Update June 19, 2022
While tipping in the tourist areas on Jamaica’s north and south coasts is the norm, it is not a significant part of the island’s culture. However, these areas are frequented by people from countries with a tipping culture, so it has been adopted over time and is now customary.
Travelers unfamiliar with the culture might wonder if it’s ok to tip at all-inclusive hotels. In any other setting, gratuity is straightforward. If you like the service given, then you are free to tip. However, it is slightly different at all-inclusive resorts because you pay for everything in your package.
You expect to enjoy your stay without worrying about anything; Everything is taken care of, so you could even travel without money. While thats the case with some all-inclusive resorts, you might have to pay for premium liquor and unique services. These properties dont ask guests to tip, but they are not against it.
Luxury resorts like Sandals include everything in their packages, even premium service, and top-shelf alcohol. They forbid tipping except for butler services. So workers accepting tips could lose their jobs.
At some resorts, staff pressure guests to subtly or directly tip. Don’t allow workers to pressure you into giving them money. If you are unsure about the hotel’s policy on tipping, ask at the front desk or your travel agent. Here is how a travel agent can help you.
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Table of Contents
- Soliciting tips from guests at all-inclusive hotels
- All-inclusive resorts policy on tipping
- How much is a reasonable amount to tip?
- Tip or not to tip?
- Tipping at restaurants in Jamaica
- Tipping at hotels (non-all-inclusive)
- Tipping taxis in Jamaica
- Tipping Jamaica tour guides
- Tipping at Jamaica Airport
- Which Currency to use when tipping in Jamaica
Soliciting tips from guests at all-inclusive hotels
When the all-inclusive hotel model started in Jamaica, they did not allow workers to accept tips. As a result, employees could get fired for taking. Some resorts still maintain this policy.
Resorts employees use clever tactics sometimes to get you to tip them. They will go overboard to ensure you are comfortable, even when the extra attention is unnecessary. This adds psychological pressure on you to show appreciation by tipping.
Another way they solicit tip is by attending to tippers while ignoring those who don’t. Some staff members will even ask you for money.
Some hotels don’t allow tipping because they don’t want to burden you with pressure from staff. Also, not everyone who helps make your stay exceptional works on the frontline. Therefore, you won’t get to show appreciation. Including tips in booking gives everyone a share instead of a few.
All-inclusive resorts policy on tipping
These ten popular all-inclusive resorts include gratuity in their package: Sandals, Grand Palladium, Bahia Principe, Jewels, Hilton Rose Hall, Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall, Malia Broco Village, and Holiday Day Inn.
Sandals Resorts includes gratuity and maintains the all-inclusive tradition. So, They don’t allow staff to accept tips, only butlers who give personalized services.
Other resorts allow tipping, even though they calculate it into their costs. Their policy says tipping is not expected, but it is welcome if the service is better than expected. Therefore, it is at your discretion.
How much is a reasonable amount to tip?
There is no set amount to tip at all-inclusive resorts; it’s at your discretion.
However, from US$5 up would be appreciated. Five dollars works out to about 750 Jamaican dollars, which can’t buy much on the island, but it adds up.
Some tourists give money to almost everybody that serves them as if paying for their vacation twice—That’s not a good idea unless you are rich. A few bucks here and there can run into hundreds depending on your length of stay.
It’s better to tip only people who offer exceptional service. Or show your appreciation when you are about to leave to those who made you stay memorable.
Tip or not to tip?
Tipping staff at all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica is your choice. You pay for all services in your package—no need to feel guilty if you don’t give them money. You will know if special services attract additional costs when booking or at check-in.
If you tip, however, you will make someone’s day a little brighter. That extra dollar will go a long way in helping an underpaid staff.
Here are some additional guides on tipping in Jamaica.
Tipping at restaurants in Jamaica
Some Jamaican restaurants add a 10-15 percent gratuity charge to your bill; others don’t. When gratuities are not in the cost, tip 10-15 percent if the level of service is good.
In tourist areas, workers always expect a tip. However, it’s not the same in other parts of the island, although it is catching on.
While it is ok to tip in the Local Currency, JM$100 to $200 is considered stingy. 100JMD is less than 1 USD, and 200JMD is just over a dollar U.S.
$500 to JMD 1000 is appreciated, although they are less than five and 10 USD.
Even though tipping, for the most part, is an expectation at some restaurants, it’s not compulsory. Instead, it is your discretion, especially when the gratuity charge is in the cost.
Tipping at hotels (non-all-inclusive)
Like some restaurants in Jamaica, many hotels add service charges to your bill while others don’t. Check with the front desk for clarification on gratuities and service charges.
Bellhops expect anywhere from $1 up per bag and housekeepers the same amount daily.
Give cash to the person you are tipping; dont leave it somewhere. They dont want to take anything from the guest room and then be accused of stealing.
Tip at all-inclusive resorts is tricky, as outlined above.
Some hotels in Montego Bay, Jamaica, offer great rates for travelers. You can start searching below.
Tipping taxis in Jamaica
Jamaican taxis are usually non-metered; it is wise to set the price with the driver before boarding. Because the fare charge sometimes is at the driver’s discretion. If it’s a taxi service, you can ask for the cost before the driver arrives.
Jamaica is up to date on the latest trends in transportation; Uber and several taxi apps are now on the island, making fare pricing more consistent.
10 to 15 percent tip for taxi drivers is customary.
Shuttle bus users typically get a tip from 1-5 USD per person based on the length of the trip.
Tipping Jamaica tour guides
It would be best if you tipped tour guides like taxi drivers unless a service fee is in the cost of the tour. However, some attractions, such as Dunns River Falls, discourage guests from tipping staff.
Because of reports of abuse from some tour guides, many tourists feel uncomfortable. As a result, they feel pressured into giving these people a gratuity.
Tipping at Jamaica Airport
Tipping your baggage handler at the Jamaican airport is a common practice. It is customary to tip at least 1 USD.
Which Currency to use when tipping in Jamaica
In Jamaica, you can tip with either JMD or USD. However, most people prefer the USD because of its strong value.
Tip in the Currency of the item or service paid for or the equivalent.
For example, if you plan to pay 1 USD but the service is JMD, tip 150 JMD, which is close to 1 USD.
Tipping culture in Jamaica is mainly on the North coast and the tourist areas. While you can tip at all-inclusive resorts, it is not allowed at some properties. Check with the front desk for clarification. Other places such as restaurants, attractions, taxis, airports,s, and shuttles allow tipping; however, some add in their service charge and gratuities.
Gratuity charges at some restaurants usually are added to your bill; also, restaurants and attractions do not allow staff to accept tips.
From 5 USD upwards or its equivalent is a good tip. However, 1 USD and above is acceptable, depending on the service.
Tipping is not required at resorts, restaurants, or anywhere else on the island. You can decide how much to give.