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Posted by ESC on October 11, 2000

In Reply to: Hotel/Motel posted by Bruce Kahl on October 11, 2000

: : Please help me settle a bet.
: : Aside from the obvious that Hotels are typically nicer than motels, what's the real difference? Does it have to do with ie: occupancy requirements or that hotels are usually high rise with elevators vs. garden style apt. rooms? Is there a legal difference?

: A motel is an establishment which provides lodging and parking in which the rooms are usually accessible from an outdoor parking area as opposed to a hotel where the rooms are accessible from within the establishment itself. Motel is a blend of motor and hotel.

MOTEL - ".Dr. Doris E. King, professor of history at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. She reported that the word 'was first used in 1925 in connection with an establishment opened in San Luis Obispo, California. The name was coined by the architect and the place was first called and advertised as a 'Mo-tel Inn.' The original motel consisted of a front administration building and a group of little cottages with a garage attached to each. The man who seemingly made motels respectable was a hotelman in California who built swank motels with full hotel facilities and services in Fresno and Sacramento, the El Rancho motels.Of course, in the East, motels were known as tourist camps or courts until after World War II, when the word finally came into its own.' And how did Dr. King know all this? Well she happened to have written a master thesis on the subject and to be the author of a Harvard University Press book called 'The Palaces of the Public, a History of American Hotels." From the "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988).