Introduction:

When staying in a hotel, you will have to speak to the people who work at the reception when you leave (check out of) the hotel and when you want to ask for information about the city or town where the hotel is (e.g. how to travel around, things to do etc...). And as English is spoken in most hotels in the world, it is important to both know and understand phrases that will be used in these situations.

In this online exercise on hotels, you'll both learn and remember English phrases that are commonly used for both checking out of a hotel and for asking for information about a city or town. 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 you arrive at a hotel, do our exercise on 'English vocabulary for arriving/checking in at a hotel'.

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: In a Hotel

Read the following two conversations. In both, a customer/guest in a hotel is talking to the hotel's receptionist. In the first situation, a customer is checking out of a hotel. In the second situation, a customer is asking the receptionist for information about the city/town.

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

Customer:'Good morning. We'd like to check out, please.'

Receptionist:'Certainly. Could I have your room number, please?'

Customer:'510.'

Receptionist:'If I could have the card key, I'll get you your bill.'

1 minute later

Receptionist:'Here's your itemised bill. It includes the cost of the room and a list of all the products and services that you have used during your stay in the hotel. '

Customer:'It looks fine.'

Receptionist:'So that's €198. How would you like to pay, cash or card?'

Customer:'By credit card. Here it is.'

Receptionist:Thank you.'

1 minute later

Receptionist:'If you could just sign your name at the bottom of this piece of paper.'

Customer:'Ok.'

Receptionist:'Thank you. Here's your credit card and your receipt, that shows that you have paid the bill.'

Customer:'Thank you. Could you call us a taxi for the airport, please?'

Receptionist:'To leave now?'

Customer:'Yes, please.'

2 minutes later

Receptionist:'It'll be here within 5 minutes, outside the entrance. I hope you enjoyed your stay and have a good journey.'

Customer:'Thank you.'


Situation 2

Receptionist:'How can I help you madam?'

Customer:'Can you recommend any good restaurants? We'd like to eat Indian food tonight.'

Receptionist:'There a couple of excellent Indian restaurants in the centre of the city near the river. The Bengal Palace and the Delhi Belly.'

Customer:'Can you show us where they are on a map?'

Receptionist:'If you look at this map, there's the Bengal Palace here and the Delhi Belly here.'

Customer:'Is it safe to walk around there at night? Are there problems in the city centre with thieves?'

Receptionist:'It's perfectly safe, but don't go into the park. Some people have been mugged there.'

Customer:'How can we get to the centre from here? Can we walk or is there a bus.'

Receptionist:'You can walk, but it's about 40 minutes. Or you can take the number 52 bus from the bus stop in front of the hotel and that will take you to the centre. Get off at the bus stop at the railway station.'

Customer:'Is it a frequent service? Do buses regularly go to the city centre from here?'

Receptionist:'Yes, it runs every 15 minutes until midnight. The next bus should arrive outside the hotel at 7.22. '

Customer:'Thank you so much.'

Receptionist:'Is there anything else I can help you with?'

Customer:'Yes, there is. We need to buy a bottle of water. Is there a corner shop near? Or a supermarket where we can buy one?'

Receptionist:'There's a corner shop which sells bottles of water just down the road. When you leave the hotel, go right and it's about 150 metres down the road.'

Customer:'Thank you very much.'

Receptionist:'My pleasure.'



Quiz: English vocabulary for leaving/checking out of a hotel & asking questions

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 that you ask when you want to know how to travel to a place, is
         

How can we get to:
(phrase) This informal phrase is used when you want somebody to tell you how to travel to a place (what bus/metro/train/roads to take or how to walk there). Basically, this phrase/question is used to ask for directions, e.g. 'how can I get to the Opera House?' 'take the metro to Puerto del Sol and then walk down Arenal Street'.

This phrase is normally followed by either the name of the place you want to go to (e.g. 'how can we get to the station?') or by 'there' without the 'to' if you don't need to repeat the name of the place (e.g. 'you should visit Wembley Stadium' 'how can I get there?'). You can also say 'how do I get to' with the same meaning.

In Spanish: "cómo se llega a".

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How can we get to:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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2. A polite phrase that is used when you want somebody to phone and reserve a taxi for you, is
         

Could you call us a taxi:
(phrase) This polite phrase is commonly used at hotels by guests when they are checking out of a hotel. It is a polite way of asking the receptionist to arrange/call for a taxi. 'could you call us/me a taxi' is used when you want a taxi to take you somewhere at the time of speaking/straight away. This phrase is normally followed by 'to' and then the name of the place where you want to go and is finished with 'please' e.g. 'could you call me a taxi to the railway station, please'.

If you want the taxi for later (e.g. the next morning, later in the day etc...), then you use a slightly different phrase, 'could you book us/me a taxi'. With this phrase, you should say for what time/date you want it (by using the preposition 'for' and then the time/date) after you have said where you want to go, e.g. 'could you book me a taxi to the railway station for 9am tomorrow, please'.

In Spanish: "puedes llamarnos un taxi".

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Could you call us a taxi:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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3. A phrase where you ask somebody if a place is dangerous to visit, is
         

Is it safe to walk around there:
(phrase) In many cities in the world, there are parts which are dangerous to visit (especially at night). This phrase is used to ask people (a receptionist, somebody who lives in the city) how dangerous it is to visit a place or a part of a city and walk around by yourself. If somebody answers this question with 'yes', then the place isn't dangerous for you to visit and walk around.

You can replace 'there' with the name of the place. For example, 'Is it safe to walk around Ipanema beach at night?' 'in the day it's safe, but at night it isn't safe'.

In Spanish: "es seguro pasear por alli".

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Is it safe to walk around there:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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4. A document that lists everything that you have used or had in a hotel and have to pay for, is called a
         

Itemised bill:
(noun) A 'bill' (or 'check' in American English) is a piece of paper or document that is used to show how much money a customer/client/guest has to pay to a hotel or restaurant at the end of staying there or eating a meal.

In most hotels, they give their customers/guests a 'bill' where all the names of the things and services they have used or had are listed/written down with the price/cost of each written next to it (e.g. '3 nights in Single Room - €190, Phone calls - €8.65, Mini-bar - €14.00' etc...). This is called an 'itemised bill' and is given to customers/guests in a hotel to look at before they pay for staying at the hotel when they are leaving/checking out of the hotel.

In Spanish: "facturación detallada".

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Itemised bill:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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5. A question that is used when you want to know how regularly/often buses go to a place, is
         

Is it a frequent service:
(phrase) This phrase is used for most types of public transport (e.g. buses, trains, metro/underground etc...) and is used when somebody wants to know how many times (which is called the 'frequency') an hour or day that buses/trains etc... go from one place to another (e.g. from New York to Boston).

Normally, when somebody answers this question, they will tell you how many buses there are each hour (e.g. 'there are 4 every hour') or how much amount of time there is between each bus, train etc... (e.g. 'the number 134 bus runs every 15 minutes'). For example, 'is there a bus to the park from here?' 'yes, the number 12 bus goes to the park' 'is it a frequent service?' 'it runs every 30 minutes'.

In Spanish: "es un servicio de autobús frecuente".

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Is it a frequent service:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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6. A question where you ask if there is a place close to buy things like bottles of water, candy/sweets etc..., is
         

Is there a corner shop near:
(phrase) Because it is normally very expensive to buy things like cans of drinks, bottles of water, candy/sweet etc... in a hotel, most people prefer to buy them outside in a shop/store. A 'corner shop' is in the name in Britain and Ireland for a small shop/store that sells these types of things (plus other types of food, tobacco, alcohol etc...).

In America, a 'corner shop' is called a 'convenience store'. For example 'excuse me, where can I buy cigarettes from?' 'there's a convenience store/corner shop in front of the hotel'.

In Spanish: "hay una tienda de barrio cerca".

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Is there a corner shop near:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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7. A question that a receptionist in a hotel asks a customer/guest to know which room they are/were in, is
         

Could I have your room number, please:
(phrase) This polite phrase/question is used by a receptionist in a hotel when they want a customer/guest to tell them which room they are/were staying in. It is normally used when a customer/guest is leaving the hotel and has said 'we'd like to check out, please' or when a customer/guest is complaining or asking for room service. For example, 'the shower in our room isn't working' 'ok, could I have your room number, please?' '312'. It is a politer way of saying 'your room number, please?' (because of the use of 'could I' followed by a verb, which makes questions politer, e.g. 'could I use the toilet, please?').

In Spanish: "puedo tener el número de habitación, por favor".

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Could I have your room number, please:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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8. The piece of paper you receive after paying a hotel bill, is called a
         

Receipt:
(noun) A 'receipt' is a piece of paper given to a customer/guest after they have paid for a service (e.g. staying in a hotel, eating in a restaurant etc...) or have bought something (e.g. trousers, books, cars etc...). On a 'receipt' it says how much money you have paid, from where and when. On some 'receipts' (especially from shops/stores), it says what you have paid for/bought and how much they cost (e.g. 'levi jeans - €120, adidas tiger trainers - €90').

In Spanish: "recibo".

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Receipt:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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9. A polite phrase that is used by a receptionist to ask a guest if there are more things they can assist them with or do for them, is
         

Is there anything else I can help you with:
(phrase) This very professional and polite phrase/question is commonly used by people whose job is to work directly with customers (e.g. a hotel receptionist, a waiter/waitress, a shop assistant etc...). It is used after the person has answered a customer's question or helped/done something for the customer (e.g. 'changed their hotel room', 'given them a refund for something they have bought' etc...). For example, 'breakfast is served between 8am and 10am' 'thank you' 'is there anything else I can help you with?' 'no, thank you'.

It is also common to hear this phrase used with 'do for you' instead of 'help you with', e.g 'is there anything else I can do for you?'. Both phrases have the same meaning and both are only used to be polite.

In Spanish: "hay alguna otra cosa en la que pueda ayudarle".

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Is there anything else I can help you with:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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10. A phrase that a receptionist uses to ask a guest in what way they want to pay their hotel bill, is
         

How would you like to pay, cash or card:
(phrase) This polite question is used by an employee in a hotel, restaurant, shop/store to a customer/guest when they have to pay their bill or for something (e.g. a jacket, renting a car etc...). It basically asks if the customer/guest is going to pay them directly with money (notes and coins (which is called 'cash')) or through their bank by giving them a debit or credit card (which is called 'card').

Normally, the customer would answer this question by saying either 'cash' or 'card' and then give them the money or their debit or credit card. For example, 'how would you like to pay, cash or card?' 'card'.

In Spanish: "cómo quiere pagar, en efectivo o en tarjeta".

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How would you like to pay, cash or card:

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11. A phrase that tells somebody 'how regularly/often' buses go to a place, is
         

It runs every:
(phrase) This phrase is used for most types of public transport (e.g. buses, trains, metro/underground etc...) and is used when somebody tells another person how frequently/regularly that buses, trains etc... go from one place to another (e.g. from New York to Boston). The verb 'to run' when talking about public transport, basically means 'to go' and is used to say how much amount of time there is between each bus, train etc..., e.g. 'the train to the city centre runs every 15 minutes'.

Normally, this answer is given after somebody has asked a question about how regularly/often a type of public transport goes to a place, e.g. 'is there a bus to the park from here?' 'yes, the number 12 bus goes to the park' 'is it a frequent service?' 'it runs every 30 minutes'.

In Spanish: "pasa cada".

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It runs every:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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12. A polite way to say 'we're leaving the hotel and we want to pay the bill', is
         

We'd like to check out, please:
(phrase) This polite phrase is said by customers/guests to a hotel receptionist when they want to leave/check out of the hotel (return the room key/card key and pay their bill). It's normally the first thing that a customer/guest says to the receptionist when they are going to check out, e.g. 'how can I help you?' 'I'd like to check out, please'. The phrase is polite because it uses the verb 'I/we would like to' (or the contracted form ''I'd/we'd like to') which is a politer way of saying 'I/we want to'.

In Spanish: "queremos pagar/la cuenta, por favor".

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We'd like to check out, please:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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13. A way to ask for somebody's advice/suggestion on a place to eat food in, is
         

Can you recommend any good restaurants:
(phrase) This phrase/question is used when you want somebody to suggest/recommend good restaurants to eat in. It is one of the most common questions that customers/guests ask a hotel receptionist. Normally, hotel receptionists expect this question and will say the names of some restaurants.

This phrase can be used to ask for recommendations for places other than restaurants, e.g. bars, tours, places to visit etc... You can also use this phrase with or without 'good', without any change in its meaning. For example, 'can you recommend any pubs?'.

In Spanish: "me puede recomendar algun restaurante bueno".

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Can you recommend any good restaurants:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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Practice

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