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gailw May 7th, 2007 05:47 AM

10,000 Waves -- ? tip masseuse
We're in Santa Fe and have a 10 a.m. appt for his&her massages. Does anyone know if a tip is expected for the masseuses?

lisettemac May 7th, 2007 05:55 AM

A tip is always appreciated and is customary for any masseuse at any spa. Enjoy 10,000 waves -- it is great.

DebitNM May 7th, 2007 05:56 AM

Like any personal service, yes a tip is appropriate. We usually give 15 - 20% of total cost of massage and give it directly to masseuse.

We do this at Ten Thousand Waves and at all spas for spa treatments.

Hope this helps...

TxTravelPro May 7th, 2007 05:57 AM

I find that they expect WAY too much.
I have been to various spas and it seems the recommended tip is 20%.
So you pay 250.00 for his/hers, tip 50.00.
My husband got me a gift package at Massage Envy. A massage is about 50.00 and they suggest a tip of 12.00-20.00.

Do they not pay these people?
I mean, are they were paid like wait staff... like below minimum wage?

DebitNM May 7th, 2007 06:14 AM

I do not tip what an establishment recommends, rather what I feel their services are worth to me and how good a job they do. IF I had a massage that I didn't care for, I would tip on the 10% range; if I loved it, I would tip higher.

$50 for a his and her massage is $25 per masseuse; for a 1 hour massage - that seems a bit low to me.

I also think if you can afford the $250 or whatever the charge is for this luxury, you should accordingly.

As always, tipping is a very personal decision and a volatile topic on Fodors.

It's is your choice gail, so do as your feel comfortable.

thit_cho May 7th, 2007 06:23 AM

Why don't the establishments simply raise their prices by 20% and pass the increment to the masseuse? That way, actual prices would be transparent, the masseuse would know what they are getting, and guests would not have to concern themselves with undertipping.

DebitNM May 7th, 2007 06:39 AM

I have said the same thing about resort fees that are for services I may or maynot use and when they are waved under my nose, I resent paying for a fee that covers USA today or 1 free page of incoming fax etc.
Trouble often comes when a service charge/tip is built into price; often times the intended receiver never gets the $$.

Long ago, I worked at a country club as as cocktail server. Members were required to have a 18% gratuity added to their bill and they did the same for parties and weddings. Trouble is, the manager of the club kept the money and the waitstaff and bar staff never got it. I had several nice members that I served tip me directly and say "I know you don't get this any other way."

Also, in a salon/spa the owner splits the revenue with the worker and it isn't 50/50 split. So if the tip was added on, it would line the owner's pocket even more.

Tough call.

BeachBoi May 7th, 2007 06:39 AM

TTP...My T/A is almost smack right above a relatively new Massage Envy there in your fair city.His new bud who works there says that ME is the SuperCuts of the massage industry.They get $15 an hour, no benfits tho healthcare and 401K have been "promised".So, no they dont pay well at all.

gailw May 7th, 2007 06:41 AM

wow, Fodor's comes through once again! 5 responses while I ate breakfast! We will tip. It will probably be in the 15%-20% range, depending on how fabulous it turns out to be. in my 20s, I waited on tables for 6 years, working at the legally established 2/3 of minimum wage. I understand tipping.

TxTravelPro May 7th, 2007 06:46 AM

I agree, thit_cho.
I am generally a good tipper. I always tip 20-25% on meals for good service... because I do not drink and tend to eat alone on business trips.
But 20% on skilled services? Where do you draw the line?
The following professions all require certification and trade school. They all provide a service.
Do you tip all 20%?
Mechanic (my dealer requires certification)

TxTravelPro May 7th, 2007 07:08 AM

Dental Hygienist
What about the person who does the laser zapping of hair... What's that called?

thit_cho May 7th, 2007 07:17 AM

Actually, I also think restaurants should raise their prices by 20% and pay the waitstaff a living wage.

TxTravelPro May 7th, 2007 07:18 AM

I tip, I tip, I tip.
I generally tip more than other people.
I give 5.00 a day to housekeeping at hotels. I tip nice cabbies a couple of bucks on a 8.00 fare.
My shock was just that the percentage was so high for something that costs a lot in the first place.
I love massages but they come dearly to me... I am NOT rich. In fact I probably make the same as many massage therapists.
It does not surprise me that ME is the Supercuts of massage. But to suggest a 30% tip (which they do) is a bit steep.

Dukey May 7th, 2007 08:11 AM

One nice thing about this: those recommendations are simply that...recommendations.

IMO tipping is personal and for me it has little if anything to do with what the person is paid, "living wage" or not and everything to do with the quality of the services rendered.

lvk May 7th, 2007 08:27 AM

They are not always just recommendations. Some spas add 20% to your bill as a mandatory "tip". I experienced this at the Diplomat Resort in FL. It was a $175 hot stone massage, and I was charged an extra $35. I had no choice in the matter. I would rather leave cash in the little envelope that I know will go directly to my masseuse.

I came back here and posted about the experience and found out that this is also the practice as some higher-end Las Vegas spas.

TheWeasel May 7th, 2007 08:29 AM

$15 an hour plus a tip of $12 - 20 = $27 to $35 an hour. That's hardly what I'd call below the poverty line. I have to agree with TTP on this, the tipping is ridiculous. And I have to completely disagree with DebitNM in regards to the statement: "I also think if you can afford the $250 or whatever the charge is for this luxury, you should accordingly." In other words, just throw your money away to help the "poor" masseuse. $50 tip for an hour? That's crazy. 20% for a waiter who is paid less than minimum wage makes sense. 20% for someone paid well above minimum wage is simply foolish and for them to suggest that percentage is just BS.

lvk May 7th, 2007 08:30 AM

Here's the old thread:;tid=34582816

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