Tipping at Sandals Resorts| Everything You Need to Know

You’ve probably already heard that there’s NO TIPPING at Sandals Resorts, but what does that really mean?  It sounds easy- and mostly it is, but there are some people who should be tipped. 

We love the general no tipping policy as it frees us from carrying money around all day while at the resort. But, we’ll give you the lowdown on tipping at Sandals Resorts so you can relax and enjoy your trip without worrying you’ve forgotten to tip someone.


Beach Bar at Sandals Grande St Lucian

Sandals is famously known for having a NO TIPPING policy, which means that the cost of your stay includes gratuities for housekeeping, bartenders, and waitstaff.  It makes it incredibly convenient on a beach vacation to leave your wallet in the room and relax! And, the policy is all the same no matter whether you’re at Sandals in Jamaica, St. Lucia, or any of the other beautiful locations.

I know that it’s tempting- especially to us Americans who come from a tip heavy culture- to go ahead and leave a tip.  Just don’t!  Any employees caught accepting tips can be fired, so just don’t risk their jobs.

Tipping at Sandals Resorts Alternative

Since Sandals Resorts do not allow tipping, they encourage you to use “The Loop” on the Sandals app.  Mention staff by name and tell their bosses how much you appreciate them.  These comments are read and the employees are rewarded for positive feedback on The Loop.


SMB Shuttle

At the Sandals Resorts

For on site staff, you can- and SHOULD- tip butlers, cabana butlers, golf caddies, and spa attendants.  These services are outside of the realm of what’s included with your stay, so make sure you have cash and the appropriate bills to tip them.

Outside Sandals Resorts

Don’t forget that you will encounter several people who DO NOT work for Sandals before you actually arrive at the resort, and those people can be tipped.  

The most often forgotten tip is the shuttle driver from the airport.  These drivers are contractors and are NOT Sandals employees.  So, make sure you tip them when they drop you off.  

You’ll also most likely encounter a Red Cap at the airport that will take your bag to the shuttle for you- often without even asking.  They also will expect a tip.

Excursions are the other most common place to tip.  Even for trips arranged through Sandals, these drivers and guides should be tipped.

How Much to Tip at Sandals

Based on our experience and through talking to many other regular Sandals guests, we’ve compiled these average amounts for tips. But again, a tip is just that and can go up or down based on personal preference. Here are our recommendations:

  • Club Mobay attendants: This is a separate service but many at Sandals use it – $10-20
  • Red cap at airport: $2-5 (depending on # of bags – at least $1/bag)
  • Shuttle driver or private driver from the airport: $10-20
  • Excursion guides and drivers: $5-20 per person depending on how long, involved, or personalized the excursion is.
  • Spa Attendants: +/-20%, but keep in mind that a 12.5% gratuity is automatically calculated into the bill (double check your bill to be sure before you leave a tip).
  • Butlers: Tip as you see fit at the end of your stay. Many bring thank you cards and place the tip in those before they leave: $20-30 per butler per day.
  • Overwater Bungalow Butlers: Tip as you see fit at the end of your stay. Many bring thank you cards and place the tip in those before they leave: $50-100 per butler per shift – mainland butlers on average get $20/day x 6 rooms = $120, so with overwater butlers who only have 2 rooms, $60 would be a similar daily tip. 
  • Cabana butlers: You can rent a cabana for a day which comes with a butler to care for you at the cabana – they will bring you drinks, and food, and try to meet any needs you have while there – you can tip, and the average tip is around $20-50


Sandals Royal Caribbean Butler Service

Tipping butlers at Sandals Resorts is not against the Sandals tipping policy, and should be done.  Having a butler for the first time can be a bit confusing, so we’ve covered everything you need to know about Sandals Butler Service HERE– including information on tipping.

Most people will bring a thank you card and give it to their butlers with the tip included on their last shift of the stay.  This may be the last day of your trip, but it may not be depending on their schedule.  The butlers are usually good about letting you know if they will see you again before they leave though.  

You will most likely have 2 or 3 butlers sharing duties.  Often you will have two butlers in a day with one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  So, always plan to tip for two shifts per day of your stay when packing tip money.  

We plan and pack the butler tips already in the thank you cards, pack extra cash, and then adjust up or down based on individual service.  You do not have to tip the butlers equally if you feel one was much better than the other.

Make sure to Check Out all of our Sandals Posts Here to help plan your trip!

About the author
Kristin Young