What Are Hotels Called In English?

What are hotels called in English when they're NOT called hotels? 

You're looking for hotels in the U.S.  Do you know what to look for?  A hotel, a motel or what... We've got a few tips.


If it's a big establishment in a city, you don't need to worry...

...you're looking for a hotel.... 

Though if you're driving by, the building may not SAY that on the sign. 

It may just give you the brand name like Hilton or Sheraton or Intercontinental or Marriott. 



You May Be Looking For A Brand Name

We're not necessarily recommending any of those, only pointing out that you have to know what those brand names stand for.

OK... You can look for hotels or brand names. 

What are hotels called in English if they are smaller places or out in the country side or beside a freeway or highway?

If you're traveling along, finding rooms as you go, you need to know what to look for in smaller towns and more rural areas. 

Looking for hotels road signs

English is confusing even for native English speakers sometimes... And of course there are those little differences you run into in English speaking countries.

If you see one of those big brand name hotels, and you can afford them, you'll be fine.  

There are some brand names that are for more affordable motels or hotels too.

Smaller places along the road will probably be called something else.


So What Are Hotels Called In English?

"Motel" is one of the words you want to be looking for. 

Back in the 50's when Americans hit the road in earnest, motor hotels... motels... sprouted up everywhere. 

You might also want to look for "Motor Courts" or "Motor Inns".

An "Inn" can certainly be a place to spend the night... but it can also be just a restaurant. 

When you see something that calls itself an inn, you just have to look at it and evaluate it. Does it look like it has rooms for travelers? It never hurts to stop and ask. If they don't have rooms, they will be able to tell you where to look.

A "Resort" will generally be a place to stay that also has lots of activities centered around water or skiing or horseback riding. 

"Dude Ranches" are kind of like resorts with all of the activities centered on riding horses and playing cowboy.

Motels on the road - what are they called in English?

A "Lodge" can also be a rural hotel or motel.

If you're touring the U.S. National Parks, many of them have wonderful old lodges for guests to stay in.

...But just to confuse you, a lodge can also be a club where you won't find rooms for travelers...

...like the Moose Lodge, the Elks Lodge or the Masonic Lodge.

If you want to look for "B&Bs" in the U.S., there are more all the time, but remember that in the U.S. they tend to be more expensive than hotels and motels.


Other English Speaking Countries

Well, you say, that's the U.S.

What are hotels called in English speaking countries outside of the U.S.?

You can run into similar confusion, though we think there is less confusion than in the U.S.

In the United Kingdom, if you look for a B&B you will generally find a budget accommodation.

Pubs can be a good place to find inexpensive rooms, but not all Pubs have rooms to rent... you might just have to ask.

There are also motels and inns and lodges in the U.K. Stop and ask... they might just have a room for you.

Native English speakers don't necessarily have an edge here, unless it's familiarity with the brands.

So what are hotels called in English?

We can't always tell what those signs mean either, so we'll do exactly what we're recommending you do...

Stop and ask.

If there are no rooms available at that inn... they will probably send you to a motel or lodge or resort where you can find one.

Happy travels... even if you don't travel the world... just remember that life is a journey... embrace and enjoy it! Judy and Mark

Curious about what else we've written about?  Search our site for a destination or travel tip.

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Thanks, Judy and Mark

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