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Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

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Boston, MA
posts: 46
Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

I've heard some people bring small gifts for housekeeping each day, especially small items that may be difficult to find on-island. I'd love to hear other's thoughts regarding this. I think I read in a way-back post that someone brings small chocolates, and it might be fun to bring something from my hometown (like new england maple syrup!). Any ideas of what items might be inexpensive for me, but highly desired and appreciated on-island? If I bring little gifts for housekeeping, should I also leave a ($) tip at the end of the trip (if yes, how much)?

Also, what are the general rules of tipping across the island? I know SOME (not all) restaurants add gratuity on the bill... are you expected to tip on top of the added gratuity? If there is no gratuity added, what is the general rate? Also, what about tipping for other services like the shuttle boat from SXM to AXA, or for any taxi service?

Thanks for your "tips" ;)

Mystic, CT
posts: 1,063
reviews: 15
1. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

The gift most appreciated is cash. Hotel staff work very hard, for not a great deal of money. Please tip gererously!

Most restaurants add 15% service charge. It is a matter of personal preference, and depends on the service, but I usually tip an addtional 5% on top of that.

Alberta, Canada
posts: 784
2. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

Hotel and villa rentals usually have 10% service charge added to the bill (in addition to 10% tax). I say "usually" because sometimes the quoted price is all-in and includes these items, and sometimes they are added afterwards. It pays to check before you book what is included and what not in the price you are quoted.

There have been many discussions here on the service charges (more about the restaurant one than the accommodation one), but the short version is that the service charge is what many people would call a tip and is divided between a number of parties, including housekeeping. It is illegal to use the service charge to pay the staff's wages, so it is extra. But as Mstvl says, the pay is not high, so a bit extra is certainly appreciated.

For me, that applies more to housekeeping and similar staff than to restaurant wait staff: there is a smaller percentage and it is split between many more people than in restaurants. But that is just personal.

By all means bring something soecial or personal if you want, but remember that life's necessities can be bought on island, as long as one has money.

Granville MA
posts: 210
reviews: 20
3. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

Although, we always tip the maid and the girls at the bar, we do bring small bottles of maple syrup that is made in town by one of our neighbors. The token gift seems to be very appreciated.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 85
4. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

Why would you bring a gift for people you do not know ? Do the same as you would do in your own country.....

As it has been said service charge (tip) is added to every bill, with the exception of a few.....

Bring books or some school supplies for the schools......

Anguillians are better dressed and pressed than many of us that go on a holiday.....and by most accounts way more mannered......

Boston, MA
posts: 46
5. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

martha39forever, I would bring a gift because my mother always taught me to bring gifts for my hosts, whether I know them or not, and I consider housekeeping to be a major part of that.

Cash is king, and I will certainly show my appreciation for those who work hard, plus perhaps a small gift in addition. Thank you for all your thoughts.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 85
6. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

I will remember that when i am staying at the hotel in NYC the end of the month.....

New York City, New...
posts: 49
7. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

I absolutely love your idea of bringing a gift. I am sure that it will be very much appreciated! I like the element of surprise for the housekeeper. One of the waitresses on island asked me to send her scented body lotions because she said that she could not get them on island.

Continue with your kind thoughts and gestures and have a wonderful trip!!

posts: 1,652
reviews: 90
8. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

I always bring a gift for the housekeepers where we stay in addition to the cash tip we leave at the end of the week. We know all of the housekeepers leave equal amounts for everybody, but if you don't know who will be cleaning your room each day, it's not a bad idea to tip daily rather than at the end.

In the past, I've always brought scarves--decorative ones, not for warmth, which they seemed to like, and we've also done maple syrup in the past. This year I'm bringing a certain brand of flipflops which they ALL admired last year during my visit but cannot buy on island (Teva Mush soles, which are pretty comfy for all day wear). I had to ask their sizes in advance, but since I've stayed there before, I felt comfortable doing it.

I also bring a gift for the young son of one of the women because he spends a lot of time there with her.

Washington, DC
posts: 356
9. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

It never occurred to me to give a housekeeper I had never met a gift. And, I would never think of the housekeeper, an employee of someone else, as my hostess. I am, however a generous tipper for good service. I wonder, is anyone paying duty on these items you are bring on the island?

New York
Destination Expert
for Anguilla
posts: 1,881
reviews: 2
10. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

Emily, I never knew about Teva Mush, they look great. I am addicted to my Fit Flopps, if you have not tried them check them out.

Tipping is such a personal issue, and in Cap Juluca you have the day and evening staff. I try to get them both.