Definition: The term “Hotel” refers to an establishment that provides paid lodging, for a short duration to tourists. The term hotel has been derived from the French word “hotel” which meant a townhouse. Hotels provide a number of other services such as a restaurant, a swimming pool, or childcare. They also have arrangements to hold conference and meetings. A rating system with one to five stars has been introduced as a mark of comparison for hotels.
The term “Motel” is derived from the term “motorists hotel,” which originally meant that the hotel provided parking. Motel referred initially to a single building of connected rooms whose doors face a parking lot and/or common area or a series of small cabins with common parking. Their origin was driven by increased driving distances on the United States highway system that allowed easy cross-country travel.
Motels and Hotels may differ on the following points:
Motels differ from hotels in their emphasis on largely anonymous interactions between owners and occupants, their location along highways (as opposed to urban cores), and their orientation to the outside (in contrast to hotels whose doors typically face an interior hallway). A hotel generally will have interior hallways rather than open walkways. Motels almost by definition included a parking lot, while older hotels were not built with automobile parking in mind.
edit Restaurants and eating
Hotels generally have restaurants and room sevice for food.
In motels, room service may or may not be there. Sometimes, Kitchens may be offered to prepare food in motels.
Hotels can be cheap or high priced depending upon the amenities and quality of service provided. Motels are cheaper than hotels as they offer very basic amenities.
A hotel may provide facilities like room service for food, housekeeping, swimming pool and health club and other recreational facilities. The room in a hotel might have facilities like a telephone, TV, Internet etc while a Motel generally will offer only room service and housekeeping and none of the other specialised services.
A hotel targeted at the upper segment of the society will always have attractive rooms and a multi storied building. A motel, on the other hand has a single story building and basic hygenic rooms.
edit Duration of stay
A motel is targeted at people travelling on the highway and wanting to break their journey. A hotel is targeted at all sorts of people like businessmen, travellers, students etc. So the duration of stay in a hotel can be both short as well long.
With specialization of services, hotels have diversified and extended their services. There are many types of hotels these days, for example: Boutique Hotels, Garden Hotels, Underwater hotels etc. While Motels can either be short term accommodation or long term accommodation motels.