Hostal is a Spanish word for a category of lodging. Hostales tend to be somewhat nicer than youth hostels, but cheaper and more personal than hotels. Hostals normally provide a bar and/or a restaurant/cafeteria where drinks and food is offered, to guest and locals alike. Over all many, but not all, hostales are focusing on not only their temporary guests staying at the hostel, but also on locals living in the area all year around, to a wider extent than most youth hostels and hotels do. Accommodations typically include private bedrooms, sometimes combined with backpacker dormitories and/or apartments with possibility to rent either short or long term, and linens and towels are usually provided, unless it is a long term apartment rental. Then they are considered resident, and can sort themselves out, also meaning no cleaning or other services. Guests may sometimes share a common bathroom, but in contrast to youth hostels many hostales can provide a number of rooms with en suite bathroom. Hostales are common in Spain and may also be found in Mexico, Central and South America. They are often family-run and may provide a friendlier and less formal atmosphere than a hotel.
Hostal-residencias are the same as hostals, but in general without a cafetería or other place where you can eat (exceptions exist, though).