Mandatory Service Charge at Hyatt Spa

Old Jun 11, 07, 2:55 pm
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Mandatory Service Charge at Hyatt Spa

I was at Tahoe last weekend and I had given my wife a $250 spa gift certificate. Little did I know how little that would buy. Example: A 50 minute deep tissue massage was $168 (with the mandatory 20% service charge).

Are all the Hyatt’s with Spas charging a mandatory minimum tip now? I normally tip 15-25%, but being told how much the minimum tip/service charge is seems a bit out of line.

Maybe I don’t get out much, or just don’t look too closely, but the prices at the Hyatt Spa’s seem to be going up exponentially. Last time I was at Kauai I noticed that the prices on massages had gone up ~50% from the prices they had 5 years earlier.
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Old Jun 11, 07, 3:04 pm
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I know that the spa in Kauai adds a service charge. What gets me is they also say "you can add some if you'd like." Sure, like 20% isn't already enough

And yes, the spa charges are going up quite a bit.
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Old Jun 11, 07, 3:17 pm
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sy7
 
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Yeah, the spa at Lake Tahoe adds a mandatory 20% service charge--and this is noted NOWHERE in any of the brochures or spa literature! I find this disturbing, because I sometimes directly tip the masseuse (though of course I usually don't at hotel spas because of points.) Plus, my experience is that there wasn't really great service by the spa staff.

Kauai does have very expensive prices for spa services. I think it went up because the spa got renovated. However, even the spa receptionist commented on how quiet the spa was--probably a direct correlation with the price...
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Old Jun 11, 07, 3:20 pm
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Sounds like people have money to burn! $160 for a 50 minute massage? That's more than I pay for my hotel in most cases.
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Old Jun 11, 07, 3:30 pm
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Originally Posted by sy7 View Post
Yeah, the spa at Lake Tahoe adds a mandatory 20% service charge--and this is noted NOWHERE in any of the brochures or spa literature! I find this disturbing, because I sometimes directly tip the masseuse (though of course I usually don't at hotel spas because of points.) Plus, my experience is that there wasn't really great service by the spa staff.
It was on the last page of the brochure in our room last weekend, and I made sure to point it out to my wife so she did not accidentally double tip. My wife, who is somewhat of a spa expert, was not impressed by the treatment at the Tahoe Stillwater spa and told me she is going to stick with our local day spa, and that I should not get her any more Hyatt Spa certificates.
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Old Jun 11, 07, 3:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
Sounds like people have money to burn! $160 for a 50 minute massage? That's more than I pay for my hotel in most cases.
Why can't hubby, wifey, or illicit partner do it for free? Other options include stretching, exercising, and quitting that stressful job.
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Old Jun 11, 07, 3:37 pm
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Originally Posted by IK in Seattle View Post
It was on the last page of the brochure in our room last weekend, and I made sure to point it out to my wife so she did not accidentally double tip. My wife, who is somewhat of a spa expert, was not impressed by the treatment at the Tahoe Stillwater spa and told me she is going to stick with our local day spa, and that I should not get her any more Hyatt Spa certificates.
It must have changed recently then (probably due to complaints). I distinctly remember looking over the spa information again after my treatment b/c I was surprised at the 20% mandatory service charge, and not seeing it noted anywhere.
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Old Jun 11, 07, 4:38 pm
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Actually every hotel spa I've been to has this. Starwood, Hyatt, Fairmont etc. But 20% seems high. I think I had only seen 10-15% before.
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Old Jun 11, 07, 11:02 pm
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FWIW, Canyon Ranch (which is certainly not a cheap place by any means) charges $110 for the 50 minute massage. And you don't tip on top of it nor is there a service charge.
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Old Jun 12, 07, 1:22 am
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It's an automatic 18% at the Hyatt Huntington Beach. But they do validate parking for three hours if you're just going for the day.
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Old Jun 12, 07, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by IK in Seattle View Post
Example: A 50 minute deep tissue massage was $168 (with the mandatory 20% service charge).
I wonder what portion of the $168, if any, goes to the therapist.
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Old Jun 12, 07, 1:56 pm
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Originally Posted by boazs View Post
I wonder what portion of the $168, if any, goes to the therapist.
If any? I doubt that the therapist works for free!
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Old Jun 12, 07, 2:11 pm
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When I used to work all the time, I got weekly massages. At that place (not a $168 place!), the therapists got 40% of the fee, plus tips. I doubt at a resort that they'd get more than 30%, especially with the 18 or 20% mandatory tip.
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Old Jun 12, 07, 2:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
When I used to work all the time, I got weekly massages. At that place (not a $168 place!), the therapists got 40% of the fee, plus tips. I doubt at a resort that they'd get more than 30%, especially with the 18 or 20% mandatory tip.

That would be around $70 an hour. My guess is closer to minimum wage and the service charge or around $35 an hour.
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