The word Hotel comes from the French term hôtel which refers to the french version of a townhouse and not a place that offers accomodation. A hotel is an establishemnt where one can rent accomodation facilities for usually, a short period of time. It is mainly used by tourists and those travelling on business. Hotels may also offer additional services like swimming pools, restaurants, gymnasiums etc. Some hotels may provide conference facilities and persuade people to hold their meetings or conventions at those locations.
Services and facilities
Earlier and even now in cheaper hotels, only basic amenities like a bed, a small cupboard, a washstand, and a table are provided. Some hotels may provide a telephone, an alarm clock and a television. The luxurious hotels may have en suite bathrooms, broadband Internet connection, climate control etc.
There may be a mini-bar in the room, equipped with a small refrigerator, well-stocked with drinks and snacks. If consumed, these are charged to the customer on departure. Rooms may also have a small kitchenette or simply an electric kettle with tea and coffee – making options. Usually, tea bags, sugar, milk powder and coffee sachets are provided free of cost.
Based on the quality and range of facilities offered, the hotels are classified using specific rating systems. The one to five star rating is the most popular worldwide.
Hotels may be renowned for various reasons. Some famous hotels are :
- Schloss Cecelienhof in Potsdam, Germany – The Potsdam Conference of World War II was held here.
- Waldorf Astoria in New York City, USA – The Waldorf salad was named by this hotel as this is their speciality.
- Ritz Hotel in London, UK – It is frequented by celebrities
- Hotel Chelsea in New York City, USA – It features in a number of songs
- Beverly Hills Hotel in California, USA - It is frequented by celebrities especially Hollywood stars.
- Burj Al Arab in Dubai – It is the most luxurious and tallest hotel in the world.
Some hotels like or Treetops Hotel in Aberdares National Park, Kenya are built with living trees as their structure are as known as tree houses.
Desert Cave Hotel in Coober Pedy, South Australia is built into a natural cave. Some cave hotels also have rooms built underground.
In Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, there is an ice hotel which melts every spring and so is rebuilt out of snow and ice every winter.
Largest : The largest hotel in the world is Ambassador City Jomtien resort at Jomtein. It is a resort hotel with about 5,100 rooms.
Tallest : The tallest hotel in the world is Burj Al Arab in Dubai which stands at 321 meters (1,053 feet).
Oldest : Hoshi Ryokan in Awazu, Japan is in operation since 717 CE and contains hot springs.