Hotels and other accommodations are as diverse as the many family and business
travelers they accommodate. The industry includes all types of lodging, from
upscale hotels to RV parks. Motels, resorts, casino hotels, bed-and-breakfast
inns, and boarding houses also are included. In fact, in 2004 nearly 62,000
establishments provided overnight accommodations to suit many different needs and budgets.
Establishments vary greatly in size and in the services they provide. Hotels and
motels comprise the majority of establishments and tend to provide more services
than other lodging places. There are five basic types of hotels - commercial,
resort, residential, extended-stay, and casino. Larger properties offer a
variety of services for their guests, including a range of restaurant and
beverage service options - from coffee bars and lunch counters to cocktail
lounges and formal fine-dining restaurants.
Some properties provide a variety of retail shops on the premises, such as gift
boutiques, newsstands, drug and cosmetics counters, and barber and beauty shops.
An increasing number of full-service hotels now offer guests access to laundry
and valet services, swimming pools, and fitness centers or health spas.
Conventions and business meetings are major sources of revenue for hotels and
motels that are specialized (commercial hotels) and have banquet rooms, exhibit
halls, and spacious ballrooms to accommodate conventions, business meetings and
Conference hotels are fully self-contained entities specifically designed for
meetings. They provide physical fitness and recreational facilities for meeting
attendees, in addition to state-of-the-art audiovisual and technical equipment,
a business center, and banquet services.
Resort hotels and motels offer luxurious surroundings with a variety of
recreational facilities, such as swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts,
game rooms, and health spas, as well as planned social activities and entertainment.
Resorts typically are located in vacation destinations or near natural settings,
such as mountains, the seashore, theme parks, or other attractions. As a result,
the business of many resorts fluctuates with the season.
Some resort hotels and motels provide additional convention and conference
facilities to encourage customers to combine business with pleasure. During the
off season, many of these establishments solicit conventions, sales meetings,
and incentive tours to fill their otherwise empty rooms; some resorts even close
for the off-season.
Residential hotels provide living quarters for permanent and semi permanent
residents. They combine the comfort of apartment living with the convenience of
hotel services. Many have dining rooms and restaurants that also are open to
residents and to the general public.