The precursor to the modern hotel was the inn of medieval Europe.
For a period of about 200 years from the mid-17th century, coaching inns served as a place for lodging for coach travelers.
A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis.
Facilities provided may range from a modest-quality mattress in a small room to large suites with bigger, higher-quality beds, a dresser, a refrigerator and other kitchen facilities, upholstered chairs, a flat screen television, and en-suite bathrooms.
Some hotels offer 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.
Full service hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large number of full service accommodations, an on-site full service restaurant, and a variety of on-site amenities.
A typical layout of an inn had an inner court with bedrooms on the two sides, with the kitchen and parlour at the front and the stables at the back.Small, lower-priced hotels may offer only the most basic guest services and facilities.Larger, higher-priced hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre (with computers, printers, and other office equipment), childcare, conference and event facilities, tennis or basketball courts, gymnasium, restaurants, day spa, and social function services.The French spelling, with the circumflex, was also used in English, but is now rare.The circumflex replaces the 's' found in the earlier hostel spelling, which over time took on a new, but closely related meaning.Most hotels and major hospitality companies have set industry standards to classify hotel types.An upscale full-service hotel facility offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, an on-site restaurant, and the highest level of personalized service, such as a concierge, room service, and clothes pressing staff.The word hotel is derived from the French hôtel (coming from the same origin as hospital), which referred to a French version of a building seeing frequent visitors, and providing care, rather than a place offering accommodation.In contemporary French usage, hôtel now has the same meaning as the English term, and hôtel particulier is used for the old meaning, as well as "hôtel" in some place names such as Hôtel-Dieu (in Paris), which has been a hospital since the Middle Ages.Grammatically, hotels usually take the definite article – hence "The Astoria Hotel" or simply "The Astoria." Facilities offering hospitality to travellers have been a feature of the earliest civilizations.In Greco-Roman culture and ancient Persia, hospitals for recuperation and rest were built at thermal baths.Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized hotels that offer longer-term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel.Timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership involving ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage.Hotel rooms are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room.