Hotel, Motel, Resort – What’s the Difference?

Choosing where to stay when planning a vacation can be obscure. What is better, a resort than a hotel? Is a motel an option? What are the differences?

A hotel is designed to be a place where you can rest before going out to do activities like a conference or to see a new city. For those who want to unwind, resorts are often used for vacations. You will find more amenities such as restaurants and recreational opportunities. Motels are often considered budget hotels. However, you should expect different quality and amenities at a resort or hotel.

Let’s get into the details. Choosing where to stay on vacation will be easier if you know the differences between resorts and hotels.

What are Hotels?

Business travelers, conference attendees, and tourists visiting other cities are the primary target audience for hotels. These hotels are perfect for those who need a place to call home while on the road.

Another reason why people choose to stay at hotels is for weddings. They can rest comfortably for the night and be ready to go the next day.

Funny coincidence: Most couples go to a resort for their honeymoon after the wedding. In the next section, we’ll discuss why.

Hotels are also known for their ability to provide meals for guests. A hotel may offer breakfast. Breakfast buffets can be offered by some hotels, with waffles and omelet stations made to order.

Another option is to find a restaurant that serves a breakfast buffet. Restaurants will often offer dinner and lunch services.

Entertainment is rarely provided because people who stay in hotels often have other businesses to attend to during their stay. There are exceptions, however, if the hotel offers a bar or lounge.

It wouldn’t surprise to see a singer or musician performing in this situation while guests enjoy a drink. The hotel may offer karaoke and comedy in the lounge if they try to stand out from their competition. But in most instances, don’t expect it.

What are the four types of hotels?

Let’s now talk about the different types of hotels because not all hotels are created equal. These hotel types will be categorized as follows:





Let’s take a look at them.

Budget Hotels

Budget hotels are precisely what their name suggests. These hotels are for those who have limited funds but still need somewhere to sleep. A budget hotel will have only some of the amenities you would expect.

Budget hotels will cost anywhere between $10 and $30 per night.

(Please note that the descriptions and prices in this post refer to the United States. Due to exchange rates, you can stay in luxury hotels in certain countries for less than budget hotels in the United States.

Book a room at a budget hotel, and expect to pay only what is necessary. Paying for a bed and a roof to cover your head is simple. People who stay in budget hotels don’t need the extras found in other types of hotels.

Although we don’t want too many generalizations, a budget hotel won’t live up to your standards of cleanliness due to its price.

A budget hotel could also have long-term tenants. Some people use them to live in apartments because of their low prices.

Each comes with its set of challenges.

You might find more police activity at budget hotels than you care to see. These establishments may also be the scene of drug activity.

You may not choose a budget hotel if safety is your concern. You can check reviews on several review sites to see if the hotel is affordable.

I recommend reading only the most negative reviews when reviewing a hotel or resort. Nearly all establishments will have at least five-star reviews. You’re not looking for general complaints. It is essential to check if there are enough complaints about the same thing. You should stay away from the hotel if they are.

Affordable Hotels

Budget hotels are more expensive than affordable hotels. Expect to pay between $40-$70 per night.

Although you won’t be impressed by the design of an affordable hotel room, it is likely to be cleaner than one at a higher price.

Long-term guests will only be attracted to affordable hotels due to the higher price of these hotels. The reduction in long-term guests means a decrease in crime and drug use.

As with budget hotels, hotels that need to be put up to standard may not be clean. Your room may take longer to clean than the rooms at the hotels we’ll discuss next.

Affordable hotels don’t offer anything extra. Breakfast will consist of fruit and small boxes of cold cereal.

Business Hotels

Business hotels are something you’re familiar with. Big chains advertise these hotels on TV and mobile device.

Advertising costs money, as you would expect. The company will get the money back through the room rates.

The prices for business hotels are more varied than those we have discussed.

It is common for a room to cost between $80 and $300 per night, depending on where you are located and what activities are offered on the dates you book.

These numbers are by no means fixed. Multiple factors determine these hotel room rates.

These hotels are usually located near major business centers and the heart of urban areas. The room rates may be significantly affected if a special event or convention occurs.

At this point, I must add a disclaimer. The reason is Las Vegas.

Las Vegas is a unique case in business hotels. Las Vegas is the convention capital of the world, and Las Vegas hotel deals directly reflect that fact.

Las Vegas room rates are funny because they can vary from low-end hotels to high-end luxury hotels. This is because there’s a reason. It’s a reason people choose resorts. I’ll go into more detail in the “Why Do People Select Resorts?”

Let’s move on to the discussion about business hotels.

These hotels will usually offer hot breakfasts. Some hotels provide desirable proteins such as sausages, bacon, and eggs. Usually, potatoes or hash browns are included in the mix. Mini waffles are also included.

However, you will likely need omelet stations. The hotel may offer a bar and lounge for alcoholic drinks.

Luxury Hotels

Here is where the fun begins.

Luxury hotels can become resorts when they reach a certain level. This is especially true for luxury hotels in African countries.

Expect to pay $200 per night or more for your hotel room. Luxury hotel prices are not limited.

These hotels have a high standard of food. These restaurants are of the highest quality. Buffets are more than just hot food. They offer a unique dining experience.

You will receive the best quality rooms when you book. The goal is to pamper you with luxury, from the bedding and styling to the room. You will receive slippers and bathrobes as a complimentary gift. Some may also have a signature scent diffused throughout the public areas.

You will have a better check-in experience than any other hotel. You will get almost everything you want.

In the luxury hotel industry, there’s a saying that “Difficult can be done immediately.” It may take a minute to accomplish the impossible.

That statement means the hotel will do all it can to meet your needs.

You’ll find a concierge to help you with everything, from booking theater tickets to getting you the best pizza in town.

These are the items you will find in these categories. Budget hotels will offer services comparable to those provided by business-class hotels. Some business-class hotels may have different features than we call business-class hotels.

Summary of the Different Types of Hotels

Low-cost hotel. There are no amenities—potential for criminal activity.

Affordable Hotels – A little more expensive than budget hotels. Possibility for better bedding. Potential for improved bedding

Business Hotel – Higher prices and Superior bedding. It is located in the heart of metropolitan areas and close to business centers. The room has been upgraded in style. There are very few amenities.

Luxury Hotel – The most expensive. Superior rooms and bedding. Great attention to guest satisfaction. Excellent level of amenities.

Why Do People Choose Resorts?

There are three types of resorts, just like hotels:




It would be possible to list all the resorts available in greater detail. There are all-inclusive resorts, dude ranches, and ecotourism resorts that offer golf, amusement, and casino options. There are many more.

However, all these resort subcategories will fit into one of the three types.

Let’s look at the differences among these resort types to help you plan your vacation.

Economy Resort

Economy resorts are designed to be affordable for everyone. Timeshares can be considered an economical resort. Economy resorts are known for having activities to keep children occupied. You will find a pool, a playground, tennis and basketball courts for the kids, mini golf, and other activities to keep them busy.

You won’t find restaurants in resorts that are economically developed. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t there. Refrain from assuming that a restaurant will open on your premises. You may find a restaurant that serves hot dogs and burgers at your resort.

You can do more with a resort of specialization if you desire.

Specialty Resorts

Specialty resorts can be described as something special. Specialty resorts include theme park resorts such as Universal and Disney. This category also provides ecotourism resorts, dude ranches, golf, and casino resorts.

These resorts offer a different experience than what you would get at an economy resort. The resorts will offer a better dining experience and superior-quality rooms.

Luxurious Resorts

Do you remember what I said about luxury hotels? Because they are almost identical from the room’s perspective, luxury hotels blur the line between them and luxury resorts.

The rooms in luxury resorts have a calming effect on the mind. As is the bedding, the beds at luxury resorts are of top quality.

One of the most distinctive features of luxury resorts, especially those in Southeast Asia or the Caribbean, is their location right on the beach. It’s rare for luxury resorts to be located on the beach. It’s quite common.

You’ll find the same dining quality at a luxury resort as in a luxury hotel. Luxury resorts offer more than just dining. They’re experiences.

The same goes for the activities.

Luxury resorts often offer activities that you won’t find anywhere else. This is partly because luxury resorts are usually located in high-end areas.

We have inspected some of the most luxurious resorts in the world. We only considered 4-star resorts or higher that offer amenities such as airport transportation, spas, and private beaches. You also have the option of staying in your preferred suite. This list is a must-see if you plan to vacation at a luxurious resort.

Summary of the Resort Types

Economy Resort – Very affordable. Basic recreation activities. It is rare to find restaurants on-site. Betting and basic room.

Specialty resorts – more expensive Recreation activities that are specialized. There are several restaurants on-site. Bedding and rooms upgraded.

Luxury Resort – The most expensive. Bedding and rooms of high quality. There are usually several restaurants on-site—unique amenities like private beaches, spas, etc.

These are two great reasons to stay at resorts.

We have talked extensively about the differences between hotels and resorts. We also discussed the various types of resorts and hotels in detail.

Apart from the name of this site, why would you choose to stay in a resort when you are on vacation?

There are two reasons to stay in resorts: You can do everything you want on vacation. There are also 2. You can also purchase pricing packages to make your stay at an alternative more affordable.

Everything is on-site

As I mentioned earlier, you can find almost everything at your resort. This applies to all resorts, from budget resorts to luxury resorts.

An individual looking to stay in an economy resort only needs some of the amenities of a luxurious resort. They still have all the amenities they need to enjoy vacations.

Luxury resort guests have confident expectations of the room. While a luxury hotel will meet this expectation, the extras on the property make it attractive.

Pricing Packages Reduce Costs

Because resorts have an advantage here, I also list pricing packages.

Hotels make it easy to explore the local area, and prices can fluctuate depending on what’s happening in the region, so resorts are a better economic choice when you plan a vacation.

The prices for resorts are generally more stable. Peak season will see prices rise. These price changes are predictable. Hotels, where the price of a room can be excellent the first day but then drop dramatically over the next three days, are different from these.

The only reason you would come to a resort is for pleasure. In other words, there are no business or functional reasons to stay in a resort. They must make it attractive for you to spend money with them.

Resorts offer vacation packages. The package usually includes discounted airfare if you choose their preferred airline.

You can bundle excursions depending on which resort you choose when you book your hotel.

Las Vegas hotels are resorts, even though they can be found on the Strip. Vegas is both a popular vacation destination and a major conference center. The properties are a hotel. These properties also qualify as resorts because of all the activities they offer.

You should be aware of resort fees when booking a Las Vegas resort. These fees can drastically impact the cost of your vacation.

What is the difference between motels and resorts?

Motels were saved for last, as most people will consider a resort or a hotel when they plan a vacation.

A motel can be defined as a low-cost hotel. The motel has very few amenities. The quality of the bed and bedding could be better. You will find more things to do in a resort than you can at home.

Motels are distinguished from hotels because access to their rooms can be accessed from the outside. Your motel room door is the only thing that separates your room from the outside.

Compare that to a hotel where you go into a lobby and then up to your bedroom.

Some people find the openness of motels to be a detriment. Others see the freedom to move around and not interact with others as a plus. Personal preference is all that matters.

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