Travel Accommodations – Hotels Vs. Motels Vs. Guesthouses

Traveling means you need accommodations. Somewhere you can rest and keep your things as you explore a new place or go around your business. But how can you know what type of accommodation is right for you? 

These days, there are so many options that it can get confusing. To help you decide, here are the pros and cons of choosing a hotel, motel, and guesthouse.


Hotels range from mid-scale to upscale services. Each hotel is ranked from 1 star to 5 stars, wherein five is the highest. The rankings determine the quality of service of a hotel, and those that get 6 or 7 stars are considered exceptional.


  • Real professional service can be expected from the specialized staff
  • Well managed
  • A comfortable private bedroom complete with TV, bathroom, and sometimes Wi-Fi connection
  • Pools, fitness gyms, spas, shops, bars and restaurants are included
  • Coupons and other special deals are given to guests, which increases repeat business
  • Each hotel has a unique theme and design to distinguish itself from other competitors
  • Choices of room types: basic, business and deluxe or premier class
  • Some hotels are built near the airport
  • Room service include food delivery and room cleaning
  • They offer booking services to all clients all over the world via a travel agency, phone call or the Internet
  • Some are located near the airport
  • Others are built near bars and tourist attractions
  • Assured of good security to yourself and your companions


  • More expensive that motels and guesthouses
  • Rules and regulations can be strict at times
  • Some hotel staff have inferior customer service
  • Very busy during peak hours
  • Pets may not be welcomed in some hotels
  • Guests may not be able to book for rooms located in the lower floors of a half-full hotel


The term comes from the portmanteau of motor and hotel. Motels are built near roads where motorists can quickly see them, hence the term. They are sometimes referred to as small hotels. Typically, motel management enforce few and not-so-strict rules.


  • The cheapest among the three lodgings 
  • Almost hassle-free with little to no check-in and checkout requirements
  • Easy to find since most of them are found near the roads
  • No strict rules but it depends on the owner
  • Being near to roads, leaving the place with a vehicle becomes easy
  • Some may be near gas stations, shops, and eateries


  • Room service is either low quality or absent
  • Rooms may look average or not well-cleaned
  • Few rooms to choose from
  • Meals are not served
  • Small spaces, not good for large families
  • Security is virtually absent
  • Other guests can be annoying
  • Distractions within and outside the premises can interrupt sleep
  • Some vehicles are kept in the open, which gives easy access to thieves


They are also called hostels, inns or bed and breakfast in some countries. Guesthouses are converted homes or historic buildings by the proprietors to provide commercial lodging. Owners may either live within the guesthouse or near it.


  • They feel so close to home
  • Breakfast is provided as part of the payment
  • Reflects the region’s unique culture and history
  • Perfect for tenants seeking a low-tech experience
  • The atmosphere is quiet
  • Some guest houses that are built in special areas of a country provide spas and other amenities
  • Sometimes lunch and dinner may be provided


  • Some guesthouses provide private bathrooms while others are shared
  • Some countries, like Japan, require occupants to pay a damage deposit and a cleaning fee
  • Some are not easily accessible
  • One cannot expect world-class service from the staff
  • Staff are not always available 24/7
  • Some impose curfew hours
  • Security is not tight and may vary from guesthouse to guesthouse

Every type of lodging varies in its rate, customer service, building design, and ambiance. It’s up to you to choose which travel accommodation fits your needs. The best way to find out is to research online. The Web offers a myriad of continuously updated information on lodgings on every part of the globe. What matters most is a nice place to stay at night.

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