I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

Most people look for budget or cheap hotels when they go on vacation, but no matter whether you stay in a cheap hotel or a luxurious one, you can encounter problems when making hotel reservations. Write a list all of the possible problems that could occur with hotel reservations (e.g., the receptionist who took your reservation misunderstood the date you were scheduled to arrive). Talk with a partner and discuss these.

HELPFUL TIP: Booking a hotel during the off season can save you considerable money, and using the Internet can help you find the best deals. Also, a travel agent might be able to help you find discounts and ideal places based on your needs.

II. Listening Exercises [Top]

Listen to the conversation by pressing the “Play Audio” button and answer the questions. Press the “Final Score” button to check your quiz.

1. What is the first problem with the man’s reservation?

A. The hotel confused him with another guest.

B. Rooms are overbooked for that evening.

C. There are no more rooms available for five people.

D. The price for the room is more than he expected.
2. For what day did Mr. Nelson make a hotel reservation?

A. the eighteenth

B. the nineteenth

C. the twentieth

D. the twenty-first

3. What is taking place in the city that makes getting another room almost impossible?

A. a marathon

B. an outdoor music festival

C. a conference

D. building renovation

4. How much is the initial discount on the honeymoon suite after Mr. Nelson complains about the hotel service?

A. $10

B. $15

C. $20

D. $25

5. How does Mr. Nelson respond when the hotel clerk offers to provide him with a free room on his next visit?

A. He thinks it will take a long time for him to receive the free coupon for the room.

B. He feels he should first receive an apology from the manager for what has happened.

C. He suggests that the hotel should give guests an additional 15% discount in cases like his.

D. He implies that he might not visit again because of the problems he has had.

Score =
Correct answers:

Guest: Hi. I have a reservation for tonight.

Hotel Clerk: And you name?

Guest: It’s Nelson. Charles Nelson.

Hotel Clerk: Okay. Mr. Nelson. That’s a room for five, and . . .

Guest: Excuse me? You mean a room for five dollars? I didn’t know the special was so good.

Hotel Clerk: No, no, no. According to our records, a room for five guests was booked under your name.

Guest: No. No. Hold on. There must be some mistake.

Hotel Clerk: Okay. Let’s check this again. Okay, Mr. Charles C. Nelson for tonight . . .

Guest: Ah. There’s the problem. My name is Charles Nelson, not Charles C. Nelson. [Uhh] You must have two guests under the name.

Hotel Clerk: Okay. Let me check this again. Oh. Okay. Here we are.

Guest: Yeah.

Hotel Clerk: Charles Nelson. A room for one for the 19th . . .

Guest: Wait, wait! It was for tonight. Not tomorrow night.

Hotel Clerk: Hum. Hum. I don’t think we have any rooms for tonight. There’s a convention going on in town, and uh, let’s see. Yeah, no rooms.

Guest: Ah come on! You must have something. Anything.

Hotel Clerk: Well. We do have some rooms under renovation with just a roll-a-way bed. [U-hh] None of the normal amenities like a TV or working shower or toilet.

Guest: Ah man. Come on. There must be something else.

Hotel Clerk: Well. Let, let me check my computer here. Ah!

Guest: What?

Hotel Clerk: There has been a cancellation for this evening. A honeymoon suite is now available.

Guest: Great. I’ll take it.

Hotel Clerk: But I’ll have to charge you two hundred fifty dollars for the night.

Guest: Ah. Man. I should get a discount for the inconvenience.

Hotel Clerk: Well. The best I can give you is a ten percent discount plus a ticket for a free continental breakfast.

Guest: Hey. Isn’t the breakfast free anyway?

Hotel Clerk: Well, only on weekends.

Guest: I want to talk to the manager.

Hotel Clerk: Wait, wait, wait Mr. Nelson. I think I can give you an additional 15 discount and I’ll throw in a free room for the next time you visit us.

Guest: That I’ll be a long time.

Key Vocabulary [Top]
  • book (verb): to reserve in advance, for example, a plane ticket or a hotel room
    – You’ll need to book a room at least a month in advance.
  • convention (noun): a large formal assembly or group of organized meetings held over several days
    – Participants can receive a discount if they register early for the convention.
  • renovation (noun): the condition of being restored to its former good condition
    – The convention center is under renovation to repair damage caused by the tornado.
  • amenities (noun): things that make one comfortable and at ease
    – My son had a difficult time adapting to life in the wilderness because of the lack of amenities he was used to.