Difference Between Hotels And Motels: Where Should I Stay in My Next Vacation?

Difference Between Hotels And Motels

Difference Between Hotels and Motels

Travelling somewhere and searching for accommodations to book can be quite stressful. When you go to online booking sites you see all the hotels and cheap motels to book, you can find difference in price and other things between a motel and hotel. Now, Wondering what is the difference between a hotel and a motel? We are here to tell you just that.

The Main Difference Between Hotels And Motels

Hotels are accommodations within the city limits that are open to the customer for a short time. Facilities such as a washstand, bed, cupboard and table were previously available. Over time, more luxury items such as restaurants, pools, telephones and internet are provided to make the guest more comfortable. Recently, hotels have allowed their customers to stay longer.

Motels, on the other hand, offer drivers a place to rest. This word was coined after World War II. Simply put, motel means a hotel where drivers can relax. These have large parking spaces for the vehicles. Here, interconnected rooms open up to a shared parking lot or a small room is directly accessible from the parking lot.

The demand for motels has increased after the construction of highways, which has enabled people to make long journeys. There are motels near these highways where drivers can rest.

Comparison Between A Hotel And A Motel

AppearanceOne-story, multi-story or different; has spaces that open to the interior of the building.One or two story building with connected rooms; has open walkways, outside entrances.
AmenitiesAdditional amenities such as 1 or more pools (indoor and / or outdoor), jacuzzi, fitness center, arcade / game room, banquet / meeting facilities, business center, WI-Fi, different room levels (standard, premium, family suites, whirlpool, suites, etc.) below other.Minimal amenities – usually no pools (outdoor if available), hot tub, business or fitness center, or other amenities listed under hotels.
PriceUsually more expensive than motels – however prices vary with star ratings, room types, amenities, location, nicer accommodations / rooms, etc.Often cheaper than hotels due to lack of amenities, simple rooms, locations, etc.
LocationLocated anywhere in a city or village. Often near business districts, airports, city centers, attractions, highways, vacation areas, within / near casinos, sports arenas, and other locations.Usually located on highways but also near outskirts, in many places where you would find hotels, rural areas and other places.
Comparison of a hotel and a motel

Why You Should Book A Motel

Why You Should Book A Motel
Why You Should Book A Motel

There are a number of situations when a motel makes more sense than a hotel. Here are some of them :

  1. If you’re looking for the best value for money and aren’t interested in the amenities of your property, motels may be cheaper. They are unlikely to offer services such as room service, laundry, gym, or spa.
  2. If you’re on the move, motels are a convenient option as they give you a cheap place to turn a blind eye after a long day driving.

What Are Some Popular Hotel And Motel Brands

Famous Hotel Brands :

  1. Holiday Inn
  2. Marriott
  3. Hampton Inn
  4. Hilton
  5. Sheraton

Famous Motel Brands :

  1. Motel 6
  2. Super 8
  3. Knights Inn

Difference Type of Construction and Services

Interior Design

Hotels can be as many levels as you can imagine where inns and motels are no more than 2 or 3 levels. Motels and inns have their room exits on the outside and a hotel is more private with rooms that lead inward into a corridor that leads to a lobby and then outside, making it a little safer for guests.

Parking and Valet Service

Hotels usually have a seat outside their doors, and some even offer valet parking and concierge services. They have elevators to take you from one floor to the other. You probably won’t find any of these luxuries in a motel or inn.

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Room Service and Dining Area

Inns and motels are designed for quick and easy overnight stays, and some can even be booked by the hour. Hotels offer room service and motels and inns have a breakfast bar or some sort of dining area. They may only offer certain foods that a hotel is more likely to offer menu service.


Hotels are usually more exclusive, and motels and inns have offices in many cities. The hotels offer pools, hot tubs, and exercise rooms, as well as other upscale amenities that most inns and motels don’t. Also hotels offer internet service where an inn or motel might not.

Motels and inns usually have more noticeable advertisements such as neon lights. Hotels do not advertise this way.


Guest houses and motels are cheaper and on average don’t charge as much per night as a hotel. If you want to shower and get some sleep, a motel or inn may be your best bet. If you are looking for accommodation with a little more comfort, choose a hotel.

Hotels have a luxurious feel by offering a higher quality environment such as linens, towels and washcloths and even the furniture used in the rooms. Motels and inns offer a cheaper version of the same thing.

The bottom line is that motels and inns are a cheap version of a hotel but are designed for the purpose of rest.

Extended Stay Hotels

Long-stay hotels and motels (also known as serviced apartments) are a type of accommodation with features that are not available in standard hotels. These features are designed to provide more home comforts. There are currently 27 extended stay chains in North America with at least 7 hotels representing more than 2,000 hotels.

There are significant differences between long-stay hotels in terms of quality and the facilities available. Some of the economic chains attract customers who use the hotels as semi-permanent accommodation. Long-stay hotels usually have self-service laundry facilities and offer discounts for long-term stays of 5 or 7 days.

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They also have guest rooms (or “suites”) with kitchens. The kitchens usually include at least a sink, refrigerator (usually full size), microwave, and hob. Some kitchens also have dishwashers and conventional ovens. Long-stay hotels are aimed at business travelers on long-term assignments, families moving house and others who require temporary accommodation.

The Residence Inn Chain

The Residence Inn chain was founded by Jack DeBoer in Wichita, Kansas, in 1975 and was acquired by the Marriott Corporation in 1987. As of April 2005, there were over 450 Residence Inn hotels in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites, both owned by the InterContinental Hotels Group, are two examples of hotels for business and long-term travelers. Another long-stay hotel brand is the Homewood Suites, part of Hilton Worldwide.

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In 2005 they acquired the Suburban Extended Stay hotel chain with over 150 hotels open and under development. Intown Suites is a low-budget, extended-stay chain founded in 1988 with 139 locations in 21 states.

Since 1999 the US budget hotel chain Motel 6, which belongs to the Blackstone Group (formerly Accor), operates Studio 6, a chain of hotels for long-term stays with weekly prices. The chain offers a kitchen area in their rooms, allows pets, and operates in 18 US states and Canada.


Why is it called a motel ?

The word motel, entered into dictionaries after World War II and coined as the Portmanteau abbreviation for “Motor Hotel”, comes from the Mon-Tel milestone of San Luis Obispo, California (now the Motel Inn of San Luis Obispo), the was built in 1925. The term originally referred to a type of hotel consisting of a single building of interconnected rooms, the doors of which face a parking lot and, under certain circumstances, a communal area or a series of small cabins with shared parking spaces are. Motels are often privately owned, although there are motel chains.

What's better, a hotel or a motel?

Motels are usually cheaper than hotels, so if you want a place t crash for the night then motels are a great option. If you wanna stay for a while and have a luxury stay then go with hotels cause you have more options.

Are Inns and hotels same?

Unlike hotels, inns are smaller and more intimate and do not offer luxurious service. They are intended for short term living with limited food and drink. Mostly built in rural areas, the inns are stand-alone buildings with limited rooms and unique in-house restaurants.

Can you live in a motel?

Yes, extended stays at motels are a thing so technically you can. Can you stay in a motel? “The answer is YES, you definitely can – because you basically have everything you need in your fully furnished room: bed, pillows and sheets – to sleep on.

Can I live in a hotel for free ?

Contact hostels or private hotels and negotiate a free rental if you work for them part or full time. Some larger chains disagree with this arrangement, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.