Customs that have to doing with feelings are always difficult to talk about. Tipping is such a subject, having travelled a bit I experienced that in the US it is (almost) mandatory to tip the waiter in a restaurant and for a substantial percentage whereas in Japan tipping is simply not expected by the majority of service workers .
We see here at El Guarda that guests struggle a bit with the concept as well: we have guests leaving nothing behind for the staff after having stayed here for a week and some donating a very generous amount after a one night stay.
So here some ideas: In general hotels tips aren’t expected, but if you’re in a high-end hotel and a porter helps you with your bag, they should be tipped about a euro per bag. Here at Cortijo el Guarda we are more than happy to carry for you for free though! A Euro a day for the room cleaner is not expected, but always welcome.
Good to know that people working in Spain’s hospitality industry are generally full-time employees who are paid a salary. However, the economic crisis has introduced a degree of precariousness into the industry, meaning tipping is always appreciated. Some more tips about tips: In restaurants service charges are rarely included in the bill. Debit and credit cards are widely accepted, but it’s good to keep a few euros change on hand if you’re paying by card, as it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to add a tip through the machine.
In lower-end restaurants tipping is not expected, but you can round up the bill to the nearest euro. In middle- to high-end restaurants you can leave a few euros, up to a maximum of 5%, if you were happy with the service. If a staff member goes out of their way to translate a menu, or ensure your preferences are taken into account, it’s worth tipping an extra euro or two. For those lucky ones of you who occasionally eat there; at Michelin-starred restaurants tipping can go as high as 10% to reflect what should be a higher level of service.
Bartenders don’t expect any kind of tip. If you’re getting table service, it’s worth rounding up the bill to the nearest euro. When using a taxi no tip is expected and rounding up to the nearest euro will suffice.
I hope that this has helped a bit and thanks in advance for showing you appreciation in a manner you find suitable.