By Evelyn Gallardo, Vacation Rental Owner, Author Travel Guides | Travel Blogger
Whether this is your first or third time renting a luxury vacation home, you may still be confused about how much to tip the staff. Luxury vacation villas generally provide more staff and a higher level of personalized service; therefore, warranting more generous tips than staff at a luxury hotel. You’re likely to be in more direct contact and come to know the staff by name. The amount you tip will depend upon the quality and quantity of service, length of your stay, and the size of your group. These recommendations are based on a five to seven-night stay. Follow these insightful tips and you won’t under tip or over tip.
Your concierge books your tours, activities, and services and will make sure you are picked up at the correct villa, will re-confirm your tour and pickup time the day before, and let you know if there are any unexpected changes or delays. This alone will save you time, energy, and frustration by making recommendations perfectly suited to your needs and that everything runs smoothly. Any bookings your concierge makes for you will cost the same as if you made them yourself but without all the hassle. Your concierge will only recommend tour companies that are safe, fun, and professional.
Once you have arrived at your vacation rental, your concierge is only a phone call away and is there to answer questions, take care of issues with the rental, and deal with your personal concerns. Unlike hotels that offer limited service, a luxury vacation rental concierge will be available from the moment you make your reservation until the day you leave. Your concierge is available for you 24 hours a day. Did your back go out and you need a chiropractor? Your concierge will likely steer you to his or her own trusted chiropractor, and maybe even drive you there.
A concierge’s goal is to make your vacation stress-free and provided great service. Tips can range from $200 – $550. The size of the house and your party are factors. A larger vacation rental house and a larger party require more time and energy as more things can go wrong. For a small party of 6, start at $250 and for a larger party of 8, start at $280, then add more if you feel extraordinary services were provided.
The variables here are the number of meals prepared, how much you liked the food, and how personable the chef was. Chefs aren’t expected to clean the kitchen but if they do, that’s a big plus. A 10% to 20% tip based on the chef’s total fee is an excellent guideline.
Was the service very basic or did the housekeeper leave imaginative towel origami on your bed every day and special decorative touches around the house? Did she smile and try to communicate even if there was a language barrier? The tip ranges from $150 to $250 a week.
Were you rescued from an overflowing toilet at midnight? Did the fridge stop working or did the hot tub stop heating? If there was an onsite maintenance man who performed one or several services for you, a $25 – $55 tip is appropriate.
Was the gardener there on a daily basis and were the grounds beautifully kept? Did he perform extra services such as bringing you fresh cut flowers or fruit from the garden? If so, $25 – $60 is appropriate. If the gardener worked only one day, a tip is not required.
The Security Guard is the most overlooked member of the staff when it comes to tips, yet, he’s the one who’s sacrificed the most. Perhaps his nightly shift was from 7 P.M. to 7 A.M. and you never even saw him. He stayed awake all night and left his own family unprotected, so yours could be safe. If there were no incidents, $25 is appropriate. If something highly unusual occurred $60 is generous.
Should you hand the staff individual envelopes with their tip inside or give the full amount to the concierge with a note as to the amount you want each person to receive? Both methods are appropriate but customs may vary. If you’re traveling abroad, you can always ask the concierge or check the vacation villa’s guidebook for suggestions.
If you’re visiting a third world country, keep in mind the staff probably earn very little and your tip can significantly affect the quality of their lives. If in doubt, error on the side of generosity but most of all, let your conscience be your guide.
As an author, nature photographer, and luxury vacation home rental owner, I provide our guests with personalized service and a staff dedicated to making their experience fun and worry-free.