Let's begin preparing for the vacation you have been hoping to have for a long time. You may be able to book your hotel online through English websites. But what if you have an emergency that forces you to find a new place to stay? It would be best if you learned at least some basic phrases related to accommodation in Spanish and how to book a room.
Besides, while you are at the accommodation, you will need to engage in conversations with the staff regarding offered services or your needs.
Clever tourists understand that not every place, even if it's a touristy destination, will have English as an available and common language. Many locals will appreciate it if you make communication easier by talking to them in Spanish.
So if you want to travel and speak with native speakers with confidence, zero misunderstandings, and no faux pas, read this guide and the complete list of key phrases for tourists. All this information will come in handy while traveling across Spain or Latin America.
Accommodations are your safe places away from home where you can enjoy relaxing and comfortable vacations. It is a place where you need to interact with staff, ask for help, expect the best services, and enjoy your overall experience during the stay.
You need to know this essential vocabulary before arriving at your next accommodation in a Spanish-speaking country.
The word for accommodation in Spanish is 'Alojamiento' To refer to this term, you must use the male pronoun 'el': el alojamiento.
If you want to refer to, for instance, two hotels or more, you will say 'los alojamientos' in the plural form. And if you want to talk about only one hotel, you say 'el alojamiento' in the singular.
Alojamiento' is the action of staying somewhere or accommodating. It is the place where people can spend the night during vacations, such as hotels or camping sites.
The verb is 'alojar,' (Accommodate/To stay), such as in the following sentences:
This term wouldn't be appropriate to use when referring to the place where you are living.
Now let's get to know the origin of these terms. As always, I love to inquire into the Spanish word's etymology.
Alojamiento comes from the verb' alojar,' which you just learned means 'to accommodate' or 'to stay.' 'Alojar' comes from the Catalan word 'alotjar,' which comes from the medieval Latin' cobijo' that means 'shelter.'
In addition, the suffix '-miento' indicates action and result.
Now that you understand the meaning and origin of 'alojamiento' and are probably even able to pronounce it clearly, you can learn all the vocabulary related to accommodation in Spanish.
Let's begin with the names of the places that can be categorized as 'alojamientos.'
English translation: Hotel
A hotel accommodation is a building or establishment where guests or travelers are welcomed and pay to stay for one or more nights.
Although the word is very similar to the English term, the pronunciation is different. The phonetics of ‘hotel’ is o·tel.
English translation: Apartment hotel/Serviced flats
These sites are private apartments, but they include the services of a hotel. They can accommodate entire families and are often larger than a standard hotel room. They include a living room, dining room, kitchen, and perhaps more than one bedroom.
If you plan to travel around Spain with your family and need extra comfort and feel at home, you can choose a hotel apartment, also known as 'aparthotel.' An excellent benefit of this type of accommodation is that they are soundproofed and have separate exclusive areas for each family.
English translation: Apartments
An apartment can be a rented accommodation such as an Airbnb, a vocational renting apartment. You can rent someone's entire apartment with kitchen, rooms, bathrooms, living room, and dining room for a short or long period.
English translation: Hostel
'Albergue' is a temporary facility that mainly provides shelter, aid, food, and security. These kinds of lodging are common after emergencies such as natural disasters. However, they can also be seen as a vocational short time accommodation.
They are facilities that provide shelter, food, shelter, and security to the victims of an emergency or disaster. The shelters must be temporary, that is, during the critical phase of the emergency.
Moreover, as you can see in the image above, in Europe, the 'albergues para peregrinos' (hostels for pilgrims) are common for pilgrims to spend the night safely.
English translation: Pension
In many Latin American countries, this term is no longer used as much as it used to be. A pension is a public accommodation much cheaper than a hotel, usually one star, where people can stay for a certain time.
If you travel through colonial cities in South America, you can see the buildings where the pensions used to be, and you can see that they were quite small and low-class places.
On the other hand, a pension or boarding house can also be known as a hostel since it provides lodging for a brief time. People often use both terms as synonyms.
The main difference between a pension and a hotel is that pensions generally do not have a communal dining room. And it is also quite different from a commercial hostel because the latter has better service quality and category.
English translation: Motel
As in several other regions in Latin America, motels are seen as places to stay while on the road. They are mostly located on highways. They have fame for being a location for sexual encounters, and so in conservative Latin countries, people's perspective regarding these kinds of accommodations is extremely negative.
They are places where clients can even arrive anonymously by having an exclusive parking lot for their room. So, they do not need to go through a lobby or see anyone.
They are very discreet and often even feel clandestine. In addition, as part of the service, food, drinks, and condoms are offered.
It is not where someone would decide to spend a night as accommodation instead of a hotel.
These places are less luxurious than a hotel intended for couples, with better services, and without so much secrecy.
English translation: Lodging house
A hostel is a cheap place that can be used for students who need a place to stay for a long time. They often have shared amenities and spaces, such as a kitchen and a lounge.
The accommodation in a hostel can be private or shared. It is pretty common to book only a bed in a shared bedroom with many other people. Sometimes you can find hostels that divide rooms between men and women or mixed.
It is one of my favorite accommodations as you can socialize and meet so many interesting people with many stories to share.
English translation: Guesthouse/Boarding house
A hostal or guesthouse may seem to be the same as a hostel, but they are quite different. The hostel usually offers a private room, which means you are paying for a bigger space, not only a bed in a shared room. You can compare it with a B&B (Bead and breakfast), a place with a kitchen where many of you can prepare your breakfast, share communal areas with other tourists, and have a private room. It can be a room with a shared or private bathroom.
English translation: Motor home/Camper
The term 'auto' means 'car,' and 'caravana' means caravan.
In Spain, motor home hotels are becoming quite popular. It is undoubtedly an original concept, ideal for those who want to feel on the road to adventure. If you are traveling but do not own a camper, you can go to an 'autocaravana' hotel where you can experience sleeping in a motor home.
My favorite one in Spain is the themed Hotel Raluy, located in a circus! You will not only sleep in the camper but also meet the circus artists.
|Tent||La tienda de campaña|
|Rural houses||Casas Rurales|
Even transportation such as a cruise can be accommodation!
If you have already read the article about rooms of a house in Spanish, you will be familiar with some of the following words. However, the accommodation has other kinds of rooms that you should learn about.
|Convenience store||La tienda de conveniencia|
|Dining room||El comedor|
|Game room||La sala de juegos|
|Living room||La sala|
|The double room||La habitación doble|
|The single room||La habitación individual|
|Swimming pool||La piscina|
|The reception||La recepción|
|The parking lot||El estacionamiento|
|The elevator||El ascensor|
It's time to learn some Spanish key phrases that will be your ticket to effective communication with the staff at your accommodation.
Spanish is a flowing and beautiful language, described as a pleasant romance language by many. Learning this language is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the rich Latin American culture and get familiar with Spain. Once you understand other people’s cultures, you can create much stronger bonds with them and eventually become fluent in how they communicate with each other.
If you plan to visit a Hispanic country, you will require some basic Spanish vocabulary to get by during the first days. After that, you will naturally grasp more and more skills until you become fluent. But for that, you must be constant, speak with the locals, and practice daily.
Ling App is the perfect compassion for your trip if your ideal way of studying a language is by immersion and spaced repetition. Take the app with you whenever you go, even when you decide to go camping, and choose a caravana hotel as accommodation. With Ling, you can learn even when there is no Wi-Fi signal! Download the content to your phone ¡y listo! (That’s it!).
Fun and engaging lessons and quizzes will keep you hooked from the beginning to the end, making you complete 50 lessons that cover grammar rules, sentence structure, reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Ling will teach you everything you have to know to be prepared for talking with your Spanish-speaking friends, family, colleagues, or even staff at a hotel.
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