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Difference between hotel, motel, and resort

18 Feb, 2022

The hospitality field has been experiencing expeditious growth over the past decade. This investment opportunity has attracted different players in the industry like hotels, motels, and resort owners. Understanding the differences between hotels and motels can help you make the right investment decision while targeting specific customers on the market. 

This article may help you understand the economic opportunity, prestige, and growing market in the modern hospitality industry.

What is a hotel?

A hotel is an establishment that offers lodging, restaurants, swimming pools, and spa services to tourists and any other person visiting them. These facilities can also hold meetings and conferences because of their strategic location within the cities. We can categorise hotels in various ways, depending on their location and size. They can be classified by stars, usually one to five stars or type of hotel that includes extended stay, flat hotels, boutique hotels, budget hotels, conference hotels, luxury hotels, limited-service hotels, and inns.

What is a motel?

A motel is a hotel on a major highway that offers ample parking and hotel services for long-distance travellers. Motels may have a one or two-floor layout. This makes it easier for your customers to access its rooms from the car park. Motels offer short-term accommodation to travellers, hence fewer services. They are primarily ideal for anyone looking for one- or two-days’ accommodation while on transit to another destination.

What is a resort?

A resort hotel is a facility that provides a luxurious living to customers. Resorts are usually located close to attraction sites like beaches, ski packs, or historic areas. While investing in the resort business, you may consider customers that want to be close to nature and enjoy comfort in terms of space.

What is the difference between a hotel and a motel?

We can discuss the difference between hotel and motels based on their architecture, services, personnel, and price as follows:


Hotel managers employ various personnel with unique skills. You can hire a relatively high number of employees in a hotel, such as receptionists, housekeepers, chefs, bellhops, parking valets, and door attendants. Employees in a motel are fewer, usually receptionists and housekeepers. In small motels, housekeepers can sometimes double up as receptionists.

Architecture and size

If you plan to join the hospitality industry as an investor, you may consider sizes and architecture. Hotels may contain several floors and more rooms. They have over one hundred rooms with internal corridors, staircases, and elevators. Motels may have only one or two floors with fewer rooms for your customers to access them easily from the car park.


As a hotel owner, you can offer your customers a wide range of services than those in a motel. These services may include a cocktail lounge, room services, an on-site recreation, and indoor swimming pool, spa services like masseuse and hot tubs. Motels offer fewer services like bed-and-breakfast. Some motels also have swimming pools for their customers.


Prices of your hotel and motel services depend most on the location and services offered in the facility. For instance, accommodation costs in hotels may be increased based on the location. Motels in the same location may charge less for their customers.

What are the differences between a hostel and a hotel?

The differences between these two are as follows:


Hostels provide a social atmosphere where visitors share facilities. These facilities may include bunk beds, bathrooms, lounge, common area, and kitchen space. Hotel management ensures privacy with each customer by strictly assigning a set of amenities like a lodging room with a bathroom and a bed to one customer or a couple.


Customers staying in hostels pay less for their services. This is because costs are shared amongst all visitors occupying the hostel space. Hotels charge their customers relatively higher prices for privacy and special treatment.


The size of a hostel is relatively small, with many beds in one room. Beds and other facilities such as showers, bathrooms, common area, and kitchen are shared. Hostel managers can determine the size of their hotel by the number of beds it can accommodate. The number of rooms can determine how big the hotel is.

Difference between hotels and resort

The following are the key difference between a hotel and a resort:


Managers and hotel attendants provide only meals and accommodation to their visitors. Besides meals accommodation, resort visitors can enjoy a range of luxurious services like recreation and relaxation space.

Booking period

Resort managers allow their visitors to book for a long-time reservation with their facility. They can book for family vacations or long holiday vacations. Hotel bookings are for short-time reservations.


The hospitality industry is growing day by day, and many investors considering it one of the best investment opportunities. Unlike other investments, you can adjust the price of meals, rooms, and other services daily, thus increasing your earnings. Any investor can choose to invest in such business in areas like busy centres and recreation sites because customers are readily available.

18 Feb, 2022