Still from "Maid in Manhattan"

14 English Hotel Movies and TV Shows to Learn Hospitality English

If you are planning to work in hospitality, hotels and tourism, knowing English is essential.

But before you work in hospitality, you’ll want to practice and become familiar with this special type of formal but friendly English. So we recommend watching English hotel movies and TV shows to learn this specialized language.

Luckily, there are many movies and TV shows about hotels or set in hotels, making them perfect for hearing hospitality English being used.

Check out these 14 English hotel movies (and shows), so you’ll be both entertained and learning at the same time.

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1. “Hotel” (1967)

Genre: Mystery thriller

Summary: The St. Gregory Hotel in New Orleans is struggling to stay open, while a thief has been stealing guest items and the guests have their own dramas to deal with. It is up to the manager to pull the hotel back together or the doors will close for good.

What you can learn: Back when this old movie was made, hospitality meant even more than it does today. If you want to see what real hospitality can look like, this movie is perfect.

It is also an interesting look into how a hotel works, and the people and effort that it takes to keep everything running smoothly.

Watch it on: Amazon DVD

2. “Four Rooms” (1995)

Genre: Comedy

Summary: A new bellhop (hotel employee who helps people with their luggage and other special requests) is left alone in a hotel on New Year’s Eve.

It should be just a normal night, but the poor bellhop ends up having to deal with witches, terrible children and a guy who wants him to do something absolutely ridiculous.

Yep, it is just a regular night at the hotel!

What you can learn: Watch Tim Roth’s character deal with crazy situations and still somehow keep calm.

Listen to how his language changes from the beginning of the night to the end, as well as how he speaks to the different guests as their requests get sillier and sillier.

Watch it on: Amazon, YouTube

3. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (2014)

Genre: Drama

Summary: This movie follows Gustave H—a concierge—and Zero Moustafa—a bellboy—at the fictional Grand Budapest Hotel. Set between the First and Second World Wars, watch as the hotel staff deal with the changing times, the theft of a famous painting and even murder.

What you can learn: Not all of the movie takes place in the hotel, but the parts that do show you how many different people make the hotel work well.

Gustave is also an example of how not to behave as a concierge—he might be well-loved and very good at his job, but it is probably not a good idea to spend the night with all your guests!

Watch it on: Amazon Prime

4. “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” (2012)

Genre: Comedy

Summary: A group of older British people who’ve just retired decides to visit India and the amazing sounding Marigold Hotel.

When they get there, though, the hotel is not as amazing as it sounded, but the hotel and surroundings slowly help them learn to love their lives.

What you can learn: The staff at the Marigold Hotel is basically just a young man and his mother, but the man’s treatment of and language towards the guests is usually spot-on (exactly right).

Watch it on: Amazon, YouTube

5. “For Love or Money” (1993)

Genre: Romantic comedy

Summary: A young concierge at one of New York’s most luxurious hotels has to choose between his dream of opening a new hotel or being with the woman he’s in love with.

What you can learn: Being a concierge means doing the requests of hotel guests. This movie shows some of these requests, and how it is the concierge’s job to get them done…no matter what!

Watch it on: Amazon DVD

6. “Blame it on the Bellboy” (1992)

Genre: Comedy

Summary: When three men named Lawton, Horton and Orton get their schedules mixed up by the bellboy, they end up in crazy situations they were not prepared for—like outrunning a mobster, selling a house and dealing with a woman from a dating agency.

What you can learn: All the problems in this movie start with the bellboy getting some information wrong.

The movie might not spend too much time in a hotel, but it is a great example of why communication skills are really important!

Watch it on: Amazon Prime

7. “Maid in Manhattan” (2002)

Genre: Romantic comedy

Summary: An important man meets the woman of his dreams in a hotel. What he does not know is that she’s just a maid trying on a guest’s clothes. Is love more important than money?

What you can learn: There are many scenes in this movie where the hotel staff are talking and having fun together, but when they are with guests they change their language.

The movie is also great for seeing what it is like to actually work in a hotel, not just what you see from the outside.

Watch it on: Amazon Prime

8. “Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple: At Bertram’s Hotel” (1987)

Genre: Mystery

Summary: Miss Marple is a nosy but kind old lady who doesn’t seem special—except she’s also amazing at solving crimes.

In this movie, Miss Marple is staying in one of England’s most luxurious hotels. Everything looks perfect, but of course everyone has secrets, and when a disappearance, a number of robberies and a murder occur, it’s up to Miss Marple to solve them before the murderer strikes again.

What you can learn: This is another older movie, this one set in a very expensive hotel in London. That makes it an excellent chance to see a different side of the hospitality industry.

Here the staff behave almost like servants instead of employees. Of course, you shouldn’t act like a servant in today’s hotel jobs, but the professional language and behavior are still important to see.

Watch it on: Amazon Prime

9. “Eloise at the Plaza” (2003)

Genre: Family comedy

Summary: Eloise is a spirited and imaginative six-year-old girl who resides at the opulent Plaza Hotel with her nanny.

Eloise is known for her boundless curiosity and her knack for getting into playful and often comical situations. As Eloise goes about her daily life in the elegant hotel, she becomes involved in various escapades, from helping guests with their problems to exploring the hotel’s nooks and crannies (small rooms, closets and hallways).

What you can learn: Since this movie takes place in a real-life New York City hotel, you’ll have a chance to see how the high-end hospitality world operates, and what language they use in action.

Watch it on: Amazon Prime

10. “Lost in Translation” (2003)

Genre: Comedy/drama

Summary: Bob and Charlotte cross paths in the hotel where they’re both staying, the luxurious Park Hyatt Tokyo.

Despite their age difference, they form an unlikely bond as they spend time together exploring the city’s neon-lit streets, karaoke bars and cultural attractions. Their connection is based on a shared sense of isolation and the search for something meaningful amidst the unfamiliarity of their surroundings.

What you can learn: You get a chance to see inside one of Tokyo’s top hotels.

Although the staff mainly speaks Japanese to one another, they all use English with the guests, which highlights the importance of learning hospitality English for working in a hotel.

Watch it on: Amazon Prime

11. “Hotel Mumbai” (2018)

Genre: Thriller

Summary: “Hotel Mumbai” unfolds over three days in November 2008 when a group of heavily armed terrorists launched attacks across Mumbai, India, targeting the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.

The film follows the stories of several characters, both staff members and guests, as they find themselves trapped inside the hotel during the terrifying siege (attack). As chaos ensues and the violence escalates, hotel chef Hemant Oberoi and waiter Arjun courageously step up to protect the guests. 

What you can learn: This movie is partially from the perspective of hotel staff members, so even though this is a scary and tragic day at the hotel, you get to see behind the scenes and hear how the staff talks to guests.

Watch it on: Amazon Prime

12. “Grand Hotel” (TV show, 2019)

Genre: Drama

Summary: The Riviera Grand Hotel in Miami Beach is a glamorous destination owned by the Mendoza family.

Their lives are intertwined with the hotel’s employees and guests, revealing secrets, betrayals and unexpected connections.

Everything changes when Danny Garibaldi arrives at the hotel as a new employee. He becomes involved with the wealthy family while investigating the disappearance of his sister, who was also a hotel employee. As Danny delves into the secrets of the Mendozas and the staff, he uncovers a world of deception and intrigue.

What you can learn: The first episode contains a hotel interview scene, perfect to watch over and over again for anyone who is about to have an interview with an English-speaking hospitality position.

Watch it on: Amazon Prime

13. “Hotel Babylon” (TV show, 2006 – 2009)

Genre: Drama

Summary: The staff of a five-star hotel in London’s Hotel Babylon all have their own goals, troubles and histories. The show takes you through their many adventures as they do everything they can for the guests, while dealing with their own lives.

What you can learn: This TV show has a little bit of everything.

See how to be an excellent host, how staff talk to each other and the guests, and how to avoid breaking the rules (something that the staff here do not mind doing once in a while!).

Watch it on: Amazon Prime

14. “Fawlty Towers” (TV show, 1975 – 1979)

Genre: Comedy

Summary: Hotel manager Basil Fawlty dislikes “that annoying section of the general public who insist on staying at hotels.” He is probably not the best person to run a hotel, then!

Aided by his wife and Spanish server, Fawlty Towers remains a functioning hotel…somehow.

What you can learn: “Fawlty Towers” is like a “how-to” guides on how not to act as a hotel employee.

John Cleese’s character is mean, grumpy and does not treat his guests well. For everything that you see here—do the opposite!

Watch it on: Amazon DVD

How to Learn Hospitality English from Movies

Speaking in a way that is formal but also friendly can be difficult.

That is why there are many courses online and offline that specifically teach this kind of English. Many hotels and other tourism spots actually have their own programs for teaching employees how to speak hospitality English.

Keep these tips in mind when you are watching if you want to get some valuable lessons about how to speak English in hotels:

  • Pay attention to the way the hotel staff speak. People who work in hotels use hospitality English. Listen to the way the staff speak, and compare it to the way visitors speak. You can really hear the difference in these movies!
  • Listen to how the staff speak in different situations. Hotel staff speak differently to visitors and guests than they do to each other. This is another way to hear how different hospitality English is from regular English.
  • Listen for repeated phrases and words. Hearing vocabulary words being used is a good way to learn them better. Listen to the staff’s words and see if you can pick out hospitality vocabulary and phrases. Here is your chance to see them in action!
  • Some movies show you what not to do. Not all hotel employees in movies do their jobs well. Whenever someone speaks casual English, or does not do their job right, pay attention to the way people react to them. It is a good chance to see how important it is to speak correctly—the way people treat you changes based on how you speak.
  • Watch even more videos. There’s also the FluentU language learning program, which teaches through real English videos.

    FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

    You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Click here to check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

      FluentU Ad

 

There is so much to learn from movies! Grab some popcorn and start up one of these hotel movies for learning that’s valuable—and fun.

And One More Thing...

If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:

learn-english-with-videos

If you want to watch it, the FluentU app has probably got it.

The FluentU app and website makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.

learn-english-with-subtitled-television-show-clips

FluentU lets you learn engaging content with world famous celebrities.

For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you see this:

learn-conversational-english-with-interactive-captioned-dialogue

FluentU lets you tap to look up any word.

Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.

practice-english-with-adaptive-quizzes

FluentU helps you learn fast with useful questions and multiple examples. Learn more.

The best part? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a truly personalized experience.

Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or from the Google Play store.

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