Thursday, October 17, 2013

¿A qué hora es la hora de entrada?

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:

¿Quiere registrarse?
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
Check-in time

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.  But of course if you're traveling you'll need a lot more Spanish than that.

If you're got an Android phone or tablet, then take a look at an app called My Spanish Travel Phrases Pro.

My Spanish Travel Phrases Pro includes the all of the phrases we talked about plus dozens of other handy phrases a traveler, ex-pat or even Spanish learner will need.

Here's a sampling of the phrases you'll find.


If you're looking for more than travel phrases, then you want My Spanish Phrasebook.    It includes all the travel phrases plus hundreds more to help you with everyday conversation, almost 900 phrases in all.

These phrasebooks apps are not just any old apps, they were written by yours truly.  The translations were done by me, one at a time.  No Google translate here, and the collection of phrases keeps growing.  If you want a trial run before you spend your hard earned cash, take a look at the free version,
My Spanish Travel Phrases .

Got any other useful hotel or other phrases you'd like to share?  Post them in the comments below or share them on Facebook:

Well, that's enough shameless self-promotion for one day.  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 clerk the next time you check into a hotel here.

¡Hasta la próxima!


  1. Would it be strange to say

    "Me gustaría registrarme"

    because of the double reflexive verbs, or is it ok as well?

    Also, I take it no iOS version of your apps yet?

    1. Actually, only registrarme is reflexive, but yes, your suggestion is perfect. :)

      And sadly, no iOS version yet and I'm not sure when I'll have one.

    2. Sorry, I meant double object, but good to see it's ok. Thanks!