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Tipping/gratuities at Maui Resorts - four seasons

Pullman, Washington
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Tipping/gratuities at Maui Resorts - four seasons

My husband and I are planning to visit the Four Seasons Maui for the first time in May. Neither of us have been to Hawaii, so I'm doing my research ahead of time :)

One thing I have a question about is constantly tipping EVERY PERSON at the resort. Once we stayed at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico and it was recommended that we walk around with wads of $1 bills to tip anyone who smiled at us. I felt like i was constantly trying to pass dollars around to make people happy. I'm not stingy by any means, however, I find tipping to be highly annoying and stressful. I'm not comfortable slipping people money because they brought me a towel, opened the door for me, etc.

Is this expected in Maui? Tipping every service worker and attendant? I don't mind restaurant servers and maids and even the valet guy who goes and gets our car. Any advice would be appreciated!

Nanaimo, Canada
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1. Re: Tipping/gratuities at Maui Resorts - four seasons

Welcome to Trip Advisor!

This is an ongoing discussion, and it comes up every once in a while, but yes, you are expected to tip. The people in Hawaii often work two or three jobs to make ends meet. It is extremely expensive to live in Paradise.

Got to the bottom of the page, and you will see in a green coloured box the word "Search". Use it. Plunk in the work "tipping" and you will get a bunch of older threads to read through on this very subject. There is a button to change it from "relevance" to "date", and then you can see the latest ones.

Overland Park...
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2. Re: Tipping/gratuities at Maui Resorts - four seasons

I have stayed at several resorts in Hawaii and have never had the experience you mentioned. My experience has been that the same tipping policies apply at Hawaii resorts as in any resort in the US. Nothing unique in that sense about Hawaii. It is certainly not what you described in Mexico.

San Diego...
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3. Re: Tipping/gratuities at Maui Resorts - four seasons

We have stayed at the FS Maui and from a tipping stand point it is no different than any other hotel. We tip for services rendered. What you will find at the 4S is tremendous service. They'll clean your sunglasses at the pool, bring you hot muffins at the pool in the morning and cool popsicles in the afternoon. if you feel like dropping a tip then I'm sure it would be ok.

I know what you mean about Mexico have been there a lot, but this is not the case.

New Mexico
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4. Re: Tipping/gratuities at Maui Resorts - four seasons

Our experience of tipping on Maui is the same as at any other nice hotel in the US: we leave tips for housekeeping every day, we tip the servers for drinks and food, we tip the concierge if s/he performs a service, we tip the valet who brings our car, and the person who brings our luggage. The emphasis here is on tipping the person who performs a service--the smiles and cheerful greeting from the hotel staff is much appreciated, but not something you have to tip them for!

California
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5. Re: Tipping/gratuities at Maui Resorts - four seasons

I agree, tipping in Hawaii is no different than anywhere in the U.S. Why would would it be? And like any hotel, when you tip the maid don't leave it at the end of your stay. Do it daily because the maid who does the final maid service won't necessarily be the one that gave you great service during your stay. And no, they won't share it or leave it for the other maid.

Bendigo, Australia
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6. Re: Tipping/gratuities at Maui Resorts - four seasons

On the topic of tipping the maid, where do you normally leave the tip for them?

Dallas
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7. Re: Tipping/gratuities at Maui Resorts - four seasons

I leave it on the table by the bed with a note that says "For Housekeeping, thank you ! "

They frequently reply with a thank you on the note as well.

Edited: 9:08 am, February 28, 2014
Nanaimo, Canada
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24,404 posts
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8. Re: Tipping/gratuities at Maui Resorts - four seasons

Definitely leave a note. I made the mistake of leaving it on the kitchen counter once, and they actually left it behind! Didn't touch it. Some people leave the money right on the pillow, as they always make the bed.

Next to water
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9. Re: Tipping/gratuities at Maui Resorts - four seasons

You don't have to tip everyone wherever you walk, that would be odd. and awkward.

In addition to the normal people you tip in a resort, if you establish a relationship or feel like you got really great service then tipping is always appreciated. But none of it is mandatory or expected. They are paid to provide great service and will do so whether you extra tip or not. I could cite a bunch of stories but I don't want to bore you! But trust me, I've seen many situations where the staff could be snarky or classist and they aren't. A lot of their jobs are so exhausting that you would never do them unless you really liked the hospitality industry. No amount of 10 dollar or 100 dollar tips would be worth it for the aggravation!

Many of us employ the "end of stay" envelope to the special few who made our vacation extra special. You can also tip along the way to people like the servers or bartenders...the gratuity on your bill goes to the group but cash goes to the individual. But I'm rarely carrying a significant amount of cash.

As far as Rowena or whomever is delivering the snacks all day at the pools, that's up to you. Tipping her everytime she comes by is just not how it's done. Most people who tip probably get her when they pack up to leave for the day. I usually tip around 20 bucks for a half day or 50 bucks for a full day and we see her a lot. Oddly enough sometimes we miss the rotation so we can be out for 4 hours at the pool and never see her. If you feel 10 or 20 is worth it then by all means do so...if you don't feel compelled at all then you wouldn't be the first person to not tip her/them. Sometimes we forget to tip her and we get her next time...I don't think she holds it against us! I don't run around worrying about tipping at all.

I get extra great service in the spa by the women who keep the place spotless...I usually tip them 5 or 10 dollars when I'm down there and I go down in the spa a lot. Most people don't as far as I can see but then again, most people do the End of Stay envelopes. I find that if I haven't quite established a relationship with them to do that but I want to show a gesture of appreciation then I do it along the way.

Not sure what else in the resort is "tippable"...certainly not the people opening doors for you. Goodness the guys trimming the trees will open a door for you! They are just being nice. It's also not a "sly money slide" kind of a resort at all. If i'm giving someone money I'm actually thanking them for their service. Frankly it's not a lot of money but I just want to show that I appreciate them. YMMV.

If you have any other questions about the Four Seasons in general PM me. I've been going there for 20 years. HTH!

Next to water
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10. Re: Tipping/gratuities at Maui Resorts - four seasons

Oh and regarding housekeeping, there is a tray in the room. I leave the tip on the tray, sometimes with a note of thanks or if I want to communicate something like an extra bottle of water or shampoo etc. The tray is located in the nightstand so you'll have to get it out if you are leaving in the morning. If you leave it on the nightstand itself, definitely write a note. Money left on the nightstand with no note will remain on the nightstand. Occasionally they will take money that is left on the bed but I've seen it left there too.

One time I left the tip on the tray and tossed the tray on the unmade bed. The cash fell off the tray and then they didn't take it!