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Tipping in St Martin

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Tipping in St Martin

I have heard that some places include the tip on their receipts as Tax, and don't tell you so then you tip on top of that. Is this true. What is the standards when it comes to tipping?

Staten Island, New...
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1. Re: Tipping in St Martin

Tipping can be a bit tricky to tourists. That's because there is nothing called "tipping" in France. It is called "service". And service is included usually in your hotel rate and in your restaurant prices.

In regards to restaurants, if the service is included the menu will have clearly written on it "Service compris" meaning that service is included and it's usually 15% of the tab. But local custom is that if you are very satisfied with your waiter's service then you may leave a few spare change in addition.

The tricky part is when a patron asks the waiter if the tip is included in the total and the waiter will say "no". That's because it's true, there is no tip so he will say "no". Then upon hearing that the patron will leave a tip of 15%.

Recall that the service of 15% is included already in the total so the service plus additional tip will have come up to 30%!

So don't ask if the "tip" is included-ask instead if "service" is included. If yes, then no need to leave anything unless you are very happy and satisified with your server; in that case leave some loose change or so in addition.


The Dutch side of the island restaurants will add 15% as a line item to your check. This represents the service charge as explained earlier for the French side.

Auburn Washington
Destination Expert
for St Martin / St Maarten
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2. Re: Tipping in St Martin

Then there is the 5% Dutch TOT that is illegl to add but some of restaurants on the Dutch side add it anyway. The TTOL forum has quite a discussion of this at times. Go there and do a search on this topic for a heated explanation.

Edited: 29 March 2011, 15:38
3. Re: Tipping in St Martin

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