Hotel Searches for Sleeps 5 in Non-English or What does “Familienzimmer” Mean?


Postcards-dreamstime_xs_163Part of the reason Sandy and I started compiling this list of hotels so long ago, was because of the difficulty in finding a hotel room that could sleep five in the non-English speaking countries of Europe. The internet was still in its developing stage for travel websites.  If a hotel even had a website, it wasn’t translatable.  An email to each individual hotel was always necessary to determine if there was, in fact, a room for five at the inn.  My rudimentary French, Italian and German helped me with these searches although some funny misunderstandings certainly happened, one of which resulted in my 11 year-old daughter spending a night in a baby cot in Bologna.

The internet has become much more user friendly for travelers searching beyond their home language but even still, limitations to the English-only search occur.  For example, I can easily see that a search on Google for “hotel sleeps family 5 (insert german speaking city)” versus “Hotel mit Familienzimmer Hotel für 5 Personen” renders a very different list of possibilities. Try it!  Once the various listings come up, click on one of the foreign-language websites. Your browser may offer the option to “Translate This Page”, but generally, the website will include a little American or British flag that one can click on which loads the English version of the website. Or better yet, make your high school foreign language teacher proud by muddling through the site without translation.

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Below, find links to translation sites, and a list of travel related words for internet searches.


Helpful Tools

During the process of researching for this blog article, I found some helpful sites for learning enough language to make a search. – A list of easy travel phrases, numbers etc in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Arabic, Chinese and Japanese. – Helpful French phrase tutorials. – Easy translation tool where one can copy and paste short paragraphs into the translation tool, in numerous languages.


Word Lists for Searching the Internet

Here is a listing of words that I use to search for non-English language sites. I am only listing those languages that I know well enough.


bed – Bett

family room – Famlienzimmer

five -fünf

guest house or inn – Gasthaus, Pension

hotel – Hotel

room – zimmer

room with five beds – fünfbettzimmer

people – Personen



bed – letto

family room – famiglia camera

five – cinque

guest house or inn – pensione

hotel – albergo or hotel

room – camera

room that sleeps five -una camera che può ospitare 5 persone

people – persone

*Note – It appears that Italians describe a double bed as a camera matrimoniale which doesn’t translate colloquially.



bed – lit

family room -chambre familiale

five – cinq

quest house or inn – gîte ou auberge

hotel -Hôtel


room that sleeps five – une salle pouvant accueillir cinq personnes

people – personnes


I hope this list will help you in your search.  Please let us know, as many of you do, if you have found other ways to search for that elusive room for five.

Happy Travels,



Additionally, Sandy wrote previously about an important dining-related German word for travel in Germany, here.


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