The word hotel comes from the French word hotel, derived from the word hote – meaning host. Initially, the term refers to any building that has frequent visitors. Today, the hotel is an establishment that provides accommodation, meals and other services to travelers for a fee.
The earliest record of any mention of paid accommodation would be in biblical times. According to the Bible, Mary and Joseph were unable to get an accommodation because "there was no room in the inn".
During the Roman Empire, hotels began to grow. They were created to encourage visitors to the empire.
According to Guinness World Records, the oldest hotel still in operation today is the Hoshi Ryokan, located in the Avazu Onsen area of Komatsu in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. It was founded and still run by the same family for 1,292 years. The hotel is with a family of forty-six generations from 718. The hotel was built near a hot water spring believed to have miraculous healing properties. The locals still claim that this is true to this day. The hotel has 100 rooms and can accommodate up to 450 guests.
The first inn was established in America, which was created in 1607. In 1792, the city hotel, the first state hotel, opened in New York. Tremont opened in Boston in 1809. It was the first modern hotel in America. Buffalo Statler, the first business hotel in America, began operations in 1908.
Over the years, individual tastes changed, and it was inevitable that hotels would change as desired by customers. These days, customers can choose from more choices.
Customers can choose to stay in a luxury hotel or budget hotel, depending on their budget or available funds. Hotels can also be classified by type of service:
- Full service Upscale
- Full service
- Select Service
- Limited service
- Extended stay
- Destination club
For people looking for an adventure, they can try some unusual hotels like the Null Stern Hotel in Teufen, Appenzellerland, Switzerland, which was previously a nuclear bunker that has been transformed into a hotel. There are also cave hotels in Cappadocia, Turkey and Spain. Costa Rica has hotels at Treehouse, and Japan has capsule hotels where people sleep on top of each other in rectangular containers. Since it has been cold in Canada, Finland and Sweden for most of the years, these countries have hotels that are made of ice and snow. There are also underwater hotels in Sweden and Florida, USA.
The largest hotel according to the Guinness World Record Book is the World's First Hotel, located in Genting Highlands, Malaysia. It has 6118 rooms. The tallest hotel is the Rose Tower, located in Dubai. It is 333 meters high.