Motels vs Inns, What’s the Difference?

Motels are cheaper, informal, near highways. Inns are in the country and people do not stay very long. Inns are just shelters with rooftops with no demarcated rooms.

Motels are actually small hotels often found at the side of highways or roads which are frequented by travellers plying on the road, late into the night. These are also known as motor hotels or motor lodges. Different types of travellers, mainly the motorists having their own transports need to stay for sometime where they can safely park their vehicles too..So they choose the motels aka motor hotels.

Examples: Motel6, HolidayInn, Budgetell, Ramada, Super8, Travelodge, RedRoofInn, Econolodge


  1. Affordable: Motels are quite cheaper compared to proper big hotels .Thus different types of people feel comfortable to stay here. Sometimes travellers specially the motorists just need a temporary shelter to stay and also to keep their vehicles, so they do not need to spend a handsome amount on a hotel stay like a tourist. In some occasions, travellers can stay longer too.

  2. Personal Touch: Motels often are owned by families. They together look after the operations too. Therefore tired travellers and even sometimes individuals who look for a cosy place to rest in, They often do not travel with their families so when families look after them it makes them feel like staying at home.

  3. Informal: Motels often do not have a very professional atmosphere. So tired motorists may start staying after basic paperwork. No arduous paperwork like big hotels are required.

  4. Free parking: The main advantage is that their vehicles that they need , to resume the remaining journey, can be parked free of cost and the people can directly go to their rooms from parking area


  1. Untidy: Motels are not very professionally run so often the premises specially the rooms are kept dirty, with ill maintained furniture and other facilities.

  2. Shady activities: Some motels which are found in remote locations and some others too are soft targets for different types of shady activities since the maintenance of motels are not that professionally done.

  3. Crimes: The residents have often complained about break-ins, burglaries etc. Since the security is not at all strong, thus it is quite obvious that these would happen\




Inns are usually small accommodations by the roadside or highway but usually in the countryside. These are usually meant for travellers solely who needs a shelter just to rest for a while or maybe for a night along with food and drink. Previously when there were no automobiles the inns used to keep their horses too.

Inns are also quite a cheap option to just rest awhile along with some food and drink.


Both motels and inns are more or less the same thing, yet there are a few differences between the two.

  1. Motels are places where travellers and sometimes others stay too and maybe for a bit longer time but inns are predominantly for travellers only that too only for a couple of hours.

  1. Motels may be designed in such a way that they may have a bedroom, living room and a bathroom and multiple people may have to share the facilities too, inns are just shelters with rooftops with no demarcated rooms since the original purpose was to just lend the tired travellers a place to keep their weary head on.


  1. Motels are located beside roads or highways in both cities and countryside . But inns are usually seen in countryside more than the cities.


  1. Motels though small are similar to that of hotel in terms of operations but inns may not operate like that. They may only operate to actually give a resting place along with something to eat and drink, before they can travel again.

Thus it can be concluded that, both motels and inns are extremely similar to each other in all aspects because motels are the modern version of inns only, to cater to the needs of travellers. They have been built originally with the similar structure as that of inns but gradually operating like that of hotels