Your decision of hotel vs motel vs inn can have a dramatic impact on your adventure, vacation or business travels. Here is a distinct guide to help you understand the differences between all three.
Hotel vs Motel vs Inn: Pros and Cons of Each & Differences
You are about to set off on an adventure, which means that you need to plan on where you are going to stay during your travels. These days, there are many options for accommodation.
You can stay at hotel vs motel vs inn! What are the key differences between a hotel, motel and inn?
What are the pros and cons of staying at each one? With travel hacking, you need to know what hotels are best for your stay, location and price.
What is a hotel? A hotel is a location that provides accommodation, meals, and other services to travelers. Hotels are a place where travelers can create a home base while they sightsee or conduct business.
Travelers tend to stay at one hotel for the entire duration of their stay, but what are the pros and cons of a hotel?
Pros of a Hotel
One of the biggest appeals of staying in a hotel is its proximity to other locations. Most hotels are located downtown or in metropolitan areas, often next to airports, business districts, or tourist destinations.
Their proximity makes it easy for travelers to get to where they want to go without the hassle of driving or taking public transportation.
In addition, they are prime locations for travelers who are attending conferences or public events.
Extensive Amenities & Staff
Travelers looking to enjoy their accommodation as much as their destination can find pleasure in staying in a hotel. Hotels tend to be much larger than a motel or inn, which means that they have the resources to hire well-qualified staff and supply luxurious amenities.
Depending on how large the hotel is, it can include personnel such as a concierge, event planner, bellhops, valets, and more.
Again, depending on the size of the hotel, their amenities can include pools, gyms, spas, high-speed internet, shuttles, in-house restaurants, and more.
Variety of Service
Hotels have many options available to fit the needs of every traveler. They offer a variety of room styles, from simple to luxurious, depending on your budget.
Besides, hotels provide the ability for long-term service.
While most accommodations have a short maximum stay, hotels can be booked for months, which is terrific for people attending training, relocating, or conducting extensive business.
See Related: What is Travel Concierge?
Cons of a Hotel
Hotels can be grand, offering many fantastic amenities, but this means that they are often expensive. Hotels can easily range from hundreds to thousands of dollars a night. Given their high demand, they may also book out far in advance or become more expensive as the number of rooms available decreases.
As well, most hotels do not have a cooking space; this means that you are forced to eat out all the time, which drives up the cost of your vacation even more.
Lastly, there can be hidden costs that you aren’t expecting, such as the mini-fridge stocked with goods that you need to pay for at the end of your stay.
Large & Noisy
Hotels can be huge, with many rooms lined up in long hallways. This can mean lots of walking if you are placed on the far side of the hotel. These long hallways also allow for noise to travel.
If you are a light sleeper, it means that you may hear the dinging of the elevator, the crunching of an ice machine, or guests walking heavily in the hall.
Plus, hotels allow for some degree of anonymity, which can lead to noisy neighbors who may stay up late into the night.
With the fancy and all-encompassing amenities that hotels frequently provide, you may find yourself lacking culture on your vacation.
Hotels are generally culture neutral, which likely means that the food will be familiar to tourists, the decorations are modern, and the space similar to every other hotel.
If you spend a lot of time in your hotel, you won’t get to experience the traditions and the unique culture of the place you are visiting.
This is clearly location-specific as the Hotel Pulitzer in Amsterdam was one of the most cultural and unique experiences we’ve had at a hotel.
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What is a motel? A “motel” is short for a “motorists hotel.” What are the differences from a hotel vs motel? While hotels are designed for people who are on vacation, motels are created for people who are merely passing through the area.
Typically, motels are located alongside significant roads where travelers stop for the night before continuing on.
Pros of a Motel
Motels are excellent for budget travelers. They are a cheap and easy way to get a good night’s sleep. In addition, most motels come with a continental breakfast. This means that you can get up and grab a decent bite to eat before heading on your way.
Motels are usually only one or two stories high, extending lengthwise instead of by height. This is fantastic for motorists because it means that they can usually park right outside of their door.
This means that they don’t have to take a lot of time to lug in all of their stuff, and they can keep an eye on their car.
Motels are perfect for people who are road tripping given their convenient location along major roads, the ability to park your car right next to the door, and lower prices. They almost always have availability, meaning you can walk right in and get a room for the night.
Most road trippers tend to stay in motels because they can arrive in the evening, grab a cheap room, get some rest, eat a light breakfast, and then head off without the worry of booking in advance or hidden costs.
Cons of a Motel
Motels are cheap; therefore, they do not have as many amenities as other locations. Generally, there will be only a couple of staff present to help you with your needs.
Usually, they have breakfast, occasionally a pool, but that is it. If you are looking for a tourist destination, you will not find what you are looking for in a motel.
As we have said before, motels are cheap, which means that they aren’t always 100% clean. The training of the cleaning staff may not always be perfect, and sometimes they are overloaded with work.
While many motels are perfectly clean, there is the possibility of coming across one where you won’t even want to take your shoes off.
Given that the location of motels are often alongside major roads, they are not always the safest. The difference between hotels and motels is that entry doors are placed on the exterior walls, meaning that anyone could come up to your door or car.
It is always wise to make sure your room is securely locked and that all of your belongings are inside of the room, instead of being left in the car.
Coming across an inn is not as common as it once was. Inns are generally older houses or buildings that have been converted into lodging fit for a small number of people.
They are usually located in rural destinations and are similar to a bed & breakfast.
Pros of an Inn
Much like motels, inns are less expensive than other accommodation options. They are a spectacular option for travelers who are on a budget and sometimes they come with a complimentary breakfast!
You will not be faced with tipping door attendants, being pushed towards expensive places, or discovering hidden costs after your stay.
Everything is upfront and honest so you’ll be sure that you won’t break the bank.
Located in rural settings, often in smaller country towns, inns are fantastic for getting a real taste of local culture. Inn owners tend to be friendly, treating you like one of the family, so they will likely tell you all of the best places to check out during your stay.
If they do serve food, you will get to experience local dishes with local produce. What’s better than that?
Inns are designed to feel homey. They are comfortable, spacious, and quiet. In addition, there are cozy public spaces available to socialize and relax.
You do not have to worry about rowdy neighbors given that most inns only allow a few guests at a time. Inns are peaceful and relaxed, and given their rural location, they will enable you to enjoy a tranquil vacation.
Cons of an Inn
Similar to a motel, inns lack amenities. They are usually run by a family, so there are little staff.
Occasionally there are dining options but generally you will need to find most of your food and entertainment outside of the inn.
Inns do not receive star ratings like hotels unless they are in a prime tourist location, so you likely won’t know the quality of the accommodation until you arrive. While the reviews might be positive, you do not have a regulated system to compare it to; what might be luxury to someone, could be the average to another.
Given the small size of an inn, they do not allow for long-term service. If you are hoping to stay there for a month, that is unlikely to be acceptable. Most inn travelers tend to stay for one night to a week before continuing on their way.
Conclusion: Where Should You Stay?
There are many differences between a hotel, motel, and an inn. Each accommodation provides a different set of features for their target audience. There are no right or wrong answers, it merely depends on the kind of amenities you want during your stay.
So when you are choosing your accommodation, how will you know to choose between a hotel vs motel vs inn?
If you are looking to have quick access to town, plenty of great staff, high-quality amenities, a variety of room options, and you don’t mind having a pricier vacation, then you should stay at a hotel.
If you would prefer a cheap place to stay and a light breakfast in the morning, then a motel is the right choice for you.
Lastly, if you would like to soak up the culture of the area that you are visiting with kind staff, small-town charm, and a budget that you can afford, then inns are what you are looking for.
Now that you have had a look at the difference between a hotel vs motel vs inn, it is time to think about where you want to book your accommodation.
Take a moment to think about where you are going to be located, what kind of features you are looking for, what is within your budget, and what will make you happiest. Make sure to take a peek at their reviews and then book it!
Enjoy your adventure!
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