All around the world there are many styles of hotels, from budget to 5 star.
A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging,
usually on a short-term basis. The provision of basic accommodation, in the past, consisting only of a room
with a bed,
Additional features found in hotel rooms are a telephone, clock, television, and Internet connectivity; snack foods and drinks may be supplied in a mini-bar, also facilities for making hot drinks. Larger hotels may provide a number of additional guest facilities such as a restaurant, a swimming pool or childcare, and have conference facilities.
Some hotels offer various combinations of meals as part of a room and board arrangement. In the United Kingdom, a hotel is required by law to serve food and drinks to all guests within certain stated hours; to avoid this requirement it is not uncommon to come across private hotels which are not subject to this requirement.
In Japan, capsule hotels provide a minimized amount of room space and shared facilities. In Australia and Canada, hotel may also refer to a pub or bar.
The word hotel is derived from the French hôtel (coming from hôte meaning host), which referred to a French version of a townhouse or any other building seeing frequent visitors, rather than a place offering accommodation.
The cost and quality of hotels are usually indicative of the range and type of services available. Due to the enormous increase in tourism worldwide during the past decades, standards, especially those of smaller establishments, have improved considerably. For the sake of greater comparability, rating systems have been introduced, with the one to five stars classification being most common and with higher star ratings indicating more luxury.
Hotels are independently assessed in traditional systems and these rely heavily on the facilities provided. Some consider this to be a disadvantage to smaller hotels whose quality of accommodation could fall into one class but the lack of an item such as an elevator would prevent it from reaching a higher category.
In some countries, there is an official body with standard criteria for classifying hotels, but in many others there is none. There have been attempts at unifying the classification system so that it becomes an internationally recognized and reliable standard but large differences exist in the quality of the accommodation within one category of hotel, sometimes even in the same country.
Some hotels have gained fame around the world. The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower in Mumbai is one of India's most famous and historic hotels because of its association with the Indian independence movement.
Other hotels have given name to a particular meal or drink, such as the Waldorf Astoria in New York City known for its Waldorf Salad or the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, where the drink Singapore Sling was invented. Another example is the Hotel Sacher in Vienna Austria, home of the Sachertorte or the Hotel de Paris where the crèpe Suzette was invented.
There are also hotels which became much more popular through films like the Grand Hotel Europe in Saint Petersburg, Russia when James Bond stayed there in the blockbuster Goldeneye. Cannes hotels such as the Carlton or the Martinez become the center of the world during Cannes Film Festival.
A number of hotels have become famous through popular culture, such as the Ritz Hotel in London, ('Putting on The Ritz'), the Algonquin Hotel in New York City with its famed Algonquin Round Table and Hotel Chelsea, also in New York City, subject of a number of songs and also the scene of the stabbing of Nancy Spungen (allegedly by her boyfriend Sid Vicious). Hotels that enter folklore like these two are also often frequented by celebrities, as is the case both with the Ritz and the Chelsea.
Many hotels can be considered destinations in themselves, because of the unusual features of the hotel or its immediate environment:
Treehouse hotels Some hotels are built with living trees as structural elements, for example the Costa Rica Tree House in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica; the Treetops Hotel in Aberdare National Park, Kenya; the Ariau Towers near Manaus, Brazil, on the Rio Negro in the Amazon; and Bayram's Tree Houses in Olympos, Turkey.
Cave hotels Desert Cave Hotel in Coober Pedy, South Australia and the Cuevas Pedro Antonio de Alarcón in Guadix, Spain, as well as several hotels in Cappadocia, Turkey, are notable for being built into natural cave formations, some with rooms underground.
Capsule hotels Capsule hotels are a type of economical hotel that are found in Japan.
Ice and snow hotels The Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, and the Hotel de Glace in Duschenay, Canada, melt every spring and are rebuilt each winter; the Mammut Snow Hotel in Finland is located within the walls of the Kemi snow castle; and the Lainio Snow Hotel is part of a snow village near Ylläs, Finland.
Garden hotels Garden hotels, famous for their gardens before they became hotels, include Gravetye Manor, the home of garden designer William Robinson, and Cliveden, designed by Charles Barry with a rose garden by Geoffrey Jellicoe.
Underwater hotels Some hotels have accommodation underwater, such as Utter Inn in Lake Mälaren, Sweden. Hydropolis, under construction in Dubai, will have suites on the bottom of the Persian Gulf, and Jules Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida requires scuba diving to access its rooms.
Other unusual hotels The Library Hotel in New York City is unique in that each of its ten floors are assigned one category from the Dewey Decimal System. The Burj al-Arab hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, built on an artificial island, is structured in the shape of a boat's sail.
The former ocean liner Queen Mary in Long Beach, California uses its first-class staterooms as a hotel. The Jailhotel Löwengraben in Lucerne, Switzerland is a converted prison now used as a hotel. The Sheraton Doha Resort & Convention Hotel in Doha, Qatar is known as the Pyramid of the Gulf due to its pyramid structure. The Liberty Hotel in Boston used to be the Charles Street Jail.
The tallest hotel in the world is the Burj Al Arab in Dubai at 321 metres, which however will soon be surpassed by the nearby Rose Rotana Suites at 333 metres (1,091 feet).
The hotel with the greatest number of rooms is the MGM Grand Las Vegas in Las Vegas, USA, with a total of 6,276 rooms.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest hotel still in operation is the Hoshi Ryokan, in the Awazu Onsen area of Komatsu, Japan which opened in 718.
With such a diverse range of hotels around the world, I am sure you will be able to find one that suits your taste.
To help you with your search, I have put together these hotel resources. No more searching from site to site. Just bookmark this page and come back whenever you need to book accommodation. Enjoy.