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Hotel vs. Motel

We have all stayed them, but what is truly the difference, the answer will shock you.

What is the difference between a hotel and a motel?

There really is none. The term “motel” is derived from the term "motor hotel," which originally meant that the hotel provided parking (circa 1950s). The term motel today generally is used for a "limited service" property (i.e., a hotel that provides a limited number of amenities and does not provide food service.

Thank you web.  The employees at an un-named hotel did not know, so we had to go surfing. 


When working on a degree in Hotel/Restuarant Management at the Technical
College of the Low Country on Hilton Head Island, SC, I was taught that the
difference between a hotel and motel was simply that a guest can enter the
room of a motel from the parking lot whereas a guest of a hotel must enter
the room from an indoor corridor. I haven't done any personal research,
but I have noticed most properties along the interstate with exterior room
entrances refer to themselves as motels.

Just thought I would pass that on. I enjoy your web-site.

Eva Pettry


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