The word hotel comes from the French word hotel, which comes from the word hote – meaning host. Originally, this term used to refer to any building that has frequent visitors. Nowadays, the hotel provides lodging, catering and other services for travelers.
The earliest record of paid accommodation would be in the Bible. According to the Bible, Mary and Joseph were unable to obtain accommodation because "there was no room in the tavern."
It was during the Roman Empire that hotels began to spread. They were created to encourage visitors to the empire.
According to the Guinness World Record, the oldest hotel still in operation today is Hoshi Ryokan, located in the Awazu Onsen area of Komatsu Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. It was founded and still runs the same family for 1229 years. The hotel has been with the family for forty-six generations since 718. The hotel was built near a hot spring, believed to have miraculous healing properties. The locals claim it to this day. The hotel has 100 rooms and can accommodate up to 450 guests.
The first pub in America was established in 1607. In 1792, the City Hotel, the first public hotel, opened in New York. Tremont opened in Boston in 1809. It was the first modern hotel in America. Buffalo Statler, America's first business hotel, began operations in 1908.
Over the years, individual tastes have changed and it was inevitable that hotels would change according to the wishes of the client. Nowadays, customers can choose from more choices.
Depending on their budget or availability, customers may choose to stay in luxury or budget hotels. Hotels can also be classified by type of service:
- Full service upscale
- Full service
- Select Service
- Limited service
- Extended stay
- Destination Club
For people who want an adventure, they can try some unusual hotels, like the Null Stern Hotel in Teufen, Apenzellelandland, Switzerland, which used to be a nuclear bunker that was transformed into a hotel. There are also cave hotels in Cappadocia, Turkey and Spain. There are Treehouse hotels in Costa Rica, and in Japan there are capsule hotels where people sleep with each other in rectangular dishes. Because Canada, Finland and Sweden have cold weather for most of the year, these countries have hotels made of ice and snow. There are also underwater hotels in Sweden and Florida, USA.
The largest hotel, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is the First World Hotel, located on Mount Genting, Malaysia. It has 6118 rooms. The tallest hotel is the Rose Tower in Dubai. It is 333 meters long.