"He refuses to go to the hotel."
Translation:Il refuse d'aller à l'hôtel.
It's just how French expresses this concept: refuser de/d' + infinitive = to refuse to (do sth.). Without "de" or "d'", "refuser" would mean "to refuse (sth.)"
- Je refuse ton invitation -> I refuse/decline your invitation
- Je refuse d'accepter ton invitation -> I refuse to accept your invitation
Some French verbs require either the preposition à or de before an infinitive while others require neither. In fact, some verbs sometimes require both (ie one or the other) of the above prepositions under different circumstances. Unfortuately, there is no "trick" to knowing which to use; as with gender, you just need to learn them. The following are good references:
I have a personal question if you don't mind.
When you were first learning French, you learned "rules" such as putting verbs with the proper preposition, conjugations, etc.
Did you learn best by studying/memorizing lists of the rules and words? Or did you find it was better to learn each instance as it came along? Or a combination of the two?
Do you know if there's any research showing which learning strategy is best?