Most people look for budget or cheap hotels when they go on vacation, but no matter whether you stay in a cheap hotel or a luxurious one, you can encounter problems when making hotel reservations. Write a list of all the possible problems that could occur with hotel reservations (e.g., the receptionist who took your reservation misunderstood the date you were scheduled to arrive). Talk with a partner and discuss these.
“eleventh hour” = until the last minute
“Don’t wait until the eleventh hour to make a hotel reservation.”
“tighten your belt” = live on less money
“We need to tighten our belt and reserve a cheap hotel.”
A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.
Guest: Hi. I have a reservation for tonight.
Hotel Clerk: And your name?
Guest: It’s Nelson. Charles Nelson?
Hotel Clerk: Okay. Mr. Nelson. That’s a room for five, and . . .
Guest: Excuse me? You mean a room for five dollars? I didn’t know the special was so good.
Hotel Clerk: No, no, no. According to our records, a room for five guests was booked under your name.
Guest: No. No. Hold on. There must be some mistake.
Hotel Clerk: Okay. Let’s check this again. Okay, Mr. Charles C. Nelson for tonight . . .
Guest: Ah. There’s the problem. My name is Charles Nelson, not Charles C. Nelson. [Uhh] You must have two guests under the name.
Hotel Clerk: Okay. Let me check this again. Oh. Okay. Here we are.
Hotel Clerk: Charles Nelson. A room for one for the 19th . . .
Guest: Wait, wait! It was for tonight. Not tomorrow night.
Hotel Clerk: Hum. Hum. I don’t think we have any rooms for tonight. There’s a convention going on in town, and uh, let’s see. Yeah, no rooms.
Guest: Ah come on! You must have something. Anything.
Hotel Clerk: Well. We do have some rooms under renovation with just a roll-a-way bed. [U-hh] None of the normal amenities like a TV or working shower or toilet.
Guest: Ah man. Come on. There must be something else.
Hotel Clerk: Well. Let, let me check my computer here. Ah!
Hotel Clerk: There has been a cancellation for this evening. A honeymoon suite is now available.
Guest: Great. I’ll take it.
Hotel Clerk: But I’ll have to charge you two hundred fifty dollars for the night.
Guest: Ah. Man. I should get a discount for the inconvenience.
Hotel Clerk: Well. The best I can give you is a ten percent discount plus a ticket for a free continental breakfast.
Guest: Hey. Isn’t the breakfast free anyway?
Hotel Clerk: Well, only on weekends.
Guest: I want to talk to the manager.
Hotel Clerk: Wait, wait, wait Mr. Nelson. I think I can give you an additional 15 percent discount and I’ll throw in a free room for the next time you visit us.
Guest: That’ll be a long time.
Vocabulary and Sample Sentences
- book (verb): to reserve in advance, for example, a plane ticket or a hotel room
– You’ll need to book a room at least a month in advance.
- convention (noun): a large formal assembly or group of organized meetings held over several days
– Participants can receive a discount if they register early for the convention.
- renovation (noun): the condition of being restored to its former good condition
– The convention center is under renovation to repair damage caused by the tornado.
- amenities (noun): things that make one comfortable and at ease
– My son had a difficult time adapting to life in the wilderness because of the lack of amenities he was used to.