Hotels, Motels and inns are all businesses offering a place to sleep, but there are differences between them.
A hotel is normally a big building with a many rooms. It usually has many extra services aside from providing a place to rest. These include swimming pools, gyms, conference/meeting rooms, and such. Hotels are often used for visitors who have reached their end destination. For example, if someone has a holiday in London, they will likely stay at a hotel.
In contrast, a motel is generally used by travelers whose final destination is not where the motel is situated. This is usually somewhere people will stay to rest during a trip by vehicle. Motels are mostly located along busy motorways. The word motel is also actually taken from putting the words motor and hotel together. It’s literally a hotel specific for motorists. Motels are also generally less expensive than hotels.
Inn is also usually a term for a business providing a place to stay close to a motorway or highway. However, “Inn” is an older word and usually talks about places who’s main business is providing beverages and food, but which also offer a place to stay. Inn’s are often smaller and older places, commonly found in the countryside. An exception to this would be where large hotel chains have made Inn part of their name, for example “Holiday Inn”, which could be seen as both a hotel and an inn.
Motels and hotels are both places that are specifically designed for you to stay if you don’t have a place of your own. If you are traveling somewhere, for example, they are perfect for staying just a couple nights.
The main difference between the two is the quality of the living space and the service. If you stay in a motel, you can automatically assume that it is not as nice. The price will definitely be cheaper, but with that comes fewer amenities.
For example, most motels do not have a lobby. They have a square space, and the rooms are around the perimeter of that square. The space in the middle is empty, and usually is a parking lot for cars. The places to stay that you will find in smaller towns and villages are almost always motels.
Motels may have amenities like breakfast and toiletries, but usually will not have nicer things like gyms or a pool.
By contrast, hotels are much better and higher quality. They can range from average to very nice. Most of the time, a hotel is a building with a couple floors, and you will walk in to a specified lobby with elevators.
Nice hotels can have over 20 floors, and some of them have special restaurants. If you care for it, it will also have room service, where someone will bring food up to your room if you call them.
They often are several times more expensive than staying in a motel, so which one you pick just depends on your budget and whether you are willing to spend more money for more luxury or not.