Hotels vs. Motels – is There a Difference?

June 9, 2013

I remember when hotels just competed with each other. They offered a wide variety of services to attract tourists and businessmen, alike. I’m not mentioning businesswomen because in those days, women didn’t go to hotels by themselves and they didn’t make up much of the workforce.

The nicer hotels all came with samples of everything in the bathroom. There were small bottles of shampoo, conditioners, instant shoe shine sponges, soaps, shower caps, and a whole host of other travel-size products.

Housekeeping always left toweling robes in the bathroom and chocolate wafers or chocolate truffles on your pillow when they turned your bed down for the night. The higher priced hotels had mini-bars and mini-snack treats but these weren’t free; your bill reflected the cost of these indulgences based on what was used.

There was never a question about other services, e.g., housekeeping cleaning your room every day and changing the sheets and towels, bringing you toilet paper, facial tissues, samples of coffee, etc.

And, of course, in the higher priced hotels, there was always a bellhop to handle your luggage, a laundry to wash or dry clean your clothing, an all-night restaurant, room service, and a concierge to get you tickets to the latest play, concert, or sporting event. The less pricey hotels didn’t have the concierge but they did have the other amenities.

There was a deep division between hotels vs. motels.

When the economy shifted, motels came into vogue. Rooms cost less and travelers could save more money by handling their own luggage and having a very scaled-down version of bathroom product samples. The motels replaced upscale restaurants with coffee shops and they did away with laundry and dry cleaning services.

Nowadays, you can hardly tell the difference between the two. Some hotels did away with bellhops and just about all of them asked you to save the environment by opting out of changing the linens every day. They no longer give you that choice; they don’t change your linens every day unless you ask for it.

But now we’re being told that hotels are going to discontinue room service because most people eat out and they don’t order food from their fancy restaurants.

Hotels have been losing their exclusivity; their guests no longer feel pampered. If travelers can’t see the difference in services between hotels and motels, it stands to reason that hotels may soon become a luxury of the past.

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