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Please be honest & discreet...

Posted By: InZanelynLuv

Please be honest & discreet... - 02/11/07 08:36 AM

Hello All,

We have recently planned and are eager to share in a vacation in SP/BZ with some special family and friends...we looked long and hard and decided, for our most recent of several trips, to secure a private residence/rental for the vacation. Long story really short, we have been surprised by a late communication describing additional costs for "tipping" the private caretakers for what we believe to be basic housekeeping as we are securing most, if not all, other amenities for ourselves. Can anyone let us know what you have typically added as a “gratuity” beyond typical linen service and housekeeping when you are more than willing/able to manage many of the other “touristy” aspects of your stay?!? Of course we have tipped housekeeping in the past, but this time it seems the cost for this service, over and above the cost of the rental, seems high. We are very open to your thoughts and feelings, but feel a bit blindsided by this additional expense on top of what we believe to be a premium (owner set) price for a private location. Thanks in advance for your honest and thoughtful feedback for each week’s “tip.”

With Regards, mnk
Posted By: OESGwynedd

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/11/07 08:43 AM

I don't know about AC but i was in Cozumel 3 weeks ago and the going rate for the maid at the hotel was 2.o0 usd a day
Posted By: InZanelynLuv

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/11/07 08:49 AM

THANX OESG...we were told another 10% of our cost (substantial enough to begin with), but can't imagine adding that to new family/friends to "la isle bonita" are we that far off or does the homeowner have some serious responsibility to "make ends meet" for these great folks?!? After all, at a resort we would have given even more than your $2 per day, but $400-500?!? is that a reasonable cost to pass on to our friends?????
Posted By: ida_y_vuelta

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/11/07 08:59 AM

$400-$500? a day? or for ur stay?

i had some friends that were given the option of maid service for i think $100-$200 per month or per stay depending on how long u stayed for...
Posted By: InZanelynLuv

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/11/07 09:08 AM

IDA...the $400-500 was per week...and still seems a bit extreme in light of the basic cost that one imagines they would pay for basic housekeeping (like any other hotel). We are well aware of the need to offer additional money for our direct hosts, but is $800-$1000 (assuming our renter intended US vs. BZ money) a reasonable addition???
Posted By: ida_y_vuelta

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/11/07 09:28 AM

$400 - $500 does seem pretty high for a per week basis... like i said my friends where given the option to pay and additional $100 - $200 for there entire stay... which was about a month! so... to be charged that much per week... i don't know!

personally i do and try to tip the housekeeping when i can... but when ur paying that much more! it's hard to justify that! but u should follow with the landlord or whom ever ur dealing with and really find out what all that charge is including. just let them know that those charges aren't clear to u and u want to kno what they are for exactly!
Posted By: InZanelynLuv

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/11/07 09:37 AM

ida-y,
We already signed acontarct that did NOT state this additional cost. We have always tipped our housekeepers, but this amount in addition to the cost for the rental seems high. We could have stayed at a traditional rental for less than we are paying here and STILL would have tipped our helpers. It just seems odd to have this additonal amount added to the cost. We have contacted the landlord to discuss this discrepancy, but fely hearing from our friends here on the DB would help inform our discussion. THANK-YOU so much for your honest feedback and direction!
- mnk
Posted By: InZanelynLuv

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/11/07 09:39 AM

"signed a contract" and "but felt" smile sorry
Posted By: Richard Chambers

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/11/07 01:33 PM

We have always stayed at resorts and we always tipped the help for our 10-14 day stays.There were 2 or 3 of us and we would typically provide $100-150bz apiece.
The location should probably be a consideration, we always stay closer to town, on the south end, but maybe you should consider more if you are more isolated to the North end.
In either event you should probably wait until you are there and do a little "shopping" for this service. My bet is it's competitive and plentiful.
Always better to wait until the service is provided to determine the extent of your generosity!
Don't worry tho, you will have a good time!
Posted By: JeanH

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/11/07 05:13 PM

Many places on Ambergris add that 10% 'service fee' to their rates. It's always seemed way high to me too. At least if it isn't part of the prepaid rate, you can make sure the people that are doing the work actually get the money and not the owner.
Posted By: TIMO

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/12/07 01:11 AM

it was my understanding that the "service charge" was to be split amongst all of the employees, not just housekeeping. this has been discussed many times before, as it pertains to who actually gets the tips.
Posted By: denverdan

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/12/07 10:34 AM

"We already signed a contract that did NOT state this additional cost."

I would assume if the renting manager or owner now want additional funds for "additional costs" you could cancel the contract, originally agreed to by both parties. ?
Why worry about discretion here anywho… adding fee’s after the fact is a new agreement I should think.
Posted By: JZB

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/12/07 04:32 PM

If the additional 10% is not in the contract, you are not obliged to pay it. Tipping the staff $1000.00US for your stay seems a bit much unless there is 10 of them or 20 of you..Tip what you feel is appropriate based on their performance during your stay. That is what 'tipping' is for.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/12/07 04:53 PM

TIPS - to insure proper service. Interpret that however you wish.

It is a shame that the staff that will be making you comfortable during your stay might be left unrewarded because the owner of the property is charging a high rate. A tip doesn't need to be a percentage of anything. Just what you feel is appropriate according to the service you provide.

Also, bear in mind, a tip doesn't necessarily need to be cash.

Most folks love fresh fish or lobster - so if you go fishing give them a fish! If you know who or how many staff you might just want to bring a gift from home. You know, t-shirts or baseball caps. A nice box of chocolate. Maybe the "in" kids character exercise books. These items are always appreciated and are considered much more personal and sentimental than cash.

Posted By: KC Jayhawk

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/12/07 05:01 PM

One other point--if you are renting a condo with refrigerator, you may often have usable food left over. Before throwing it out, ask the staff if they want any of it. Last trip, we offered a whole papaya, two unopened sticks of butter, some fresh grouper and snapper fillets, a quart of orange juice; the maid was ecstatic!! With kids to feed, this can really be a help!!
Posted By: Richard Chambers

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/12/07 05:39 PM

Oh yes, KC is right on the leftover groceries ! We made sure the right folks, the cleaning service people, got all the leftover stuff. They were really appreciative of that.
Posted By: ChrisW

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/13/07 04:58 PM

Originally Posted by InZanelynLuv
IDA...the $400-500 was per week...and still seems a bit extreme in light of the basic cost that one imagines they would pay for basic housekeeping (like any other hotel). We are well aware of the need to offer additional money for our direct hosts, but is $800-$1000 (assuming our renter intended US vs. BZ money) a reasonable addition???


There was just a thread on wages a few days ago. The conclusion was that a maid would run you about $50BZ a day and that is for 8 hours of work. So assuming your maid is working 8 hour a day 7 days a week she will get $175 per week and the rest $225+ will get pocketed by the people you pay.

Whatever you decide, I would tip the maid (directly to make sure she gets it) because most likely she is not the one setting the price and most likely is not getting paid the full amount (or even half of it).
Posted By: J DOG

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/13/07 05:29 PM

We stayed at the Blue Tang the past 5 trips, they do not include a service charge but reccomend a 10-15% tip if you were satisfied with your stay, my bill for the week was $880us so I left a $100 us tip, we left $5 belize daily on the table for the maid every day as well.
The tip you leave should depend on the service of the staff and B.T. has a wondreful staff there.
Tipping your maid daily is well worth the extra service they give you & much appreciated.
We brought down a box of chocalates for the whole staff & a box of Saltwater taffy for Fanny, jean shorts for Eric & Eddie
Posted By: tacogirl

Re: Please be honest & discreet... - 02/14/07 12:57 AM

When we took a few days in Playa Del Carmen we gave some money for tip and I also left some new cosmetics and kids note pads. For the woman who owned the place she had a kitchen where people could cook so we left her a couple of kitchen utensils.

(I worked in a Design center coat check in one of my other lives, so I can appreciate the value of being tipped or getting some swag be it food or otherwise)
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