As happens in strange and new places, people get disoriented and may need help finding their way, so guests may frequently ask you for directions. They may ask directions to a restaurant in the hotel complex, the nearest restroom, or a nearby historical site. There are a multitude of expressions that are used when  asking for and giving directions. Look at the examples below.

Expressions- Giving Directions

Asking for directions

Could you tell me how to get to (… the pool)?
How do I find (…Star Bucks Coffee Shop)?
Pardon me, I’m lost, how do I get to the (…the main lobby)?
Which is the best route to (…Phuket Town)?
Could you direct me to (…the beach)?
Which way do I go to get to (…the hospital)?

Prepositions of location
to the right to the left on your right on your left
beside next to behind across from
in front of on the coner of in the middle of (the block) between ___ and ___
down the stairs up the street opposite (the bank) around the corner

Point to Remember (suggestions for giving directions)

Giving street directions is really very easy when you remember to follow these points. When giving directions you are actually giving two sets of instructions.

In the first set- “Go To” – you are telling the listener what street to go to or how far to go.

In the second set- “Then”- you are telling the listener what to do when they get there. (turn right/left, go straight, on the left, etc.)

Giving even very complicated directions is just a repetition of these two basic steps. Another good idea is to use easily identifiable landmarks; instead of the amount of time to get someplace (time is relative, after all). Easily identifiable landmarks are street lights, stop signs, parks, tall building standing alone, etc.

Additional Vocabulary
sidewalk (road) footpath no through way pedestrian street
road street avenue round about
dead end cul de sac railroad trackst cross walk
Land Marks
art gallery bridge castle templer
cathedral cinema zoo department store
museum opera house post office police station
fire station railway train station bus station
traffic light stop light stop sign T-junction

Dialogue- Directions

Guest: Could you tell me how to get to the Spa?
Staff: Take this passage-way and go down the steps on your right. At the bottom of the steps there is a wooden bridge. Go over the bridge and turn right. Follow the path until you get to the Spa. It’s about 40 meters from the bridge.

Guest: How do I find the Thai Thai restaurant?
Staff: Just follow the pathway to the left of the reception desk in the Andaman lobby. The walk-way will take you directly to the Thai Thai Restaurant.

Guest: Which way do I go to get to the beach?
Staff: From the Bell Desk in the Andaman Lobby, turn left and follow the path on the right and go past the pond and up the steps. From there, walk straight across the beach road, the beach will be right in front of you.

Guest: Pardon me, I’m lost, how do I get to the gym?
Staff: From the main lobby, walk away from the beach and take the first staircase on your right down. The staircase is next to the portrait center. The gym is on your right at the bottom of the stairs.

Guest: Which is the best route to the Phuket City?
Staff: Get on the road to Patong and drive north on the 4233. At the end of the beach road in Patong, turn right on the 4029 and drive east. Take the 4029 about 4 kilometers and turn right on the 4020. That road will take you into Phuket city.

Practice Conversation Activities- Giving Directions

1. Role Play

Practice using the above expressions by having a conversation similar to the ones above with a partner, one partner taking the role of the guest and the other the role of the staff. Use the information below when tom get directions to.

Directions to the hotel pool
Directions to a local restaurant
Directions to the beach
Directions to the hotel gym
Directions to the nearest convenience store

2. Paired Conversation

Using the map below, work with a partner and ask for directions to places on the map.

Other Links
How to give directions
Directions in English
Asking for directions