By Jacqueline Schaalje
In this article you’ll learn some basic hotel language and how to make a reservation for a room.
Booking a Room
I know you can book a room on the internet and not speak to a single person, but you’ll need to know the words anyway. And in some cases you’ll speak with a person at the reservation desk or the hotel will call you to change or confirm.
Want to hear a funny story about an internet booking (= reservation)? This happened to a friend of mine whose five friends came to visit her from France. They had booked a hotel in the centre of Tel Aviv. There was no way that my friend could sleep five women in her own flat; it was much too small. Besides, her five friends were going to do volunteer work, so they needed only one night in the hotel.
They had made a booking through Booking.com, and when they came to the hotel, it didn’t exist! They walked up and down the street, but there was no hotel at that number. They looked at their reservation again, where it said: 8 Bialik Street. But there was no hotel there. They asked some people in the street: “Excuse me, do you know if there’s a hotel in Bialik Street?” Those people couldn’t help them any further and looked at them with pity.
The five women called Booking.com, where a customer representative said: “Awfully sorry, there must be a mistake. I can book you at another hotel a few streets away.” They said thank you and walked to the second hotel. This was a real hotel at last, with real prices! It cost more than their original booking; they were asked to add hundreds of Euros. They didn’t have that much money. Anyway, you can guess the end of the story. Two friends slept at my friend’s little flat, another one at a friend’s house, and the two last women at a third address.
Of course, in most cases internet bookings are successful and sellers are honest people.
So what do you need to know to make a reservation?
Here are some terms:
Rate = price of the room
Double room is a room for two people. It says nothing about the bed, as the bed can be a double bed or two single beds.
A single room sleeps one person.
Beds can be queen-size or king-size (bigger). That is in America. In the UK, however, there are no queen beds but only king and super king.
A cot, in the UK, is a bed for a child. Americans call this a crib.
Where is the Bathroom?
Many rooms have bathrooms. This is called a private bathroom. If the bathroom is right next to the bedroom, it’s called en suite (from the French, which means in the room). But there are also cheaper rooms that have the bathroom outside. If the bathroom is outside, you need to share it with other guests.
Other features of the room can include air-conditioning and/or heater, a writing desk, a balcony with a nice view, a kettle for making coffee and tea, a hairdryer, a safe (to lock your papers and your money in), extra blankets and a mini-bar or refrigerator. If you ask for a smoking room you can smoke in the room and there will be ashtrays. If you ask for a non-smoking room, you won’t find any ashtrays and smoking is not allowed inside the room. Smoking on the balcony is okay.
In the quiz you will read a typical conversation about a hotel room. Your job is to fill in the missing words.
Booking a room
Fill in the missing words:
rate, nights, Certainly, myself, in all, afternoon, through, reservation, non-smoking, name, single
1 Good ____________, Newport Hotel, how can I help you?
2 Hello, I’d like to make a ____________, please.
3 For how many ___________?
4 Three nights. July 25 ____________ the 28th.
5 Yes, we have double rooms in our hotel, and __________ rooms. For how many people is the reservation?
6 Just for _____________.
7 Very good, Ma’am. And your __________ is?
8 Vera Moscovitz. That’s with a c and tz at the end. Do you have any ____________ rooms?
9 ____________. A non-smoking room it is. Do you have any other questions?
10 Yes, I do. What is the ____________ of the room?
11 It’s $110 per night. So $330 __________.