This hotel or pub is hi-fi ? Is that a correct sentence ? What are other good words one can use for a good quality pubs/clubs ?

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    If someone said a hotel or pub was "hi-fi" I would probably think they were not a native speaker, and wonder if they meant that the place had a good sound system. I would ask if that is what they meant. Feb 20, 2021 at 11:05
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    "Hi-Fi" doesn't mean "high quality", but "high fidelity" meaning the sound played back is true to the sound recorded. Fidelity is not a concept usually associated with hotels or pubs, so it doesn't make sense. The question would be if you can talk about your "hi-fi husband"
    – Helena
    Feb 21, 2021 at 12:32
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    @MichaelHarvey - honestly I'd think they are talking about wi-fi, but are mixing up the terms. I've never heard of anyone caring about the sound system of a hotel.
    – Davor
    Feb 22, 2021 at 11:35

5 Answers 5


"Hi-fi" is a real word, in the sense that it has been used and recorded in dictionaries for many years. But it means a "high-quality record player" (or cd player etc). Typically one with a separate amplifier and speakers. It is short for "high fidelity".

So you can't talk about a "hi-fi hotel" (unless you mean a hotel whose rooms are equipped with record players)

You have already answered your own question: You can say "Good quality hotel". Or you could use any of the hundreds of other adjectives with positive meanings: "A great/comfortable/luxury/friendly/superior hotel"

There is also the star systems for grading hotel facilties. A luxury hotel could be a "five star hotel", and this is used both strictly (To mean the hotel has been graded by an independent travel organisation) and informally to mean "luxury".

  • 6
    These days, not many people aged under about 50 would use the 'hi-fi' to talk about a good quality sound system. Feb 20, 2021 at 11:06
  • 15
    But even fewer people would talk about "hi-fi" to mean a good quality hotel!
    – James K
    Feb 20, 2021 at 11:09
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    No, because they probably know that 'fi' is short for 'fidelity' which is a meaningless concept when applied to hotels and pubs. Feb 20, 2021 at 11:11
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    @MichaelHarvey On the contrary, some such places are known for supporting infidelity Feb 21, 2021 at 6:02
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    @HagenvonEitzen - So a "hi fi" hotel is one that checks that couples checking into a single-bed room really are in a committed, monogamous relationship (er, with each other)? :-D Feb 21, 2021 at 11:58

This question seems to be about slang, which is highly dependent on location and demographics. "Hi-fi" sounds ridiculous to me in this context, but I get what's intended and I imagine somebody somewhere probably does say this.

There are dozens if not hundreds of more "correct" (non-slang) choices like "good, great, fantastic, fabulous, wonderful, classy." Many of these do have subtle connotations which also tend to vary from region to region. Without knowing more about the nuances you want to convey, and the location and audience to whom you want to convey them, it's impossible to suggest a single word.

  • Fabulous sounded good. But then I checkt it on dictionary, surprisingly it means extraordinarily large . But it said informally - very good wonderful. So is it that we can't use fabulous to mean wonderful formally ?
    – pensee
    Feb 22, 2021 at 4:14
  • @pensee I'm not sure what dictionary you looked at, but I can't think of any way that "fabulous" means "large". It's origin is "fable", a story used to teach, so was originally "like something you'd read about it in a story", but it is more often used now just to mean "very good". As for whether it's "formal" or "informal", that isn't a simple "yes" or "no"; it is less formal than some words, more formal than others. It's not rude, and it would be widely understood.
    – IMSoP
    Feb 22, 2021 at 11:40

Are you sure they didn't mean Wi-Fi? It would be normal to ask if a hotel or pub was Wi-Fi (means you can connect your device to their broadband.

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    "does this hotel or pub have Wi-Fi ?" would be normal while "This hotel or pub is Wi-Fi ?" would not. Good thought - its easy to mis-hear similar words, a potential mondegreen in speech.
    – Criggie
    Feb 21, 2021 at 11:45
  • hi-fi? Wi-fi,right?Lmao.
    – Kentaro
    Feb 21, 2021 at 13:50
  • My friend was really puzzled when he thought I asked him for a Wi-Five ;)) Feb 21, 2021 at 19:13
  • @gonefishin'again. What is Wi-Five? Btw, Wi-Fi is the abbreviation of Wi-Fidelity as you already may know it.
    – Kentaro
    Feb 21, 2021 at 19:47
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    It's another mondegreen, continuing the wordplay. BTW Wi-Fi was never officially an abbreviation for "wireless fidelity", that's a myth. They used it in early advertising & confused the whole world. There's the dry history on wikipedia or more interesting from huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/… Feb 21, 2021 at 19:54

I agree with the accepted answer, but since in my native language "hi-fi" can be colloquially used to mean either high quality or expensive and obsessed over insignificant details, I feel like proposing another answer.

"High-end" has similar connotations when talking about audio equipment, but can be used to describe any product or service.

  • High-end, or you could go with high-class, high-quality, high-priced (one hopes that a high-priced hotel is also high-quality, but not necessarily guaranteed), you could even go with "high-falutin'" if you want to sound derisive about it. Feb 22, 2021 at 20:54
  • Those are fine choices too, but don't have the reference to a specific form of snobbery.
    – ojs
    Feb 22, 2021 at 21:38

Other answers have explained why it is not correct to describe a hotel or pub as "hi-fi," but none have suggested the adjective that I hear most often in casual speech (American English, Southwestern region):

"Is this a nice hotel/pub?" or "Is this hotel/pub nice?"

Definition 2 at Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary:

attractive or of good quality

  • nice restaurants
  • a nice car/house

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