What Is The Difference Between Hotels & Motels

Motels are generally aimed at families that are on road trips and for motorists who long for a comfortable bed to sleep in for the night. Hotels, on the other hand, are much more high-end, aimed at boosting tourism.

If you are planning on travelling out of town, the first thing that would come to your mind would be to check out on a suitable hotel accommodation. You would conduct a survey, read hotel reviews, and check on the location, the pricing and the amenities offered. In contrast, a traveler on a long distance journey through the highways would normally be looking for a roadside motel for a night’s halt.

Some History

hotels and motels difference

hotels and motels difference

The first hotels appeared in Western Europe around the middle of the 18th century. Most of them had been working as inns for quite some time, but as the number of wealthy travelers grew due to the advancement of organized transport they underwent considerable transformation. The rooms became bigger and better furnished. The owners started offering more and more sophisticated in-room and shared amenities. As time passed, hotels which had been especially built for recreation began to appear.

Motels, on the other hand, began to appear in the 1920’s in the United States as the motor transport picked up and more people became vehicle owners. The name of this type of accommodation comes from the words motor and hotel. These new places offered private rooms and basic amenities only. They were dotted along motorways to provide lodging to people travelling on business or going on vacation.


A hotel is a place was you would stay for a couple of days and for which you have to shell out an amount as per the hotel tariff. Traditional hotels came with a cot, bed, wardrobe and table. But over a period of time things have changed and hotels can be equipped with the best of amenities including air conditioners, LCD televisions, internet access and a host of such modern features. In fact hotels are rated according to the facilities it provides for its guests. Further, hotel rooms can be classified into Standard rooms, deluxe rooms, and luxury suites and so on.


The word motel has been recently coined and means a hotel basically meant for motorists out on a long journey and who would perhaps halt there at night. In fact the word Motel has originated by combining the firs two alphabets of the word ‘motorist’ and the last three alphabets of the word ‘hotel’. As it is meant for motorists a motel generally comes with sufficient parking place to park vehicles. The need for motels began to grow with the development of the highway infrastructure. With more motors on the highways came the need for easily accessible accommodation near the highways where the traveler could secure a relatively inexpensive place to stay overnight.

Purpose and Features of Motels

One of the distinguishing features of a motel is that it is generally L-shaped, U-shaped or square, with an inner courtyard that serves as the parking lot. Doors face the lot, with ground doors opening directly to their own parking spaces mere feet away. This is extremely convenient for unloading suitcases. It is also reassuring for residents to have their vehicles parked right outside the door where they can keep an eye on them, especially if they contain valuables. Motels, particularly those that are part of a chain, are often located just off a freeway or major highway for convenience, but many are found in mountain towns and along smaller, more picturesque roads.

features of hotels

features of hotels

Purpose and Features of Hotels

Hotels serve a different purpose from motels, and as such, they tend to be located in or near cities or major holiday resorts. The basic design of a hotel is significantly different, for example, the rooms normally face inward with doors opening to interior hallways. A guest might stay at a hotel for a week or longer on business or pleasure, and “extras” are expected. Hotels commonly offer jacuzzis, gyms, pools, restaurants, room service, cable television, Internet connectivity, and other luxuries. Hotel parking lots are separate, and in many cases, the walk from the lot to the lobby can be a trek; however, staff are normally available to carry baggage, and sometimes a shuttle service is even provided.

Can You Differentiate Between Hotel and Motel?

The one main difference between hotels and motels is that hotels are sometime very luxurious, versatile and extravagant but in comparison motels are very simple. Another difference is that, usually motels having large parking’s areas and their rooms are facing that parking area in contrast to hotels.

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