The Truth Behind the Tip™

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Viva Las Vegas!

Posted by gratrueities on January 19, 2009

I just returned from a Las Vegas get-away with friends… four women, three days of fun! Said fun included excellent and plentiful food and drink, a luxury hotel, shows, shopping and (a little) gambling.

The aforementioned offered many tipping “opportunities” – along with the chance to contradict the notion that women are “bad tippers.”  From cab rides, to the airport curbside check-in at departure, we dispelled that assumption…even with a few glitches along the way.

Our Venetian/Palazzo Hotel package included a credit for Woo Restaurant, touted as one of the few local restaurants to secure a high profile location in a major hotel.  We, of course, wanted to take advantage of the credit, while knowing it would make only a small dent in our bill. We enjoyed a delicious meal and presented the “coupon” after calculating the tip on the total bill – before the credit.  Perhaps – or obviously – that was not the norm.  When our server returned for payment, he had added an 18% gratuity – certainly less than we were prepared to leave! We assumed this is policy to protect the servers, but really could end up being a disservice in the end!  What happened to the new 15%?? (20%, in case you haven’t heard!)

So…the next evening, we decided to try the other hotel promoted (read, we had another credit) restaurant, LAVO.  We dined early as we were had 7:00 show tickets for  Jersey Boys (excellent, by the way!). Again, we had outstanding meal accompanied by along several tasty cocktails!. All went well, but at an extremely relaxed pace…a bit too relaxed! Our server was delightful, but so reassuring that we had plenty of time …I quote, “these shows always start about 15 minutes late.” We were lulled into a false sense of security. Finally, we realized we were cutting it a bit too close, slogged down our desserts (part of the prix fixe dinner), paid (with a hefty tip) and jogged across the casino to the theater.  Even so, the show literally went on without us – we were locked our of the theater for the opening number!  Lesson learned here?  Not quite sure!

Our final dinner experience was at Mesa Grill, the Bobby Flay outpost in Caesar’s Palace.  Three of us had eaten there before, so it is a testimony to our experiences that we returned. The meal was as excellent as before (the prawn tamale appetizer is especially memorable!) and the service flawless. Our waiter fully understood that we were on a timeline and did not want to miss the first moments of Bette Middler. He anticipated and timed every course perfectly – and recommended just the right margaritas!  We were happy and let him know! We were also compelled to leave a “test” GraTRUEity – “Timing is a mark of genius,” which he had surely proved.

Lastly, one amusing, confusing accidental tipping incident did occur. We left $6 – the paltry remaining profits from a joint gambling venture – sitting on top of the television cabinet in one of our rooms. When we returned, the room was made up and the money gone. It seems housekeeping believed we had left that as a tip. We were unsure as to whether that was really considered very generous!  Also, we wondered what would have happened if we had left $100 sitting there – would that have been interpreted as a tip as well. Is it protocol to take any money left out?  Honestly, we didn’t know the answer to that…and still don’t!


One Response to “Viva Las Vegas!”

  1. Anony.Miss said

    Darn, I wish I could have joined you all- sounds like a great time!

    Re: the hotel tipping, I tend to leave something but I usually put it on the bed or nightstand, with a small “thanks” written on the notepad- the money sitting on top or between the pages but showing. It is presumptuous for housekeeping to take money left out if it is not designated somehow, but I can see why $6 left on the TV could be misconstrued as a tip. I generally leave between $2 and $5/day for housekeeping, depending on the hotel and certainly depending on the service. I don’t know if this amount is cheap, but it is better than nothing!

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