We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Tipping & Watersports at Grand Velas

Which Playa del Carmen hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Leadville, CO
Level Contributor
738 posts
62 reviews
Save Topic
Tipping & Watersports at Grand Velas

The latest reviews...I wish I knew when they were there...

From the first reviewer:

"However, I was put off by the itemized bill that I received following each meal which included prices and a tip request This is an all-inclusive resort and I was told that tips were included before my stay. From reading the Grand Velas staff responses on this site, they also say tips are included. This was not my experience. I think the Grand Velas resort management is being disingenuous in their statement. The wait staff definitely expect tips. If the resort truly meant this to be an all-inclusive then prices and tip requests would be removed from the dining bills. I have no problem signing a bill to acknowledge where/when/what I ordered but there is no reason for price information to be on the bill. One concierge told me the prices were included on the bill for back office bookkeeping purposes only. That doesn't pass the smell test with me. Back office bookkeeping has nothing to do with the resort guest experience.The wait staff in all facilities verify your name and room number against the hotel occupancy list before serving you. They know what type of hotel reservation you have and what you are entitled to. if guests are expected to tip, the resort should be upfront about it before guests book trips.

If you don't tip, the stay could become uncomfortable. I would regularly leave $5-$10 for poolside dining or non-reservation dining and it was graciously received but I think the fine dining staff is looking for $50-$100 tips which I think is excessive by any measure. The butler concierge is also a tough one to figure out. They are very friendly and will do anything to make your trip great but it's also very clear they want a big tip."

From the second:

"Bring your own snorkel and goggles!!!!!! Says its included but wouldn't give us any!! Said water was too murky to go out!!! Bring your own!!!"

Are they really putting a suggested tip in the Dinner bill? Are they really telling us we can't tell if the water is too murky for snorkeling?

Come on GV Management... You said you would be dealing with this!!!

Sugar Land, Texas
Level Contributor
2,620 posts
196 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Tipping & Watersports at Grand Velas

Well, I tipped the fine dining staff anywhere from 7 to 10 bucks if service was superior and I never felt any hostility from them because I honestly think they prefer you write thru the tip line and leave cash. For the price of those rooms, no way are they getting 50 bucks from me. I just think that alot of these servers believe all Americans have a big ole deep pocket with endless money. Management needs to get a handle on this pronto.

Leadville, CO
Level Contributor
738 posts
62 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Tipping & Watersports at Grand Velas

Hi Peaches- Shame on us for digressing on the other thread... WE SHALL not do that here... But, we do need to stay on top of this. Did they actually put a suggested Tip on the bill? No wonder folks are upset.

I wonder if the servers know that some of us scrimp and save to take these vacations... I'm sure they like to be treated well when they go somewhere...

I agree with you... Depending on the service, in a-la-cartes, we usually leave between $5 to $10 in cash.

I know your husband's company visits this hotel, but ,I wonder if they are getting spoiled by all the business folks on expenses. I know I used to tip better when I was on expenses (it was expected by our managers). The reviews speak to large groups an a regular basis .Then, what expenses do the visiting employees have at an all inclusive?

Did I see you say that you are going back soon? When do you go? I don't get to go until Nov.

Sugar Land, Texas
Level Contributor
2,620 posts
196 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Tipping & Watersports at Grand Velas

We are told when on business never to tip at restaurants. It has been taken care of.The bar is a different story, everybody throws a few bucks around. At the bottom of the bill it states something about what "normal" tipping rates are. That crap flies right out of my head. Like I said, they try to guilt you into doing it.

That is one of the reasons that this year, we just got the save the dates, it will not be Grand Velas. Too bad, the company always gave the wives 500 bucks in spa money and it was really heaven. But if you drop a quarter mill on a conference and your people are badgered for tips, well like we say in the south......THAT DOG AIN"T HUNTIN.

Leadville, CO
Level Contributor
738 posts
62 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Tipping & Watersports at Grand Velas

Peaches... My sister lives just south of Knoxille... and most of her friends use that term "That Dog Ain't Huntin"... I love it and it says it all. I love the Spa Credit for the wives...wow..

The most I got from Lucent, was a day pass to Disney World... I bit of a different type of corporation...

Facebook? Here? GV has to think this through...I thought their response the other day was just too fast...

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
455 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Tipping & Watersports at Grand Velas

Reading these post about the problem with tipping demands and add on fees, I am left wondering just how nice a resort the Grand Velas must be for anyone to still want to go there. Are they the only resort in PDC to offer some unknown high level of service? Is there some kind of special amenity that can only be had at the Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort?

The comments left in the prior thread (closed for going off thread) points to a management who's top priority is to generate income. If that is the case then guest can expect corners are being cut to bolster the bottom line in every conceivable area.

Just take your business to a resort that respects you as a guest.

Medford, Oregon
Level Contributor
330 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Tipping & Watersports at Grand Velas

WOW - You get a 5-Star meal and service, worth $200.00 at no additional cost and you have a hard time dropping $40 bucks for the staff ??

I think the bill showing what you "would" have paid is a great idea, and should be seen as a compliment to management.

The excuse most dead beat "non-tippers" give at AI's, there was no bill, so I had no idea what to tip.

Edited: 22 August 2012, 07:27
Stowe, Vermont
Level Contributor
7,084 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Tipping & Watersports at Grand Velas

"WOW - You get a 5-Star meal and service, worth $200.00 at no additional cost and you have a hard time dropping $40 bucks for the staff ??

I think the bill showing what you "would" have paid is a great idea, and should be seen as a compliment to management.

The excuse most dead beat "non-tippers" give at AI's, there was no bill, so I had no idea what to tip."

Tips are INCLUDED. So you are wrong.

philadelphia
Level Contributor
24 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Tipping & Watersports at Grand Velas

I have been following the threads on GV for the last month. I will be there the second week of September, so I will try to give some honest feedback when I return. The reason you spend the inflated prices to stay at resorts like GV are for the quality of food and the quality of service. It is undisputed that the food there is five star based on the reviews. Even the naysayers would agree. So the real issue is do you have to excessively tip in order to receive quality service?

If that is the case, then TA reviewers will continue to poorly review this hotel and they will see a significant drop in reservations because there are too many other options out there. Savvy travelers utilize TA prior to booking anywhere. (I booked my trip last February, when the reviews were all positive and this wasn't even an issue). They will see these issues and "click" on the next resort.

I do find it peculiar that reviewers have such differing experiences there. It seems that one review will give it high praise and not even mention the tipping issue, while the next will complain they were being "harassed" by the staff.

Tomball, Texas
Level Contributor
3,674 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Tipping & Watersports at Grand Velas

>>Reading these post about the problem with tipping demands and add on fees, I am left wondering just how nice a resort the Grand Velas must be for anyone to still want to go there. Are they the only resort in PDC to offer some unknown high level of service? Is there some kind of special amenity that can only be had at the Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort?<<

People want to stay here because it is supposed to be tops in service and quality, over all AI resorts in the Riviera Maya. That's its former reputation.

I was booked here, for a trip this upcoming November. What turned me off and played a huge role in my switching back to the IB Grand, was the resort charging after check-out time for food. For those that leave after 11am, you have to pay to eat and drink. That seems petty, considering I was dropping over $4k for five nights, land-only.

It left a very bad taste in my mouth.

Reading reports of people having to fight with management over lunch, was the nail in the coffin for me. I could see spending the extra $1k over the two resorts put to better use.

And I can guarantee you, had I kept my reservation throughout that, I would have canceled it after reading these latest posts. What's sad, is there is VERY little information on the forums about Grand Velas, so it's a shame that this is what has gotten people to talk about them.

Management would serve themselves well to respond here, instead of burying comments on their FB page, which only a handful of people see.

Edited: 22 August 2012, 15:04
Medford, Oregon
Level Contributor
330 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Tipping & Watersports at Grand Velas

We been over the tipping thing numerous times and I think it is agreed a tip is never mandatory at an AI. It is greatly appreciated by the servers and the people who depend on them for support.

To believe that tips don't make up the bulk of the servers income is just foolish.

I think this hotel is doing right by its employees, pointing out that if it were not an AI, here is what your bill would be, including a 20% tip for excellent service.

Now it is up to you, pay 20% to let them know the staff was excellent, maybe 10%, or nothing.

Can you imagine going into an award winning steak house in New York, dinners are $150.00 per plate. You use that as an excuse not to tip the servers, makes no sense.

You choose a 5 Star AI for their quality all around, tipping should never be the reason for your choice.