In this conversation lesson, students learn hotel-related vocabulary and discuss the topic in small groups. Since most of my business English students travel internationally, I try to cover this topic in all of my classes.
Introducing the Topic
Start the class by dividing them into small groups. Tell them to imagine the perfect hotel for business travelers and instruct them to list everything that the hotel would offer. Give them a few minutes to come up with some ideas.
Meet as a class again. Tell them that the things they listed are examples of “amenities.” Write it on the board and then elicit the following types of amenities from the class:
Amenities: room service, concierge service, laundry service, airport shuttle, business center, conference room, pool, Jacuzzi/hot tub, sauna, spa, complimentary breakfast, bar, gym, balcony, view, kitchenette, mini bar, safe, pay-per-view movies, wireless internet (wi-fi), king size bed, queen size bed, single/twin bed
Continue eliciting hotel-related vocabulary. Be sure to cover these:
Star classifications: one, two, three, four, and five-star hotels
Types of rooms: single room, double room, suite
People: receptionist/front desk clerk, concierge/porter, housekeeper/maid, bellhop, doorman, maintenance people
Actions: to make a reservation/to book a room (British), to check in, to check out, to tip/to leave a tip, to order room service, to request a wake-up call, to make a complaint, to pay a late check-out fee
Places: lobby, lounge, front desk, elevator
[Note: It’s always best to elicit vocabulary from students if possible. For example, if you want to teach the word “housekeeper,” don’t write it on the board and ask them if they know what it means. Instead say “this person cleans your hotel room for you.” This makes the vocabulary-learning process more active. If you can’t elicit the term, then give it to them.]
Small Group Discussion
Now, break them into small groups again and have them discuss the following questions:
1) What was the last hotel you stayed at? How many stars was it (or how many do you think it was)? Tell your group about the amenities at the hotel. Did you enjoy your stay there?
2) Have you ever stayed at a very bad hotel? Where were you? What was the experience like? What was the room like? What amenities did the hotel offer? What amenities didn’t they offer?
3) Which of the amenities we listed are important to you when you travel? Which amenities are not important to you? Why?
4) Have you ever attended a business conference at a hotel? What specific amenities did they have for business people? Were there enough facilities to accommodate everyone?
5) What type of research do you do before you make a reservation at a hotel? How do you decide where to stay? Do you check to see how many stars a hotel is before booking the room?
6) Is it common to tip hotel employees in your country? Who do you tip?**
Finish class by addressing some mistakes from their discussion. Put the mistakes on the board (don’t mention who made the mistakes) and give students a chance to correct them.
** I like to assign a reading assignment for homework about tipping at hotels. I ask students to read the article and write about whether they were surprised about the advice in the article. Here is the link:
- How much to tip at hotels, and when: A primer for guests – USATODAY.com
USA TODAY asked several etiquette and hospitality experts and hotel companies for advice on what to tip at hotels in the USA.