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We're a webdesign Company in New Zealand, and are looking at marketing a range of local accommodation heavily to a largely US audience.
Here the word "motel" represents low/mid range priced affordable accommodation - based on a Per Night pricing setup.
We're wondering what "motel" accommodation means to the American public? Any pointers on this would be greatly appreciated.
I guess I had an impression, whether accurate or not, that perhaps Americans saw Motels generally as being quite inferior to Hotels and the like? When in fact here at least, some are very close to the level of quality you'd find in much more expensive hotel style accommodation - minus the extensive room service.
Would this be a (very general) perception in the States as well, or would people tend to think of them as LOW cost LOW quality accommodation?
generally when I think of a motel I think twice before booking and ask somone who would know if its in a good neighborhood.
Hotel = generally, you enter your room from an interior common hallway. Quality still varies.
Beyond the entry method, the rest is pretty much pricing and frills. Along my path, I've stayed on the cheapola in some really clean, albeit basic, mom-n-popster type motels and I've checked out of some places that were undeserving of their reputation.
The inverse is likewise true.
Pride in ownership always goes a long way.
In UK, Inn = Pub
Whereas in US, Inn seems to have a more upmarket image as in "Inns of New England", but I am unsure as to how "Holiday Inn" or "Comfort Inn" is perceived?
And I had the feeling that in Australia "hotel" was used for what would be termed a "pub"
And finally, going back to the original post, is the term "Express" as in "Holiday Inn Exxpress" (and the like) what is seen as a "motel" in NZ
Yes the word Hotel is used by many Australians in place of Pub. Although I suspect that may be a rural based thing. I'm sure most aussies would be very familiar with the usage though.
Any others wish to comment on the usage of Motel and related terms targeted at US audience?
I guess one way to make a distinction between the two is based on other accommodations. At a motel, you may find a swimming pool, a vending area, continental breakfast with coffee, and maybe laundry service. Some motels will also let you rent movies or video games from a select list. Oh, one other thing, motels are generally no talker then 3 stories, with 1 to 2 stories being typical.
Hotels will more then likely have a gift shop, a restaurant inside and some form of room service. They may also have several meeting rooms or even convention space. Also, whatever you can find in a typical motel, you will also be able to find at a hotel.
But again, these are just rudimentary guidelines. Some hotels done have a restaurant, a gift shop, or even room service and there are some motels that may have a restaurant or a gift shop attached and may have some rudimentary room service--such as providing items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brushes, shaving cream, etc.
I am more familiar with the meaning of hotels/comdominiums/resorts/serviced apartments/vacation rentals.. but I am 90% sure that most people associate "motel" with being drive-in accommodation. The term "motor inn" also fits the same profile.
It has nothing to do with standard of accommodation... some motor inns offer high quality lodging.... and some are flea pits. Same with all accommodation categories... you get what you pay for, no matter what the category may be.
Hotels may be anything from two or three stories to 100 stories. A Motel is what I have always believed you drive up to the door of your room and park directly in front. Its usually all on one level.
Motor Hotels or "motels" are usually situated on major highways and strategic off ramps. They are intended as one night pit stops on your way to your final destination. Hotels are usually situated in city centers or vacation destinations.
Forgive me if I have been labouring under a misunderstanding of the word all my life ... but in Canada, that is the general interpretation!
<added> I just looked it up in the dictionary because I was beginning to question my own understanding of the word. Unfortunately, as a Canadian, I don't have a Webster's Dictionary so the meaning in the US may be somewhat different.
The Oxford Dictionary states: A roadside hotel providing accommodation for motorists and parking for their vehicles. Combination: Motor + Hotel = Motel.
It was Churchill who said that Britain and America were two nations separated by a common language. And in this case nearly every English speaking nation has its own slant on words to describe accommodation.
Thing is, when aiming a web site at another nation, you need to know how they perceive the word, not how you peceive it. An Australian can visualise a "hotel" as a spit and sawdust pub, a New Zealander sees a "motel" as something much more up market than an American, an American sees a "Bed and Breakfast" as something more upmarket than a Brit.
Its these shades of meaning that make it important to write for your intended market, not your own country ;)
Its these shades of meaning that make it important to write for your intended market, not your own country
You're absolutely right and I completely agree. I was just surprised as all my life, I had a completely different understanding of the word.
Case in point: The heading of this thread contains the phrase "Americans please help!"
Many people from the U.S. assume this means them and only them. As Canada is sutuated in North America, many of us (depending upon our age bracket) also consider ourselves Americans, though we understand that to a US resident ... we are just Canucks! ;)