Although most of us book hotels online, you may extend your vacation, or find yourself in a situation where you need to find a different hotel while staying in China. Some hotels are not registered to have foreign guests and, I know from personal experience, don’t always inform you of this when you book a room.
Below are some useful words and phrases that will help you book a room and make sure your stay in China is comfortable.
酒店 (jiǔ diàn) Hotel
房间 (fáng jiān) Room
无烟 (wú yān) Non – smoking
行李 (xíng li) Luggage
前厅 (qián tīng) Hotel lobby
前台 (qián tái) Front desk
客房清洁 (kè fáng qīng jié) housekeeping
Depending on the city you’re staying in, chances are the taxi drivers do not speak English. Even if you’re staying in a 5 star hotel 五星级酒店 (wǔ xīng jí jiǔdiàn) they may only know the Chinese translation. Before you travel make sure you have the Chinese address available to show the taxi driver or arrange for a shuttle. Once you get to your hotel, ask for a card with the address on it.
有没有旅馆的名片？(yǒu méi yǒu lǚ guǎn de míng piàn) Do you have a hotel name card?
The bigram 旅馆 (lǚ guǎn) also means ‘hotel’ but is more commonly used for smaller hotels while 酒店 is used for larger chain hotels with 3-5 stars.
Here are some popular hotels and their Chinese translations:
凯悦 (kǎi yuè) Hyatt
万豪 (wàn háo) Marriott
丽致 (lí zhì) Ritz
喜来登 (xǐ lái dēng) Sheraton
希尔顿 (xī ěr dùn) Hilton
皇冠假日酒店 (huáng guān jià rì jiǔ diàn) Crowne Plaza
Once you get to your hotel you can use the following sentences to check in:
你们有空房间吗？(nǐ men yǒu kòng fáng jiān ma?) Do you have a room available?
抱歉，现在已经客满，没有空房了。(bào qiàn, xiàn zài yǐ jīng kè mǎn, méi yǒu kòng fáng le) We don’t have any available rooms, they’re all booked.
请问您有预定吗？(qǐng wèn nín yǒu yù dìng ma) Do you have a reservation?
两个晚上四百块。(liǎng gè wǎn shang sì bǎi kuài) It’s 400RMB for 2 nights.
包早饭吗？(bāo zǎo fàn ma) Does that include breakfast?
这个房间有窗户吗？(zhè ge fáng jiān yǒu chuāng hu ma) Does the room have a window?
It might sound strange to ask whether the room has a window or not, but many cheaper hotels that face busy streets or alleyways, block up the windows and replace them with blown-up images of sandy beaches and blue skies. You might also end up in the basement…but there’s no way to make yourself believe you’re not in a basement.
有没有…？(yǒu méi yǒu) Do you have…?
干洗服务 (gān xǐ fú wù) a dry cleaning service
All foreigners in China need to be registered by the police, so on check in, the main page of your passport and your visa will be copied so that the hotel can register you.
请给我你的。。。(qǐng gěi wǒ nǐ de..) Please give me your…
护照 (hù zhào) passport
证件 (zhèng jiàn) ID card
这是你的钥匙。(zhè shì nǐ de yào shi) This is your key.
Most hotels now use 房卡 (fáng kǎ) a room card, although smaller hotels and hostels may still use actual keys.
If you stay in a small or budget hotel in China, you will see differences between what Chinese travellers and foreigners expect in their rooms. Most of the time, there will not be a coffee and coffee machine, only green tea and a kettle. If you need a cup of joe to get you going in the morning, you’d better get yourself some coffee sachets from the local 7/11. For other things that you might need, call or go to the front desk and ask the following:
叫醒服务 (jiào xǐng fú wù) a wake up call
请问可以再给我…吗?(qǐng wèn kě yǐ zài gěi wǒ…ma?) Can you please give me another…?
一条毛巾 (yī tiáo máo jīn) a towel
浴衣 (yù yī) bathrobe
If something in your room is broken or does not work properly, you can say:
空调 (kōng tiáo)The air conditioner…
吹风机 (chuī fēng jī) The hair dryer…
。。。坏了 (shì huài le) 。。。is broken.
When you’re ready to check out of the hotel, you can use the following sentences to converse with the hotel worker.
我要退房。(wǒ yào tuì fáng) I would like to check out.
这是您的账单。(zhè shì nín de zhàng dān) Here is your room service bill.