There may be times when hotel staff may have to talk in English on the telephone with a guest. Some staff may spend the majority of their day on the phone and other staff maybe only on rare occasions. The reason for being on the phone will vary as well. Some staff may be booking rooms, some may be taking orders for room service, and some may be taking a reservation for dinner at a restaurant.

Expressions- English used on the Telephone

Whatever you’re doing, there are some expressions that are commonly used.
Is Mr. _____ there (in)?
May I speak to Ms. __________?
I would like to speak to Mr. __________.
Hold please.
I’ll transfer you.
I’ll put you through.
May I help you?
I’ll call back.
I got your message.
He’s not in at the moment.
Do you know when he might return?
May I ask who’s calling?
Could I have you name and number (or room number)?
How do you spell your name please?
I’m returning your call.


Staff: VIP Lounge. How can I help you?
Guest: Yes, this is Mrs. Turner in room 2110. I’d like to arrange an elephant ride for my daughter.
Staff: Certainly ma’am. When would you like to go?
Guest: How about 10:00 AM?
Staff: Would you also like me to arrange transportation to and from the ride?
Guest: That would be great, if it’s not too much trouble.
Staff: No trouble at all ma’am. If you could meet me in the VIP Lounge at 10:00 I’ll escort you to the taxi.
Guest: Sounds great. I’ll see you then.
Staff: See you at 10:00 Goodbye.

Staff: Room Service, how can I help you?
Guest: Yes, could you send up a BLT, a bag of chips, and an ice tea.
Staff: Of course sir, could I have your room number?
Guest: It’s 1515.
Staff: OK, your order will be there in about 15 minutes.
Guest: Thank you, goodbye.

Staff: Housekeeping, how can I be of assistance?
Guest: Could I have a couple more blankets sent up to my room please.
Staff: Of course ma’am. Could I have your room number.
Guest: I’m in room 777.
Staff: They will be there in 10 minutes.
Guest: Thanks. Bye.
Staff: You’re welcome, have a good night.

Expressions-Taking and leaving messages

At times, you will find that you may have to leave or take a message because the person being called is not in. The expressions below can be used in these situations.

A caller’s request
May I leave a message?
Could you give her a message please?
Do you mind taking a message?

A callee’s request
May I take a message?
Would you like to leave a message?
I can leave him a message if you like.

Dialogue- Messages

Caller: May I speak to Mr. Morrison please?
Staff: He is not in at the moment. Can I take a message?
Caller: Yes, could you tell him that Julie Anderson called.
Staff: Could I have your number please?
Caller: Yes, it’s 555- 6709.
Staff: I’ll give him the message.
Caller: Thanks, bye.

Staff: Is this the Gillett room?
Guest: Yes, it is.
Staff: May I speak to Mr. Gillett?
Guest: He’s not here, he’s at the pool. Call I have him call you back?
Staff: Yes please, have him call the front desk. It’s about the change in his departure flight.
Guest: I’ll give him the message.
Staff: Thanks, bye.

Practice Conversation Activities- English used on the telephone

1. Role Play

1. Role play the following situations for English used on the telephone with a partner, one person taking the role of the guest and the other person taking the of a hotel staff.

Arrange a tennis game
Arrange a golf lesson
Request first aid kit
Request immediate ironing of dress
Request information about hot night spots
Request information about a scenic tour
Make a dinner reservation at a restaurant
Getting a message to husband in lounge about a sick child

2. Role Play- Taking and leaving messages

Role play the following situations English used on the telephone when taking or leaving messages with a partner, one person taking the role of the caller and the other person taking the role of the called.

   Name of person called: Sam Fuller
   Reason for call: Meeting canceled
   Message: Reschedule for Wednesday at 10:30
   Date: __________
   Time: _________
   To: __________________
   Message: _______________________________________
   Name of caller: Alice Lynn
   Name of person called: Choi Sung Hee
   Reason for call: Thompson merger
   Message: Call office ASAP
   Date: __________
   Time: _________
   To: __________________
   Message: ______________________________________
   Bobby Smith Alice Lynn
   Name of person called: Sally Dupont
   Reason for call: Dance
   Message: Can’t make it to the dance, call her later
   Date: __________
   Time: _________
   To: __________________
   Message: ______________________________________
   Name of caller: Randy Goose
   Name of person called: Clara Oates
   Reason for call: Party
   Message: Bring cookies to party, call her later
   Date: __________
   Time: _________
   To: __________________
   Message: ______________________________________

Other Links
Telephone Use
Telephone Dialogue
Telephone Activity