Hotels provide short term accommodation to people traveling on vacation or on a business trip. At the very minimum a hotel room will have a bed and bathroom. Hotels are usually rated on a star basis from 3-6 stars, with 6 stars being the best and of course the most expensive.

Hotels usually charge on a per nightly basis. Some hotels will charge just for the room and others will charge on a per person basis. The price of a room will depend on the location, hotel reputation, and hotel amenities.

Hotels can be found almost anywhere on the planet and are concentrated in more popular travel and business destinations. Most hotels will have a bed, television and bathroom. Better hotels will have some or all of the following ameinities including: a refridegerator, internet capability, air conditioning/heating, parking, swimming pool, meeting rooms, telephone, cable television, room service, bath robes, restaurants, cafe, bar, child care or even a massage service.

Hotel rooms are usually cleaned on a daily basis by a maid service. The rooms are usually cleaned late morning. If you do not want to be disturbed, most hotels have a sign which you can hang on the door handle of your room requesting that you are not to be disturbed.

If you are traveling to a popular tourist destination or large city, you generally need to book your hotel in advance. This can be done by calling the hotel directly or by booking it over the internet. Usually you need to pay a deposit to secure the room.

On arrival at the hotel, you will need to 'check-in' this is usually done by completing a registration form and showing some form of identification. Check in time vary from hotel to hotel, so it is a good idea to check this with the hotel, especially if you plan on arriving early.

Hotel Chains

Hotel chains are a common business model for large hotel groups, which can share marketing and branding costs. For customers, they can provide a familiar level of service and price wherever in the world the hotel is operating.

Hotel as a business

Hotels require a large capital investment to get started as not only does the business need to be created, but the property investment requires a large capital outlay. Hotels are strongly affected by economic downturns and events like the 9/11 terrorist attacks, where people generally travel less.

Unusual hotels around the world

Capsule hotels – In Japan where space is a premium particularly in Tokyo, capsule hotels were created for salary men who missed their last train home. The room is little more than a box with just enough room to lay down in.

Ice hotels – There are several hotels in the world that are built entirely of ice and snow, such as the one in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. Every year the hotels are rebuilt.

The Burj al-Arab in Dubai is well known throughout the world for its unusual shape in a boat sail and that it is built on an artificial island.

Jail hotels – Several former jails have been converted into hotels, such as the Charles Street Jail in Boston which is now a four star hotel.

Underground – In Australia in the opal mining town of Coober Pedy guests can stay in an underground hotel, which is a great place to escape the desert heat.