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Vocabulary: Lodging

Spanish for Travelers


hotel swimming pool

Piscina del hotel Sheraton en la Ciudad de Panamá. (Swimming pool at the Sheraton hotel in Panama City.)

Photo by Javier Losa; licensed via Creative Commons.

Where do travelers usually spend more time than any other single place? In their hotel, of course.

And if you're in a Spanish-speaking country and not sleeping, the hotel is as good a place as any to practice Spanish — either when looking for a place to spend the night or in getting the services you need. Learn these words before you depart and they'll help make your stay a bit easier:

el alojamiento — lodging
el balneario — spa, resort
el bañobathroom
el bungalow — bungalow
el bar — bar, café
el café — coffeeshop
la caja de seguridad — safe
la cama — bed
la cama de matrimonio — double bed
la cama de monja — single bed
el conserje — concierge
la convención — convention
la cuenta — the bill
la disco, la discoteca — discotheque
el estacionamiento — parking
el gimnasio — gymnasium
la habitación — room, unit
la habitación sencilla — single room
la habitación doble — double room
la habitación triple — triple room
el hielo — ice
al hospedaje — lodging
el hotel — hotel
el hotelero, la hotelera — hotel-keeper
el huésped, la húspueda — guest, host
de lujo — deluxe
el motel — motel
la pensión — guesthouses, bed-and-breakfast
la piscina — swimming pool
el piso — floor
el piso bajo — ground floor
la posada — inn
la propina — tip
la reserva, la reservación — reservation
el restauranterestaurant
el servicio de habitaciones, el servicio en cuarto — room service
el salón de convenciones — convention hall
la suite — suite
la tarifa — cost
la ubicación — location
la vista — view
la vista al mar — sea or ocean view

Vocabulary notes:

Spanglish: It isn't unusual, particularly at upper-end hotels, to see English words used to describe certain facilities or services. Thus, for example, terms such as "spa," "brunch" or "concierge" — even "room service" — might be used instead of the Spanish equivalent, partly because the Spanish words have broader meanings or aren't universally understood.

El huésped, la huéspeda: This word is unusual because it can mean two opposites in English, either "host" or "guest," depending on the context. Perhaps a suitably ambiguous translation out of context would be "inn person."

La disco: Most words ending in o are masculine, but la disco is one of the exceptions. That's because it is a short form of la discoteca, which also is feminine. A word that follows the same pattern is la foto (the photo), because it is a short form of la fotografía (the photograph).

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