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Gifts for hotel staff

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I've heard that people often bring gifts to use as tips for the hotel staff. Has anyone done this? What are good items to bring?

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I usually leave cash tips and little gifts such as key chains, ball caps or t-shirts sporting your home country.

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When my parents have traveled, they leave cash and often some stuff for kids like stickers and crayons. I also agree about the ball caps and t-shirts!

 

They say the staff is always really appreciative because although the cash is always nice, they don't always have these items available to buy.

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We have given both cash and gifts when we have gone. If we run out of little gifts, then we leave the cash. Some items that we have taken are crayons and little colouring books (especially to the Dominican as they don't have these!), pencils & erasers if visiting an local school, bath goodies, key chains from Canada, hmmm.......

Basically you can give them anything and they are very grateful. One thing that I found out too, was that if they get something that they do have already, some times they will trade it with another staff member. I think for our wedding we will just take $ for them, since we will have so much packed already, but we will see. I really like taking crayons and colouring books.

 

Oh yeah, one tip if you take pencils and erasers, make sure they are attached, or hand them out in the actual school. Don't toss pencils and separate erasers off the back of the jeeps at the kids running behind. They think they are candy and try to eat them. We learnt that lesson. Also try to avoid candy, as a lot of the countries don't always have access to great dental care!

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Aside from school supplies, we often take toiletries. They don't need to be primo quality - but things like shampoo, soap, disposal razors, panyhoses, even nail polish - these things are quite expensive from what we've been told. I normally go to the dollar store and stock up before we leave.. oh and the LOVE things with Canada on them so hats are awesome!

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Although cash is a preferred gift in many Carribean countries,

 

In my opinion Cuba is different - many items we buy daily are unavailable to them (or if they are they are very expensive).

 

For example - shampoo is around $6 CUC at stores in Varadero - the same stores used by locals earning $6-$8 CUC per month.

 

In the past we have brought:

 

- toiletries,

- medical supplies (bandaids, antiseptics)

- makeup (the ladies LOVE this) - I gave one of the fantastic showgirls a palatte of eyeshadow and thought she was gonna faint!

- baby supplies - soothers, powders, etc

 

This year we are bringing our dear Cuban friends a stroller a really nice one that you or I would register for when it is our turn to have a baby... *they are free to take on the plane b/c they are classified as sporting goods

**b/c one of those $20 Walmart Umbrella style strollers cost upwards of $60-$80 CUC's

 

Thus Cubans who have babies don't generally have strollers, b/c even if you could afford one - who would pay $60 for an umbrella stroller huh.gif really?

 

 

Another cool items to bring - guitar strings or picks for the musicians!

 

I think bringing gifts is really thoughtful and appreciated.

 

NOTE: I have heard that some resorts will not allow employees to take gifts without a note - to be sure I have always left a note stating.

 

To my dear friend ____ (insert name if you know), please accept these gifts from your Canadian friends, A&C.

 

I wish I had a good version of the above in Spanish.... can anyone translate that?

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I agree cash is probably best, but we've given stationary before and it was greatly apprecated. Like cool little notebooks and things like that. Hotel staff uses things like that in their daily work.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amarillis View Post
Although cash is a preferred gift in many Carribean countries,

In my opinion Cuba is different - many items we buy daily are unavailable to them (or if they are they are very expensive).

For example - shampoo is around $6 CUC at stores in Varadero - the same stores used by locals earning $6-$8 CUC per month.

In the past we have brought:

- toiletries,
- medical supplies (bandaids, antiseptics)
- makeup (the ladies LOVE this) - I gave one of the fantastic showgirls a palatte of eyeshadow and thought she was gonna faint!
- baby supplies - soothers, powders, etc

This year we are bringing our dear Cuban friends a stroller a really nice one that you or I would register for when it is our turn to have a baby... *they are free to take on the plane b/c they are classified as sporting goods
**b/c one of those $20 Walmart Umbrella style strollers cost upwards of $60-$80 CUC's

Thus Cubans who have babies don't generally have strollers, b/c even if you could afford one - who would pay $60 for an umbrella stroller huh.gif really?


Another cool items to bring - guitar strings or picks for the musicians!

I think bringing gifts is really thoughtful and appreciated.

NOTE: I have heard that some resorts will not allow employees to take gifts without a note - to be sure I have always left a note stating.

To my dear friend ____ (insert name if you know), please accept these gifts from your Canadian friends, A&C.

I wish I had a good version of the above in Spanish.... can anyone translate that?

Wow, you've given me some really great ideas! Thanks for taking the time :)

I'm hanging out with a spanish speaking friend tonight, I'll get her to translate that for me. I'll post it up here to share with you.

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To my dear friend ____ (insert name if you know), please accept these gifts from your Canadian friends, A&C.

 

Queridos amigos, reciban estos obsequios de parte de sus amigos de Canada, A&C.

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