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Luxury Check In

Butler Tipping Etiquette: How Much Should You Tip Your Butler?

Butler

Ready at a moment’s notice to draw you a bubble bath, make a coveted reservation, or to chill your champagne, a butler can be a great amenity to have at a hotel. You can use a butler to help plan your itinerary, request special experiences, and to help you with things that might require more personalized attention than a hotel concierge can give. As you get ready to check out, an awkward question arises: How much should you tip your butler? We’ve stayed at plenty of luxury hotels that come with butler service, so we’ve become experts at answering this tricky etiquette question.

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What Can You Use Your Hotel Butler For?

At the pinnacle of luxury hospitality, butlers receive extensive training in everything from packing and unpacking to handling all aspects of the guest’s itinerary and activities. Whether it’s arranging a private candlelit dinner on the beach, securing hard-to-get restaurant reservations, or simply ensuring the room is perfectly appointed, no request is too large or too small. A butler’s combination of benchmark service standards, thoughtful attention to detail, and ability to expertly manage any situation allows guests to relax completely.

While many may think of butlers as something from a bygone era of grand estates, they are an integral part of providing exceptional service at the world’s most luxurious resorts. More than just another staff member, butlers are discreet personal assistants dedicated to ensuring every guest’s needs are met with effortless precision. Their role is to elevate the resort experience through their expertise in anticipating and addressing every want before it is even expressed.

If you want to properly thank your butler at the end of your trip, you should definitely leave a tip.

Need some ideas on what you should ask your butler for? Sandals says the most common butler requests at its resorts are for a breakfast in bed, to reserve a cabana at the pool, to book spa appointments and excursions, and to set up a romantic dinner.

How Much Should You Tip Your Butler?

Etiquette experts say you should tip your butler five percent of your room rate. So if your room costs $1,000 in total, you would tip your butler $50. If your butler went above and beyond, you may want to leave more than 5 percent in order to show your appreciation.

Alternatively, the American Society of Travel Advisors recommends tipping between $25-$75 per stay, depending on the level of service and the cost of the resort.

Note that these are suggested ranges and tipping should be based on the level of service received.

How Much Should You Tip Your Butler at Sandals?

I generally tip my butler at Sandals $20 per day, or $40 per day if they have gone above and beyond to help me with something. Sandals butlers can help with things like making reservations, saving you a prime pool or beach chair, or even running you a hot bath at night.

Even at all-inclusive resorts that feature a no-tipping policy, like Sandals, butlers are still generally expected to be tipped. At Sandals, for example, the policy states that spa staff and butlers can be tipped even when you may not be tipping your waitstaff or bartenders.

Sandals recommends tipping your Butler between $20-$25 per butler per day. Unlike other resorts where you’ll generally just have one butler, at Sandals, you’ll usually have a team of three different butlers, and you should tip them individually.

I tip my butler at the end of my Sandals vacation. If my butler is seeing me out and bringing my luggage, that’s a great opportunity to hand over a cash tip in an envelope. You’ll likely have more than one butler during your Sandals stay. If that’s the case, it can be easiest to leave a cash tip designated for your butler team in your room or at reception upon checking out.

Some people like to give butlers a souvenir from their hometown as a gift, however, that should not be done in lieu of cash. Cash is always the best way to tip your Sandals butler.

How Much Should You Tip Your Butler at an All-Inclusive Resort in Mexico?

Experts recommend tipping between $10-$25 per day (175 – $438 pesos) for standard butler service at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico. If your butler has gone above and beyond for you, consider tipping closer to $40-$50 per day, or adding an extra $100 to the tip at the end of your stay. It’s good etiquette to tip your butler in Mexico in the local currency (Mexican pesos) as it saves them the hassle of having to exchange money. However, if US dollars are all you have, that is also happily accepted.

Some all-resorts allow you to add a tip for the staff on to your credit card at the end of your stay. If you want to ensure your butler receives all of the gratuity, cash is the best way to tip.

How Much Should You Tip Your Butler at an All-Inclusive Resort?

Butlers provide exceptional personalized service at high-end all-inclusive resorts. Determining an appropriate tip for your butler can be tricky since their services are included in the cost of your stay.

The first factor to consider is the length of your stay. If you are only at the resort for a couple of nights, a tip in the range of $20 per day is suitable. For longer stays of a week or more, where you have really gotten to know your butler, you may want to add in an extra $10 per day.

Additionally, the specific services rendered can impact the tip amount. Typical butler duties involve unpacking, clean up, reservations, and meal/activity coordination. If your butler handles special requests like arranging private transportation, decorating for a special occasion or coordinating a proposal or other special surprise, a higher tip recognizes the extra effort.

How much you ultimately tip is at your discretion, but in general, butlers expect between $20-$40 per day for a tip.

How Much Should You Tip Your Butler on NCL Haven Cruises?

Most large cruise lines, including NCL, automatically add on gratuities to your final bill at the end of a trip. These tips are a per-person charge (not per room). Norwegian Cruise Lines’ automatic service charge is $20 to $25 per day depending on cabin type.

NCL’s official stance on tipping is: “Butlers provide service on an individual basis to only some guests and do not benefit from the overall service charge. We encourage those Guests to acknowledge good service from these staff members with appropriate gratuities.” Additionally, there is an 20% gratuity and spa service charge added for all spa and salon services, as well as an 20% gratuity and beverage service charge added for all beverage purchases and an 20% gratuity and specialty service charge added to all specialty restaurant dining and entertainment based dining.”

If you haven’t utilized butler services on NCL, there is no need to tip. However, if you have used your butler, $10-$20 per day is a good tip.

When Should You Tip Your Butler?

You’ll have the same butler throughout your stay, so it’s best to tip a lump sum at the end of the trip, rather than each day (because you might not see your butler every day). It’s also proper etiquette to tip at the end of the stay, say hotel experts. You can hand your butler the tip with a handshake and a sincere “thank you” or leave it in an envelope with the front desk if you prefer.

You might have a few different butlers at some hotels instead of one dedicated personal butler. If you have a new butler for a one-time service, you should tip immediately following the experience (or whenever the bill is presented) rather than at the end of your stay. In that case, you can tip in cash or by adding the tip on to the bill.

As a reminder, tipping guidelines can vary at different hotels and cruise lines. We suggest checking directly with the resort or cruise line for their specific policies if you’re in doubt.

More Tipping Guidance

Looking for more gratuity guidance? Read our guides to tipping in Austria and tipping your hotel bellhop.

 

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