Hotel Booking Lingo you Should Know

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Ever felt the need to look up a word when booking a hotel? The worst of it all is, failure to understand hotel booking lingo can earn you a room that is below your expectations, or hefty hidden costs.

Here are a few popular terms used in the hotel industry that you ought to know or avoid when booking a hotel.

  • All inclusive – this is perhaps the most confusing phrase in the hotel industry. Essentially, all inclusive hotel rates offer a package with three meals and drinks as well as accommodation. You have to read between the lines to know what you are paying for, and the non-inclusive services that you may need. One of the all inclusive hotels in Kenya is Neptune Mara Rianta Luxury Camp, which is a luxury camp overlooking Mara River.
Neptune Mara Rianta's luxurious tent perched next to Mara River.

Neptune Mara Rianta’s luxurious tent perched next to Mara River.

  • Under-stays – when a guest leaves before the duration of the reservation is over. The opposite of under-stays is stay-overs, when a guest requests to stay longer than the duration of the reservation.
  • Walk in guest – a guest who walks into a hotel to request for a room without a prior reservation.
  • Concierge – a staff member in a hotel who assists guests in reserving a restaurant, planning city tours among other duties.
  • Corkage – a fee charged on beer and other alcoholic drinks bought elsewhere and brought to the hotel. This charge might also apply to other items and services offered by the facility but purchased outside.
  • Full board – full board rates are inclusive of accommodation and three meals. The hotel booking portal indicates full board rates for each type of room in a hotel.
  • Half board – the half board rates cater for accommodation, breakfast, and lunch or dinner.
  • In-room guest check out – more hotels are embracing the digital check-in and out systems. This property management system gives a personalised touch to the accommodation service. Nairobi’s Villa Rosa Kempinski is a good example of a lavish hotel with a digital check-in system.
  • No show – when a guest reserves a hotel room and fails to show up. The hotel booking portal indicates the cancellation policy should a guest decide to request for the money back after failing to show up at the hotel.
  • All suite – a hotel whose accommodation facilities are units with one or more bedrooms and a living room. Some suites have kitchenettes too. All suite hotels are quite popular with business travellers because it is possible to work and also entertain colleagues in the living area instead of using the bedroom.
  • A resort – an accommodation facility located in an exotic location such as a mountain, island or beach. Examples of popular resorts in Kenya are Baobab Beach Resort & Spa, Diani Sea Resort and Leopard Beach Resort. Most resorts in Kenya are located in coastal towns like Mombasa and Diani.

    Baobab Beach Resort and Spa's spacious superior room.

    Baobab Beach Resort and Spa’s spacious superior room.

  • Twin room vs double room – a twin room has two single beds separated by a bedside table or joined by the headboard, while a double room has a double bed. A single bed sleeps one adult while two adults can sleep on a double bed.
  • Standard room – it is the cheapest unit, and it provides essentials like a television, and en-suite bathroom and a desk. However, the amenities in a standard room differ from one hotel to the other. A standard room in a luxury hotel may have more facilities. For example, a standard room at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Westlands has a standard room with beverage making facilities, wireless internet access, a minibar, round the clock room service and an electronic safe.
  • Interconnecting vs adjoining rooms – an interconnecting room has two rooms that share a door. Such rooms are preferred by families. On the other hand, adjoining rooms are next to each other( they share a wall). Such rooms are ideal for groups.

The basics you should know are the type of rooms available, the hotel’s policies and the type of accommodation packages provided.


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