January 7, 2016


City motels are different from hotels in terms locations and amenities offered. Compared to hotels whereas operations focus on urban cores, city motels are more oriented on the outside. Contrasting to hotels, city motels do not have doors that face the interior hallways. City motel normally includes a parking lot or a built-in automobile parking.

City motels have low-rise construction, which means there are only a defined number of rooms in every floor. There is also a defined amount of land given to city motels whereas in high-rise hotels, the amount of land approved is bigger and normally surrounded the train stations. However, the size of land is not the issue. City motels had brought mobility to travelers in this new era because it can now be found in the many developed highways of every country today. In every city motel that you can find along the highway, there is also an array of inexpensive roadside businesses like theaters, drive-in restaurants, roadside diners, amusements parks, lumber yards, fuel stations, car dealerships, and the like.

Winter View of Star Lite Motel in Dilworth Minnesota USA

Winter View of Star Lite Motel in Dilworth Minnesota USA. Image source

The layout of city motels are typically constructed in shapes of letters U, L, or I. This layout already includes a small diner, a swimming pool, a small reception, a manager’s office and guest rooms. Typically, a city motel is only a single-story directly connecting to the parking lot for easy unloading and loading of suitcases to the vehicle. Of course, it also has rooms. There is also a second-story facing the balcony that is linked by multiple stairways. However, this second story may not be present in all city motels.

During the post-war, city motels have more visual distinction especially during the early 50’s and late 60’s. The motels often feature colorful neon signs that are eye-catching. Themes are also employed from various popular cultures and contemporary images of atomic era and spaceships. The most famous example of this neon era is the U.S. Route 66 motel, which still remains up to the current day.

In some city motels that have plenty of bigger rooms, apartment-like amenities like kitchenettes are employed. However, such type of room in a city hotel is marketed with higher price because of its efficiency on the guests to prepare their own food and save budget rather than eating meals in restaurants. Rooms in city motels may have connecting doors whereas two standard rooms can be combined to make it a bigger room for a large group of travelers or families.

There are city motels that offer various types of rooms like the famous “honeymoon suites”, which is marketed for newlywed couples. Such type of room comes with extra amenities likes the whirlpool baths. Some city hotels have rooms with themes depending on your preferences. These themes are inspired from cartoons characters, anime character, famous celebrities, famous icons, and popular landmarks. Some themes are based on the current season like Valentine’s, Halloween, Christmas, Holidays, Summer, Fall, Autumn, or Winter. Some themes inspired from the famous festivals all over the world like the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan.