Even though it's been a while, my long time followers will remember that I promised to actually write about some useful Spanish every once in a while. Well, today is one of those days.
Today we're going to take a look at the Spanish you need to check into and out of your hotel. So without further delay, let's get to it.
First things first, let's talk about checking in to your hotel. You can walk right into your hotel go straight to the front desk, smile and say:
Me gustaría hacer el check-in
Shocked? Believe it or not, many Spanish speakers simply use the expressions check-in and check-out just like we do. And I've used this successfully many times. But as always, life in Spanish isn't always that simple.
On a trip to the Dominican Republic, I walked into my hotel and went straight to the front desk, feeling proud of myself for having successfully used my Spanish in the Miami airport, on the plane and to negotiate a taxi to my hotel. I greeted the receptionist, smiled and in my best Spanish accent said:
Me gustaría hacer el check-in
And she gave me a blank stare.
Uh-oh. If I had looked into a mirror my face probably would have looked something like this:
Now what? I just gave her my best line and I didn't have a plan B.
Lucky for me she was able to figure out what I was asking despite my gringo Spanish and she said:
Do you want to check-in?
While I felt like an idiot I was relieved that I didn't have to stand there and rack my brains to find another way to tell her I wanted to check-in.
So where did I go wrong?
You can actually say "hacer el check-in / check-out" if you're staying in hotel that's accustomed to dealing with English speaking visitors. But if you travel off the beaten path to an area that's not accustomed to dealing with English speakers, that's not the phrase you should use.
As the hotel receptionist pointed out, the correct verb for checking in to a hotel is registrarse.
Registrarse en un hotel en general es muy sencillo
Checking into a hotel in general is very easy
Acabo de llegar y ya me registré en el hotel
I just got here and I''m already checked in
Voy a registrarme en el hotel
I'm going to check-in
¿Puedo registrarme temprano?
Can I check-in early?
Another thing you'll need to know is how to talk about check-in times. For that you'll need the phrase:
La hora de entrada
La hora de entrada en el hotel es a las 2:00 PM
Check-in time in the hotel is 2PM
¿Cuál es la hora de entrada en el hotel?
What time is check-in?
You can also use registrarse to talk about check-in times.
La hora de registrarse en el hotel es 12 pm
Check in time in the hotel is 12PM
So I think we've got checking in covered, so let's move on to checking out.
Unlike checking in, there isn't one neat and tidy verb to talk about checking out. You need the phrase:
Dejar la habitación
¿Puedo dejar la habitación tarde?
Can I check-out late?
¿A que hora tengo que dejar la habitación?
What time do I have to check-out?
You can also say:
¿A qué hora es la salida de la habitación?
What time is check-out?
As far checking in and out of hotels go, that's about all you need. The problem is remembering them when you need them. While I can do a pretty good job of carrying around these phrases in my head, I often find myself forgetting them when I need them the most.
My Spanish Phrasebook. Written by yours truly, it's got everything you need for checking into a hotel and a whole lot more.
It contains a ton of phrases that you'll actually need as you try to navigate your way around a Spanish speaking county, especially if you're an ex-pat.
Hopefully you learned everything you need to help you check into your hotel on your next visit to a Spanish speaking country, or maybe you'll be lucky enough to have a Spanish speaking clerk the next time you check into a hotel here in the US.
¡Hasta la próxima!