Motels have been around for almost a century, offering travelers convenient and affordable accommodations. In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of motels from their early days as roadside inns to their current status as popular accommodations.
The Inception of Motels
In the 1920s and 1930s, the first motels in America were constructed to provide affordable lodging for travelers traveling long distances. These early establishments were often situated outside cities or towns on highways or other major roadways.
Motels became even more common during the Great Depression as people sought ways to save money on travel. Many motels offered basic amenities like clean rooms and hot showers at a fraction of the cost of traditional hotels.
The Golden Age of Motels
Post-World War II saw the emergence of motels across America. As more people began traveling by car, demand for budget-friendly lodging increased exponentially. Motels provided travelers with a convenient place to stay while they were on their journeys.
Motel architecture and design began to revolutionize during this era. Many motels featured unique features like A-frame roofs, neon signs, and swimming pools that set them apart from other forms of lodging. These elements made motels iconic within American culture and helped define them as essential landmarks.
The Decline of Motels
Chain hotels began to gain popularity during the 1960s and ’70s, offering more amenities than motels did, such as room service and restaurants. As a result, many independent motels began to close their doors for business.
The construction of the Interstate Highway System had a dramatic effect on motels. As highways bypassed many small towns and cities, demand for roadside lodging decreased drastically. Many motels were forced to close or convert into other types of businesses.
Recently, there has been an uptick in interest for motels. Travelers are seeking unique, affordable accommodations with more personality than chain hotels can provide. As a result, a new generation of boutique motels has emerged to meet this need.
These modern-day motels provide amenities like free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and locally sourced breakfasts. Furthermore, their unique designs pay homage to the golden age of motels.
What is the history behind motels?
Motels have been around since the 1920s and 1930s, serving to provide affordable accommodation to travelers traveling long distances.
Motels became increasingly popular during the Great Depression as people sought ways to save money while traveling. Additionally, motels became even more common after World War II as more people began traveling by automobile.
What’s the difference between a motel and hotel?
Motels are typically situated near highways, offering travelers convenient and budget-friendly accommodations. Hotels on the other hand are usually found in cities or tourist destinations and usually provide more amenities than motels do.
What are some iconic motel chains?
Some well-known motel brands include Motel 6, Super 8, and Days Inn.
What are some of the unique features of modern-day motels?
Modern motels often showcase classic design elements to pay homage to their nostalgic pasts, plus they provide amenities like free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and locally sourced breakfasts.
How have motels changed over time?
Motel architecture and design have evolved over time, from basic accommodations to today’s luxury accommodations with unique designs.
What is the future of motels in the hospitality industry?
Motels remain uncertain, but many travelers are searching for unique and budget-friendly accommodations with more character than chain hotels offer.
How can you locate a quality motel for your next trip?
Reading reviews online or asking friends and family for recommendations are two great ways to find one.
What are some of the advantages and drawbacks of staying at a motel?
Pros: Motels tend to be more cost-effective than hotels and often provide convenient locations near highways. Conversely, motel rooms may be smaller in size and lack certain amenities that hotels provide.
How can you book a motel room online?
Booking motel rooms is now easier than ever by visiting websites like Booking.com.