See H. Weisskamp, Hotels (1968); R. Brotherton, ed., The Handbook of Contemporary Hospitality Management Research (1999); A. K. Sandoval-Strausz, Hotel: An American History (2007).
Building that provides lodging, meals, and other services to the traveling public on a commercial basis. Inns have existed since ancient times (e.g., along the Roman road system during the Roman Empire) to serve merchants and other travelers. Medieval European monasteries operated inns to guarantee haven for travelers in dangerous regions. The spread of travel by stagecoach in the 18th century stimulated the development of inns, as did the Industrial Revolution. The modern hotel was largely the result of the railroads; when traveling for pleasure became widely popular, large hotels were often built near railroad stations. In 1889 the Savoy Hotel in London set a new standard, with its own electricity and a host of special services; the Statler Hotel in Buffalo, N.Y. (1908), another landmark, catered to the growing class of business travelers. After World War II, new hotels tended to be larger and were often built near airports. Hotel chains became common, making purchasing, sales, and reservations more efficient. Hotels fall into three categories: transient hotels; resort hotels, intended primarily for vacationers; and residential hotels, essentially apartment buildings offering room and meal service. Seealso motel.
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A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging, usually on a short-term basis. The provision of basic accommodation, in times past, consisting only of a room with a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand has largely been replaced by rooms with modern facilities, including en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning or climate control. Additional common features found in hotel rooms are a telephone, an alarm clock, a television, and Internet connectivity; snack foods and drinks may be supplied in a mini-bar, and facilities for making hot drinks. Larger hotels may provide a number of additional guest facilities such as a restaurant, a swimming pool or childcare, and have conference and social function services.
Some hotels offer various combinations of meals as part of a room and board arrangement. In the United Kingdom, a hotel is required by law to serve food and drinks to all guests within certain stated hours; to avoid this requirement it is not uncommon to come across private hotels which are not subject to this requirement. In Japan, capsule hotels provide a minimized amount of room space and shared facilities.
The word hotel is derived from the French hôtel (coming from hôte meaning host), which referred to a French version of a townhouse or any other building seeing frequent visitors, rather than a place offering accommodation. In contemporary French usage, hôtel now has the same meaning as the English term, and hôtel particulier is used for the old meaning. The French spelling, with the circumflex, was also used in English, but is now rare. The circumflex replaces the 's' found in the earlier hostel spelling, which over time took on a new, but closely related meaning.
Some hotels have gained their renown through tradition, by hosting significant events or persons, such as Schloss Cecilienhof in Potsdam, Germany, which derives its fame from the Potsdam Conference of the World War II allies Winston Churchill, Harry Truman and Joseph Stalin in 1945. The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower in Mumbai is one of India's most famous and historic hotels because of its association with the Indian independence movement. Some establishments have given name to a particular meal or beverage, as is the case with the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, USA where the Waldorf Salad was first created or the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, Austria, home of the Sachertorte. Others have achieved fame by association with dishes or cocktails created on their premises, such as the Hotel de Paris where the crêpe Suzette was invented or the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, where the Singapore Sling cocktail was devised.
A number of hotels have entered the public consciousness through popular culture, such as the Ritz Hotel in London, UK, through its association with Irving Berlin's song, 'Puttin' on the Ritz'. The Algonquin Hotel in New York City is famed as the meeting place of the literary group, the Algonquin Round Table, and Hotel Chelsea, also in New York City, has been the subject of a number of songs and the scene of the stabbing of Nancy Spungen (allegedly by her boyfriend Sid Vicious). The luxurious Grand Hotel Europe in Saint Petersburg, Russia achieved fame with its inclusion in the James Bond film GoldenEye.
A motel is a hotel which is convenient for people who wish to be able to have quick access from their parked car to a hotel room.