I'm on a a Google review for a housing cooperative in Ann Arbor, MI. The man is Colombian and gave the co-op five stars, stating:

No hay como el hotel familiar.

translated as:

There's No Such Thing as the Family Hotel.

Does anyone understand what I assume is this figure of speech or expression? Does anyone have a good explanation for the meaning of this?

  • 2
    I'd say: Nothing compares to a family-owned hotel.
    – Gustavson
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 20:19
  • 1
    This is a clear instance of machine translation being unable to translate the intended meaning of an idiom, by rendering the opposite sentiment that the original idiom expresses. I can see why the asker seems distressed as the translation would reflect poorly on his establishment. This may fall outside the scope of the question, but if the service you use to promote your property translates reviews automatically, you may want to ask them to manually fix it. If that goes nowhere, by the tone of the actual praise you received, im sure your customer will be happy to rephrase if you ask him to
    – hlecuanda
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 23:30

2 Answers 2


He should've translate that to something like:

There is nothing like a home-like hotel.

We Colombians call a "hotel familiar" to a hotel where you feel like you are at home. The owners/employees are so friendly that you feel you are at your uncle's or grandmother's house.

It describes a place where you can go with your family specially with small children and feel at home.

  • "There is nothing like" sounds exactly right. // You could edit the second part to read "family hotel," which could mean family run, comfortable for families, or both. Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 6:06

From wikipedia "Hoteles familiares"

Son establecimientos de tamaño pequeño que se caracterizan por una gestión familiar para viajeros que proporciona servicios de restaurante y alojamiento.

Your translation is almost correct. "No hay (nada) como el hotel familiar" could be translated as "There's nothing like a hotel that treats you like family". This is just a variation of the old idiom "There is no place like home", which means that home is the most satisfying place to be.

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    There is no such a thing para mi significa que "no existe", there is nothing like... lo entiendo como que algo es superior, incomparable o "sin igual". En este caso el sentido que se quiere dar a entender es el segundo, como en "there is no place like home". No se si lo entiendo así por mi limitado conocimiento del inglés al no ser mi lengua nativa. Tocayo, ¿podrías por favor elaborar un poco sobre este comentario? Gracias.
    – DGaleano
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 19:58
  • "There's no thing as"? Come again? Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 6:05
  • @aparente001, remember that you are given a series of priviledges to help improving the site and its content. Feel free to edit posts when you see typos.
    – Diego
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 13:37
  • Okay, the edit you did earlier leads me to think you're saying "There's nothing like a hotel that treats you like family" -- I hope that's right. I will go ahead and edit for that, but if not please roll it back. Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 22:46

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