If you’ve never been to Jamaica’s first all-inclusive couples resort, you and your partner are definitely missing out on one of the most romantic getaways located in the Caribbean. This luxury resort brand has four properties in Jamaica. Each property has breathtaking views, mouthwatering cuisine, and relaxing spas. It’s truly heaven on an island. On top of that, Couples has exceptional customer service and care from the restaurant and bar to the spa and pool which may leave you wondering:
Do you tip at Couples Resorts©? Couples have a very strict “no tipping” policy since the vision is to be “all-inclusive”. If caught accepting tips, the employees will be disciplined or even fired. You are expected to tip non-Couples employees like your airport driver or dinner performer.
Read below to find out more about why Couples Resorts© has this no-tipping policy, whether it’s worth working around the rules, and who you actually need to tip.
Why You Shouldn’t Tip at Couples Resorts©
Established in 1949 by Abe Issa, known widely as the man who pioneered tourism in Jamaica, Couples Resorts© were the first all-inclusive type resort to open in the Caribbean. Currently, there are four locations, and any couple that goes there leaves in awe.
Apart from the incredibly relaxing stay and unforgettable experiences, guests are always met with smiling faces and a staff eager to help and assist with anything. With great customer service and care, you feel like the least you can do is tip the staff especially when you consider the great job done by bartenders, waiters, chefs, spa service individuals, room service, and so on.
However, Couples has a highly enforced and strict no-tipping policy. In fact, Couples employees caught taking cash from customers will be disciplined and, in many cases, can be fired. So you need to keep that in mind before going to Couples Resorts©. Even when staff seems overeager and extra helpful it’s only because they really want to make sure you have an unforgettable stay not because they are hinting towards a tip.
Of course, the resort’s policy may seem a bit cruel and unwarranted, but they do have some great arguments for why they don’t want guests tipping.
- It’s all-inclusive: The whole vision and brand of Couples is centered around being all-inclusive so that guests don’t feel overcharged. You pay for everything upfront and enjoy your stay.
- No cash on hand: This ties into the above, but Couples is very concerned with your convenience and comfort. While on your honeymoon or vacation, the resort doesn’t want you to burden yourself with unwarranted stress. Not having to always carry cash around is a major plus!
- Consider the other staff: This is the most important reason why Couples doesn’t allow tipping; the rest of the staff is not appreciated. They explain it as such, imagine you go to a movie theater and enjoy an incredible performance. You then proceed to tip the actors and anyone that appeared on-screen, but that leaves out all the people you didn’t see like the director, editor, lighting specialists, cameraman, and so on. Similarly, Couples doesn’t think it’s fair to leave out all the staff, not on the main stage.
What Can I Do Instead of Tipping?
Fortunately, there are other ways to show appreciation for specific staff members. First and foremost, keep in mind that part of your all-inclusive package goes out to staff members that assist you throughout your stay so you can rest easy in the fact that Couples employees are paid well through a profit-sharing model.
Apart from that, the resort suggests two other ways to show appreciation for specific staff members.
- You can leave a great review. Upon checkout or during your stay, you can fill out a staff review form in which you specify a certain member and praise them for their exceptional service. The resort will often reward these individuals with promotions, bonuses, and so on.
- Bring gifts next time. Couples Resort is completely OK with returning guests bringing their favorite staff members gifts. In fact, this is a common practice. On one online forum, a couple mentioned that they have been visiting Couples Negril for eight years and every time they bring gifts from the US to their favorite staff.
So as long as your gifts don’t have cash in them, you are good to go. Just make sure to call ahead to check if your favorite staff member is still employees at Couples. The resort loves taking your calls and wants you to have that special bond between guests and staff!
Keep in mind that rules are enforced at Couples, and an employee can be caught or other guests and staff members may notify management of accepting tips. So if you really want to show appreciation, don’t tip. Instead, opt for one of two or both of the acceptable practices mentioned above.
Who Should I Tip When Traveling to Couples Resorts©?
During your visit, you may notice some individuals that openly accept tips. In fact, some may not leave your sight until you throw them a tip. It’s not because they want to get fired, but these individuals are not directly employed by the resort. Many of the jobs on the island and around the resort are filled by third parties in an effort to assist the resort which eliminates the need to have staff on payroll all the time.
Here are the individuals you are expected to tip and how much is an appropriate amount.
1. Red Cap Porters
These are the first people you will come across that expect a tip and, of course, aren’t employees by Couples Resorts©. These individuals will assist you by taking your luggage from the Couples Lounge to the resort. They will be waiting for you on your way back to the airport and expect at least $1 per bag or luggage item.
There are a number of musicians throughout the resort, and they will not go out of their way to ask for a tip, so it’s always a great idea to approach them and give a few bucks. Performers like Clive at Couples Sans Souci on the Sunset Beach are definitely worth a hefty tip. The saxophone mixed with the sound of waves will create that romantic mood you and your partner are looking for.
3. Taxi Drivers
If you decide to go off on your own and take a cab outside the resort, then most drivers expect a tip. Most people on the island are extremely kind, and they will go out of their way to tell you about amazing sites so a tip is always warranted.
What If I Really Want to Tip?
Again we don’t recommend that you do. It’s very risky for the employees, and you don’t really want to be put in that position. The best thing to do is either bring a personalized gift next time or leave a great review. Still, if you absolutely have to leave a tip, here is what you can do, again NOT advised.
You need to make sure that no one is around. Guests and staff members, while not likely, may feel obligated to tell management of the incident, so make sure you are alone with the employee.
Really the easiest people to give tips to are the individuals that you encounter alone. These include spa members and the bus driver. For these services, you have to be the judge and decide whether a tip is worth it or not. Spa employees usually do a great job and are super professional, and sometimes you’ll get an amazing bus driver who will tell you all about the local spots. Around $10 – $20 per person is great for the driver.
There you have it, the rumors are true, you should not leave a tip at Couples Resorts©. Employees are paid well, and the best thing you can do is just leave a great review and bring a gift the next time you visit. Apart from that, enjoy your all-inclusive stay in paradise! And, if you need date ideas, check out this blog post.