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30 Different Types of Hotels

Luxurious hotel with swimming pool and palm trees.

Hotel types and systems differ in cost, function, and size, but despite the thousands of hotels across the world, there are only ten types. These range from international luxury to specialty hotels, treehouse hotels, igloo hotels, yurt hotels, motels, extended stays, and more.

A hotel is a place where people can stay for a brief period in exchange for a fee. In a hotel room, amenities might range from a basic mattress in a tiny room to a suite with a larger, more luxurious bed.

Also, you’ll find a dresser, a refrigerator, comfortable chairs, and a flat-screen TV in your room, along with private bathrooms. 

Some low-cost hotels may only provide basic items and services for their guests. Listed below are the 10 different types of hotels, some with unique styles and amenities to offer guests plus how hotels operate. Keep reading!

10 Types of Hotels

There are chiefly established industry norms for classifying hotel types, which are followed by the majority of hotels and large hospitality firms. The following is a list of general categories:

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1. International Luxury Hotels

5 star luxury hotel with Doric column.


Luxury hotels in large or capital cities offer top-notch conveniences, full-service lodgings, complete-service restaurants on-site, and the most tailored and expert service. 

According to national and local criteria, global luxury hotels must have a Five Diamond or Five Star grade minimum. Burj Al Arab, Dubai stands at the top of this rating.

2. Lifestyle Luxury Resorts

Lifestyle Luxury Resorts with swimming pool.

Branded hotels that appeal to a guest’s personal or lifestyle pictures are known as “lifestyle luxury resorts.” Full-service offerings classed as luxury are the norm for these establishments. Lifestyle resorts are defined by their passion for giving guests an exceptional stay rather than only providing rooms. 

Lifestyle luxury resorts may or may not be rated as Five Star hotels, based on the location and local rating norms in which they are operating. Exemplifying names comprise the Taj Hotels, St. Regina, Waldorf Astoria, and several others.

3. High-end Full-service Resort

High-end Full-service Resort with fountain.

In an upscale full-service hotel, guests can expect a wide range of amenities and services. Typical on-site amenities include a fitness facility, meeting and conference rooms, restaurant and room service, and a business center. From premium to luxury, upscale full-service hotels offer a wide range of amenities. 

The quality of the hotel’s facilities and services is taken into account when assigning this ranking. Marriott and Hilton W Hotels are just a few of the many brands that fall under this umbrella.

4. Boutique Hotels

Two bedroom for Boutique Hotels.

Non-branded boutique hotels are smaller, independent, non-branded hotels offering mid-scale to upmarket spaces in unique or private environs with full-service accommodation. Most of these establishments have fewer than 100 rooms.

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5. Specialized Service Hotels

Hotels that cater to a certain group of guests, such as the lone business traveler, with a restricted amount of on-site amenities and services. It’s possible to get full-service accommodation in most specialized or select-service hotels, although they may not have amenities like a swimming pool or a restaurant on-site. Hilton Garden Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, and Holiday Inn are some of the most well-known hotel chains.

6. Economy Hotels/Limited Services

This type of hotel usually caters to a certain market segment, such as the budget-conscious visitor looking for “no-frills” accommodation, because of its small or medium size and the restricted number of on-site amenities it provides. An on-site restaurant is rare in these hotels but they may provide a limited number of free food and beverage options, such as a continental breakfast. Fairfield Inn, Hampton Inn, and Holiday Inn Express are just a few examples of this type of hotel.

7. Extended Stay Hotels

In contrast to regular hotels, extended-stay hotels are small to medium-sized establishments that provide full-service accommodations for longer periods. Extensive stay hotels may charge a flat weekly fee to accommodate tourists who need short-term lodging for an extended length of time, such as a month-to-month rate. 

Most extended-stay hotels do not have an on-site restaurant, which is a common feature of limited- and select-service hotels. Residence Inn by Marriott is an example of an extended-stay hotel that offers a wide range of amenities.

8. Destination Clubs and Timeshares

Destination clubs are a type of vacation ownership that involves purchasing and owning an individual unit of accommodation for a specific amount of time that can be used at any time. With entertainment areas, swimming pools, restaurants on property, and other fun activities, many timeshare resorts are akin to full-service hotels. 

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Destination clubs, on the other hand, are likely to provide more exclusive private lodgings, such as single-family homes situated in a neighborhood environment. 

Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Westgate Resorts, and Marriott Vacation Club International are just a few examples of timeshare brands.

9. Motels

Room interior of 2 bedroom Motels.

Motels are low-rise lodgings akin to a low-cost hotel, but with direct access to each room from the parking lot. Motels were constructed to cater to road users, such as vacationers taking road trips and employees who are required to drive as part of their jobs. During the 1950s and 1960s, several hotels were built on affordable land on the outskirts of towns or along major thoroughfares and then placed next to important highways.

Rooms in motels in various countries are more commonly rented by the hour, making them ideal for romantic getaways. In Latin America, this is a common occurrence.

10. Micro stay Hotels

Interior of Micro stay Hotels.

Hotel rooms may be available for micro stays, which are short-term reservations that allow customers to pick their check-in and departure times. As a result, the hotel can resell the same room multiple times throughout the day, thereby increasing revenue.

Services Provided by Hotels

If you’re staying in a larger, more expensive hotel, you may have access to a variety of extra services and amenities. These might include a fitness center or tennis or basketball courts, as well as a business center with computers and printers.

How Hotel Rooms are Setup

To make it easier for visitors to locate their rooms in larger hotels and B&Bs, hotel rooms are typically assigned numbers or names. A few boutiques and high-end hotels have rooms that have been custom-designed. 

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When booking a room and a meal, you can find this option at several hotels. Capsule hotels, popular in Japan, serve guests with cramped quarters fit just for sleeping and with access to communal restrooms.

Is the Motel Industry Dying Out?

Hotel corporations have been establishing low-cost, limited-service franchised motels along freeway exits to compete with each other for the same customers since the 1990s, making new motel construction unusual today. In rural areas, motels are still useful, but as the population grows, more hotels spring up to accommodate the demand for lodging. 

It’s not uncommon to see a big franchise chain take over an unbranded motel, rebranding it as something else entirely (a lodge or hotel) to keep it open. Travelodge, Super 8, and Travelodge are just a few of the chains that own motels.

Hotels Before Modern Times

In medieval Europe, the inn served as a predecessor to the modern hotel. Coaching inns were a venue for coach travelers to stay for almost 200 years, beginning in the mid-1600s. At some point in the mid-1700s, inns began to appeal to more affluent customers. In 1768, one of the earliest modern hotels was built in Exeter. It was in the late 1800s when the first luxury hotels appeared in Western Europe, as well as the United States.

Understanding Hotel Standards

Depending on the size, function, complexity, and cost of the hotel, its operations might be either simple or complex. A uniform classification system has been established by most hotels and major hospitality organizations. At an elite hotel, you’ll find a wide range of amenities and services, including a full-service restaurant, concierge service, and laundry service.

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Many luxury full-service hotels have a full-service restaurant and other on-site amenities, in addition to a large number of full-service rooms. A boutique hotel is a smaller, independent, non-branded hotel with luxury amenities. On-site amenities are limited in small and medium-sized hotels.

To put it another way, economy hotels are small or medium-sized lodging facilities that provide basic lodgings with limited or no amenities. In contrast to regular hotels, extended-stay hotels are small to medium-sized establishments that provide full-service accommodation for longer periods.

As a property owner, timeshare and destination clubs allow you to own a separate unit of accommodation that can only be used for a specific period. Small, low-rise lodgings with direct access to each room from the parking lot are called motels.

If you’re looking for a unique hotel experience, a boutique hotel can be the best option. The Ritz Hotel in London, for example, has become well-known thanks to pop culture. Casinos and holiday resorts are two examples of hotels that are created solely to attract visitors.

How Do Hotels Function?

Hotel facilities are often governed by a general manager (commonly referred to as the “hotel manager”), department heads (e.g., food service), middle managers, and administrative employees. There are also line-level supervisors responsible for overseeing various departments within a hotel based on its size, function, and class. The organizational chart and volume of job positions and hierarchy vary. This is often determined by the ownership and management companies of the hotel.

Unique and Specialty Hotel

Unique Hotels

Dubai’s Burj al-Arab hotel is shaped like a boat’s sail and sits on an artificial island in the Gulf of Oman.

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Every one of the ten levels of the Library Hotel in New York City is categorized according to the Dewey Decimal System.

Prison-turned-hotel Jailhotel Löwengraben is located in the Swiss city of Lucerne.

The pyramidal design of the Luxor, a hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, makes it unique.

Previously, the Charles Street Jail was housed at the Liberty Hotel in Boston.

Finnish Lapland hotel Kakslauttanen, where you may stay in glass igloos and see the Northern Lights.

Completed in 1936, this Scottish-built structure After retiring from transatlantic service in 1967, the RMS Queen Mary’s first-class staterooms are now being used as a hotel in Long Beach, California, United States.

Each of the Wigwam motel rooms were stand-alone concrete teepees or wigwams, thanks to unique novelty architecture.

Decommissioned train cars are used to build a variety of Caboose Motel and Red Caboose Inn lodging establishments.

Several hotels across the world have been constructed using aircraft that were formerly in the air.

1. Boutique hotels and historic inns

Beautiful simple hotel with a minibar.

If you’re looking for a unique hotel experience, a boutique hotel can be the best option. The Potsdam Conference of the World War II allies Joseph Stalin, Harry Truman, and Winston Churchill, held at Schloss Cecilienhof, Germany, in 1945, is one of the most famous hotels in the world. 


Mahal Palace & Tower in Mumbai is one of the most famous and historic hotels in India because of its connection with the independence movement in India. 

2. Hotels With Food Named After Them

The Waldorf Astoria in New York City, where the Waldorf Salad was originally produced, and the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, Austria, where the Sachertorte was first created, are two examples of restaurants that have lent their names to specific meals or beverages. 

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The crêpe Suzette was invented at the Hotel de Paris, as was the Singapore Sling cocktail at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Other hotels have gained notoriety through the creation of famous dishes or cocktails on their premises.

3. Resort Hotels

Resort Hotels in Las Vegas.

When a hotel is developed as a part of a theme park, amusement park, or casino, it is known as a “captive trade” hotel. Even though hotels have long been erected in prominent locations, the distinguishing feature of a resort hotel is that it exists solely to serve another attraction, with the two attractions sharing the same proprietors.

On the Las Vegas Strip, there is a long-standing history of one-upmanship among the area’s most opulent and lavish hotels. Las Vegas still boasts the biggest concentration of the world’s largest hotels by room count, with a total of more than 67,000 rooms in the Strip’s nineteen major hotels.

4. Bunker hotels

Former nuclear bunkers, such as the Null Stern Hotel in Switzerland and the Concrete Mushrooms in Albania, have been converted into hotels.

5. Cave Hotels

Beautiful cave hotels and old vases.

Various hotels in Cappadocia, Turkey, and Spain’s Cuevas Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (named after the author) are renowned for being built inside natural cave formations, some with subterranean rooms. South Australia’s Coober Pedy Desert Cave Hotel sits in the ruins of an old opal quarry.

6. Clifftop Hotels

These hotels, which are perched on bluffs above the ocean, provide stunning vistas and a sense of seclusion without being completely cut off. Caruso Belvedere Hotel on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Aman Resorts in Bali, Birkenhead House in South Africa, The Caves in Jamaica, and Caesar Augustus in Capri are just a few examples from around the world.

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7. Snow, Igloo, and Ice Hotels

Small igloo hotels covered with snow.

This is the world’s first and only year-round ice hotel, located in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. It was built in 1990 and melts every spring. Ice hotels are rare, however, one can find one at Duchesnay, Canada’s Hotel de Glace. 

It is completely remodeled and rebuilt each year. The Mammut Snow Hotel in Finland is housed within the walls of the Kemi Snow Castle. You can find glass igloos and an arctic snow hotel at Rovaniemi, Finland. With 65 houses, 53 for two people, and 12 for four people, the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort became the first glass igloos created in Finland. The thermal glass roof of glass igloos allows visitors to enjoy the aurora borealis from the comfort of their beds.

8. Capsule Hotels

Capsule Hotels for overnight stay.

Capsule hotels are becoming increasingly popular. People stay in stacks of rectangular containers in capsule hotels, a sort of low-cost accommodation that was first introduced to the United States by the Japanese.

9. Day Room Hotels

Some hotels, such as the Rodeway Inn and Suites near Port Everglades in Florida, use day rooms to accommodate daytime guests. Before the typical night shift, rooms are reserved for a block of time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Travelers may compare these to transit hotels, although they don’t eliminate the need to go through Customs as transit hotels do.

10. Garden Hotels

Before they were hotels, Cliveden and Gravetye Manor, developed by Charles Barry and including a rose garden by Geoffrey Jellicoe, were both famous for their gardens.

11. Love Motels

Love hotels (also known as “love motels” in Taiwan) are short-term lodging options that cater to the sexual needs of their customers. They are typically open for one to three hours, but guests can stay overnight if they wish. Premises styles range from the most basic to the most opulent. Love motels in Japan have been around for more than 400 years.

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12. Modular Hotels

New modular and mobile hotel rooms were created by a New York-based corporation in 2021, allowing landowners and hospitality companies to quickly and conveniently expand their hotel facilities. Multi-floor apartments can be created by stacking the portable units, which can be constructed in three to five months.

13. Referral Lodging

A referral hotel is a chain of hotels that serves as a marketing platform for independently owned and operated properties. The largest surviving member-owned chain is Best Western, which has been transformed into a franchise by many previous referral chains.

14. Railway Hotels

It wasn’t until 1844 that the Great Western Hotel, designed specifically for travelers using the Great Western Railway, opened next to Reading’s railway station. While the building has seen numerous uses throughout the years, it is now once again a hotel and a member of the Malmaison hotel network.

Above Baker Street tube station in London, there is the Chiltern Court Hotel. In Canada, there are several grand railway hotels. Those going by train are or were the primary users, although they are not the only ones.

15. Hotels Made Of Straw Bales

Nax Mont-Noble in Switzerland’s Alps is home to Maya Guesthouse, Europe’s only straw-bale hotel. Because of the high insulation characteristics of the walls, the Maya Guesthouse in the Alps does not require a traditional heating or cooling system.

16. Transit Hotels

Transit hotels are short-stay hotels that are commonly seen near major airports where travelers can remain while awaiting their next plane to take off or land. The hotels are usually on the airport side and therefore do not require a visa or re-admittance through airport security for a stay.

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17. Treehouse Hotels

A small Treehouse Hotels on the mountain.

Bayrams Tree Houses in Olympos; the Treetops Hotel in Kenya; the Costa Rican tree house; The Treehotel in Pite, Sweden; are fine examples of hotels built with living trees as structural elements.

18. Submerged Hotels

Couple watching from a submerged hotel.

Utter Inn in Lake Mälaren, Sweden, is one such hotel that offers lodgings below the surface of the water. Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida, and Hydropolis, a project in Dubai, would have included suites on the bottom of the Persian Gulf.

19. Hotels Above the Sea

Overwater bungalows and hotels, restaurants, and other tourist attractions are common features of resort islands and archipelagos. The Maldives is home to most resorts with overwater bungalows.

20. Yurt Hotels

Self-supporting circular yurts with long rafters that meet at a dome’s center. All of the yurt’s interior can be illuminated by the dome’s rays of light during the day and at night.