Traveling is an activity that involves staying at places other than one’s own home. Hotels are typically commercial establishments that offer lodgings for travellers and tourists. Guests can either stay in private rooms or share the facility with other people, depending on their budget and needs. Some hotels are located in popular tourist destinations, while others are situated within cities and other towns that are accessible to people travelling from nearby areas. Several services are offered by hotels, including dining facilities, entertainment, business centres and other amenities.
The hotel industry is a global business. In addition to providing accommodation, hotels may also act as an intermediary for other travel-related services such as air and railway transport, car rental offices and tour operators. Hotels are typically marketed through travel websites and booking systems, although some hotels may also have their own websites.
There are many different types of hotels to cater for the various needs of travelers. These include luxury resorts, boutique hotels, business hotels, family-friendly hotels and hostels. Hotels vary in size, price and services rendered, with some offering more extensive facilities than others. They are usually classified by star ratings, which are based on objective criteria such as amenities available or service standards. In some cases, hotel ratings are regulated by tourism authorities or by hotel associations while others are self-regulated and may give themselves stars at will.
In the United States, hotel rates are at record highs, according to a recent analysis by NerdWallet. The average nightly rate of a hotel in March was $133, up from $92 a year ago and $20 more than the all-time high in February. The hike is the result of rising prices across the country, especially for airfare and accommodations.
Some hotels provide shuttle transportation in vans, mini-buses or even a single car to transport their guests to and from airport terminals, train stations, bus stops or any other location of their choice. Such transportation is often arranged as an optional extra to a hotel stay and is subject to availability.
A hotel is usually able to provide its guests with laundry and dry cleaning services, as well as other personal care items such as soaps and shampoos. They may also have wellness and spa facilities such as swimming pools, saunas and massage/therapy rooms. Other services that hotels provide to their guests may include currency exchange, fax (at a fixed price per page) and printing services.
Some hotels, especially those geared toward business travellers, may have dedicated conference rooms and other facilities to facilitate the holding of meetings or events. They may also have business centers with equipment such as computers, printers and fax machines to allow for the processing of documents and letters. Hotel restaurants are a common feature in the hospitality industry and serve a variety of meals, including breakfasts, lunches and dinners. In addition, many hotels have bars where guests can relax and enjoy drinks. Some hotels even have their own in-house pubs.