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Hotel Terms To Help You Book The Best Hotel Room - Buy Online - Booking a Hotel Room

Updated on April 28, 2015

Each day in excess of 2.5 million hotel rooms are booked here in the United States alone. It used to be we would book these rooms with an agent, concierge or front office agent. Life is now simpler and yet more complicated in many ways. More of the services such as pumping gasoline and travel arrangements are trending towards self-serve. Yet, what do we know about booking a hotel room.

Booking a hotel room online can be very simple. Knowing exactly the definition of terms of what we are actually booking is important. Here we will detail many of the commonly-used terms. Each hotel site is different, speaking with the concierge for front desk agent for clarification may mean the difference between a good stay and a great stay. Investing in your knowledge of what you are really purchasing is always frugal. The trite saying is very true - "knowledge is power".

Self-service is the mantra of the world today. Yet, when booking a hotel room, we must know the proper terms and/or ask for a clarification to insure that we are booking the best room for ourselves and/or our family. While most terms are standardized within the industry, there remains a number of grey areas especially for suites. Journey with us as we explore the terms you need to understand when booking your next hotel room.

Hotel Gracious Welcoming

Uniformed Hotel Bus Boy Opening Door for Gentleman in a Grey Suit
Uniformed Hotel Bus Boy Opening Door for Gentleman in a Grey Suit | Source

Bell Hop Antique Door Stop

Bell Hop Antique Door Stop
Bell Hop Antique Door Stop | Source

How to Buy a Hotel Room Online

How to buy a hotel room online? Learn the terminology, familiarize yourself with the layout of the hotel or resort. If walking is a concern, ask for the front desk supervisor and ask him/her to email you the layout and specify your needs and any possible concerns. Be sure to keep the name of the person you spoke with and their title.

Here are a couple of hotel terms to get you started thinking about what you want for you and/or your family.

Queen Verses King Layout

Queen Verses King Layout Example for Hotel Room Options
Queen Verses King Layout Example for Hotel Room Options | Source

Hotel Terms - Types of Rooms

The Hotel Lingo You Must Know

Property Map

Virtual Tour

Bed Types...

King 78" x 80"

Queen aka Double 54" x 80"......

Double

King...

A hotel room with a king-size bed.

Parlor...

A living room that isn't used as a bedroom. In Europe, commonly referred to as "salon".

Penthouse Suite

  • Large desk area with wired and wireless laptop high speed internet access (included with resort fee)
  • Lounge sofa and seating area

Presidential Suite

Suite...

A hotel room with a parlor or connected to another bedroom

Junior Suite...

A large room with a partition that separates the bedroom form the living or sitting area.

Lanai...

A room that overlooks water or a garden. Such rooms often have a balcony and are commonly found in resorts.

Cabana...

Efficiency....

A bedroom with kitchen facilities organized efficiently for a small space.

When Traveling With Children What You Must Know About Connecting Rooms

Connecting rooms can exists between rooms and also between a suite and a regular room. Learn the terms and weigh the values. The interconnecting rooms are a wise choice for parent traveling with small children.

Additionally, remember, eating in offers not just convenience but also substantial cost savings. If the hotel rooms you choose do not have a refrigerator, negoitate the needed refrigerator up front and save valuable dollars without compromising your families' convenience.

Difference Between Adjoining and Connecting Rooms - Critical for Small Children

Adjoining rooms MAY not connect.  Adjoining rooms may simply have a common wall. Important difference for those with small children.


Connecting Hotel Rooms

Hotel diagram of connecting rooms - one suite connecting to a regular room - great for traveling with children
Hotel diagram of connecting rooms - one suite connecting to a regular room - great for traveling with children | Source

Functionality of Hotel Rooms Terminology

Connecting Rooms....

when two or more rooms with a private door connecting the two rooms - great for families with small children.

With connecting rooms you can enter the other room without going through the public hallway or corridor.

Adjoining Rooms...

Two rooms side by side. Important note: Adjoining room MAY not connect may simply have a common wall. Important difference for those with small children.

Investing in a Suite

When investing in a suite, understand fully what the suite will include and the layout.  This is especially critical for business travelers who conduct business at the hotel.  When in doubt, do ask the concierge or front desk agent.  Here is a just a beginning list to assist in many of the terms that are commonly used for types of rooms.

Types of Rooms Terminalogy

Parlor...

A living room that isn't used as a bedroom. In Europe, commonly referred to as "salon".

Penthouse Suite...

Often a suite on the very top of the high rise hotel building commonly with:

  • Large desk area with wired and wireless laptop high speed internet access (included with resort fee)
  • Lounge sofa and seating area

Presidential Suite...

For some properties, this might be a senior suite or executive suite.

Suite...

A hotel room with a parlor or connected to another bedroom.

Junior Suite...

A large room with a partition that separates the bedroom form the living or sitting area..

Lanai...

A room that overlooks water or a garden. Such rooms often have a balcony and are commonly found in resorts.

Cabana...

Efficiency A bedroom with kitchen facilities organized efficiently for a small space.

Luggage and the Hotel Cart on Wheels

Classic Hotel Cart with Extensive Baggage
Classic Hotel Cart with Extensive Baggage | Source

Bellman Cart - A Must for Lots of Luggage

Man in jeans pushing a hotel luggage cart
Man in jeans pushing a hotel luggage cart | Source

Luggage Cart - Bellman Cart

Often the guest is not allowed to use the cart without the assistance of the bellman. The carts are an essential tool in the hotel industry in transporting luggage.

If your hotel room is being moved to another location within the hotel, do use the services of bellman for your convenience even if you requested the room change. The normal bellman gratuity would apply.

Items Commonly Requested In Addition to the Hotel Room*

  • Crib / Cot....

A bed for an infant or small child.

  • Refrigerator...

An appliance commonly used chilling food and medical supplies. This is an addition for safely storing food, beverage, baby formula and medicine.

IMPORTANT TIP: Plan ahead before you book your stay and request the additional items at the time of booking your hotel room.


*Additional fees often apply, exceptions for the fee may be made for medical purposes - it pays to ask.

Operational Terminology


Arrival ...

Date of Check In.

Block or Block Room...

A room that is reserved for a certain guest.

Check-In...

Registration upon arrival.

Check-Out...

Process of settling the guest's bill prior to departure.

Check-Out Time...

Time of departure. Typically noon.

Late Check-Out...

Sometimes offered free of charge.

Direct Bill...

The process of sending the hotel charges to a corporate account after the guest's departure.

Luggage Cart...

Bellman Carts - always with wheels to provide convenience for transporting multiple pieces of luggage.


Walk-Out...

Guest has left the hotel without making arrangements for payment of the hotel stay and services.

Stay-Over...

Guests that are continuing to stay-over and their belongings will stay, the room still needs to be serviced unless the guest places the do not disturb sign on the door.

Vacant and Ready...

Hotel rooms that have been cleaned and inspected and are ready for occupancy.

3 Wacky Do Not Disturb Signs for Hotels

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hotel Ready to Clean Door SignWacky Hotel Do Not Disturb SignsWacky Hotel Do Not Disturb Signs
Hotel Ready to Clean Door Sign
Hotel Ready to Clean Door Sign | Source
Wacky Hotel Do Not Disturb Signs
Wacky Hotel Do Not Disturb Signs | Source
Wacky Hotel Do Not Disturb Signs
Wacky Hotel Do Not Disturb Signs | Source

Simply Fun Stuff - Wackiest Do Not Disturb Signs

OK, enough of the technical jargon, let's digress for a moment - still hotel related - still an important tool of the trade. Let's check out the do not disturb signs of the hotel industry - what are the wackiest and funniest?

The hotel experience is unique and some of the tools of the trade are important to know and use properly.

If you are staying over and you don't wish to have housekeeping service your room, the only way to detail this is the use of a do not disturb sign.

In appreciation of all the hard work and fun that someone put together, check out the wackiest do not disturb hotel signs.

Take Our Hotel Poll

Which Do Not Disturb Sign is Your Favorite?

See results

Take Our Hotel Poll

Would You Recommend a Wacky Do Not Disturb Sign for Hotels?

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© 2011 Ken Kline

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