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Are you supposed to tip at an all-inclusive resort?

When booking a vacation at an all-inclusive resort, one of the biggest perks is that the cost of your room, food, drinks and most activities are included in the price. However, when you get to the resort and start enjoying all the amenities, a question arises – are you supposed to tip the resort staff?

Tipping etiquette varies at all-inclusive resorts and it can be confusing trying to figure out who to tip, when to tip and how much. Here is a comprehensive guide on tipping etiquette at all-inclusive resorts.

Do you have to tip at an all-inclusive resort?

There is no definitive rule on whether tipping is required or not at an all-inclusive resort. Some resorts include a mandatory daily tipping fee as part of the room cost while others leave tipping to the guests’ discretion.

The resort staff work hard to make your vacation enjoyable and depend on tips as part of their income. Tipping is not legally required but is highly recommended and appreciated at most all-inclusive resorts.

Who should you tip at an all-inclusive resort?

Here are the staff members that it is customary to tip at an all-inclusive resort:

  • Housekeeping staff: $2-5 per night
  • Bellmen: $1-2 per bag
  • Servers at restaurants/bars: 15-20% of what your bill would have been
  • Spa staff: 15-20% of service cost
  • Activities/entertainment staff: $5-20 for exceptional service
  • Airport transfer drivers: $2-5 per traveler
  • Taxi drivers: 10-15% of fare

Some resorts also have a communal tip box for bartender, cooks, landscapers, maintenance workers etc. You can put a few dollar bills in per day to tip the general staff.

When should you tip at an all-inclusive resort?

Here are some guidelines on when it is appropriate to tip staff members during your all-inclusive vacation:

  • Tip housekeepers each morning as you leave your room for the day.
  • Tip bellmen when they deliver bags to your room at check-in and check-out.
  • Tip servers following each meal at restaurants.
  • Tip spa staff following each treatment.
  • Tip taxi/airport drivers at the end of each ride.
  • Tip entertainment staff following interactions or for exceptional service.
  • Contribute to the tip box periodically during your stay.

Try to tip in cash directly to staff members when possible. Some resorts also add tip line items to your final bill that you can fill in and charge to your room.

How much should you tip at an all-inclusive resort?

Tipping amounts vary based on the service, but here are some general tipping guidelines:

Staff Member Tip Amount
Housekeeper $2-5 per night
Bellman $1-2 per bag
Server 15-20% of bill
Spa Staff 15-20% of service
Airport Driver $2-5 per traveler
Taxi Driver 10-15% of fare

For exceptional service from entertainment staff or concierge, tips of $5-20 are appreciated. Contribute $1-5 per person to the communal tip box periodically.

Should you tip extra for luxury all-inclusive resorts?

Luxury all-inclusive resorts generally have the same tipping customs and expectations as mid-range or budget all-inclusives. However, at luxury properties staff members tend to provide a higher level of personalized service. For this reason, it is recommended to tip slightly higher than average at luxury all-inclusive resorts.

For example, consider tipping housekeepers $5-10 per night instead of the average $2-5. Similarly, tip spa staff 20-25% versus 15-20% at a standard resort. Bellmen, servers, drivers and other staff providing excellent service should be tipped on the higher end of average amounts.

Should you tip extra for butler service?

Some luxury all-inclusive resorts offer private butler service where a staff member is assigned specifically to you or your family for the duration of the stay. The butler handles special requests, reservations, packing/unpacking and other personalized services.

It is customary to tip your butler $15-25 per day for satisfactory service or up to $50 per day for exceptional service. You can give the tip to your butler daily or present it as a lump sum at the end of your stay based on their overall service.

Are tips included in some all-inclusive resort packages?

Some resorts add mandatory gratuities to the room rates, usually ranging from $8-20 per person per day. These charges are paid upfront as part of the all-inclusive package. Any additional tipping during your stay for exceptional service is at your discretion.

Other resort packages advertise “no tipping required” or “tips already included”. This means the mandatory daily tip is built into the room rate and distributed among staff. You are not obligated to provide any additional tips, but can reward outstanding service if desired.

Should you tip extra on your final bill?

Even at resorts with prepaid gratuities, a line for additional tips may be added to your final checkout bill. This allows you to provide an extra tip for housekeeping, bellmen or other hotel staff if you were especially satisfied with the service.

Only add a tip to the final bill if you feel the prepaid daily tip does not sufficiently reflect the service. There is no obligation to tip extra, as staff also receive a portion of the prepaid tips.

Should you tip for room service at an all-inclusive resort?

Most all-inclusive resorts do not charge for room service orders, but it is still customary to tip. For room service deliveries, tip $2-5 per order regardless of order size or cost. You can also tip 15-20% based on what you would have paid for the meal or drinks.

Some resorts may automatically add a tip for room service orders. However, you can provide a cash tip to reward excellent service from the room service staff.

Should you tip for spa treatments?

Spa services like massages, facials and body treatments typically come with an added gratuity of 15-20% at all-inclusive resorts. However, it is still standard practice to tip spa staff an additional $5-20 per service for an exceptional experience.

Do you need to tip at specialty restaurants?

All-inclusive resorts often have buffet-style main restaurants as well as à la carte specialty dining options. You should tip servers at both types of restaurants 15-20% as you would at any dining establishment. The quality of service deserves recognition whether the meal is included in your package or not.

Should you tip for drinks at the bars?

Bar drinks are unlimited and included in all-inclusive packages. You do not need to tip every time you order a drink. However, if you spend time at one bar and develop a rapport with the bartender, it is thoughtful to leave a $1-2 tip per drink or a larger $10-20 tip at the end of the night.

Do you need to tip for mini bar items?

In-room mini bars are usually stocked with beer, wine, soda, snacks and other items at all-inclusive resorts. Because these items are covered in your package, there is no need to tip specifically for mini bar usage. You can periodically add $1-2 to the general tip box to cover mini bar staff.

Should you tip for airport transfers?

Resort-arranged airport transportation like shared shuttles or private sedans typically include gratuity in the quoted transfer price. However, it is still recommended to tip drivers $2-5 per traveler for satisfactory service. For exceptional service, such as helping with lots of heavy luggage, tip drivers $5-10 per traveler.

Do you need to tip tour guides and excursion staff?

Tours, activities and excursions booked through the resort often include tipping in the pricing. However, it is customary to reward guides, drivers or activity staff with an additional cash tip of $5-20 per traveler for great service. For extensive service or personalized attention, tip up to $20-50 per traveler.

Should you tip in U.S. dollars or local currency?

U.S. dollars are accepted and preferred for tipping at most all-inclusive resorts in Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. Some resorts in other global destinations may prefer local currency. Check with the front desk staff if you are unsure.

Can you tip with resort vouchers instead of cash?

Some all-inclusive resorts provide vouchers that can be used to “tip” staff members by redeeming them for meals, spa services or other amenities. This allows staff members to enjoy facilities at the resort. However, cash tips are still preferred and more common.

Should you tip before or after your all-inclusive vacation?

Tipping is designed to show your appreciation for good service during your vacation. You cannot accurately judge the service in advance. The best practice is to assess each staff interaction and tip accordingly either during or immediately after your trip. Pre-tipping is not necessary or expected.

Is tipping expected for all-inclusive cruises too?

Yes, tipping guidelines are similar for all-inclusive cruises. Standard tips are $5-10 per port day for your room steward, $3-5 per day for dining wait staff, 15-20% for spa services, and $5-20 for exceptional service from other staff. Prepaid gratuities are sometimes included in cruise fares as well.

Are tips shared among staff at all-inclusive resorts?

Tips given directly to specific staff members like your server, housekeeper, bellman etc. are generally kept by those individuals. Prepaid daily resort tips and additional amounts tipped on your final bill are pooled and shared among various staff positions from housekeeping to kitchen to maintenance.

Can you get in trouble for not tipping at an all-inclusive?

There are no legal ramifications for choosing not to tip at an all-inclusive resort if tipping is not explicitly mandatory. However, declining to tip for reasonable service could result in more limited service for the remainder of your stay. Not tipping at all against social norms may lead to staff resentment or a poorer vacation experience.

Is it okay to tip extra for exceptional service?

Absolutely. While minimum tips are suggested, it is perfectly acceptable to tip above and beyond for staff members who go above and beyond to make your vacation exceptional. Generous tipping for exemplary service is a great way to show appreciation.

Should you tip based on the resort category?

The tipping guidelines are generally consistent across budget, moderate and luxury all-inclusive resorts. Focus more on the level of service received than the hotel category. You can consider tipping on the higher end of suggestions at a luxury resort with highly attentive service.

Do you need cash for tipping at all-inclusive resorts?

Cash is the most widely accepted and preferred method of tipping at all-inclusive resorts. Some resorts also allow you to add a tip to your final bill to charge to your room, but direct cash tips are customary. You can use U.S. dollars or local currency.


While not expressly mandatory, tipping is both customary and highly appreciated at nearly all all-inclusive resorts. Standard tipping amounts for housekeepers, servers, drivers and other key staff members make up an important part of worker income. Both pre-paid resort tips and discretionary cash tips directly to staff are the norm.

Remember that exceptional service deserves exceptional tips. If a staff member really enhances your vacation experience, don’t be shy to tip on the higher end of suggestions. Tipping reasonably for good service helps ensure you receive the best experience at your all-inclusive resort.