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Is It Just Me?

Saskatoon, Canada
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1,758 posts
157 reviews
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Is It Just Me?

I am planning our first trip to Cuba in May. I always read hundreds of reviews on TA, so I can get a basic knowledge of what to do and what not to do, helpful hints and airport protocol. A common theme I have noticed is the generally lack luster performance of the front desk agents in many of the reviews. Anyone else notice this? I wonder why? As a retired hotel professional, they are considered the front line and first impression, and, should be setting the guest up for a great experience. Comments.

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Holguin, Guardalavaca
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14,384 posts
39 reviews
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1. Re: Is It Just Me?

They arent in a position to get many tips. They check you in, the bell hop takes your luggage to your room and he gets a tip. The only time you usually have anything to do with reception after that is if you have a complaint... then you check out....

Out of interest; who tips reception staff and for what reason?

NIAGARA FALLS
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112 posts
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2. Re: Is It Just Me?

The last two resorts that we have stayed at have had excellent friendly reception staff. Villa Tortuga and Playa Caleta both have great front desk staff.

Northern Alberta
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1,482 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: Is It Just Me?

I have to admit that I occassionaly tip the front desk. I tip the girl who I purchase my internet card from, when they make change for me. I also bring something special to the lady who books the rooms, she always assures that I get my requested room. Us crazy Canadians, we just tip away, lol

Smiles

CC

Ontario
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9,006 posts
17 reviews
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4. Re: Is It Just Me?

Personally I have little difficulty with front desk staff. Most are accommodating and pleasant, but can be a bit oblivious when they are otherwise occupied and you are hoping to get their attention. Occasionally I have encountered rude staff on the front desk, but I haven't seen this very often. When you consider that they deal mostly with complaints or with the mad rush of checking people in or out, and also don't really have the likelihood of tips to look forward to, perhaps that explains (not excuses) the impression guests report in their reviews.

Who tips the front desk staff? And for what? I think most don't. The ones that do, perhaps are looking for something in return. Room upgrade, whatever....

Personally I like to drop off some chocolate for all to share. I'll do this on the last day, or perhaps when I am out for my morning walks, but I don't restrict that practice to the front desk. ;-)

La Ronge, Canada
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2,387 posts
43 reviews
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5. Re: Is It Just Me?

Hi Judy, Congrats on deciding on Cuba! I read on another forum that you were trying to decide between Cuba and PC... I don't think you'll regret your decision. What resort have you booked?

As for front desk staff, I guess I've always been lucky. Haven't run into any "rude" ones yet... knock on wood! But I do think that as stated above, they are the ones who deal with most of the complaints and are rarely tipped for their service, so maybe that's why they have a shorter fuse?

Anyway, I hope you enjoy your holiday in Cuba.... hope you'll let us know what you think when you return!

Toronto, Canada
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752 posts
8 reviews
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6. Re: Is It Just Me?

Maybe it's my goofy grin, or the fact I've got a tiny buzz from the bus beer, but I've never had a problem with the front desk staff! Manners here, like everywhere else, go a long way! I don't tip them, but I make it a point to be patient when checking in and treat them kindly. I can barely function in the heat and they're working in it, so right away they garner my appreciation! Plus I think being friendly freaks them out a little! ;)

Nelson BC
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1,026 posts
23 reviews
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7. Re: Is It Just Me?

tanwhite you are right ...I walk in buzzed on bus beer and thank each of them for hosting me...they start to think I'm crazy, I make a point of going by every day or so and asking them how they are doing and say something positive like " your hair looks great or look at those nails." I also bring front desk magazines to read...probably why they're ignoring the rest of you, they are busy reading. LOL...by the way I ask for nothing xtra which assures them I'm nuts...and of course use your manners and respect.

Hasta La Vista

Pickering, Canada
Destination Expert
for Camaguey, Playa Santa Lucia
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5,957 posts
32 reviews
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8. Re: Is It Just Me?

cuba hasn't learned ,as so may companies haven't world wide , that the 1st person you have contact with is the most important. if you could see the drunks and other obnoxious tourists these folks have to put up with, you wouldn't want their job either. personally, I have taken some of these tourist scum aside and told them to sod off. and I am a nice person. you can't believe what some of these touristas are like. carol e. the front desk deserves medals. croix de guerre comes to mind. and all the reps too.

Gibsons, B. C...
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980 posts
21 reviews
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9. Re: Is It Just Me?

I have tipped the front desk clerk twice. The first time was at the Palma Real, when the receptionist found the Cuban exit form which had fallen out of my passport the day before, and called me over to let me know she had found it. The second time was at the Sol Sirenas Coral. We had arrived early in the morning, were exhausted from being up all night and were checking as to when our room would be ready. She told us that she could probably find us a room, but that the room we were scheduled for was the best in the building if we could hold on. We decided to wait, and she came to find us when it was ready. She was right - it was the best in the building. She clearly deserved a tip. The worst front desk service I ever encountered was at the Barcelo Solymar. They were completely indifferent, and ignored people for great long stretches, even when guests were waiting patiently, because they were busy chatting to each other.

Mentioned in this post
Barcelo Solymar
Barcelo Solymar
7,452 Reviews
Cuba
Scotland, UK
Level Contributor
2,006 posts
17 reviews
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10. Re: Is It Just Me?

I have never had any problems with front desk/reception staff either. We don't tip as such, but like eeeefarm (is that the right number of e's?!) we tend to drop off some choccies at some point during our stay for them to share.