Generally a 10% service charge is included in all hotel and restaurant bills; it's the Dominican law. In restaurants, the bill will say propino incluido or simply servis. When in doubt, ask. Even then, it's still expected that you will tip an extra 5% to 10% if the service was to your liking. In resorts, it's customary to leave at least a dollar per day (or the peso equivalent) for the hotel maid. Taxi drivers expect a 10% tip, especially if they've had to lift luggage or to wait for you. Skycaps and hotel porters expect at least $1 per bag. Attendants in restrooms should be given something for that sometimes distasteful job. Anything from 10 pesos on up will get you a big "Gracias!"
Some guests have started to tip other service staff at all-inclusive resorts, even though tipping is supposed to be included in the cost of your trip. Bellboys, waiters, concierges, and bartenders (who may have a tip cup) are starting to expect a dollar, and they tend to give far better service to those who ante up. Remember, you're under no obligation to do this, but many travelers bring a stack of U.S. singles for this purpose. If you leave a present for your maid, write a note with it so they can show security that it was a regalo (gift).
The staff at a private villa also expects some kind of a gratuity. The management company from which you rent should be able to give you an idea of the tip expected, but it's usually about 10% of the total cost of the villa.
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