One part of travelling that people look forward to the most is the accommodation. There are many different types of accommodation, but the most common is the hotel, where there are plentiful.
Here you’ll be eating, drinking and sleeping, among other things, so choose carefully. There are many different types of hotels, from the most luxurious to the cosiest, down to the most unique and strangest.
What are the defining features of each? Read on to find out, and to spark a new and exciting desire to stay somewhere you’ve never stayed before.
Different Types of Hotels
Many different types of hotel fall under the category of a ‘luxury hotel’. Generally, luxury hotels are five star hotels in high desired locations with stylish rooms featuring modern décor and cutting-edge features.
Luxury hotels offers services and amenities that are not standard in ordinary chain hotels, with dog sitting, personal trainers, Michelin-starred hotel restaurants and even butler service becoming common.
Ordinary facilities – a gym, steam room and sauna, swimming pool and spa – are upgraded to reflect the hotel’s luxury standards.
Guests in luxury hotels are expected to receive the highest possible level of customer service from all hotel staff and receive tailored information from the concierge. Above all, the luxury hotel experience is bespoke and individualised to suit the precise needs of the guest.
Don’t be fooled by a hotel’s claim of luxury, as nowadays, many hotels market themselves this way to increase their rates and attract a certain type of clientele, but their facilities and level of service don’t necessarily reflect this.
The best spa hotels in the world can also be luxury hotels. The focus of a spa hotel is providing its guests with exquisite spa treatments that focus on the guests’ health, beauty and wellbeing.
Facilities such as high-end steam rooms, saunas, swimming pools and fitness facilities are common in spa hotels and the hotel’s treatment rooms are atmospheric and luxurious.
In a spa hotel, you can expect all of the treatment staff to be highly qualified and the products used during your treatment will be luxury goods. Common in major cities and tourist destinations, spa hotels tend to be more exclusive than spa resorts, and their clients may usually spend a weekend away there.
Hotel resorts are full-service hotels. If you choose to stay in a hotel resort you will rarely, if ever, need to leave the resort property during your stay. Designed specifically for guests on vacation, hotel resorts are generally unsuitable for business travellers.
Most of the top vacation attractions in the world, such as famous beaches, areas of extreme natural beauty and places of historic significance, have their own hotel resorts.
Those who ski, enjoy water sports or tend to spend their vacations relaxing on the beach will chose a hotel resort in which they can sleep, eat, rest and play.
As with luxury hotels, there is no standard set of features or amenities a hotel must have to call itself a boutique hotel. True boutique hotels are one of a kind. They’re small, between 10 and 80 rooms is the norm, and adopt a cutting-edge approach to design.
Often boutique hotels are located in the heart of busy cities and act as an extension of that city’s coolest cultural/culinary/entertainment scene. At times, boutique hotels are located in less urban settings but they can always be found in places tourists want to go. Service in boutique hotels is ultra-personal and catering is rich in local flavour.
Business hotels are primarily practical but that doesn’t mean they can’t be stylish. Those who stay in business hotels usually rate efficiency and comfort as their top priorities. With this in mind, business hotels are always located in busy urban areas, either downtown or in the business district.
Business hotels may also be located close to major airports too, so people can rest before and after long flights. Business travellers tend towards one or two-night stays so rooms in business hotels are less extravagant than luxury or boutique hotels but guests benefit from the convenience of complimentary amenities such as breakfast, newspapers and Wi-Fi.
Eco hotels, also known as green hotels, are increasingly popular, particular in areas known for their natural beauty. An eco hotel is any establishment that minimises its impact on the environment, is ecologically sustainable and takes conscious steps towards conservation of the local environment.
Some hotels may claim to be ‘eco-friendly’, having adopted green policies, but eco-hotels must consider the local community and offer an economic return for their presence.
Many eco-hotels now use local building practises and materials that further support their local community.
People have been residing and entertaining in caves since ancient times and enterprising hoteliers have converted a number of these ancient dwellings into fully functioning hotels. The region of Cappadocia in Turkey, Matmata in Tunisia and Cave Country in Andalucia are a few of the most well-known cave hotel destinations.
Most cave hotels would classify themselves at boutique hotels due to their small size and unusual décor as well as the unique experience they offer but do be aware that cave hotels exist to suit every budget.
Pop Up Hotel
A new trend that allows visitors to stay overnight in places where no permanent hotels exist, the pop-up hotel is any temporary structure. Tents, pre-fabricated modules, yurts, teepees and even shipping containers are being used as hotels that are installed for a short period of time and then whisked away.
Pop up hotels offer inexpensive accommodation at events such as music festivals or the Olympics, during which it is incredibly difficult to find a traditional hotel. While pop up hotels may not be the most comfortable hotels in the world, they do allow their guests to connect with the environment in a unique way.
Capsule hotels are comprised of stacks of small, pod-like sleeping compartments and were first developed in Japan as a solution for the huge number of businessmen who couldn’t afford to stay at different types of hotels while on the road.
Originally male-only hotels, capsule hotels have now developed into an attractive solution for young travellers in East Asia and in recent years have taken hold in Europe.
Outside of the sleeping compartment, capsule hotels are essentially the same as hostels with communal shower areas, recreation areas and sometimes bars.