Being on holiday: At the hotel


Once we arrive at our destination, usually after a long trip, the first thing we do is find the accommodation we have booked in advance. Typical accommodation in English-speaking countries include:

  • Hotel: hotels are building where you pay a room to sleep in, with the option to include meals. Depending on the quality and the services provided, as well as the cost, hotels are rated with stars, between one (average) and five (luxury)
  • Motel: this is a type of hotel that provides travellers lodging and free parking facilities. They are normally found alongside roads far from urban areas.
  • Bed and Breakfast (abbreviated B&B): also known as “guest house” this is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation as well as breakfast in the morning. It is usually run as a family business and typically has between four and eleven rooms, at moderate prices.
  • Youth hostel: a place that provides cheap accommodation typically aimed at young people for short periods of time.
  • Camping sites (also known as campsites): a piece of land where people on holiday can camp (usually in tents, but sometimes rooms are available) usually with toilets and washing facilities.
  • Holiday rentals: furnished and fully equipped flats or houses privately rented to tourists for holiday periods, typically between a few days and two months.

Now let’s see some useful vocabulary concerning holiday accommodation. In this post we are going to refer mostly to hotels, motels and B&B

  1. About the room.

After confirmation of our booking in reception, we check in (i.e. we receive the keys). There are different types of rooms depending the amount of people and services involved, namely:

  • Single/double room, depending on the type of bed
  • Twin room: a room with two single beds
  • Interconnecting rooms: two rooms sharing a common door, usually for families
  • Adjoining rooms: two rooms sharing a common wall, usually for groups
  • Duplex: a room with two floors, connected by an internal staircase
  • Suite room: large room comprising two or more bedrooms, living room and dining area

In many cases, rooms can be provided with bed sofas or cots (single beds that fold up)

  1. About facilities.

It is also customary to ask about the hotel facilities, for instance:

  • Gym, spa or indoor pool
  • Room service: delivery of food or other services requested by guests
  • Laundry service
  • Housekeeping, i.e. the staff responsible for cleaning rooms and changing the bedsheets
  • Mini-bars or kitchenettes (i.e. a reduced cooking area)
  • Pay-per-view films/channels
  • Safe deposit boxes (a strong box to keep money and valuable things safe)
  • Parking facilities
  1. About food and meals

Typical questions would include:

  • What time is breakfast/lunch/dinner served? Where is it served?
  • May I see today’s menu, please? Do you have a children’s menu?
  • What is the specialty? What would you recommend?
  • Do you have a vegetarian/vegan option?
  • Special dietary requirements (allergies or food intolerance)
  1. About payment

Once our stay finishes, we have to check out, that is, pay the bill and return the keys. Questions we can ask at this point include:

  • Can I pay with credit/debit card?
  • Is everything included in the bill? Can I see all the charges, please?
  • Could you please call a taxi for us?
  • What is the quickest way to the station/airport?

Hope to be useful!

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