tips equally among all the staff. Everyone of them work hard , not just the direct service ones we deal with.

  18. #18
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    Jun 2009
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    I remember the first or second time we went to Couples we had a wait staff member that was great, sweat, friendly, and really cheerful. I had forgotten that night to get her name, so the next night she was serving, (but not our table) I went up to her and asked her if she could write her name down for me since I really enjoyed her the night before and wanted it for the exit survey. I received the biggest smile and a definitely. They do appreciate the recognition on the exit survey. That is one of the best things you can do for them.

    We do also bring some m & m's and other types of chocolates for the staff, but that is because I know it is expensive there, and they appreciate it, so we give it out, some to our favorites, and the rest randomly to those we get a connection with. We then bring school supplies and leave at the desk for them to distribute to schools or the employees who really need them.

    I have seem some cash given, and even told another guest to please not do it because the staff could loose their job, and they told me " no they won't they don't really check," I on the other hand would not take the chance, and I have not seen anyone treat us less than they did these people, Respect for them, a "thank you" and putting their name on the exit sheet is what most of them really appreciate.
    Linda

  19. #19
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    Jun 2009
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    612

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sun n sand View Post
    Please do not tip the staff. There are cameras everywhere on the resort and it could result in the staff member being fired.
    OK - REALLY??? Please, someone let me know if there really ARE cameras all over each resort. This would surely make me re-think staying at Couples (and I've been to CSA 9 times)….I'm living in a country right now where there is a CCTV camera at each corner (and indeed, almost everywhere you look)….there doesn't seem to be any reason for that level of surveillance at a Couples resort.

    Any comment from management on this one???

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    35

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    We saw a lot of tipping at CSS last week as well. Made my husband and me uncomfortable as well as the bartenders. Another couple and I discussed it, in fact. And we actually felt that we got better service at the bar NOT tipping! The bartenders tried to leave the dollars sitting on the bar and just fill the glasses, but the guests that were tipping were not even trying to be sneaky. So maybe they didn't know better? Or maybe as KrisJamie mentioned - they were "showing off"? I greatly appreciate the no tipping policy and wrote a long list of names on our comment card.

  21. #21

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    My question is slightly different - we'll be in CSS for Christmas and would like to take small gifts for special members of staff. Any ideas for presents would be much appreciated, please.

    Many thanks
    Jean

  22. #22
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    Jun 2009
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    1,517

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    Quote Originally Posted by gonegril View Post
    OK - REALLY??? Please, someone let me know if there really ARE cameras all over each resort. This would surely make me re-think staying at Couples (and I've been to CSA 9 times)….I'm living in a country right now where there is a CCTV camera at each corner (and indeed, almost everywhere you look)….there doesn't seem to be any reason for that level of surveillance at a Couples resort.

    Any comment from management on this one???
    There are. If you go to CTI, I can point them all out and the direction they face. There is one pointed SQUARE at the main bar.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    182

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    Jean, school supplies, nice toiletries (quality lotions etc. for the ladies), hats and sport t-shirts for the guys and chocolates for all are appreciated.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    I saw someone tipping in sept at CSS and when I asked them why they tipped they said they didn't know that there was a no tipping rule. The no tipping rule is one of the things we like about going to Couples because you don't have to worry about anything including money.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    472

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    When have you ever been to a hotel or resort where there were NOT security cameras? Having worked in the industry for many years I can tell you they're at any good property.

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