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  1. #26

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    I agree that guests should be told about this in clear terms when they check in, either in writing or orally. That might help solve the problem.

    But I also wanted to point out one thing that (at least sometimes) may be getting missed. For those who have tipped and have noted that the person gladly accepted the tip (thereby implicitly indicating tipping is acceptable), what do you really expect the staff member to do?

    You are a paying guest and you are trying to hand someone money. You've now put the staff member in a really horrible position. If they accept the tip and get caught, they are subject to reprimand and, potentially, losing a job that may be crucially important to them and their family. If they reject the tip, they risk embarrassing and/or offending a guest, something they are trained to try very hard to avoid. My guess is that many staff members in this position will accept the tip and take the risk rather than offend a guest. And of course when they do, they smile and act appreciative and grateful, when inside they may be panicking.

    The bottom line is that if you are one of the people who still believes it's appropriate, so long as you are "discreet" about it, please think a little harder about it next time, because even if you think the tip is being well received, it may be at least as likely (if not more likely) that what is really happening is more like what I described above, and that the staff member smiling and thanking you is actually really uncomfortable. Instead, "tip" through the comment cards, as described above. But also, if you want to show some appreciation for a particularly hard-working staff member, take a minute to really thank them and/or ask them about themselves and their families. I think you'll find that that type of "tip" is not only acceptable, but it really will be appreciated.

  2. #27

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    Typically, the Couples employee politely declines the tip, saying that they cannot accept it and that guests are not permitted to tip at the resort. I say typically as the first time I went, I tried to tip, and that is what happened three of three times. The last time I went, one employee went way out of their way for me, involving my leaving my ipad behind. I feel in other resorts, they would have taken it, but at Sans Souci, they tracked me down at the front desk as I was checking out and returned it. That employee I insisted get a tip.

  3. #28

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    I tried to tip an employee on my first visit and was told "No m'lady, your tip is already paid!"

  4. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by ct ti fan View Post
    That employee I insisted get a tip.
    So, you made a note on the check-out form as opposed to breaking the rules AND risking their job, right?

  5. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inthesun View Post
    Michelle:

    Thanks for the clarification. I love couples and it's only 5 weeks until my 8th visit. There is one thing about tipping that I wish could be fixed. I go to couples for the stress reduction. I can go to a restaurant at couples and not have to worry about whether entree A is worth $5 more than entree B. I can just have what ever sounds good on a particular evening. For almost the entire visit I can put my wallet in the safe and not think about it.

    There is one exception to this and this is the spa. My wife goes there a lot and go a couple times. But we have to take cash. It's the only place on the property where you need cash. There two possible solutions To this:

    1. You could allow customers to charge a tip to there account so they won't need cash.

    2. You could raise spa rates by 20 percent and ban tipping at the spa.

    I'd prefer option 2, but either would be better than the current system.

    John Hansen
    I myself would prefer option 1. This past year my wife and I had a few services done simultaneously. And while her services were exceptional, and very relaxing, mine were not. Don't get me wrong, they were very nice, but the way my masseuse did my treatments kept jarring me out of my peaceful mood, and made it hard to fully sink into the moment. For this reason, I do not feel that an automatic 20% tip is a good idea.


    On other notes, I too have seen guests tipping bar staff, and have even been told by other guests that they will leave a tip under their plate at the end of a meal for the waitstaff. We follow the no tipping policy, and have not noticed any lack of quality service compared to those around us that were tipping.

  6. #31

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    Thanks MichelleG,
    My wife and I are CSA vets (visit #19 is a mere 33 days away!) and have seen it all. Guests ignoring the policy, staff declining tips and the occasional staff accepting tips from guests. To be completely fair though, the guests often appear to be oblivious to the 'no tipping' policy. As popular as the message board is, it only reaches a fraction of the newbies. My wife and I have two other couples flying down for our 20 yr vow renewal next month, and neither couple has gone on the MB once, despite our encouraging them to do so. With that said,,,, has any consideration been given to the suggestions I've read here - like specific information given to guests at check-in? I haven't seen an official response, and was wondering if that suggestion was moving forward (or not).

  7. #32

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    I don't understand why people choose to go against this policy. The no tipping policy is one of the reasons my husband and I chose to go to Couples this next weekend (9 days and counting!). I like the thought of not having to worry about it and I would fathom it makes for a more relaxing vacation. I'm glad I've been reading up on these things, so I don't perhaps looks like a typical first-timer. :-) We are staying at Tower Isle, and this will be our first vacation without our kids, and first time ever out of the country...and we can't wait! We promise to adhere to the no-tipping policy. :-)

  8. #33

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    Hi we too are headed to Couples next weekend and will respect the no tipping policy 100%. It's been several yrs since our last trip to Couples but it's one of the draws for us. We always feel awkward tipping and the Couples approach is a true no stress vacation. I just wish that people who are so impatient and who think they are going to get better service by tipping don't ruin it for those who respect and appreciate the policy. I think a communication on the policy to all guests at arrival is a great idea.

  9. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    374
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    Thank you Urbanhousewife and Calm for adhering to the policy... We appreciate it
    Michelle Gordon
    ------------------
    On-Island Social Media Coordinator
    Couples Resorts

  10. #35

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    So happy to have read this thread. Nice not to have to carry $$ around the beach.

  11. #36

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    We also chose to try Couples in part due to the no tipping policy. We did not tip and after our stay I can honestly say that I could not have expected any better service by tipping than what we received. We made an effort to chat with a few of our regular servers and they seemd to appreciate it. I did not see anyone tipping by my wife said she noticed a couple of discreet tips accepted. As for enforcement, the staff simply should not accept them and politely decline. We named our best servers on the comment card but honestly they were all fantastic.

  12. #37

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    Hi all. I agree with all of the comments especially making people aware of the no tipping policy. I suggest that it is provided with the confirmation letter/email and all email notifications (including potential consequences) as well as mentioned at check-in. (Including the consequences is important because other resorts say they have no tipping policy but they don't enforce it.)
    As to providing gifts, that can sometimes be more rewarding than giving money. One of the front desk staff as CTI went above and beyond for me and I gave her a box of Ferero Rocher chocolates. You would have thought she hit the jackpot. She was ecstatic. She said it was so expensive to buy in Jamaica. Just make sure you put a note with it including the staff members name, and your name/room number.

  13. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichelleG 'Island Girl' View Post
    Hi All, please note below regarding the tipping policy at Couples Resorts
    We receive a lot of comments and inquiries about tipping.
    There are 3 good reasons why we have NO tipping policy at the hotel.

    1. You already paid the tip. A portion of the room rate you are paying is set for gratuity.
    The employees are paid salary then an additional gratuity amount is added to their paycheck.
    2. Per above, everyone gets something - not only few employees that you as a guest happen to encounter.
    3. We want to make sure that every single guest receives same wonderful service during the stay and no one is singled out because they may not be able to tip.
    The best way to “tip”?
    Fill the comment card, let us know where we are doing great, where we need to improve because we want to welcome you back next year!
    And when you come back…everyone gets their tip
    Not trying to beat a dead horse, however, as per the 3 good reasons why Couple's have a NO tipping policy, would that not include NO gifts?
    As per above, everyone gets something... Not only the few employees that you as a guest happen to encounter.
    Last edited by GardenGal; April 6th, 2015 at 10:41 AM.

  14. #39

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    I am really surprised at how many people honestly do not know the policy. Have been at CTI for 3 days and had to tell two new visitors about it. One thought it was acceptable based on what they red in the room literature (maybe it was about the Spa) and the other was very grateful to hear it. The first one tipped and the tip was accepted but placed aside (not in the pocket) and the second was politely refused. Definitely need more info available.

  15. #40

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    Anyone that frequents the AN beaches truly appreciate the no tipping policy. Where the heck would you put it?!?
    We really should all be on the same page and make it fair to all employees. Will be back in 2 days!
    CN 2003, 2006, 2013
    CSS 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
    There's no place like home in Jamaica!

  16. #41

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    Agree!!!

  17. #42

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    In my 8 trips, 9-10 days each, I've never seen anyone try to tip...thank goodness. The rules are in place for a reason. RESPECT!!

  18. #43

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    We will be visiting CTI in June. I understand the no tipping policy on the resort... however, I am concerned with other comments I have read. Comments in other threads such as going to the Dunn River Falls or the people handling our luggage at the airport to the resort; people have stated that they blatantly demanded a tip (Dunns) or kept insinuating (luggage). Our travel agent said no money what so ever... but again, the spa you would tip as it's not in the price I read. I would have never known about the tipping policies should I have not read these threads and we will be meeting with our TA soon, so maybe she'll go over that more with us since I want to make sure we should or shouldn't be doing something.

  19. Default

    Thanks for clarification, now I wish and hope guests abide by the rules. Other guests I've encountered don't believe there is a program for all the employees. I'm glad you spelled it out for everyone. It should be introduced at checkin also.

    htc-one-m9.com

  20. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzi View Post
    In my 8 trips, 9-10 days each, I've never seen anyone try to tip...thank goodness. The rules are in place for a reason. RESPECT!!

    Check out TA review titled "Enjoyed it very much at Couples Negril". Very positive review, but the guest was obviously fully aware of the no tipping policy and still tried to pressure the employee into taking a tip. The employee politely declined. Again, why try to tempt employees with tips when you know the rules?

  21. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by camsmom5403 View Post
    ... and we will be meeting with our TA soon, so maybe she'll go over that more with us since I want to make sure we should or shouldn't be doing something.
    Don't tip, do indulge, don't pick up the sea life and bring it ashore. Enjoy.

  22. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by camsmom5403 View Post
    We will be visiting CTI in June. I understand the no tipping policy on the resort... however, I am concerned with other comments I have read. Comments in other threads such as going to the Dunn River Falls or the people handling our luggage at the airport to the resort; people have stated that they blatantly demanded a tip (Dunns) or kept insinuating (luggage). Our travel agent said no money what so ever... but again, the spa you would tip as it's not in the price I read. I would have never known about the tipping policies should I have not read these threads and we will be meeting with our TA soon, so maybe she'll go over that more with us since I want to make sure we should or shouldn't be doing something.
    It can be confusing. But at the airport, you can tip the baggage handlers, just as you would at any airport. They are not Couples' employees. We typically do a $1 a bag. The driver is not a Couples' employee, so you can tip him once at the resort. This varies depending on the ride. $5-$10 pp for us. The tour to Dunn's, your driver is not a Couples' employee and can be tipped. Your guides going up the falls can be tipped. Have fun. We are just over a month before we return for trip number 8.
    Vicky

  23. #48

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    What I found to be equally upsetting was a woman getting on the shuttle to CSS in April who vehemently refused to tip the porters at the airport. An older porter was bringing a huge cart of baggage to the shuttle and may have been a little over-insistent on being tipped. Her response was that Couple is all-inclusive, if you want a tip, contact couples. Actually made quite a scene of it. All this to avoid a $3 or $4 gesture! Needless to say, I didn't see any money come out of her pocket when she got off the shuttle either. I wonder if she refused to pay for her drinks on the plane too.

  24. #49

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    Do you guys tip at the airport in $US or Jamaican $? Trying to figure out whet we need to convert. Thanks.

    Also I guess it's a no no to tip the houskeepers. I always leave $2 or so per day

  25. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by OurManInVanc View Post
    Do you guys tip at the airport in $US or Jamaican $? Trying to figure out whet we need to convert. Thanks.

    Also I guess it's a no no to tip the houskeepers. I always leave $2 or so per day
    No need to convert, USD is more than accepted. The no tipping policy includes housekeeping, but a small gift left for them, with their name on it and given to management, is acceptable. Ideas include chocolates, lotions or other trinkets. If you are very happy with anyone's service above and beyond the already acceptable level you'll receive, make sure to write their name on the survey card. They are indeed reviewed by Management. Have a great trip!
    Lynn & Craig, Delaware
    CN 2000,2010,2015
    CTI 2009,2011,2015
    CSA 2012 & 2013

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