French Vocabulary: At the Hotel

May Your Stay More Enjoyable By Speaking the Local Language

Door of 2-star hotel
Dennis K. Johnson/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

Going to France? Then you will want to know how to speak French at your hotel. Though you may be able to use English in many cases, it is always helpful to have a few French words in your vocabulary in order to make your stay go a little smoother.

At the end of this French vocabulary lesson, you will be able to make your hotel reservation, ask about services and amenities, pay your bill, and identify common places and items in a hotel.

Note: Many of the words below are linked to .wav files. Simply click on the link to listen to the pronunciation.

Booking a Hotel (Réserver un Hôtel)

First of all, let's clear up a little confusion about the word hotel (l'hôtel) itself. In French, the phrase un hôtel de ville is not a place to stay, but rather a town hall or a city hall and it probably does not have the best accommodations.

When booking your hotel, you will need to check on the accommodations (le logement). Most importantly, if the hotel has 'no vacancy' (completduring your scheduled trip.

Once you determine that a room is available, you will need to ask for any specific requirements you might have. In order to do this, you may want to do a quick review of French numbers as well.

I would like a room...Je voudrais une chambre...
... for one night / two nights.... pour une nuit / deux nuits.
... for one person / two persons.... pour une personne / deux personnes.
... with two beds.... à deux lits.
... with a double bed.... avec un grand lit. 

You do not want to overstay your welcome, so this question will be helpful:

  • When is check-out time? - Quelle est l'heure limite d'occupation ?

How to Ask for Amenities

Building on the request of "Je voudrais une chambre...", use these phrases to ask for certain hotel amenities.

I would like a room...Je voudrais une chambre...
... with a shower in the room. ... avec une douche dans la chambre.
... with a bathtub in the room.... avec une baignoire dans la chambre.
... with a sink in the room.... avec un lavabo dans la chambre.
... with a toilet in the room... avec un W.-C. dans la chambre.
... with a television in the room.... avec une télévision dans la chambre.
... with a telephone in the room.... avec un téléphone dans la chambre.
... with an air conditioner in the room.... avec un climatiseur dans la chambre.

Paying for Your Room (Payer pour votre chambre)

You do need to pay for the room and a few simple phrases will help you navigate the reception desk. 

How much is it?C'est combien ?
I would like to pay my bill.Je voudrais régler mon compte.
I would like a receipt.Je voudrais un reçu.
The bill is incorrect.L'addition n'est pas correcte.

Forms of Payment

Learning how to speak about money in French will make your entire journey go a little smoother. These phrases can also be used at restaurants, shops, or anywhere else you make a purchase.

  • I would like to pay in cash. - Je voudrais payer en espèces.

If you would like to pay with another type of payment, begin the sentence with "Je voudrais payer..." and conclude it with one of these phrases.

I would like to pay in...Je voudrais payer...
... with traveler's checks.... avec des chèques de voyage.
... with a credit card.... avec une carte de crédit.

Requesting Services (Demande de services)

Every employee (l'employé) of the hotel is there to make your stay as comfortable as possible. From the front desk clerk (réceptionniste) to the maid (la femme de chambre), you can use these phrases to request particular services during your stay.

I would like a wake-up call at 8 a.m. - Je voudrais être réveillé à huit heures.

I would like a taxi. - Je voudrais un taxi.

Do you have a...Avez-vous un...
... laundry service?... service de lessive ?
... hairdresser / barber?... coiffeur ?
... parking lot / garage?... parking ?

Navigating the Hotel (Navigation dans l'Hôtel)

You will find it useful to be able to get around the hotel and a few simple words should make it a little bit easier.

It is likely that you will need to ask where something is and this is the phrase you want to memorize. It's also quite useful as you are traveling through town, simply finish the question with the place you're looking for.

Where is the...Où se trouve le...
... elevator?... un ascenseur ?
... restaurant / bar?... un restaurant / bar ?
... pool?... une piscine ?

In the Hotel Room (Dans l'Hôtel Chambre)

Once you get to your room, give yourself a quick quiz and see if you can recall these words in French.

You might also want to know that your room has a...

In the Bathroom

English has 'bathroom' and 'restroom' and French also has more than one word for this room. However, the difference tends to describe the 'amenities' included within.

You might also want to know how to say some of these other bathroom-related words in French. They're easy and, who knows, they might come in handy someday.

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Lawless, Laura K. "French Vocabulary: At the Hotel." ThoughtCo, Apr. 2, 2017, thoughtco.com/french-vocabulary-at-the-hotel-4078764. Lawless, Laura K. (2017, April 2). French Vocabulary: At the Hotel. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/french-vocabulary-at-the-hotel-4078764 Lawless, Laura K. "French Vocabulary: At the Hotel." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/french-vocabulary-at-the-hotel-4078764 (accessed November 18, 2017).