Difference between a Hotel and a Motel

Hotel vs Motel: Hotels and motels are often used interchangeably for various reasons. Most people assume that these are one and the same thing. However, a hotel and a motel have a slight difference. A hotel is a facility that provides paid lodging facilities to tourists and is done on a planned basis. A motel on the other hand is derived from two words, “motorist” and “hotel”. The term was initially coined for the purposes of providing hotel services to motorists who are in transit. Below are some of the differences between a hotel and a motel. What is the difference between a Hotel and a Motel?

So What is the Difference between a Hotel and a Motel?

Entertainment and luxury offer:

A sense of luxury and entertainment accompanies you throughout your stay in a hotel while Motels don’t really stress on luxury and entertainment. Also, hotels are frequently targeted toward those seeking a “getaway” or at least some basic luxury. As such, hotels are often well-designed and frequently remodeled. Motels are more about meeting basic needs providing a place to sleep and wash — and so design is not an important factor in most cases.


Hotel ownership is usually branched, and it deals with several investments while Motels are usually individually-owned although there are motel chains in some places.

3. Cost:

Hotels are more expensive due to the abundance of comfort options and due to room types, amenities, location and general star ratings while Motels are typically less expensive due to minimal comfort options and lack of amenities and other fancy features.

Type of services offered:

Some services offered in hotel are not available in motel. For instance, room service is essential for hotels and yet this is not a priority when it comes to motels. However, many motels offer free “continental” breakfasts — that is, a light morning meal of cereal, breakfast breads, fruits, juices, coffees, and teas. A motel is targeted toward those travelling on the highway who want a break from their journey. A hotel is targeted at all sorts of people, such as business people, travelers, students, etc. Even so, few motels or hotels will turn away long-stays, and motels in particularly are often amenable to extended stays.

Design of their rooms:

Hotels have interior rooms which open up to a common hallway while Motels have rooms that open up to an exterior hallway and a parking lot.

Amenities and facilities:

Hotels are generally designed to offer great comfort and as such they come with a variety of amenities as add-ons. These amenities may include swimming pools, extra services such as massage services and so on. This is not the case when it comes to motels. Motels are generally designed to offer average and basic services to cater for the people who need fast and easy fixes while on transit.


A hotel is mostly situated anywhere within a city or village. Often near business districts, airports, downtown areas, attractions, freeways, vacation areas, within/near casinos, sports arenas, and other places while a motel is usually situated on highways, but can also be found near outskirts of towns.

Star rating:

Hotels are mostly rated with star ratings to determine the gist and quality of the services one would expect to find at the hotel. This is not the case when it comes to motels. Motels only offer basic solutions to tough problems that require quick fixes.

Appearance and types:

Hotels are Single, Multi-storied, or Varies; has rooms that open to interior of the building while motels are Single, or double storied building with connected rooms; has open walkways, exterior entrances. With specialization of services, hotels have diversified and extended their services.


A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis only and provides numerous amenities to guests which may increase their lodging satisfaction while a motel is an establishment that provides short-term and long-term lodging and is usually located with good access to the national road network but with less guest comforts.

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