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A small hotel in Mureck, Styria, Austria which has preserved its 1960s exterior and interior

A hotel is an establishment that provides lodging on a short-term basis. Hotels often provide a number of ancillary services for their clients such as a restaurant, a swimming pool, child-minding services, etc, although these vary vastly from location to location. Some hotels have conference services and encourage groups to hold conventions and meetings at their location.

Hotels differ from motels in that most motels have drive-up, exterior entrances to the rooms, while hotels tend to have halls with interior entrances to the rooms.

The cost and quality of hotels are usually relatively indicative of the range and type of services available. Due to the enormous increase in tourism worldwide, during the last decades of the 20th century common standards, especially those of smaller establishments, have improved considerably. "Basic" accommodation consisting of a room with a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand only have largely been replaced by rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Other features many travellers do not want to do without today are a TV, a telephone, an alarm clock, a small refrigerator (usually referred to as "mini-bar") containing snacks and drinks (to be paid for on departure), and tea and coffee making facilities (cups, spoons, an electric kettle and sachets containing instant coffee, tea bags, sugar, and creamer).

However, in Japan is an opposite example, that of the capsule hotel, where facilities and room space have been drastically reduced.

The lobby of the Hotel Reineldis

Apart from family-run or individual hotels, there are also national and worldwide hotel chains. These include:

Hotels in fiction

Hotels have often been chosen by authors as the setting of their literary works, e.g. The Hotel New Hampshire. It is especially true of crime fiction (Agatha Christie's Evil Under the Sun, A Caribbean Mystery, At Bertram's Hotel; Cyril Hare's Suicide Excepted) and farces. Hotels also feature prominently in films (Grand Hotel, Room Service, Plaza Suite), television series, and songs, e.g. Hotel California.

See also:

The dining room and bar

Hotel is also the letter H in the NATO phonetic alphabet

Hotel was also the name of an American television program that aired on ABC from 1983 until 1988.