Introduction:

When staying in a hotel, you will have to speak to the people who work at the reception when you first arrive (check in). And as English is spoken in most hotels in the world, it is important to know and understand phrases that will be used in these situations.

In this online exercise on hotels, you will learn and remember the English phrases that are commonly used when both arriving/ checking in at a hotel and when asking for information. In addition, you will also learn phrases that are used when a hotel doesn't have any rooms available.

This exercise can be used by both customers/guests in a hotel and the staff/workers of a hotel.

To learn the English phrases used when both leaving a hotel and asking for information, do our exercise on 'English vocabulary for leaving/checking out of a hotel & asking questions'.

Or to learn the English vocabulary you'll need to know when staying at hotels and reserving a hotel room, do our exercises on 'Hotel essentials vocabulary'.


Exercise: Arriving at a hotel

Read the following two conversations between a customer/guest and a receptionist in a hotel. In the first situation, a customer is arriving/checking in at a hotel to get the key to the room. In the second situation, a customer wants a room at a hotel, but there are none available.

From the context, try to guess what the meaning of the words/phrases in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Situation 1

Receptionist:'Good morning. How can I help you?'

Customer:'Good morning. I have a reservation in the name of Smith.'

Receptionist:'Let me look on the system. Yes, Smith. A single room for 2 nights, bed and breakfast?'

Customer:'That's correct.'

Receptionist:'Could I see some ID, please? A passport or an identity card are both fine.'

Customer:'Here you go.'

Receptionist:'Perfect. Could you please fill out this form with your details. Your name and address etc...'

2 minutes later

Receptionist:'That looks fine. Could you please sign at the bottom of the form. Your signature. Perfect. Your room includes breakfast in the morning. Breakfast is served between 7.30am and 10am in the restaurant in front of the reception. On the last morning of your stay you have to check out before 11am.'

Customer:'I have an important meeting tomorrow morning. So, could I have a wake up call tomorrow at 6am?'

Receptionist:'Certainly.'

Customer:'Does the room have Wi-Fi?'

Receptionist:'Yes, all the rooms have Wi-Fi, cable televisions and air conditioning. I'm afraid that your room isn't ready yet, sir. It should be ready for midday. If you like, you can wait in the hotel lounge and I will call you when It's ready.'

Customer:'That's ok. I have to meet somebody now. Could I leave my bags here?'

Receptionist:'No problem, sir. Leave them with me and I'll look after them for you until you return.'

Customer:'Thank you.'


Situation 2

Receptionist:'Good evening. How can I help you?'

Customer:'Good evening. Do you have any rooms available for tonight?'

Receptionist:'Do you have a reservation?'

Customer:'No, we don't.'

Receptionist:'A double or single room?'

Customer:'A double room for one night.'

Receptionist:'Let me just check our system. I am afraid that we are fully booked tonight, madam. There are no rooms available, sorry.'

Customer:'Ok, could you recommend another hotel?'

Receptionist:'You could try the Bristol Hotel.'

Customer:'Would you mind calling them to see if they have any vacancies?'

Receptionist:'No problem.'

3 minutes later

Receptionist:'Yes, they have some rooms available.'

Customer:'Excellent. Where is the hotel?'

Receptionist:'It's in centre near the castle.'

Customer:'Could you show us on a map, please?'

Receptionist:'Certainly. We are here and the Bristol Hotel is here. It's about 5 minutes by car.'


To learn the vocabulary used in English when leaving a hotel, do our exercise on 'checking out of a hotel'.


Quiz: English vocabulary for arriving/checking in at a hotel

Below is a definition/description of each of the words in bold from the above text. Now choose the word/phrase from the question's selection box which you believe answers each question. Only use one word/phrase once. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question. The first is an Additional Information Icon "". Click on this for extra information on the word/phrase and for a translation. The second is a Pronunciation Icon "". Click on this to listen to the pronunciation of the word/phrase and to do a pronunciation speaking test.

1. A phrase where a customer asks the hotel to ring their room early in the morning, is
         

Could I have a wake up call:
(phrase) This is a commonly used customer phrase. A 'wake up call' is a service that hotels offer/give their customers/guests to wake them up in morning (like an alarm clock). If a customer/guest asks the hotel for a 'wake up call', somebody/thing in the hotel will ring/call the phone in the hotel room to wake up the customer/guest. If you want a 'wake up call', you should use this polite phrase followed by the time and day you want to wake up, e.g. 'could I have a wake up call at 6.30am tomorrow, please?'.

In Spanish: "podría tener una llamada de despertador".

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Could I have a wake up call:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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2. A very polite phrase where a customer asks a receptionist to ring another hotel for them, is
         

Would you mind calling them:
(phrase) This very polite phrase is a different way of saying 'can you call them for me'. 'would you mind' is a very polite way of asking/requesting somebody to do something for you. In the phrase here, it is used to ask a receptionist to call another hotel for you. But you can use it in any situation.

'would you mind' is always followed by the gerund (e.g. 'closing', 'looking', 'turning down' etc...) and then by a noun (e.g. 'the door', 'the meeting', 'the volume' etc..) or a pronoun object (e.g. 'him', 'them' etc...). You can make it politer by using 'please' at the end. For example, 'would you mind closing the window, please?'.

In Spanish: "le importaría llamarlos".

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Would you mind calling them:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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3. A phrase that a receptionist uses when they want a customer to confirm/prove their identity, is
         

Could I see some ID, please:
(phrase) 'ID' means 'Identity Document'. This phrase is a polite request and is always used in a hotel when a customer/guest is checking in at a hotel. When a receptionist says this, they want the customer/guest to show documentation that has a photo and a name of the person on it. This documentation can be an identity card, passport or driving license. Hotels want to see 'ID' to confirm/prove that the person is, who they say they are. 'could I see some ID, please' is also used in many countries in shops, restaurants etc... when people are paying with a debit or credit card.

In Spanish: "podría ver en documento de identificación, por favor".

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Could I see some ID, please:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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4. A phrase a customer asks when they want to have a room in a hotel, is
         

Do you have any rooms available:
(phrase) This phrase is used when a person goes to a hotel, but hasn't already reserved/ booked a room there. It's a politer way of saying 'can I have a room' to a receptionist in a hotel. Apart from greeting the receptionist (e.g. 'good afternoon' etc...), it is the first thing that somebody who hasn't reserved/booked a room will say. After this, the receptionist will check and confirm if they do or don't.

In Spanish: "tiene habitaciones libres".

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Do you have any rooms available:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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5. A phrase a receptionist uses when they want a customer to write their details (name, address etc...) on a hotel document, is
         

Could you please fill out this form:
(phrase) This polite phrase is used at check in/arrival by a receptionist when they want a customer/guest to complete a hotel form/document with their details (name, address, nationality, ID number etc...). 'fill out' is a different way of saying 'complete' or 'fill in' and all three are commonly used in this phrase. This phrase is normally followed by 'with your details', e.g. 'could you please fill in this form with your details'.

In Spanish: "podrías por favor rellenar este formulario".

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Could you please fill out this form:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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6. A polite phrase a customer uses when they want a receptionist to circle or mark where a place is on a map, is
         

Could you show us on a map, please:
(phrase) This is phrase is used when a customer/guest in a hotel is unsure where a place (a restaurant, theatre, building etc...) is in the city they are visiting and they want the receptionist to show them where it is on a map. For example, 'the restaurant is Victory Square, next to a church' 'could you show us on a map, please?'.

For people who are not native speakers of English, this is an essential phrase, because it is easy to misunderstand directions when somebody tells you them.

In Spanish: "podría enseñarnoslo en un mapa, por favor".

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Could you show us on a map, please:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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7. A phrase that tells you 'when you can eat breakfast' in a hotel, is
         

Breakfast is served between:
(phrase) If breakfast is included in the price of the room you have paid in a hotel, the receptionist will tell you this phrase when you are checking in. This phrase means when you can have/eat breakfast. 'is served' is a formal way of saying 'food is given'. This phrase is followed by the times when breakfast starts and when it finishes, e.g. 'breakfast is served between 7.30 and 10.00'. The same phrase is used for lunch and dinner, e.g. 'lunch is served between 12.00 and 2.00'.

In Spanish: "el desayuno es entre".

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Breakfast is served between:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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8. A polite phrase which means 'can you suggest another hotel', is
         

Could you recommend another hotel:
(phrase) This polite phrase is used by a customer when they have just been told that there are no rooms available for them in a hotel. This phrase is used to ask the receptionist to give you suggestions of other hotels that have or might have rooms available. 'could you recommend' can also be used when you want somebody to give you suggestions or recommendations for anything (e.g. restaurants, bars, mobile phones, places to visit).

When you use 'could you recommend' in these cases/situations, it is followed by 'a good' and then the name of the object/thing, e.g. 'could you recommend a good Italian restaurant?'

In Spanish: "podría recomendarme otro hotel".

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Could you recommend another hotel:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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9. A phrase where you ask what equipment/facilities (e.g. air conditioning) that a room has, is
         

Does the room have:
(phrase) This question is used by customers/guests when they want to know what type of equipment/facilities that their room has. It is commonly used when checking in/before going to the room. The name of the equipment/facility (e.g. Wi-Fi, bathroom, balcony, air conditioning etc...) follows this phrase, e.g. 'does the room have a balcony?'. By replacing 'room with 'hotel', you can also ask what equipment/facility or services (e.g. 24 hour room service etc...) a hotel has, e.g. 'does the hotel have a swimming pool?'.

In Spanish: "tiene el habitación".

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Does the room have:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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10. A verb that means to write your name/signature to confirm something, is
         

Sign:
(verb) The infinitive is 'to sign'. This means to write you name/signature with your hand on a document (both on paper and on a computer screen). When checking in at an hotel, you always have to 'sign' the check in/registration form at the bottom. The receptionist will normally ask you 'could you please sign at the bottom' or 'could you please write your signature at the bottom', which are different ways of saying the same thing. You also have to 'sign' a piece of paper when paying a bill by credit card.

In Spanish: "firmar".

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Sign:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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11. A polite way to say 'you have a room in the hotel for me', is
         

I have a reservation in the name of:
(phrase) This phrase is used by a customer/guest who has already reserved/booked a room (by the internet or by phone) when they first arrive at the hotel. It is basically a formal way of saying 'I have booked a room here, my name is'. This phrase is one of the first things a customer/guest says when they want to check in/get the key to the room. This phrase is always followed by either the surname (e.g. 'Jones') or the full name (e.g. 'Sally Jones'). For example, 'good afternoon. I have a reservation in the name of Jones'. This phrase is also used when you have booked/reserved a table in a restaurant.

In Spanish: "tengo una reserva a nombre de".

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I have a reservation in the name of:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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12. A phrase a hotel receptionist uses when they need to check/confirm something on their computer, is
         

Let me just check our system:
(phrase) This phrase is always used by a hotel receptionist when a customer/guest checks in/arrives for the first time at a hotel. They use this phrase when they have to check the hotel computer system to see if they have the customer's room reservation or if there are any rooms available. It is polite because it uses 'let me', which sounds like they are asking the customer's permission to do it (although they are not). It is normally used after a customer has asked 'I have a reservation in the name of Jones' or 'do you have any rooms available?'.

In Spanish: "permitame ver/comprobar en nuestro sistema".

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Let me just check our system:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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13. A phrase a customer uses when they want to leave their luggage with the hotel receptionist, is
         

Could I leave my bags here:
(phrase) This phrase is used by a customer/guest when they can't leave their bags/luggage in their hotel room (because there room isn't ready or because they have already checked out/left the room) and don't want to carry/take them when they go out of the hotel. They want the receptionist to look after the bags/luggage until they return later to take/pick them up. This is a common phrase that people use who are on holiday, who have a late flight back to their city/country.

Most hotels allow their customers/guests to leave their luggage/bags behind the reception desk or in a special room for leaving luggage/bags called the 'storage room'.

In Spanish: "puedo dejar mi equipaje aqui".

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Could I leave my bags here:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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Practice

Now that you understand the new vocabulary, practise it by creating your own sentences with the new words/phrases.