There are a couple of differences between a hotel and a motel, but the biggest difference is that hotels usually offer more amenities to their guests. If you want to know what defines a hotel versus a motel then read on!

What is the primary difference between a hotel and a motel?

Hotels and motels are both hotel-like establishments that offer lodging for a fee. 

The main difference between hotels and motels is their:

  • cost,
  • design,
  • and services.

Hotel vs Motel: Cost Difference

A motel usually has rooms with no common area in between them while a hotel typically offers more amenities like an onsite restaurant or bar.

That’s why one of their biggest difference is price.

Motel rates are often much cheaper than hotel rates because they don’t provide all of the same features.

Motels almost always tend to be less expensive than hotels because they offer fewer amenities.

Motels are a much cheaper option for travelers on a budget, since they offer less convenience, thereby making it more affordable to stay there longer periods of time.

Hotel vs Motel: Design Difference

A motel also has more of a utilitarian design (with just a few floors), where most rooms face outward from one central building instead of inward like in hotel chains. Motels are often built with design elements that reflect the culture of their surrounding area. 

Rather than having an on-site restaurant or breakfast room, motels often have vending machines so that guests can buy food for their own use if desired.

The hotel, on the other hand, has hundreds of rooms, distributed on many floors. Each hotel room is designed to provide maximum comfort and some basic luxury. Guests in the hotels can enjoy large private suites within an enclosed space.

Hotel vs Motel: Services Difference

Finally, motels do not typically provide housekeeping services unless requested by the guest – this may be included as part of the nightly cost or charged separately depending on availability and type of motel.

The hotels, on the other hand, have a wide range of services included in the nightly cost, such as making hotel guests’ beds and cleaning up after themselves. Hotels also typically have a variety of dining options available to guests, where the staffing service is provided.