Difference Between Hotel and Motel

The hospitality industry is a huge one in today’s world. Increased travel has  led to a boom in the number of hospitality options that customers have and can enjoy.  Hotels and motels are two accommodation and meal options which are widely used by travelers, tourists and business men. Both of them fulfill the same need and may seem similar because they provide accommodation for anyone who wishes to live there temporarily. However, there are some basic differences between their services which you should know well before you make the decision of choosing one.

Hotels are typically larger settlements than motels. There may be exceptions but on a general note, you should expect hotels to have more rooms than a motel. Most motels have a small building, one or two story tall and have limited number of rooms. The main feature of a motel is the parking area it offers for the travellers. In most hotels, most of the rooms open into a hallway or gallery. In a motel, the rooms open directly into the exterior lawn or parking area.

The location of hotels and motels is very different. You will expect hotels to exist in large cities, commercial hubs, tourist destinations etc. Motels on the contrary, are usually found in the suburbs of cities and towns, villages and alongside the highway. The word ‘motel’ is a combination of ‘motor’ and ‘hotel’ which means that it is a hotel which provides parking facilities as well. indicates that the main target market of motels are traveller who need a place to stay a night and have breakfast in the morning.

Hotels are more luxurious than motels. Apart from the basic amenities of bed and food, they offer other services like gym, spa, swimming pool, business center and even shopping options. However, a motel keeps it to the comfortable and basic. Since the facilities are greater, you can generally expect a hotel to be more expensive than a motel. The costs are driven  up by the extra facilities and the main location. Motels are a more cost effective way of accommodation.

Almost all visitors in a motel come for spending the night so that they rest and are fresh for further travel. In a hotel, the duration of stay for the guests could vary depending on their program in the city.


  • 1


    It is a residential establishment which offers services like bed, food and other facilities to tourists and travellers who do not own private property.

  • 2


    ‘Motel’ is derived from the two words ‘hotel’ and ‘motor’. It is also an establishment that offers bed and food but is found near roadsides most of the times. It has parking space for the motorists who pull up during their travel.

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