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I've recently booked a trip to Mexico through Groupon. The trip is booked as all-inclusive. There is a section in the deal description that says that all "hotel taxes and gratuities included." What can I reasonably assume is covered by hotel gratuities? Specifically, I'm concerned about these things:

  • We are working with the hotel to arrange a shuttle to pick us up from the airport and take us back to the hotel. Do I need to tip the driver?
  • As the trip is all-inclusive, we plan to do quite a bit of dining and drinking. Do we need to tip our servers/bartenders?
  • If we order room service, should we tip our delivery person?
  • What about standard hotel services, such as housekeeping, doormen, bellhops, etc?

I personally would feel more comfortable erring on the safe side and tipping liberally, but the people I am travelling with feel that tipping is unnecessary as it is already "covered in the trip expenses". I'd appreciate any insight that could help us determine when and where it is inappropriate to abstain from tipping.

  • You are not expected to tip anybody, still some extra money coming from you will not be frowned up on – fernando.reyes Mar 9 '17 at 18:54
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It basically means that you are not expected to tip. In such resorts, people usually do not carry any cash, cards or even a wallet at all.

The bill at the end of the stay usually includes how much of the payement was used for involuntary tip. It's frankly a strange concept but in theory, you are allowed to tip more or even less if you have had an issue with service. I've never contested it, so I don't know how hard it is to get some back.

Now, you are concerned with extras. You can add some tip and it will rarely be refused from what I see but you will probably not be expected to tip the driver, porter or bar-tenders.

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To be sure, you'll have to ask the booking agent or contact the property directly.

What they're trying to portray is the all-inclusive aspect, similar to a cruise benefit where gratuities are 'included' or 'pre-paid'.

So, it's not wrong to not tip since the deal is advertised as 'all-inclusive, including gratuities' but, most people will still tip in many situations. You also have to consider they may be trying to reach markets where tipping is not as common as in the US.

It is generally understood that personnel that you interact with regularly, such as a Room Steward, are more accommodating if you at a tipper even if they are pre-paid or included.

I you want to recognize good service, tip.

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Your all-inclusive covers the room charges, meals (if that's part of your package), and taxes. Gratuities: whatever that suggests, in Mexico, you should tip. Tip your servers at dinner, the bartender at the end of the evening, the driver who collects you from the airport, the room service attendant, housekeeping at the end of stay, doormen and bellhops as they provide a service to you.

Do it especially if you're staying in an all-inclusive resort: the team that is taking care of you and your needs is making, on average, less that $10 A A DAY: that's right, for the whole day. Mexican minimum wage is currently about $4.25 USD a day.

Servers at all-inclusive resorts tend to get paid the minimum wage and, very often, receive the least amount in tips, since vacationers assume that all-inclusive includes tips, and assume that the 'gratuities' mentioned are passed on to service staff; they are not.

Tip and you'll be treated like superstars by those who rely on tips: they'll go above and beyond to take very special care of you.

Tip in cash and, better, tip in cash US dollars (not coins). For other expenditures, get your pesos at a bank's ATM for the best exchange rate. Tip as you would in the US: driver $1-2 dollars per bag, 5-10% for a driver who helps with luggage/bags. Tip the housekeeping $3-5 US for the visit; if you're messy (or demanding...), tip more. If you're there a week, $10. Bartenders, $1-$2 every several drinks, resort restaurant waiters $3-$4 a meal, concierge, $5 every so often (they're hugely helpful).

All inclusive means there are no hidden fees or surprises, but there will be scores of people seeing to your every need and making sure you have a great time. It's appropriate to budget an additional $50-100 for tipping (similar to cruises) and, yes, it adds a bit to the cost of your trip.

  • 3
    The questioner is asking what the term means. It means you don't have to tip, and are not expected to. Whether or not you personally think they should tip anyway is irrelevant. – DJClayworth Mar 3 '17 at 3:50

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