Difference Between Hotel and Motel

hotel vs motel

When it comes to travel accommodations, you have numerous options from campgrounds to hostels, hotels, bed and breakfasts and more. Despite having all of these options, travelers almost always choose to stay in a hotel or a motel. If you’re like most people, you’re probably wondering: What exactly is the difference between hotel and motel?

Hotel Vs Motel

By definition, a hotel is an establishment that provides lodging, food and other services. The word “hotel” is derived from the French language and originated in the late 1700s.

Motel, on the other hand, didn’t appear in the English language until 1925. The word is a combination of “motor” and “hotel.”

Generally speaking, motels provide some – but not all – of the services offered by a hotel. These types of establishments are unique to America and first began as inns. These inns were situated all along America’s first major highways and offered motorists a place to stay while traveling on the road. Hotels and motels differ in four major areas: Price, services, architecture and length of stay.

Price Difference
Generally speaking, motels are the more budget-friendly option. Because these establishments do not offer the same extensive services that hotels offer, room prices tend to be lower. Of course, the location of the establishment will also play a role in the cost of a room. A motel in a major city may still cost more than a hotel in a small town.

Service Difference
Hotels tend to offer more services than motels. Most will have an on-site restaurant, room service and a laundry facility. Some will even have a spa or on-site recreation opportunities, such as a gym. In some cases, hotels also serve as a resort and offer their guests entertainment opportunities. Motels may offer a swimming pool and a light breakfast, but most will not offer the extensive amount of services that hotels offer.

Hotels and motels tend to differ in the personnel department as well. A hotel may have a receptionist, concierge services as well as bellhops and maid service. Motels generally have a small number of employees which include a receptionist and housekeepers.

Architectural Difference
Hotels and motels tend to differ greatly in their architecture. A hotel is typically designed to accommodate hundreds of guests, while a motel may only accommodate 100. Hotels tend to have multiple floors, elevators, staircases and corridors. Motels are generally one or two levels. Guests typically enter their rooms directly from the parking lot.

Length of Stay Difference
The length of stay is one of the biggest differences between hotel and motel accommodations. Hotels are generally designed for guests to enjoy a longer stay, whereas a motel is designed for guests to spend one to three nights on average. It’s not uncommon for motels to be situated in remote locations away from the city’s tourist attractions. Motels are really designed to give travelers a place to stay for the night while traveling to their destination. Hotels are better suited for guests who plan on staying in a location for a longer period of time.

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