Difference Between Hotel and Motel

From diff.wiki
Hotels and Motels are definitely not the same.

Nowadays, travelers and vacationers have a wealth of choices when it comes to accommodation. However, the traditional hotel and motel are still popular options. Since they are both lodging facilities with similar amenities, people tend to confuse them. Here, we will discuss the differences between a hotel and motel.


The word “hotel” originated from a similar French word which meant a place that offers paid lodging. Like motels, hotels offer temporary lodging services, usually on short-term durations of stay. Hotels usually cater to travels, vacationers, and people on business and are thus often situated on commercial areas. They are often pricier than motels but also tend to offer more amenities. These establishments are commonly rated through stars. Thus, the quality of services, amenities, and luxuries are a focal point in the hotel business.


The word “motel” came from the combination of the words “hotel” and “motor.” Motels first appeared because of the increase in major motorways and vehicular travel. They are meant to cater to weary travelers who are looking for a place to rest. Because of this, motels are often found along the highway or main roads and are easy to spot. They are also more likely to be found in rural areas compared to hotels. Unlike hotels, they are not rated by the star system and thus do not require as much services or amenities to operate. Thus, motels are relatively cheaper than hotels.

Hotel Motel
Definition A lodging facility that offers amenities and room services, usually for short-term visitors A lodging facility that caters to travelers, usually located along highways and main roads; can be open to long-term lodging
Etymology From a French word that refers to a place that offers food, lodging and other services From a combination of “hotel” and “motor,” due to the location and motorists that the motels often cater to
Location Urban areas, near commercial places like airports, vacation areas, and business districts Both urban and rural areas, usually by highways and roads
Amenities Broad range of amenities like buffets, restaurants, casinos, pools, jacuzzi, spa, fitness centers, etc. More minimal range of amenities like fitness areas, jacuzzi, and outdoor pool
Pricing Tends to be pricier than motel rates; prices go higher based on the quality and star rating of a hotel Usually affordable; some motels that offer more amenities can charge higher rates
Ratings Rated by stars No star ratings, but can be evaluated through travel reviews
Restaurants Usually feature restaurants and sometimes buffets; hotels generally offer room service as well May offer room services or a continental breakfast
Appearance Generally starts with a reception area/ lobby, followed by hallways leading to interior rooms; range from single to multi-storied Open walkways, often overlooking the parking lot; tends to be single or double-storied

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