A hotel is an establishment that provides lodging on a short-term basis. Hotels often provide a number of additional guest services such as a restaurant, a swimming pool, child care. Some hotels have conference services and encourage groups to hold conventions and meetings at their location.
Hotels differ from motels in that most motels have drive-up, exterior entrances to the rooms, while hotels tend to have halls with interior entrances to the rooms.
The cost and quality of hotels are usually relatively indicative of the range and type of services available. Due to the enormous increase in tourism worldwide, during the last decades of the 20th century common standards, especially those of smaller establishments, have improved considerably. For the sake of greater comparability, various rating systems have been introduced, with the one to five stars classification being the most commonly used.
"Basic" accommodation consisting of a room with a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand only have largely been replaced by rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Other features many travellers do not want to do without today are a TV, a telephone, an alarm clock, a small refrigerator (usually referred to as "mini-bar") containing snacks and drinks (to be paid for on departure), and tea and coffee making facilities (cups, spoons, an electric kettle and sachets containing instant coffee, tea bags, sugar, and creamer).