What\’S The Difference Between A Hotel And A Motel

When it comes to choosing accommodations for a trip, the two most commonly used terms are hotels and motels. While both provide lodging services to travelers, there are essential differences between the two that can influence a guest’s decision. In this article, we’re going to look at the variations between hotels and motels and highlight their advantages and disadvantages.

What is a Hotel?

A hotel is a commercial establishment that offers temporary accommodation to travelers, with services such as housekeeping, dining, room service, concierge, and many others. Hotels are typically multi-story buildings with several floors, and rooms that can easily accommodate more guests. Moreover, hotels have staff who are on hand 24/7 to provide guest services and ensure comfort and security.

Hotels come in various categories, from budget to luxury, and cater to different types of guests. For instance, budget chain hotels provide basic guest amenities such as Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, and a comfortable bed. On the other hand, luxury hotels offer extensive amenities that cater to guests’ comfort and exceed their expectations. Examples of such amenities include swimming pools, spas, conference rooms, fitness centers, and fine dining restaurants.

What is a Motel?

A motel, on the other hand, is short for ‘motorist’s hotel,’ and is a lodging establishment typically located along highways, offering the convenience of easy access to road travelers. The primary purpose of motels is to provide transient accommodations to motorists or travelers, who need a place to stay overnight or for a short time. Motels typically feature one or two-story buildings with exterior walkways, and it’s easier to park outside a room for quick access.

Whereas hotels typically offer various services to guests, motels provide fewer services. In most cases, motels offer basic amenities such as air conditioning, clean bedding, towels, and access to a shared parking lot. In general, guests who choose motels stay for just a night or two and then move on to their next destination.

What are the differences between a Hotel and a Motel?

The most significant differences between a hotel and a motel are their size, services, locations, and costs. On one hand, hotels tend to be much larger than motels and have more luxurious amenities. A hotel can have numerous rooms that are connected by interior corridors or elevators, whereas a motel’s rooms tend to have exterior walkways or paths. This means that guests have to walk outside to access their room in a motel, whereas guests in a hotel can walk along an interior hallway.

Hotels offer a wide range of services, including but not limited to concierge, room service, restaurants and bars, pools, fitness centers, laundry, business center, meeting rooms, and several others. Motels, on the other hand, often provide only basic services such as free parking, Wi-Fi, toiletries, and seating areas.

In terms of location, hotels are usually situated in more popular tourist destinations, business centers, or large cities, taking advantage of central and accessible spots. Motels tend to be situated on the outskirts of town, near highways, or in less populated areas, where the occupancy rates could be lower.

Lastly, hotels are generally more expensive compared to motels, particularly luxury hotels. On average, staying in a hotel can be from $100 per night upwards, depending on the amenities and the location. On the other hand, motel rates tend to be more affordable, and you can find motels for $50 and less per night.


Q. What is the difference between a hotel and a motel?

A. A hotel is a multi-story commercial establishment that offers various amenities and services to guests, providing temporary lodging. A motel is typically a one-story establishment located on the outskirts of towns, featuring exterior walkways, and fewer amenities.

Q. What kind of amenities do hotels offer that motels do not?

A. Hotels offer many amenities, such as pools, fitness centers, multiple dining options, spas, room service, concierge, meeting rooms, and laundry services, among others. Meanwhile, some motels may offer complementary breakfast, Wi-Fi, and cable TV.

Q. Are hotels more expensive than motels?

A. Yes, generally, hotels are more expensive than motels. The reason is that hotels offer more amenities and services compared to motels, making their operational costs higher. The location also plays a significant role in determining the cost of accommodation.

Q. Is it better to stay in a hotel or a motel?

A. It depends on what you are looking for during your stay. If you want extra amenities, services, and comfort, a hotel could be an ideal choice. However, if you are looking for a budget option and a place to stay for just a night or two, then a motel could be better.


In summary, when it comes to choosing accommodations, hotels and motels come into play. While hotels offer more amenities and services, they are generally more expensive than motels. Motels, on the other hand, are more affordable options for travelers who require only essential amenities and a place to sleep overnight or for a few nights. Whatever accommodation preference you choose, ensure to compare prices, amenities, and location to make an informed decision.