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English for Travelling

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  1. At The Airport
    3 Topics
    |
    3 Quizzes
  2. Arriving
    3 Topics
    |
    3 Quizzes
  3. Staying At A Hotel
    3 Topics
    |
    3 Quizzes
  4. Staying At AirBnB Accommodation
    3 Topics
    |
    3 Quizzes
  5. Talking To Locals
    3 Topics
    |
    3 Quizzes
  6. Sightseeing
    3 Topics
    |
    3 Quizzes
  7. Taking Care Of The Essentials
    3 Topics
    |
    3 Quizzes
  8. Food and Drink
    3 Topics
    |
    3 Quizzes
  9. Pubs
    3 Topics
    |
    3 Quizzes
  10. Safety Tips
    1 Topic
    |
    1 Quiz
Lesson 3, Topic 3

Reporting Problems With Your Hotel Room

Gemma November 20, 2019
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You’re here at last and you can put your bags down, freshen up and start to relax. Oh, wait! Something’s not quite right.

Sometimes your hotel room may be missing something that you need. Don’t worry, it’s very easy to call reception and ask for some assistance. Remember when you checked in and asked how to contact reception from your room? Now it’s time to use that information.

Common items that may be missing from your room are towels, pillows or soap. No problem! There are a few phrases you can use to politely ask reception to provide you with the missing items. Read the dialogues below and look at how the requests are phrased.

Dialogue 1:

A: Hello, reception.

B: Hello. I’m in room 205 and we seem to be missing a towel. We only have one towel but there are two of us staying. Could you please send one up?

A: Of course. I’m very sorry about that. We’ll bring an extra towel to your room immediately.

Dialogue 2:

A: Good afternoon, reception.

B: Good afternoon. I’ve just arrived and notice that there’s only one pillow on the bed. I prefer to sleep with two pillows. Would it be possible to bring me an extra one?

A: Absolutely. That’s no problem. Which room are you in?

B: Room 324.

A: I’ll have someone bring you an extra pillow right now.

That’s right! We use ‘could’ and ‘would’ to very politely phrase questions so they are useful in situations like this. A little politeness goes a long way and the receptionist will be happy to help you.

We also use words like ‘send‘ and ‘bring‘ when we make requests for items. Be careful: these words are not interchangeable!

We use ‘send‘ to describe movement away from the speaker or hearer. For example, ‘I’ll send the letter to you tomorrow’ and ‘Did you send me an email?’

We use ‘bring‘ to describe movement to where the speaker or hearer is, was or will be. For example, ‘Could you bring the documents to my office?’ and ‘I will bring my friend to the party.’

Sometimes, there is a bigger problem with the room. For example, maybe the bedding isn’t clean, perhaps you asked for a double room but the room is actually a single room, or maybe the room is very noisy. Look at the dialogues below to see how to make a polite complaint.

Dialogue 3:

A: Good evening, reception.

B: Hello. I’ve just arrived in room 121 but I think I’ve been given the wrong room. I asked for a double room, but this is a single room.

A: I’m very sorry about that. We do have a double room available in room 122. I’ll send someone up to your room straight away with your new key.

Dialogue 4:

A: Hello, reception.

B: Hello. I just checked in and asked for a quiet room, but this room faces the road. It’s very noisy. Do you have any other rooms available that are quieter?

A: My apologies for that. Let me check our other rooms. Yes, we have another room for you on the other side of the building. It faces the garden so it’s much quieter.

Dialogue 5:

A: Good morning, reception.

B: Good morning. I’ve just arrived in my room and it looks like it hasn’t been cleaned yet. I can see that the sheets are dirty and there is lipstick on one of the coffee cups.

A: Oh dear! I’m very sorry about that. I can call housekeeping to clean it immediately or I can offer you a different room.

B: I think I’d prefer a different room, please.

A: Certainly.

When making a polite complaint, it’s important to stay calm and respectful. It’s a good idea to smile too 🙂 Explain clearly what the problem is and the hotel staff should be able to offer a solution. It is also acceptable for you to offer a solution, but try to phrase your solution as a question. This is much more polite.

For example, if you say, ‘Give me a different room’, it sounds very direct and quite rude. A much better way to phrase this is, ‘Would it be possible to give me a different room?’

Using phrases such as ‘I think/don’t think’ and ‘it looks like’ is more gentle than a statement. For example, ‘You haven’t cleaned my sheets!’ can sound aggressive and accusatory. It is better to say, ‘It looks like my sheets haven’t been cleaned.’

Hopefully your hotel room will be perfect, but now you know what to do if there is something wrong with your room.

Let’s practise what you’ve learned!