Digital Breakout inspired by Gran Hotel

I didn’t know what my life was missing a few weeks ago. I know now that it was Digital Breakouts! Holy moly! They are fun, load the little darlings up with CI and give tired teachers a break. What’s not to love!?

My Spanish 2s first played with Nelly Hughes’ Interrumpimos este programa. I was so impressed by the student engagement that I created my own for my Spanish 1s: ¡Haz los quehaceres!  Now I couldn’t leave out my Spanish 4s…

All year we’ve been watching and discussing Gran Hotel… talk about compelling input!  And because of snow days we have to make up after graduation (?!) I’ll see most of my Spanish 4s (except the Seniors!) after they’ve taken their final exams, so I thought a Digital Breakout would be a fun way to end a great year together.

This breakout does not spoil any of the secrets or drama of Gran Hotel so it can be used anytime during the year with classes who are familiar with the characters of Gran Hotel. (No need to watch all Season 1 before “breaking out”… Just watch enough of the show so that your students love Andrés and hate Belén!)

To play:  Break your kiddos into small groups and  give your students the link: Escape digital, inspirado por Gran Hotel . It works best if every student has their own device. As they work through the puzzles, they’ll figure out that Andrés has been kidnapped by a crazy fan and is trapped somewhere in Gran Hotel! On the last page of the document, students will enter the “Claves” to unlock the door and free Andrés.  If students would like to edit the clues (to help them figure out the puzzles) they can click “make a copy”. They don’t need to request access from me 🙂

Special thanks to Katie Strand-Carroll, Emily Bradvica, Amy Cooper and Kristine Keefe-Hassan for “test driving” this breakout and giving me feedback.  If you run into any problems or have any suggestions for improving it, please let me know!

My quickest Spanish 4 group finished in about 60 minutes… nearly everyone else finished within 15 minutes of the first group.  They may need clues along the way, but hold off before you give them any. Let them work through it before you step in. Builds grit 🙂

Clave #1:

Answer: alguien te necesita  (all lowercase letters!)

Students will read an article about the Palacio de la Magdalena and answer multiple choice questions about the reading. Rather than the normal options (a. b. c. d.) the letters are syllables. The correct answers will spell out the answer phrase. (Incorrect answers will spell out things like Julio es guapo or Señora Chase rocks)

Clave #2:

Answer: capturado

They will find the secret message by clicking on Andrés’ Instagreat’s caption ¿Sueño o pesadilla?

Clave #3:

Answer: 124

Students will watch an EdPuzzle video about the Palacio and answer Yes-No questions by selecting the Thumbs up or Thumbs down icon. The very last EdPuzzle question is a link that will tell them that the Thumbs Up icon is plus 50 points and the Thumbs Down icon is minus 13 points. Students will watch it again and add 50 or subtract 13 for each question, then type the solution into Clave #3.

Clave #4:

Answer: ayuda a Andres (Notice the capitalized A but no accent!)

This one is trickier. Students will take a virtual tour of the palace looking for specific items, which they should write down (or make a copy of the clue and type their answers in) paying special attention to the letters in the colored boxes. Then they will unscramble the colored letters to spell out the message. (All the green boxes spell out the first word, the pink boxes spell out the last word). If your students are having a hard time finding the items in the tour, suggest they click on the pictures above (I think it’s easier to navigate than trying to “walk” through the palace). Here are the items they’re looking for:

  1. Hay algo interesante al lado del piano. ¿Qué es? el vestido de Ángela
  2. ¿Qué hay en el cuadro arriba de las escaleras principales? cinco niños y dos perros
  3. Hay otro cuadro prominente de una mujer que lleva un vestido negro. ¿Que tiene en las manos?  una bebé 
  4. ¿Qué encuentras encima del palacio? cuatro banderas 

Clave #5:

Answer: Isadora

For this one they’ll find the ransom note hidden in the slide with the bedroom picture (it’s hidden between the bed and the right nightstand). They might think it’s a hidden message or code, but really they just have to read it and they’ll realize it’s written by the person who captured Pobre Andrés. There is no name on the letter but if they go back to Andrés’ FakeBook, they’ll see a cryptic message from a fan named Isadora, who posted “un día, serás mío”. If they get stuck on this clue, direct them to the line in the letter that says, “Aunque solo soy una de sus 2.3 millones de amigos ahora”…as soon as I pointed that out, they figured out they needed to look at his FakeBook. 

Clave #6:

Answer: 49.984

This one is the trickiest because they have to figure out where Andrés is being held captive. In the bedroom slide, there is a puzzle hidden in the TV, which will take you to the poem Andrés wrote, that got ripped apart. Students will need to reconstruct the poem, with all the same color in one line. Once the poem is reassembled, they’ll read:

Del punto más alto
veo el mar. 
Búscame donde Julio
salió a fumar. 

Andrés is locked in the tower! (Where he posted the Instagram Picture!) There’s a link hidden in the 2nd slide in the tower. When students click on it, they’ll get a code to unlock the door and will free Andrés. (There is also an additional clue in the google form page… if you look closely at the image at the image at the top of the form, you will see “está en la torre” written in the roof.)

That’s it, folks! Once they enter in the secret codes, they’ll free Andrés and we can all live happily ever after!


  1. I haven’t gone through the entire breakout activity yet, but this looks absolutely amazing and I cannot wait until we’re through enough of the episodes to be able to do this activity!! (We are only minutes into the first episode but my kids are already super intrigued.)

    I know you said that you bought the DVD series (before it was on Netflix), I can only seem to find a European format online. Where did you purchase yours from?


    • I think you can pay to join the website breakout edu- but I’m cheap and figured it out with google slides and google forms!


  2. Any other telenovelas you have used with great success? The price on Amazon right now is $170! I wish it wasn’t leaving Netflix.


    • Oh yikes, that’s steep! No, I’ve looked but have only taught using Gran Hotel, sorry!! I know a lot of teachers use “Go! Vive tu manera”… that might be one to investigate


  3. Sorry to bother you! I had a friend show me where to get that last clue. I misunderstood your explanation where you said there’s a link hidden in the 2nd slide in the tower. I got it now! Thanks again for creating (AND SHARING) such a great activity!


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