The History of Hotels

Hotels are commercial establishments that provide accommodations and related services to tourists, vacationers, and travelers. They can range in size from small family-owned businesses to large international chains. They also come in a variety of price levels and offer many services such as restaurants, bars, rooms, pools, and gyms. Guests stay in these hotels for various reasons, including the convenience of being located close to attractions, shopping, and entertainment options. They can also be a more affordable option than a private rental or vacation home.

The earliest hotels in the United States were built during the 1790s, when elite urban merchants began replacing taverns with capacious and elegant hotel buildings that valorized their economic pursuits and promoted a commercial future for the still-agrarian republic. They were imposing public monuments designed in the academic style and decorated with elaborate ornamentation that made them readily identifiable in the landscape.

In the 19th century, a second period of hotel building accelerated. This was driven by the transportation revolution that facilitated travel across the country and abroad. Railroads and canals extended the range of human movement and spawned new types of hotels. The residential hotel, dedicated to the housing needs of families unable to afford private homes in expensive urban real estate markets, and a frontier hotel form, characterized by wood construction and whitewashed exteriors, emerged in hundreds of new settlements that sprang up along the nation’s internal waterways.

By the 1920s, hotels had become global cultural touchstones. They were celebrated as exemplars of American capitalist success in a world divided by politics and connected by the promise of fast, comfortable, and secure transportation. Hotels were also prominent features of Cold War geopolitics, as Americans ventured abroad in increasing numbers to escape the stifling confines of Soviet-occupied Europe and to invest their hard-earned capital overseas. As such, hotels served as important venues for political activity, with members of voluntary associations ranging from debating societies to ethnic brotherhoods and charitable organizations regularly hiring hotel assembly rooms and dining halls for their meetings.

Whether you’re planning a business trip or a family getaway, a hotel is a great choice for a convenient and comfortable stay. They are often located in the heart of a city, providing easy access to the best shops, restaurants, and attractions. Hotel rooms are equipped with everything you need for a successful stay, and they’re usually clean and well-maintained. They also have a wide selection of activities to make your stay fun and exciting, including special tours of the local area or adjacent theme parks.

When choosing a hotel, it is helpful to read reviews from other guests. However, it is important to remember that a hotel review from five years ago might not be relevant to the current situation. Things like new management, remodeling, or dating decor can change how a guest perceives the hotel. So it is recommended to read reviews from within the last year for a more accurate picture of what to expect.