Check in to a Hotel in English

By 8 October 2017 Video lessons 12 Comments
check in to a hotel in English

Hey there, and welcome to Speak English with Christina, where you’ll have fun becoming fluent in American English. I’m your English coach Christina, and today, we’re traveling again! And we need a place to sleep!

So today you’ll learn what to say when you check in to a hotel in English, so you can start your trip with confidence. Let’s go!


You probably know what’s going to happen when you arrive at reception. But let’s be sure you can understand what the receptionist says to you at the front desk. The front desk is the reception, the place where you check into the hotel. And to check into your hotel, to check into your hotel is the process you do when you arrive.

The first thing you can say when you check in is Hello, I have a reservation under the name of Christina Rebuffet. And instead of trying to spell your name, it’s easier to just give them a copy of your reservation if you have it.

In fact, the receptionist may ask Do you happen to have your booking confirmation with you? In real spoken English, it sounds like /duhyuh happuhn tuhav yuhr buhkin confuhrrmashun wih thyou?/ 

Do you remember what to say when you give something to someone? “Here you go.”

The receptionist will then ask for your payment card, and if you booked online, it often needs to be the same card you used to make the booking.

You’ll hear Do you have the card you used to make the booking?, which sounds like /duh yuh av thuh car djuh yooz tuh make thuh buh kin?/


In some hotels, they ask for a security deposit. This is money they temporarily block in your account.  just in case you have a rockstar party and destroy the hotel room. Or if your kid colors on the walls. Things like that.

Don’t worry, if you don’t destroy anything, the hotel reimburses you, they give your money back. But you need to have this money available in your account.

The receptionist might explain We’re going to put a $120 hold on your card. It’s a security deposit of $30 a night, which sounds like “/wir gonna puh duh hundrid in twenny dolluhr hol don yuhr card/ and then /Itzuh suh kyuhr ih dee duhpohzit uh thurdee dolluhrz uh naït/

They may also call this “a refundable deposit”. Just don’t trash your hotel if you want them to give you your money back!

confident conversations in englishPARKING

If you rented a car, you’ll need to park it somewhere. If your hotel is in a big city, parking is not cheap! You might have the option to “park in a parking garage” . With a security guard, maybe even valet service, where someone parks your car and brings it back to you (don’t forget to tip the valet!!)

Or the hotel may have a parking lot nearby. This is generally less expensive, but your car is just in a big open parking area. The receptionist will ask “Are you going to need to park your car while you’re here?” which sounds like /uhr yuh gonna need tuh par kyuhr car whaï yuhr here?/

If you want to park your car in the parking lot, the receptionist might indicate that it’s “2 blocks down the street” .

In cities, a block is the distance between two parallel streets, since many American cities look like a grid. So you might have a short walk from your car to your hotel, but you can walk off the big burger you ate for dinner.


Often, when you check into a hotel, you need to complete some forms, or as we more often say “fill out a form”, or fill in a form. Fill in, fill out, it’s the same exact thing: To complete a form.

Of course, you’ll have to fill out a form with your personal information, name, contact information, etc.  but if you park your car, they may also ask for the make & model of your car.

For example, a Ford Mustang, a Chevy Malibu, a Hyundai Sonata, etc. And you may need to fill in your license plate number.


My favorite meal of the day! A big American breakfast! If you’re lucky, your hotel will have a breakfast buffet,  with eggs, sausage, bacon, toast, everything! Or maybe just a continental breakfast, which is a fancy expression for industrial pastries, generally.

Often breakfast is included in the price of the room, but to be sure, you can ask “Is breakfast included in the price of the hotel?”

If the receptionist responds with something more complex than “yes” or “no”,  like for example “There’s complimentary coffee and snacks in the lobby”, “complimentary” means free. But you might have to pay for a complete breakfast, a real breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

Note to the hotel we stayed at in Houston last year: Coffee and a snack bar is NOT a real breakfast!

Now, watch the episode to hear how all of these expressions are pronounced!

Now what about you?

Have you ever stayed in a hotel in the USA?
Share your story with us! What was it like? I love reading your stories in the comments.

Thanks for learning English with me, and have fun on your next vacation!


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