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Useful Hotel Vocabulary With Examples and Definitions

Hotel Vocabulary

The hotel vocabulary and expressions you need for staying at a hotel aren't particularly difficult.

Here is some hotel vocabulary that may be unfamiliar to English learners. Review the terms and be sure you're ready for your next hotel stay.


Types of hotel establishments


When booking a hotel room, it's important to know the difference between different types of lodging establishments.

  • Motel: a roadside hotel designed primarily for motorists, typically having the rooms arranged in a low building with parking directly outside. noun
    • Our motel is very clean and is close to the beach.
  • Hostel: an establishment which provides inexpensive food and lodging for a specific group of people, such as students, workers, or travelers. noun
    • In the hostel you probably won't get your own room.
  • Bed and breakfast (B&B): a house where you pay for a room to sleep in for the night and a meal in the morning. noun
    • We spent the night at a cheap bed and breakfast nearby
  • Resort: a place that is a popular destination for vacations or recreation, or which is frequented for a particular purpose. noun
    • Places of public resort.
  • Inn: Another word for "hotel". noun
    • There's an inn on the other side of town that has a vacancy.
  • Accommodation: A room or rooms in a house or hotel in which to live. noun
    • Rented accommodation
  • Timeshare: a holiday house or apartment that is owned by several different people who each use it for a particular period of the year. noun
    • We bought a timeshare in Florida.
  • Vacation rental: a property that an owner rents to vacationers. noun
    • You have to look for best vacation rental sites for hosts and travelers.

Types of hotel rooms

  • Single room: A single room is a room with one bed that is intended for one guest to stay in.
    • I'd like a single room, please.
  • Double room: A double room is a room intended for two people and may have one or two beds.
    • A double room with a balcony overlooking the sea had been reserved for him.
  • Triple room: A triple room is intended for three people and may have one or two beds.
    • Like most residential halls, the standard room option is a triple room with age-appropriate roommates.
  • Twin room: A twin room is a room with two twin-size beds.
    • You can avoid the single supplement by agreeing to share a twin room.
  • Game room: is a room for relaxing which often features pool tables, Ping Pong tables, a dart board, football tables, arcade games, etc.
    • The main gaming room was thickly carpeted.
  • Connecting room: A connecting room has a door inside the room which connects to the room next to it.
    • I need a connecting room for a family of five.
  • Adjoining rooms: Two hotel rooms with a door in the centre.
    • If you want we can book your parents in an adjoining room.
  • Suite: A suite involves multiple rooms. Suites usually include a living or sitting area and may include a kitchen or kitchenette. Many hotels offer a range of suites including junior suites ($), deluxe suites ($$), executive suites ($$$), and presidential suites ($$$$). Many hotels also often suites to couples. These are often called bridal suites or honeymoon suites.
    • She has a suite of rooms in the hotel.
  • Honeymoon suite: Or a 'romance suite', in a hotel or other places of accommodation denotes a suite with special amenities primarily aimed at couples and newlyweds.
    • The charming honeymoon suite has its own gallery and a large double Victorian brass bed.

Types of hotel beds

  • Double bed: A bed large enough for two people.
    • They are a family of four, so give them a room with two double beds.
  • Queen size bed: Bed with plenty of space for two people (bigger than a double).
    • They have a queen size bed so the small child can easily fit in the middle.
  • Single bed: A bed for one person.
    • The economy priced room includes one single bed.
  • Sofa bed/pull-out couch: A bed built into a sofa or couch.
    • The room contains a sofa bed so the room actually sleeps five.
  • Cot/rollaway bed: A single bed on wheels that folds up.
    • If you need an extra bed, we have cots available.
  • King-size bed: Extra large bed.
    • A room with a king size bed costs an extra ten dollars a night.

Types of things inside your hotel room

  • Towels: Used to cover and dry the body after swimming or bathing.
    • You can get your swimming pool towels at the front desk.
  • linen: Sheets, blankets, pillow cases.
    • We will come in and change the linens while you are out of your room.
  • Pillow case: The covering that goes over a pillow.
    • Room 201 doesn't need their sheets changed, but they requested one new pillow case.
  • Balcony: A balcony is an enclosed outdoor platform that often provides hotel guests with a scenic view.
    • The glass doors opened onto a balcony with a view of the park.
  • View: A window that offers a nice image for guests.
    • The room is more expensive because it has a spectacular view of the beach.
  • Complimentary toiletries: Complimentary toiletries are personal care items (toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, razors,etc.) that hotels often provide to guests free of charge.
    • Clock radio alarm, hairdryer, free beverage tray and complimentary toiletries.
  • Kitchenette: A kitchenette is a small kitchen or a small area which offers cooking facilities.
    • Your room has a kitchenette so you can prepare your own breakfasts and lunches.
  • Do not disturb sign: Is a sign guests can hang on the outside of the door so that hotel staff do not knock on the door or enter the room.  
    • One common place where do not disturb signs are used is in housekeeping, to respect their privacy.

Types of hotel places

  • Minibar: A minibar is a small refrigerator stocked with (often alcoholic) beverages and snacks for guests. Normally, guests must pay for the items they take from the minibar.
    • Clients are provided with a portable phone and mini-bar at each table.
  • Lobby: Large open area at the front of the hotel.
    • You can stand in the lobby and wait for your bus.
  • Indoor pool: Place for guests to swim inside the hotel.
    • The heated indoor pool is open until 10 pm.
  • Suggestion box: It is used for collecting slips of paper with customers' opinions about the hotel's services.
    • The hotel has suggestion boxes for residents to provide comments about their stay.
  • Front desk/reception: The front desk is the desk where the receptionist greets guests and checks guests in and out of the hotel.
    • Towels are available at the front desk.
  • Floor: In American English, the floor that is level with the ground is called the first floor. The next floor is called the second floor. In British English, the  floor that is level with the ground is called the ground floor. The next highest floor is called the first floor.
    • They were on the upper floor of the hotel.
  • Jacuzzi/hot tub/whirl pool: A small hot pool for relaxation.
    • Our honeymoon room has a personal hot tub.
  • Sauna: A hot room for relaxation, filled with steam.
    • We don't recommend bringing young children into the sauna.
  • Brochures: Small booklets that provide information on the local sites and attractions.
    • Feel free to take some brochures to your room to look at.
  • Weight room/workout room/gym: A room that guests can use for exercise and fitness.
    • Our weight room has a stair climber and a stationary bicycle.

Types of hotel machines

  • Ice machine: A machine that automatically makes ice that guests can use to keep drinks cold.
    • There is an ice machine by the elevator on all of the even numbered floors.
  • Luggage cart: A device on wheels that guests can push their luggage on.
    • Please return the luggage cart to the lobby when you are finished with it.
  • Vending machine: A machine that distributes snacks and beverages when you insert coins.
    • The vending machine on the fifth floor has chocolate bars and chips.
  • Elevator: In American English, the lifting device that transports people to different floors is called an elevator. It is called a lift in British English.
    • In the elevator she pressed the button for the lobby.
  • Vending machine: A vending machine is a machine that dispenses food (usually snacks or drinks).
    • The vending machine in the office dispenses really tasteless coffee.

Types of hotel services

  • Baggage/luggage: All the bags that you take with you when you travel.
    • We collected our luggage before leaving the hotel.
  • Continental breakfast: Is a light breakfast which may include coffee, tea, fruit juice, pastries, bread, rolls, meats, cheeses, jam, etc.
    • A continental breakfast is served from 4am to 7:30am daily.
  • Valet parking: Is a service in which an attendant parks a customer’s vehicle.
    • The hotel and the hotel's spa only use valet parking.
  • Room service: Is a service which allows guests to have food and drink orders delivered to their room.
    • He noted that there were small mistakes made by his room service.
  • Turn down service: Is a service in which a staff member enters a hotel room and prepares the bed for use by “turning down” the linens on the bed. At many hotels, a chocolate or mint is left on the pillow as part of the service.
    • Turn down service, which is sure to make your stay even more enjoyable.
  • Shuttle service: Is transportation service that regularly provides transportation between two or more places.
    • We offer to our guests a complimentary airport shuttle service.
  • Airport transfer: Is free transportation to and from the airport.
    • The cost includes airport transfer but not flights.
  • Currency exchange: Is a service in which one currency (dollars, euros, yen, etc.) can be exchanged for another.
    • Foyer with 24-hour reception, & currency exchange facility.
  • Attractions: Things for tourists to see and do.
    • The zoo is our city's most popular attraction for kids.
  • Concierge service: Refers to services provided by a concierge (a hotel employee who helps guests by booking transportation, making restaurant reservations, recommending night-life options, coordinating luggage assistance, etc.).
    • No night curfew in the hotel: concierge service is 24 hours a day.
  • Parking pass: A piece of paper that guests display in the car window while in the hotel parking lot. noun
    • Display this parking pass in your window to show that you are a hotel guest.
  • Registration form: Is a form that hotel guests are often asked to fill out. It contains basic personal information and information about the guest’s vehicle.
    • Please write your home address on the registration form.
  • Wake-up call: Is a courtesy call from the front desk that is made to wake a sleeping guest.
    • A wake-up call at seven tomorrow morning, please.
  • Complimentary ... :Free of charge (breakfast, soap, dinner, ... etc). noun
    • All of our rooms have complimentary soap, shampoo, and coffee.
  • Reservation: A request to save a specific room for a future date. noun
    • They say they made a reservation but it doesn't show on the computer.
  • Complimentary WiFi: To connect to free Wi-Fi.
    • Here is the code to login and accept to the Complimentary WiFi network.

Types of hotel employees

  • Receptionist: A receptionist is an employee who greets guests when they arrive and checks guests in and out of the hotel.
    • If there isn't a vacant room in the hotel called by guests, the receptionist should propose a room in another hotel of the chain.
  • Accountant: A hotel accountant does the hotel’s finances.
    • The extra amounts were paid to the hotel accountant.
  • Hotel manager: Person in charge at the hotel.
    • I'll let you make your complaint to the hotel manager.
  • Concierge: A concierge is an employee who helps guests by booking transportation, making restaurant reservations, recommending night-life options, coordinating luggage assistance, etc.
    • The concierge knocked on the door of their room following complaints about noise.
  • Porter/bell hop: A porter/bell hop is an employee who carries guests’ luggage.
    • The hall porter was standing at the front door.
  • Valet: Staff that parks the guests' vehicles.
    • If you leave your car keys with us, the valet will park your car underground.
  • Housekeeper/Chambermaid: Is an employee who cleans guests' rooms. The group of people who perform this service is called housekeeping.
    • Put a sign on the door if you want housekeeping to come in and change the sheets on the bed.
  • Doorman: A doorman is an employee who stands by the entrance of a building and is responsible for letting people in and out of the building.
    • Suppose the doorman was carrying an important message.
  • Waiter: Serves guests in the restaurant.
    • Let the cashier or waiter know about your coupon before he or she rings the transaction.
  • Bellboy/Porter: A staff member who helps guests with their luggage.
    • The bellboy will take your bags to your room for you.
  • Guest: A person that is staying at the hotel. noun
    • Our washrooms are for guests only.

Types of hotel costs and fees

  • Deposit: Amount paid ahead of time to secure a reservation. noun
    • You will not receive your deposit back if you cancel.
  • Late check-out fee: Is the amount of money a guest pays for not checking out before the hotel’s designated check-out time.
    • Can you tell me what is the late check out fees?
  • Room's rate: Is how much it costs to stay in the room per night.
    • A lavish breakfast buffet, included in the room rate, is served on a patio overlooking the beach.
  • Pay-per-view movie: Extra charge for movies and special television features. noun
    • If you order a pay-per-view movie, the charge will appear on your bill.
  • Late charge: A fee for staying past the check-out time. noun
    • You will be charged a ten dollar late charge for checking out after 11 am.
  • Damage charge: Money a guest owes for repairs to hotel property (when caused by violent or careless acts). noun
    • We will have to add a damage charge for the hole you put in the wall.
  • Rate: Cost of renting a room for a certain time period. noun
    • Our rates change depending on the season.

Other terms you should know

  • If a hotel has vacancy, it means that there are available rooms. No vacancy, of course, means that the hotel is completely full.
  • When you arrive at a hotel, you check in. When you leave, you check out. These terms can also be used as nouns.
    • You can check-in anytime after four o'clock. verb
    • Please return your parking pass when you check-out. noun
  • Maximum capacity: The most amount of people allowed.
    • The maximum capacity in the hot tub is ten people.
  • Book: Arrange to stay in a hotel. verb
    • I can book your family in for the weekend of the seventh.
  • Booked: Full, no vacancies. adjective
    • I'm afraid the hotel is booked tonight.
  • Vacancy/vacant: Available rooms.
    • We only have one vacancy left, and it is for a single room. noun
    • The hotel has vacant rooms. adjective
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