AskDefine | Define hotels

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Plural of hotel



  1. plural form of hotel

Extensive Definition

distinguish Hostel 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in times past, consisting only of a room with a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand has largely been replaced by rooms with modern facilities, including en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning or climate control.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.
In Australia and Canada, hotel may also refer to a pub or bar. In India, the word may also refer to a restaurant since the best restaurants were always situated next to a good hotel.


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.


The cost and quality of hotels are usually indicative of the range and type of services available. Due to the enormous increase in tourism worldwide during the last decades of the 20th century, standards, especially those of smaller establishments, have improved considerably. For the sake of greater comparability, rating systems have been introduced, with the one to five stars classification being most common and with higher star ratings indicating more luxury. Hotels are independently assessed in traditional systems and these rely heavily on the facilities provided. Some consider this disadvantageous to smaller hotels whose quality of accommodation could fall into one class but the lack of an item such as an elevator would prevent it from reaching a higher categorization. In some countries, there is an official body with standard criteria for classifying hotels, but in many others there is none. There have been attempts at unifying the classification system so that it becomes an internationally recognized and reliable standard but large differences exist in the quality of the accommodation and the food within one category of hotel, sometimes even in the same country. The American Automobile Association (AAA) and their affiliated bodies use diamonds instead of stars to express hotel and restaurant ratings levels.


A motel is a hotel which is made convenient for people who wish to be able to have quick access from their parked car to a hotel room.

Historic hotels

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 so-called 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. Other establishments have given name to a particular meal or beverage, as is the case with the Waldorf Astoria in New York City known for its Waldorf Salad or the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, where the drink Singapore Sling was invented. Another example is the Hotel Sacher in Vienna Austria, home of the Sachertorte or the Hotel de Paris where the crèpe Suzette was invented.
There are also hotels which became much more popular through films like the Grand Hotel Europe in Saint Petersburg, Russia when James Bond stayed there in the blockbuster Goldeneye. Cannes hotels such as the Carlton or the Martinez become the center of the world during Cannes Film Festival (France).
A number of hotels have entered the public consciousness through popular culture, such as the Ritz Hotel in London, UK ('Putting on The Ritz'), the Algonquin Hotel in New York City with its famed Algonquin Round Table and Hotel Chelsea, also in New York City, subject of a number of songs and also the scene of the stabbing of Nancy Spungen (allegedly by her boyfriend Sid Vicious). Hotels that enter folklore like these two are also often frequented by celebrities, as is the case both with the Ritz and the Chelsea.

Unusual hotels

Many hotels can be considered destinations in themselves, by dint of unusual features of the lodging and/or its immediate environment:

Treehouse hotels

Some hotels are built with living trees as structural elements, for example the Costa Rica Tree House in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica; the Treetops Hotel in Aberdare National Park, Kenya; the Ariau Towers near Manaus, Brazil, on the Rio Negro in the Amazon; and Bayram's Tree Houses in Olympos, Turkey.

Cave hotels

Desert Cave Hotel in Coober Pedy, South Australia and the Cuevas Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (named after the author) in Guadix, Spain, as well as several hotels in Cappadocia, Turkey, are notable for being built into natural cave formations, some with rooms underground.

Capsule hotels

Capsule hotels are a type of economical hotel that are quite common in Japan. Similar hotels are now also found in Europe.

Ice and snow hotels

The Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, and the "Hotel de Glace" in Duschenay,­ Canada, melt every spring and are rebuilt each winter; the Mammut Snow Hotel in Finland is located within the walls of the Kemi snow castle; and the Lainio Snow Hotel is part of a snow village near Ylläs, Finland.

Garden hotels

Garden hotels, famous for their gardens before they became hotels, include Gravetye Manor, the home of garden designer William Robinson, and Cliveden, designed by Charles Barry with a rose garden by Geoffrey Jellicoe.

Underwater hotels

Some hotels have accommodation underwater, such as Utter Inn in Lake Mälaren, Sweden. Hydropolis, under construction in Dubai, will have suites on the bottom of the Persian Gulf, and Jules Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida requires scuba diving to access its rooms.

Other unusual hotels

World record setting hotels


The tallest hotel in the world is the Burj al-Arab in Dubai at 321 metres, which however will soon be surpassed by the nearby Rose Rotana Suites at 333 metres (1,091 feet).


The hotel with the greatest number of rooms is the MGM Grand Las Vegas in Las Vegas, USA, with a total of 6,276 rooms. In 2006, Guinness World Records listed the First World Hotel in Genting Highlands, Malaysia as the world's largest hotel with a total of 6,118 rooms.


According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest hotel still in operation is the Hoshi Ryokan, in the Awazu Onsen area of Komatsu, Japan which opened in 717.

Living in hotels

A number of public figures have notably chosen to take up semi-permanent or permanent residence in hotels.
  • Actor Richard Harris lived at the Savoy Hotel while in London. Hotel archivist Susan Scott recounts an anecdote that when he was being taken out of the building on a stretcher shortly before his death he raised his hand and told the diners "it was the food".

See also

commons Hotel
Adams, New York which has preserved its 1890s exterior and interior Oberoi Udaivillas in Udaipur, India.


hotels in Arabic: فندق
hotels in Bosnian: Hotel
hotels in Breton: Leti
hotels in Bulgarian: Хотел
hotels in Catalan: Hotel
hotels in Czech: Hotel
hotels in Danish: Hotel
hotels in German: Hotel
hotels in Estonian: Hotell
hotels in Spanish: Hotel
hotels in Esperanto: Hotelo
hotels in Persian: هتل
hotels in French: Hôtel
hotels in Galician: Hotel
hotels in Korean: 호텔
hotels in Hindi: होटल
hotels in Croatian: Hotel
hotels in Indonesian: Hotel
hotels in Italian: Albergo
hotels in Hebrew: בית מלון
hotels in Latin: Deversorium
hotels in Lithuanian: Viešbutis
hotels in Hungarian: Szálloda
hotels in Dutch: Hotel
hotels in Japanese: ホテル
hotels in Norwegian: Hotell
hotels in Polish: Hotel
hotels in Portuguese: Hotel
hotels in Quechua: Tampu wasi
hotels in Russian: Гостиница
hotels in Sicilian: Arbergu
hotels in Simple English: Hotel
hotels in Slovak: Hotel
hotels in Slovenian: Hotel
hotels in Serbian: Хотел
hotels in Serbo-Croatian: Hotel
hotels in Finnish: Hotelli
hotels in Swedish: Hotell
hotels in Tamil: விடுதி
hotels in Thai: โรงแรม
hotels in Vietnamese: Khách sạn
hotels in Tajik: Меҳмонхона
hotels in Turkish: Otel
hotels in Yiddish: האטעל
hotels in Chinese: 酒店
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