A very common situation if coming to Latin America is finding yourself checking in at a hotel or AirBnB. I want to make sure you don’t end up en la suite presidencial (in the presidential suite) —unless you want to, of course.
¿Les cuento algo? (Can I tell you something?) ¡Me encanta el turismo! (I love tourism!) I really do. De hecho (actually), I have technical training in all sorts of jobs in the tourism industry. I learned that in high school, so a shoutout to all technical high schools in Mexico!
In this article, you will learn the words and expressions that will make your check-in experience, whether it is in a hotel, an AirBnB, or a hostel, a super easy one.
Arriving at the venue
We are going to go step by step… First, you arrive to la recepción (the reception).
The lovely person behind the desk will ask for your clave de reservación (reservation code) and your pasaporte (passport) by saying something along these lines:
- ¡Bienvenido a Paulisima Inn! ¿Me permite su clave de reservación y pasaporte? (Welcome to Paulisima Inn! May I have your reservation code and passport, please?)
- Sí claro, aquí tiene. (Yes, of course, here you are.)
Since this is 2020 and not 1980, you already know qué tipo de habitación (what kind of room) you need or booked. But let’s say you’re in THAT situation where you don’t have a room yet:
- ¿Qué tipo de habitación necesita? (What kind of room do you need?)
- Una habitación sencilla (single room) OR una habitación doble (double room)
La recepcionista or el recepcionista will work their magic and tada! You are checked in!
Fun fact: in Mexico and other Latin American countries, people use the verb check in as a noun, so don't be surprised if you hear people saying things like: “Vamos a hacer el check in” (let’s DO the check-In).
Asking relevant questions
After you've checked in, you will be provided with las llaves (the keys). But honestly, keys are rarely used anymore because they have been replaced with tarjetas (cards), which I DON'T like.
Let's say you booked a room with desayuno incluido (breakfast included). So, you have to ask the most important questions ever:
- Disculpe, ¿cuál es el horario de desayuno? (What time is breakfast?)
- ¿Dónde se sirve el desayuno? (Where is breakfast served?)
The answer will be something like:
- El desayuno se sirve de 6 a 10. (Breakfast is served from 6 to 10.)
Maybe you’re splurging and you will get servicio a la habitación (room service) all the time… If that’s your traveling style, let’s be friends!
Heading to your room
Once you have your llave (key), you are officially a huesped (guest) and el botones (the bellboy) will take your equipaje (luggage) and direct you to your habitación (room).
You are generous and cool, so you will give the bellboy propina (a tip). Don’t forget to also dejarle propine a la camarista (to leave a tip for the maid). —By the way, my friends from South America say mucama instead of camarista.
Remember that it’s quite common for the people that work in the tourism industry to rely on tips to make ends meet… So! Don’t be stingy!
Do you stay away from hotels and prefer AirBnB?
Here are some important words and phrases that will prove very helpful:
- ¿Dónde recojo las llaves? (Where do I pick up the keys?)
- ¿Cuál es la clave del WiFi? (What’s the Wi-Fi password?)
Best part of staying in an AirBnB is that el anfitrión (the host) is most likely a local and you can ask them for recommendations!
You may do so by saying:
- ¿Me puede recomendar un restaurante? (Can you recommend me a restaurant?)
At the end of your experience, if you haven’t done so, you will ask:
- ¿Dónde dejo las llaves? (Where should I leave the keys?)
I hope your stay at the Paulisima Inn was great and that you will come back soon!
FREE Spanish Training
¡Muy bien! Now you are ready to come to Latin America and check in at a hotel or AirBnB like a pro.
Don't foget that we have a whole series of Travel Spanish videos on our Spring Spanish YouTube Channel, so feel free to check them all out!
Now, if you're getting ready for your travels and you’d like to really master Spanish, we have a free Spanish training on our website where you'll discover the method we use in our Spring Spanish Academy to teach students to speak fluent Spanish. If you sign up, you will get some free sample Spanish lessons that come straight from our Academy!