Differences Between a Hostel and Hotel and motels

The differences are actually pretty small, but the prejudices are widely spread. So what is the difference between hotels, motels and hostels?

The differences are actually pretty small, but the prejudices are widely spread. So what is the difference between hotels, motels and hostels? Concisely, motels and hostels are subcategories of hotels. Hotels can be categorized in many ways – not just by stars but also in types. For example, you may come across the terms apartment hotels, extended stay, conference hotels, boutique hotels, budget hotels, limited service hotels, luxury hotels, and inns. And of course also motels and hostels.
Differences Between a Hostel and Hotel

Difference between motels and hotels

Motels can be defined as hotels that are located with easy access to motorway junctions. Motels are often associated with cheaper solutions, fewer facilities and lower quality. Furthermore, the traditional motels were always built in I-, L- or U-shaped buildings with a large parking area surrounding it. Motels are also associated with buildings of two floors, outdoor access, and room halls towards the parking area. We don’t really have motels in Denmark; the few properties that are close to this description are more often than not just called a hotel or an inn (although an “inn” is an even older term for a business that primarily offers food and beverages, and provides stayovers as a secondary service).

Since motels are an subcategory of hotels, the differences between the two are a bit blurry. But here we have tried to make an overview of the commonly associated differences:

  • Size: Motels are smaller than hotels
  • Service: Motels offer fewer services than hotels
  • Facilities: Motels have fewer facilities than hotels
  • Location: Motels are located near motorways while hotels have more central locations in cities
  • Communal space: Motels often have no communal space except for a small reception for checking in
  • Quality: Motels use lower quality products for building and designing to maintain low prices
  • Price: Motels are cheaper than hotels

Difference between hostels and hotels

Hostels are a cheaper and more social hotel category than many others. Cheaper because you rent a bed instead of a room. More social because you sleep in the same room as others and because of good social facilities to meet other travelers. Hostels are mostly used by young people with limited budgets that do not mind saving money at the expense of privacy. The many young guests, the desire to travel, and the open minded culture make hostels informal spaces between staff and guests.

Again, we have to mention that hostels are a subcategory of hotels, but in comparison to motels, it is much easier to characterize the differences between a hotel and a hostel. Here is an overview of the most obvious differences between the two:
  • Size: Hostels calculate their size by number of beds instead of rooms
  • Service: Hostels often have more self-service options than hotels
  • Facilities: Hostels often have fewer but more social facilities than hotels
  • Location: Hostels are usually found in cities and near nature
  • Atmosphere: Hostels have a more informal atmosphere than hotels
  • Quality: Hostels are often of lower quality, but the modernized hostels have higher quality in communal spaces
  • Price: Hostels are cheaper than hotels


GAGS.BUZZ: Differences Between a Hostel and Hotel and motels
Differences Between a Hostel and Hotel and motels
The differences are actually pretty small, but the prejudices are widely spread. So what is the difference between hotels, motels and hostels?
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