Speak English Around Town » LESSON 19 - Checking Into a Hotel

Checking Into a Hotel

When Maria goes to check in to her hotel, Chad, at reception, informs her that he doesn't have her reservation. He finds a room for her, which ends up being too noisy.

Chad: How can I help you?

Maria: I'm checking in. I've got a reservation under the name Baker.

Chad: Okay, let me pull up your reservation. You said "Baker."

Maria: Yes, Maria Baker.

Chad: Unfortunately, I have no record of your reservation. It must have gotten lost in our system.

Maria: Great. Just my luck!

Chad: Don't worry. We've got plenty of rooms. Are you a member of our rewards program yet?

Maria: No, I don't travel that much so it's not worth my while.

Chad: You can start earning points with this stay. Then you can get discounts on future stays and special offers by mail.

Maria: As a rule, I don't join those programs. I get enough junk mail already.

(ten minutes later)

Maria: I just checked my room, and I'll need a different room.

Chad: What's the problem?

Maria: The 12th floor is a zoo. There's some kind of convention going on up there and people are making a racket.

Chad: I'm sorry about that. Let's see what else we have.

Maria: Also, you must have given me a smoking room because it reeks of cigarette smoke!

Chad: I do apologize for that. Let me give you room 1485. It should be quiet and smoke free.

  • as a rule
    in general; usually
    Example: As a rule, Betty doesn't answer her telephone after 10 p.m.
  • (to) check in
    to register (such as at a hotel or conference)
    Example: Let's check in to our hotel first, and then go out and explore the city.
  • (to) earn points
    to earn credit towards a future purchase (when talking about promotions offered by companies)
    Example: Allison joined Delta's frequent flier program and started earning points.
  • I do apologize (for that)
    I'm very sorry (said to a customer)
    Example: Your order arrived a week late? I do apologize for that.
    Note: The "do" in this expression is optional. It makes the apology stronger or more polite.
  • junk mail
    unwanted mail, usually selling or advertising something
    Example: My mailbox was full today, but it was almost all junk mail.
  • just my luck
    what bad luck
    Example: I arrived two minutes late to the airport and missed my flight. Just my luck!
  • (to) make a racket
    to make a lot of noise
    Example: We couldn't sleep because the people in the hotel room next door were making a racket all night.
  • (to) pull up a reservation
    to find a reservation on the computer; to call up the file with the reservation
    Example: "Hello, I'd like to change my flight for next Friday." - "Please give me your last name and I'll pull up our reservation."
  • (to) reek of
    to smell badly of something (often smoke or alcohol)
    Example: This pillow reeks of smoke. Please bring me a fresh one.
  • rewards program
    a promotional program designed to get customers to use a company's product or service more often
    Example: Paula earned a free one-week stay at a Marriott through the hotel's rewards program.
  • special offer
    a promotional offer; a discount on a particular product or service, usually for a limited time
    Example: The restaurant is running a special offer. Buy one meal at full price and get the second one free.
  • worth one's while
    deserving of one's time or effort
    Example: If you 're in Manhattan, I suggest you visit the Guggenheim Museum. It'll be worth your while.
  • zoo
    a noisy area; chaos
    Example: Thousands of people go to Times Square in New York to celebrate New Year's Eve. It's a zoo!
Practice the Expressions

Fill in the blanks using the following expressions:

  • worth my while
  • just our luck
  • reeked of
  • made a racket
  • as a rule
  • rewards program
  • special offers
  • earn points
  • check in
  • zoo

Two years ago, I decided to join the Continental Hotel's (1) __________ . I figured it would be (2) __________ since I travel frequently on business. Whenever I stay at a Continental Hotel, I (3) __________ . They also send me (4) __________ in the mail.

Last week, my husband and I decided to use the points and spend the weekend in Manhattan. (5 ) __________ , we only travel when we can get a special deal.

When we arrived to (6) __________ , the hotel was a (7) __________ . It turns out that some company was having its annual sales conference there that weekend. ( 8) __________ ! The attendees (9) __________ all weekend, partying both nights until 3 a.m. The hallways (10) __________ cigarette smoke. We didn't get much sleep, but we did enjoy sightseeing in the city.

Answer Key
Practice The Expressions
  1. rewards program
  2. worth my while
  3. earn points
  4. special offers
  5. As a rule
  6. check in
  7. zoo
  8. Just our luck
  9. made a racket
  10. reeked of
Answer Key
Language Lens: "Must have"

To say what you think has happened in a situation, use must have or the contraction must've.

Form it like this:
must have ( or must've) + verb in the past participle

The past participle of regular verbs usually ends in -ed. It is the same as the verb in the past tense.
Examples: visited, looked, entered, wanted. Irregular verbs have various endings in the past participle. Most end in one of these:
-d (heard, held, paid, read, stood, understood)
-n (eaten, forgotten, given, gotten, known, taken, spoken)
-t (brought, caught, cost, left, slept, spent, thought)

I can't find my passport. I must've* left it at the hotel. ( = I think I left it at the hotel).
You don't have your book? You must have forgotten it in my car.
The movie is over already? I must've fallen asleep.
I can't find my laptop. Someone must've moved it.
Linda called you from her car saying she was lost? She must've left the directions at home.
My stomach is killing me. I must've overeaten!
My iPad is gone from my hotel room. Someone must've stolen it!
There are no more cookies left? Kate must've eaten the last one.

* Note: must've can be pronounced either mustof or, more informally, musta.

Quick Quiz

Say what you think happened in each situation. Put the verb in parentheses into the correct form with "must've":

We're lost. We _____ (take) a wrong tum somewhere.
Answer: We must've taken a wrong turn somewhere.

  1. The radio isn't working anymore. It _____ (ran) out of batteries.
  2. It's dark in the house. Somebody _____ (turn) out all the lights.
  3. You have big bags under your eyes. You _____ (stay) up all night.
  4. Maya's doll is missing its arms. She _____ (pull) them off.
  5. You're all wet. You _____ (forget) your umbrella!
  6. My laptop is missing from my office. Somebody _____ (steal) it!
  7. I can't find my glasses. I _____ (leave) them at the office.
  8. You got here in less than an hour. You _____ (drive) fast!
  9. It's already 10 a.m. I _____ (oversleep).
  10. Your French is fluent. You _____ (study) it in school.
Answer Key
  1. must've run
  2. must've turned
  3. must've stayed
  4. must've pulled
  5. must've forgotten
  6. must've stolen
  7. must've left
  8. must've driven
  9. must've overslept
  10. must've studied
Answer Key
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