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Published: 2024-05-07

Common Hotel Terms, Jargons, and Vocabs Hoteliers Should Know

Common Hotel Terms, Jargons, and Vocabs Hoteliers Should Know

Whether you're a seasoned hotelier or new to the hospitality industry, understanding the unique language of hotels is essential for success. In this blog, we'll dive into common hotel terms and vocabs, providing clear definitions and examples to enhance your communication and efficiency on the job.

General Terms

  • Amenities: Comforts and conveniences provided by the hotel such as a gym, pool, Wi-Fi, etc.
  • Concierge: A hotel staff member who assists guests with various services like booking tours, securing restaurant reservations, and other travel arrangements.
  • Housekeeping: The staff responsible for cleaning and maintaining hotel rooms and other areas.
  • Front Desk: The area where guests check in and out and receive assistance.
  • Lobby: The entrance area inside a hotel where guests first arrive.
  • No-show: A guest who has a reservation but does not arrive and does not cancel.
  • Occupancy Rate: The percentage of occupied rooms in a hotel at any given time.
  • Room Service: Delivery of food and beverages to a guest's room.
  • Turn-down Service: A service provided by housekeeping, typically in the evening, to prepare the room for nighttime use.

Types of Accommodation

  • Hotel: A commercial establishment providing rooms for rent, usually with on-site services and amenities.
  • Motel: Roadside hotel for motorists, rooms often accessible directly from parking.
  • Resort: Offers a focus on relaxation and recreation, with pools, restaurants, and activities.
  • Hostel: Budget option, often with shared dorm-style rooms and communal facilities.
  • Bed and Breakfast (B&B): Smaller establishments with overnight accommodation and breakfast included.
  • Inn: Typically a smaller, countryside hotel, often with a restaurant.
  • Boutique Hotel: Stylish hotels with unique design and atmosphere.

Room Types

  • Single: Room with one single bed (for one person).
  • Double: Room with one double bed (for two people).
  • Twin: Room with two single beds.
  • Suite: Larger room with a separate living area and bedroom.
  • Connecting Rooms: Two rooms with an adjoining door for larger groups.
  • Accessible Room: Designed for guests with disabilities.

Booking and Reservations

  • Reservation: Securing a room in advance.
  • Deposit: An upfront payment to hold the reservation.
  • Cancellation Policy: Rules for canceling a reservation and potential fees.
  • Confirmation Number: Code to verify your reservation.
  • Peak Season: Busiest times (higher prices).
  • Off-Season: Less crowded times (lower prices).
  • Vacancy: Availability of rooms.

Check-In and Check-Out

  • Check-in: Arrival and registration process.
  • Check-out: Departure and payment process.
  • Early check-in/Late check-out: Checking in before or leaving after standard times (may have fees).
  • Front desk/Reception: Where guests interact with staff for check-in/out and inquiries.

Rates and Charges

  • Rack Rate: The standard price of a hotel room before any discounts.
  • Group Rate: A discounted rate offered to a large block of rooms reserved for a group staying at the hotel.
  • No-refundable Rate: A lower rate offered on the condition that the booking cannot be canceled for a refund.
  • Incidental Charges: Additional expenses charged to the room such as phone calls, room service, mini-bar items, and laundry.


  • Valet Parking: A service where guests' vehicles are parked for them by a hotel employee.
  • Bellhop/Bellboy: A staff member who helps guests with their luggage.
  • Shuttle Service: A transportation service offered by the hotel to nearby locations or from/to the airport.
  • Laundry Service: A service that allows guests to have their clothes washed and ironed by the hotel.

Hotel Staff

  • Concierge: Helps with guest needs like tours, restaurant reservations, etc.
  • Housekeeping: Responsible for room cleaning and linen changes.
  • Bellhop/Porter: Helps with luggage.
  • Valet: Parks guests' cars.
  • Manager: Oversees hotel operations.

Amenities and Facilities

  • Room Service: Meals and drinks delivered to your room.
  • Wi-Fi: Wireless internet access.
  • Pool: Swimming area.
  • Spa: Relaxation and wellness treatments.
  • Gym/Fitness center: Exercise equipment.
  • Restaurant/Bar: On-site dining options.
  • Business center: Typical amenities include computers, printers, fax machines, internet access, and often meeting or conference spaces.
  • Meeting rooms: Spaces for events.

Hotel Metrics

  • ADR (Average Daily Rate): Average price per occupied room per night. (Total Room Revenue / Total Rooms Occupied)
  • RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room): Key measure of overall profitability. (Total Room Revenue / Total Rooms Available) or (ADR x Occupancy Rate)
  • GOPPAR (Gross Operating Profit Per Available Room): Considers operating expenses for more in-depth profitability analysis. (Gross Operating Profit / Total Rooms Available)
  • Occupancy Rate: Percentage of rooms occupied compared to total rooms available. (Total Rooms Occupied / Total Rooms Available) x 100
  • MPI (Market Penetration Index): Compares a hotel's occupancy to its competitive set. (Hotel Occupancy Rate / Market Occupancy Rate)
  • RGI (Revenue Generation Index): Compares a hotel's RevPAR performance to its competitive set. (Hotel RevPAR / Market RevPAR)
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Measures customer loyalty and likelihood to recommend. (Based on guest surveys)
  • Online Reviews and Ratings: Scores and comments on sites like TripAdvisor, etc.
  • Website Traffic: Visitors and booking activity on the hotel's own website.
  • OTA Bookings (Online Travel Agencies): Bookings made through third-party platforms like Booking.com, Expedia, etc.
  • GDS Bookings (Global Distribution System): Bookings made via travel agent systems.
  • ALOS (Average Length of Stay): Average nights a guest stays. (Total Occupied Room Nights / Total Number of Guests)
  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): Cost of acquiring a new guest through marketing.
  • Employee Turnover Rate: Percentage of employees leaving in a period.

Hotel Systems

  • Property Management System (PMS): The heart of hotel operations; manages reservations, check-in/out, billing, and guest information.
  • Channel Manager: Connects to online booking sites; updates room availability and rates across all channels to prevent overbookings.
  • Point of Sale (POS): System for processing orders and payments in restaurants, bars, and shops.
  • Booking Engine: Software on the hotel website allowing guests to book rooms directly.
  • Guest Communication Tools: Systems for messaging guests before, during, and after their stay.
  • Mobile Apps: Apps offering mobile check-in/out, room keys, and other guest services.
  • Revenue Management System (RMS): Software that uses data to suggest optimal room rates for maximizing profit.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Stores guest data to personalize marketing and build loyalty.
  • Marketing Automation Tools: Help streamline email campaigns and social media promotions.
  • Accounting Software: Manages finances, budgeting, and payroll.
  • Human Resources Management System (HRMS): Manages employee records, hiring, and scheduling.
  • Maintenance Management Systems: Tracks repairs, schedules preventive maintenance, and manages assets.
  • Building Management Systems (BMS): Controls and monitors heating, ventilation, lighting, and energy use.
  • Guest Room Technology: Smart systems in rooms for controlling lights, temperature, and entertainment.
  • Keycard Systems: Controls access to guest rooms and restricted areas.

Additional Terms

  • Guest: Anyone staying at the hotel.
  • Room rate: Price per night for a room.
  • Taxes: Additional charges levied by the government.
  • Incidentals: Extra charges like minibar use, phone calls.
  • Complaint: An expression of dissatisfaction to the hotel staff.
  • Loyalty program: Rewards program for frequent guests.
  • Comp Room: A room provided at no charge, usually part of a promotional deal or given to special guests.
  • Block Booking: Reserving a group of rooms for a specific period, often used for events like weddings or conferences.
  • Folio: A statement of all charges incurred by a guest during their stay at the hotel.


  • SOP: Standard Operating Procedure (guidelines for tasks and operations)
  • BEO: Banquet Event Order (details for events like menus, setup, timing)
  • HR: Human Resources
  • HVAC: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • OOO: Out of Office
  • Occupied (OC): The room is currently assigned to a guest, and they are checked in.
  • Vacant (VC): The room is empty, and no guest is currently assigned to it.
  • Stayover (SO): The guest is staying at least one more night and not checking out today.
  • Clean (CL): Housekeeping has cleaned the room, inspected it, and it's ready for a new guest.
  • Dirty (DI): The guest has checked out, and the room needs cleaning.
  • Inspected (IN): Housekeeping has cleaned the room, and a supervisor has inspected it.
  • On-Change (OC): The guest has departed, but the room hasn't been cleaned yet.
  • Do Not Disturb (DND): The guest has requested not to be disturbed.
  • Out of Order (OOO): The room is unavailable for reasons like maintenance or repairs.
  • Out of Inventory (OOI): The room is unavailable for booking, perhaps due to long-term maintenance or renovation.
  • Vacant Dirty (VD): The room is empty and needs to be cleaned.
  • Occupied Clean (OC): The guest is in the room, and it's been cleaned.
  • Vacant Inspected (VI): The room is empty, cleaned, and has been inspected.
Paper Plane

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