Shadow
Slider

Sorry to inform you: Proper tipping is not an easy task on our multi-cultural island. The Dutch side very much follows the American style, where a service charge is not automatically included into the meal price noted on the menu, and the staff depends very much on tips.  The French side follows European law, where waiters are making a decent salary independend of tip. Ad a third element to confuse the issue: scrupleless restaurant owners, who keep tips for themsevles and pay their staff only a pitance. We hope that this article is giving a bit of guidance and helps to protect hard working service personal.

 

Tipping in Dutch Side Restaurants

Restaurants on St Maarten's Dutch side follows the American system for paying wait staff: very low base salary, service charge not included in prices on their menus, and the expectation that the guest is adding at least 15% to the check. There are a few establishments which try to confuse the issue; they use standard US forms for their checks, which include a line for "Tax". In many cases, a 15% charge is added to this line. This is a service charge and NOT tax, as there is no such tax on the island! To make matters worse, service staff is NOT getting this fee in many restaurants!

Don't be shy: ask your waiter or waitress if they are getting their tips paid out. In some restaurants, they are instructed not to give an honest answer. If you feel this to be the case, ask for the manager to get to the bottom of the issue.

Tipping on the Island's French Side

Even though European laws states that the service charge has to be INCLUDED in the price of a meal, most restaurant owners on French St. Martin are relying on the American way of handling this issue. Legally, the price posted on the menu includes service and there is no obligation to pay more. Most European just round up and leave a few Euro, pretty much what an American guest would pay on top of the customary 15% in the US, in order to show extra satisfaction.

The truth is: the staff of the restaurants on the French sided expects American visitors to tip well (or over-tip) and doesn't expect too much from their European countrymen.

You will keep everyone happy with an amount around 10%. Don't be shy to ask about the house policy regarding tipping.

St. Maarten - St-Martin Updates

SXM Not ‘Destroyed’

We need to get the language straight: there are far too many articles and YouTube videos showing the damage caused by Hurricane Irma, and published with introductory headlines based on phrases like...

ST-MAARTEN.COM Video Series

Talented videographer Peter Sagnia is the creative mind behind a series of videos produced in collaboration with Jan Thoelke, publisher of ST-MAARTEN.COM. YouTube and other video channels are...

Shopping Returns to SXM

The first containers with fresh food and produce have arrived. The surviving super markets are again reasonably well stocked. The island's favorite discount super market - the French chain Super U -...

Princess Juliana International Airport Reopened

A major achievement towards the quick recovery of St. Maarten - St-Martin's tourism industry is today's reopening of the Princess Juliana International Airport.

HURRICANE UPDATE: Life Returns to Simpson Bay

Simpson Bay is the first region to bring back some commercial activity. Many bars and restaurants have opened and the fun mix of great food and exciting entertainment is...

The First Month of Recovery from Hurricane Irma on the Island of St. Maarten - St-Martin

One month has passed since the most powerful hurricane in recorded history went right over our tiny island of St. Maarten - St-Martin. We are the kind of people who have experience with tropical...

Restaurants and Entertainment - Presently Open

Isola Authentic Italian Restaurant

Enjoy the gentle Caribbean evening breeze on the open terrasse of Isola Ristorante Italiano while dining on authentic Italian cuisine.  Adjacent to...

Ocean Lounge

Overlooking the beach and boardwalk, the Ocean Lounge Restaurant and Bar at the Holland House Beach Hotel has become the center of fine dining in the...

Pineapple Pete Restaurant

At PINEAPPLE PETE Restaurant there is a simple motto: “Great Food, Great Service”. This is exactly what you will find here, outstanding food, fast,...

Red Piano Bar

The Red Piano is among the most famous bars on St. Maarten, situated in the center of the Pelican Key in between the Simpson Bay Resort and Flamimgo...

Taco Macho - a Colombian-Mexican Restaurant & Bar

For authentic Mexican and Colombian food, presented with warm Latin hospitality, there is no better place in St. Maarten than Taco MachoThe...

The Hollywood Casino on the Island of St. Maarten

The Hollywood Casino is located right in the center of a group of larger resorts and is the gaming spot of choice for anybody staying in Simpson Bay or...

Topper's Restaurant and Bar

Topper’s Restaurant & Bar is a great international restaurant in a fun Caribbean cottage that celebrates all-American comfort cuisine alongside...

Hotels and Resorts on St. Maarten - St. Martin - Presently Open

Porto Cupecoy - Spared by Irma

A recent visit to the elegant Porto Cupecoy development with its luxury condominiums, gourmet restaurants and yacht harbor was very encouraging: There is almost no trace to be found that a...

Atrium Beach Resort & Spa

The Atrium Beach Resort & Spa is located right on the beach and only a short walk away from several beach bars, restaurants, shops, water-sports, casino and nightlife.

Commodore Suites Boutique Hotel

The Commodore Suites is offering contemporary suties with kitchenettes right in the center of Simpson Bay and close to all entertainement.

Princess Heights Deluxe Condo Hotel

This family operated Boutique Condo Hotel offers spacious studio, one and two bedroom suites that feature balconies with ocean views and fully equipped gourmet kitchens.

Pharmacies and Spas

Miguel's Spa + Salon

Ideally located at the Atrium Beach Resort an SPA, Miguel's Spa + Salon offers excellent and qualified service for ladies and gentlemen.  After treating St. Maarten visitors for nearly ten years, the...

Orange Grove Pharmacy

In urgent cases, the Orange Grove Pharmacy is the only one offering 24-hour emergency delivery service to any location on the island. No matter what the cause, Orange Grove Pharmacy, as one of the...

Simpson Bay Pharmacy on Sint Maarten Island in the Caribbean

This pharmacy is located at the Simpson Bay Yacht Club and is within walking distance to a Medical Clinic, an ENT-Clinic and a Dentist. The Simpson Bay Pharmacy is also conveniently close to hotels...

Tijon Parfumerie - Fragrances and Skin Care Produced on St. Martin

Located in the gourmet town of Grand Case where fine restaurants are stringed along the main road, there is also Tijon Parfumerie. While the restaurants apply to the palate, Tijon wants you to come...