The Major Differences between a Hotel, Motel and Inn

There is not a single city or town where one could not find a hotel, motel, or inn.…

There is not a single city or town where one could not find a hotel, motel, or inn. While all of these structures provide a temporary place for someone to rest and relax, there are major differences to consider when choosing where to stay for a vacation or a long trip. Hotels, motels, and inns have their own share of features and differences that one can use as basis for planning ahead of time.


Overall Amenities and Services

Hotels generally provide the grandest possible accommodation. Hotels are preferred by people who are on a long vacation or a business trip. Motels and inns usually provide just the basic things that a traveller would need such as food, bathroom and a comfortable place where one can rest for the night or for a limited period of time. Hotels, on the other hand, generally have more than the basics such as a swimming pool, lounge, bar, gym, or spa. Motels and inns may provide an hourly rate for travelers that are just passing by. Hotels, on the other hand, usually charge on a daily basis and offers attractive discounts for prolonged reservations.



Motels and inns are usually built along the highway and with neon signs in order for transient travellers to easily locate them. Oftentimes, the doors of the units open towards the road or a common corridor and the entire structure can accommodate only a few tenants at one time. Hotels, on the other hand, are generally built with a spacious surrounding lot, and set up to accommodate hundreds of tourists or guests. Doors open to a big hallway and guests can expect a great level of privacy even if staying with a lot of other guests within the same structure.


Scope and Expansion

Small motels and inns may have no satellite branches elsewhere; bigger motels and inns may be able to set up multiple branches within one city or county, but rarely can one see a motel or inn that has a branch in almost every major city of the world. Hotels, on the other hand, strive to be able to establish a branch in different cities and countries all over the world. Hotels with a worldwide presence are oftentimes preferred by tourists who travel frequently and have the resources to pay for such grand accommodations. Because of their wide scope, people who plan their vacation ahead of time can book their reservations ahead of time, without physically visiting the branch. Motels and inns, on the other hand, usually accommodate walk-in guests and there is no systematic provision or system of booking reservations ahead of time.


Generally speaking, hotels, motels, and inns can provide the basic needs of every traveller. The difference lies on the additional services or amenities that a traveller would like to have during their long trip away from home. Practical travelers will prefer to stay at a motel or inn. Those who want the best possible accommodation and have the means to afford it will definitely prefer a night or two at a luxurious hotel room.


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