Motel

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Motel'

Motel Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    motel n : a motor hotel
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Motel'


A motel is a hotel designed for motorists, and usually has a parking area for motor vehicles. They are common in the United States.

Entering dictionaries after World War II, the word motel, 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. As 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.

In modern times, auto camps predated motels by a few years. Unlike motels, auto camps and tourist courts typically provided bed and breakfast or hotel style service, usually with stand-alone cabins. After the invention of the motel, auto camps continued in popularity through the Depression years and after World War II, their popularity finally starting to diminish with the construction of freeways and changes in consumer demands. Examples include the Rising Sun Auto Camp in Glacier National Park and Blue Bonnet Court in Texas. Such facilities were "mom-and-pop" facilities on the outskirts of a town that were as quirky as their owners. They attracted the first "road warriors" as they crossed North America in their new automobiles. The 1935 City Directory for San Diego, CA lists "motel" type accommodations under Tourist Camps.

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