1) What types of accommodation are available for travelers? Which do you prefer? 2) What are the differences between a 2 star and 5 star hotel? 3) How do you plan your holidays?
Reading: The Worst Hotel in the World
The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam flaunts its shortcomings. The hotel is proud to be dubbed the “worst hotel in the world.” The hotel caters to backpackers and students, and its amenities include hostel-style rooms equipped with metal bunk beds and blue metal lockers from $22.50 a night. The hotel’s advertising warns customers of its squalid conditions in advance. Past slogans include:
– Improve your immune system – stay at Hans Brinker!
– It can’t get any worse. But we’ll do our best.
– Now with beds in every room.
– Proudly disappointing travelers for 40 years.
The hotel’s disclaimer states: ‘Those wishing to stay at the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel, Amsterdam, do so at their own risk and will not hold the hotel liable for food poisoning, mental breakdowns, terminal illness, lost limbs, radiation poisoning, certain diseases associated with the 18th century, plague, etc.’
The hotel operates a strict eco-friendly policy, which includes no hot water in its showers and eco-friendly elevators (the stairs). It also encourages customers to dry off using the curtains to save the planet.
Here are some reviews from Tripadvisor.com from travelers who have taken the plunge:
– The accommodation is extremely basic and some of the rooms look like prison dorms, but it’s cleanish and cheap, the bar sells a cheap pint, and you do get breakfast (albeit pretty dire!).” (John W.)
– “Stayed here with a travel group last week. Had to be one of the worst experiences of the trip. The hostel stank of weed, our rooms were not clean, and the bathrooms stank of urine. At night, there were drunk people banging on the walls and they turned on the fire hose outside the room at 4 am and managed to get all our luggage wet. Please never stay here — Amsterdam is a wonderful city, but this truly almost ruined it for me.” (Ericholl94)
The hotel manager Tijmen Receveur says the hotel’s approach is a hit with travelers and students. “’They love our humour and sarcasm – and they have diminished their expectations to less than nothing,” he explains.
Hotel Lesson Plan (ESL): Comprehension & Follow-Up Questions
1) How does the Hans Brinker Hotel protect the environment? 2) Name three positive comments about the hotel mentioned in the reviews. 3) What does the manager think about the hotel being labeled ‘the worst hotel in the world’? 4) Would you stay at the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel? 5) Have you stayed at such a place or had an experience like the second reviewer’s?
Hotel Lesson Plan (ESL): Vocabulary Matching
Match the words with their meaning as used in the hotel lesson plan.
take the plunge (idiom)
~ish (e.g. cleanish)
flaunt – display sth you are proud of to others in order to impress them
dub – give an unofficial name or nickname to sb or sth
cater – provide a group with what is needed or required
amenity – a useful feature of a building or place
squalid – extremely dirty/unpleasant, esp. as a result of poverty or neglect
liable – responsible; legally answerable
limb – an arm or leg of a person or animal
take the plunge – commit yourself to a course of action you feel nervous about
ish – somewhat
albeit – although
dire – very bad (BrE)
weed – marijuana
Hotel Lesson Plan (ESL): Connect the below idea(s) to make a sentence.
government / uprising
flaunt / amenity
cater / rich people
squalid / accommodation
liable / limb
take the plunge
dire / albeit
weed / Amsterdam
Hotel Lesson Plan (ESL): Role-Plays
Student A: You are a travel agent. Soon, your phone will ring.
Student B: You would like to book a holiday but you haven’t decided on a destination. Call your travel agent (Student A) and ask for his/her advice. Book a flight, accommodation, and get recommendations about things to do in the area.
Student A: You are staying at a hostel. Last night was the worst night of your life. Think of some problems you could have experienced (e.g. passport stolen, bed bugs, etc). Then complain to the receptionist and try to get your money back.
Student B: You are the receptionist at a cheap hostel.
Hotel Lesson Plan (ESL): Discussion Questions
1) What do you think of Amsterdam? 2) “Eco-friendly”: is this just a way for companies to be cheap? 3) What do you think of traveler review websites, such as Tripadvisor? Do you use them? 4) Does your country have love hotels like in Japan? 5) Would you ever try couchsurfing?
Hotel Lesson Plan (ESL) copyright Matthew Barton of Englishcurrent.com
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