Difference between Hostel, Hotel and Motel

What's the difference between Hotel and Motel?

What is the difference between Hostel, Hotel and Motel?

When learning English, it’s essential to understand the differences between terms such as hostel, hotel, and motel. Although all three refer to places where people can stay, they have distinct characteristics. Let’s explore these concepts in detail.

Hostel – A hostel is a budget-friendly accommodation option that often offers shared dormitory-style rooms with bunk beds and shared bathrooms. Hostels are typically chosen by young and budget-conscious travelers.

  • “I stayed at a hostel because it was affordable and I got to meet other travelers.”

Hotel – A hotel provides private rooms with en-suite bathrooms and a range of services, such as room service, restaurants, and more. Hotels can vary in the number of stars, indicating the level of comfort and service.

  • “We booked a hotel room with a beautiful sea view for our honeymoon.”

Motel – A motel is a type of hotel typically located near highways, offering simple rooms with easy access for motorists. Motels are often used for short stays during long trips.

  • “After driving all day, we took a break at a motel by the highway.”

In this article, we will delve deeper into the terms hostel, hotel, and motel with examples and their unique features.


A hostel is a budget accommodation that typically provides shared dormitory-style rooms and facilities. Hostels are popular among young travelers and tourists looking for affordable lodging options.

Features of hostels:

  • Shared Rooms: Most hostels offer dormitories with multiple beds in one room, which helps to reduce the cost of accommodation.
  • Social Atmosphere: Hostels often organize communal events for guests, fostering interaction and socialization.
  • Shared Facilities: Bathrooms, kitchens, and other amenities are usually shared among all guests.

Example: “I stayed in a hostel in Barcelona and met travelers from all over the world.”


A hotel is a commercial establishment that provides private rooms with all necessary amenities. Hotels offer varying levels of comfort, from budget to luxury options.

Features of hotels:

  • Private Rooms: Hotels provide individual rooms with private bathrooms, televisions, internet, and other amenities.
  • Services: Hotels often offer additional services such as restaurants, fitness centers, conference rooms, and more.
  • Variety: There are different categories of hotels, ranging from economy to five-star luxury hotels.

Example: “The hotel had a wonderful view of the ocean and offered excellent room service.”


A motel is a type of lodging typically located along highways and designed for motorists. The word “motel” is derived from the combination of “motor” and “hotel.”

Features of motels:

  • Parking: Motels usually offer free parking, often located right in front of the rooms.
  • Accessibility: Rooms in motels typically have separate entrances from the outside, convenient for guests traveling by car.
  • Basic Amenities: Motels provide basic amenities such as a bed, bathroom, and sometimes a kitchenette.

Example: “We stopped at a motel for the night during our road trip across the country.”

Common phrases related to Hostels, Hotels, and Motels

Booking and Check-In

  • I have a reservation under the name of [Your Name].
  • I’d like to check in, please.
  • Do you have any vacancies?
  • What are the check-in and check-out times?
  • Can I see the room first?

Facilities and Services

  • Is breakfast included?
  • What is the Wi-Fi password?
  • Is there free parking?
  • Do you have a laundry service?
  • Are pets allowed?
  • Where is the nearest gas station?
  • Is there a kitchen I can use?
  • Are there lockers available?
  • Where is the bathroom?

Questions about the Room

  • Can I get an extra towel/blanket, please?
  • Is there a fridge/microwave in the room?
  • Is the room non-smoking?
  • Can I have a wake-up call at [time]?
  • Is there a reading light by the bed?
  • Is there a safe in the room?
  • Is there a quiet time or curfew?
  • Can I switch beds/rooms?

Room Service

  • I’d like to order room service, please.
  • Can you send someone to clean the room?
  • There is an issue with the air conditioning/heating.
  • I need extra toiletries, please.


  • I’d like to check out, please.
  • Can I leave my luggage here for a few hours?
  • Thank you for your hospitality.
  • Can you call a taxi for me?
  • Can I have the bill, please?
  • How do I get to the train station/airport?
  • How do I get to the nearest highway?

A hotel is a place where you stay during a trip or vacation. A motel, on the other hand, is for motorists, meaning drivers. They are typically located near highways, so you can stop there overnight during a long journey. Motels usually have very basic amenities and are less expensive than hotels. Hostels have shared dormitories with multiple beds, so you share the room with other travelers. Rooms in hostels can be male-only, female-only, or mixed – some hostels also offer private rooms. Hostels are typically cheaper than hotels. Note the difference in pronunciation of these words: in “hotel” and “motel,” the sound “o” is pronounced like in the word “no,” while in “hostel,” the “o” sounds like “ah,” as in the word “hot.”

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