If someone wants to describe a hotel to someone, they will usually use its name, its star rating, and its type (inn, bed & breakfast, motel, hostel, etc). However, other classifications also exist and many people don’t use these or understand what they mean. Mainly, they are classified by being either full service (with a wealth of other services such as restaurants, boutiques, drug stores, and more on site), or limited service.
Full Service or Limited Service Hotel
A full service hotel, as explained, offers a wealth of other services as well. They usually also house a conference hall in which events and dinners can be held, and where technology is available to hold presentations. This sets them apart from a limited service location, where only room and board (and perhaps a laundry service) is available.
Traits and Features
It is also possible to classify a hotel by its traits and features. For instance, resort hotels are those that are located in beautiful surroundings and where a lot of attention is paid to the experience as a whole. You can expect golf courses, multiple swimming pools, child areas, and more and they are usually near a natural location such as a beach or the mountains.
Then, there are conference hotels. Those have been designed specifically to meet the needs of the business world. They are a type of full service establishment, but one that focuses less on entertainment and more on convenience.
Casino hotels are also a breed apart. Take, for instance, the Bicycle Casino Hotel, which is a full service hotel but one that offers more as well. The casino is the main attraction of the hotel, and this is enhanced by stylish, comfortable rooms, a valet service, seated massages, an outdoor playing area, and more. However, although there is a strong focus on comfort, luxury, and style, the main emphasis is on the casino.
Then, there are the extended stay hotels, which have various amenities designed for people who intend to stay for quite some time. They usually have apartments rather than rooms, including all the necessary modern kitchen and bathroom amenities. What sets them apart from regular apartments, however, is that they also have hotel features on site.
Short term hotels, by contrast, include guest houses, RV parks, and bed & breakfasts. They tend to be limited service establishments, in other words, with an owner living on site to ensure guests are comfortable and properly looked after, but with very few additional services. In fact, most do not even have dinner facilities on site.
Clearly, classifying a hotel is a lot more complex than giving out its name or star rating. This is also why travel agents will generally ask a lot more questions in terms of the types of features and amenities people want to look for. It simply helps them to narrow down their huge search of properties and facilities. At the same time, it also shows you just how much choice is available to you.