A motor hotel, or motel for short (also known as motor inn, motor court, motor lodge, tourist lodge, cottage court, auto camps, tourist home, tourist cabins, auto cabins, cabin camps, cabin court, or auto court), is a hotel designed for motorists, and usually has a parking area for motor vehicles. Entering dictionaries after World War II, the word motel, coined in 1925 as a portmanteau of motor and hotel or motorists' hotel, referred initially to a type of hotel consisting of a single building of connected rooms whose doors faced a parking lot and, in some circumstances, a common area; or a series of small cabins with common parking. Motels are often privately owned, though motel chains do exist.
As the provincial highways and the United States highway system began to develop in the 1920s, long-distance road journeys became more common, and the need for inexpensive, easily accessible overnight accommodation sited close to the main routes led to the growth of the motel concept. Motels peaked in popularity in the 1960s with rising car travel, only to decline in response to competition from the newer chain hotels which became commonplace at highway interchanges as traffic was bypassed onto newly constructed freeways.
Famous quotes containing the word motel:
“The hotel was once where things coalesced, where you could meet both townspeople and travelers. Not so in a motel. No matter how you build it, the motel remains the haunt of the quick and dirty, where the only locals are Chamber of Commerce boys every fourth Thursday. Who ever heard the returning traveler exclaim over one of the great motels of the world he stayed in? Motels can be big, but never grand.”
—William Least Heat Moon [William Trogdon] (b. 1939)