Inn Vs Hotel: What Is The Difference Between Inn And Hotel?

Inn Vs Hotel
Inn Vs Hotel

Do you know the difference between a hotel and an inn? You are most absolutely not alone.

Even though these are two of the most widely used terms in the hospitality industry, there is a surprising amount of misunderstanding. Although the terms “hotel” and “inn” are frequently used interchangeably, there are some significant differences.

Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, knowing what to anticipate from the accommodations your reserve is a good idea. This fast tutorial will tell you everything you need to know to clear up any confusion caused by these prevalent words.

Hotel Vs Inn

Traditionally, a hotel is defined as an enterprise in the heart of town that provides lodging and a wide range of amenities. An inn, on the other hand, is a smaller, more intimate facility that provides lodging and cuisine in a rural setting.

It’s worth noting that these terms are frequently used interchangeably in modern times, particularly in the context of branding. For example, Holiday Inn is a well-known hotel chain that uses the term “inn” in their business name despite the fact that they are not genuine inn.

It’s usually easy to tell whether or not an inn is an inn in the most literal, historically correct sense. A real inn is significantly more likely than a hotel to be a small, single-building establishment with a restricted number of rooms and only one option for in-house dining.

If you’re seeking a real old-world inn experience, Europe is almost probably your best chance.

What Is a Hotel?

A hotel is a structure that offers paid lodging with a variety of amenities. Most hotels provide long-term services, which means they are appropriate for both short and long-term stays. For example, it’s not uncommon to see someone book a hotel for several months in advance in case they need a temporary somewhere to stay.

There is also a greater selection of rooms available within specific hotels. Many hotels have significant discrepancies between their best and worst rooms, as we briefly discussed in our recent post on the potential benefits and drawbacks of booking run-of-the-mill accommodations.

Hotels differ in terms of construction, size, and amenities offered. You can only learn about a hotel’s quality by looking at its star rating and reviews. Regardless of size, most hotels have the same concept, with the ground floor serving as the reception area and the other floors housing the accommodation services.

Most hotels are located in downtown areas, sporting venues, vacation destinations, and commercial districts.

What Is An Inn?

An inn is a structure or facility where tourists can obtain lodging, food, and beverages. Inns can be found throughout the country, notably along major routes.

In general, inns are less expensive than hotels. As a result, they are regarded as less luxurious. Unlike hotels, most inns do not have star ratings, with the exception of travel websites.

Room service and other opulent amenities are not as common at inns as they are in hotels.

History Of Inn And Hotel

The term “hotel” first appeared in print in 1765. It is derived from a French term that refers to the provision of lodging, drinks, food, and other amenities to visitors and business people, among other things.

The term “inn,” on the other hand, was first used in 1925. It was originally used to designate an establishment or a facility that provides some, but not all, of the services provided by hotels.


The construction and layout of hotels and inns differ. Most hotels, for example, are often planned with hundreds of rooms and multiple storeys. They also have elevators, staircases, and internal halls that lead visitors to their rooms.

Most authentic inns will have one to three stories, with rooms that are conveniently accessible to guests. The overall structure will be substantially smaller than a hotel, removing much of the walking distance and elevators associated with a hotel stay.


Hotels and inns do not have the same types of employees. Concierges, receptionists, and bellhops, for example, maybe employed by hotels to assist guests in transporting their bags to their assigned rooms. They may also have a number of housekeepers, chefs, elevator operators, concierges, and parking valets, among other services.

Traditional inns, on the other hand, do not fall into this category. In comparison to a hotel, most inns employ a very modest number of people.


Hotels often provide a greater range of amenities and services than inns. Swimming pools, a wide range of entertainment alternatives, laundry, onset relaxing and recreation activities, spa services, and workout equipment are all available. It’s also not uncommon to see theaters and casinos in well-known hotels.

Inns, on the other hand, offer less basic services. Only a few of them offer free light breakfast or have swimming pools.

Difference Between Inn And Hotel

In terms of guest duration durations and price levies, hotels and inns differ. Hotel rooms are expensive, yet the price varies greatly depending on the hotel’s location.

In terms of length of stay, most hotels enable their customers to stay for an extended period of time. This is due to the fact that they are sufficiently spacious and provide practically all of the services that guests require throughout their stay. Guests can even book hotels while arranging for permanent housing.

In contrast, inns are smaller and do not offer comprehensive or luxurious amenities to their customers. They, as well as the provision of refreshments and beverages for exhausted travelers. As a result, they typically only provide short-term accommodations.

Let us now examine the situations under which you should book an inn or a hotel based on the information provided above.

When Should You Choose An Inn Over A Hotel?

  • When You Have a Limited Budget — This is because inns are less expensive than full-service hotels.
  • When You’re on a Road Trip — For most long-distance travelers, an inn is a convenient option. Inns frequently offer quick, low-cost breakfasts that include all of the essentials.
  • When You Do Not Need Property Amenities — As previously said, most inns do not offer lavish services such as a gym, laundry, and spa. As a result, if you only require basic services, they are the greatest alternative for you.

When Should You Choose A Hotel Over An Inn?

  • When Attending a Conference — Hotels are significantly more likely to give lunch, supper, and breakfast alternatives. As a result, they are the greatest alternative for you when attending a conference because you will not have to worry or waste time seeking additional services.
  • When You Need Property Amenities — If you need amenities such as spas and other recreational activities, book a hotel.
  • When You Need Easy Access to Town – Because most hotels are located in/near cities.
  • When Traveling to an Unfamiliar Location – Hotels offer various employees, such as concierges and receptionists, who may give you local information and assistance if necessary.


If there’s one straightforward takeaway, it’s that any use of the words “hotel” or “inn” should be taken with a grain of salt. These days, they’re rarely utilized in the context of exclusivity.

In today’s society, it is usually extremely easy to tell if an inn is merely an inn in the name. You’ll know you’re dealing with a true inn when it’s in a peaceful place and resembles what most people would call a “bed and breakfast.”

A hotel is something in the center of town that has a huge building (or numerous buildings), a large staff, a large number of rooms, and plenty of amenities. Simple as that.

Please let us know what you think. Do you enjoy it when a hotel includes the word “inn” in their branding, or do you think it’s just a confused marketing gimmick?


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