EHL Insights
Written by
Hospitality Industry
4 min read

Q : What are the different hotel types?

If your goal is to work in the hospitality industry, it’s important to know the various places where you could work and employ your skills. Hotels make up one of the main choices, yet not all hotels are the same by any means.

This article will cover the names and overviews of different types of hotels, showing you the distinctions and perhaps helping you to understand the best employment fit for yourself.

You may also see how you could adapt hospitality skills to the different hotel types.

Standard Options

There are some main basic structures and designs many people think of when referring to hotels.

  • Hotel/Motel

These are the standard operations that provide a place to stay and varying amenities and services. They may be independent or part of a larger hotel/motel chain.

  • Limited-service Hotel

These hotels keep lodging simple, providing a place to stay on a budget. They tend to be situated in economy, midscale or upper midscale classifications. Their limited services and amenities usually exclude a full-service restaurant from being onsite.

  • New Build

This terminology refers to a hotel property that was built from the start for the purpose of being a hotel. This is separate from the hotels that once had a different function and were converted into use for a hotel. A major benefit of a new build is that it can focus on creating a layout that is ideal for the purposes of a hotel, and can include specialty features and amenities that make it stand out.


All the Bells and Whistles

Some hotel types offer many features and amenities on top of the basics.

  • Full-service Hotel

At this type of hotel, you’ll find just about anything you might expect from your accommodations. That means it will offer a range of onsite amenities that probably include restaurants, exercise spaces, spas and meeting spaces. These hotels are generally luxury, upscale or upper upscale properties.

  • All-inclusive Hotel

This type is similar to a full-service hotel in the range of amenities it offers, yet the amenities and services are bundled with the rooms into a complete package. This means that the price a person pays includes the room along with value-added amenities and services such as food, gratuities and activities. With this setup, a guest can enjoy everything (or most of what) the hotel has to offer without paying separately for each item. It provides a carefree experience.

  • Destination Resort

Leisure travelers enjoy staying at these properties, which tend to be in resort markets. Instead of simply being a place to stay while seeing tourist attractions, these resorts are destinations in and of themselves. That’s because they have plenty to do onsite, giving a unique experience and rejuvenation without stepping foot off the property. These sites are usually large, full-service and filled with amenities and stellar customer service.

  • All-suite Options

People who want a high-class experience or extra space can opt for an all-suite property. In this setup, guests book suites that are more expansive than normal hotel rooms, as they provide increased space, more furniture and a separate living area. There may even be more than one bedroom located off the living area.

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Independent or Small-scale Options

Not all hotels are part of large chains. Instead, they can be independent, smaller or keep their own distinctive qualities.

  • Boutique Hotel

Boutique properties tend to be independent with a smaller number of rooms (under 200). They have unique room configurations and amenities unlike corporate hotels that look almost the same in any city of the world. They offer a piece of the local culture and history, as well as unique experiences and services. Despite a high average rate for a stay, guests enjoy the unique and local aspects of these hotels.

  • Lifestyle Brand

This is a group of hotels under a single brand. They tend to be franchised, and the defining feature is that the brand stays current by changing to fit trends.

  • Soft Brand Hotel

This is a hotel that is affiliated with a major chain yet it separates itself with a unique style. Rather than be like one of the many in the chain, it gets to have its own name as well as layout and design.


Home-Like Properties

Some properties help people feel at home with cozy settings or extended stays.

  • Bed and Breakfast/Inn

These properties are independently owned and operated by the owner, who is often the innkeeper who resides onsite. These are small establishments generally with 20 or fewer rooms, and often resemble a large house. Usually, a guest’s breakfast is included in the room rate. These properties tend to give the feeling of staying as a guest in someone’s house, as they are small, have a homey design, give a personal touch and offer access to the whole house.

  • Condominiums

Another home-like option is a condo rental. This setup involves individually and wholly-owned condo units with a rental pool that is run by a management company.

  • Extended Stay

Some people are looking for a place to stay for longer than a few nights. In this case, they can choose an extended stay property. The average length of stay is still not too long at four to seven nights, yet guests get the perk of staying for a weekly rather than nightly rate. This is a great option for those one- to two-week family vacations.

  • Timeshare

A timeshare is a property that a person holds property use rights to along with other parties, and is usually found in a resort condo unit. The different parties have an agreement as to who can use the property when.


Specialty Properties

Some hotels focus on specific trip purposes.

  • Conference Center

Businesses and organizations can host their event at a conference center, which has the amenities needed for a conference. To call themselves conference centers, these specialty properties need to follow the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) guidelines.

  • Convention Center

A similar setup is that of a convention center. It has the main focus of hosting conventions and must not be part of the Conference Center Group (CCG). Instead, these properties fit the requirements of conventions with meeting facilities of 20,000 square feet or larger and 300 or more rooms.

  • Gaming/Casino Hotels

These properties put their focus on casino amenities, so their guests are able to enjoy a casino onsite of where they are staying.

  • Golf Property

These sites provide their guests with a golf course that is featured as one of the property’s amenities. A property does not receive this distinction for privileges on a golf course near the hotel, so a golf hotel ensures a certain experience for its guests.

  • Ski Hotel

These hotels offer onsite access to ski slopes as a major amenity. Someone staying here has the luxury of skiing onsite and then returning to the hotel to dry off, get warm and relax.

  • Spa Property

Rather than offering a couple of spa services, this type of hotel includes an onsite spa facility with rejuvenative spa treatments provided by full-time staff members.

  • Waterpark Property

These sites offer guests the amenity of a waterpark as part of the resort. They are distinguished by room rentals along with an onsite indoor or outdoor waterpark of at least 10,000 square feet, with the stay inclusive of waterpark features such as slides and tubes.

As you can see, there is a broad range of hotel types available. Some are budget, some mid-level and some higher end. Some provide a basic stay while others offer high-class or unique amenities. The type of hotel determines the focus, whether it might be the comfort of the stay itself, a certain onsite feature or the culture of the area. Guests have different expectations based on the type of hotel, and as a staff member, you would adjust your role to fit the setting.


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