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What is the Difference Between Hotels and Inns?

Hotel? Inn? What is the difference? Is there a difference? Here’s what you should know about hotels and inns.

When it comes to accommodation there are plenty of options. Hostels, which usually cater to budget backpackers, are especially popular among young travellers. Bed and breakfasts are a great pick for families or couples, especially if you’re on a road trip. Then there come hotels. But what about inns? Where do those come into play and, are they even different than hotels? Find out below.

The History Behind Inns

Historically, inns have been around for hundreds of years. In fact, the first inns date back to the Roman empire. Inns existed for travellers searching for shelter along the road. Inns provided a place for weary travellers to rest for the night, as well as a place to eat, drink, and stable and feed their horses. They weren’t anything fancy, but for travellers who had spent days on the road, they felt like luxury.

Of course, things have progressed since then. Today we often refer to these types of establishments as hotels, which can range from incredibly basic to all-inclusive luxury. But, while ‘hotel’ may be the modern term, inns still exist and they’re a little different.

How is an Inn Different from a Hotel?

Hotels and inns are essentially the same, and both offer lodging for travellers. Where they tend to differ is in style, location, and cost.

While hotels can come in all budgets we often think of hotels as a mid-range to luxury accommodation option. Inns, on the other hand, tend to be very basic and affordable. They’re more like a place to rest your head for the night rather than an actual experience in itself. You won’t have a pool, spa, or fitness facility. Dining options (if available) will be pretty basic, and amenities will be limited.

Inns also tend to be located in different areas compared to hotels. Hotels are often in central locations; downtown cities, near major attractions, etc. Inns, on the other hand, are often located just off of highways far away from the city. A place for tired drivers to take a break from the road before continuing on to their end destination. And because of their lack of add-ons, inns are usually much cheaper alternatives to hotels.

So, Hotel or Inn?

Both hotels and inns are both great choices for accommodation when travelling. What it really comes down to is what type of travelling you’ll be doing, and your budget. If you’re planning a city weekend getaway, then a hotel is the obvious choice if you want to be centrally located. If you’re planning a road trip you might want to consider staying in an inn instead, especially if you don’t care too much about exploring the cities you pass or are on a budget. Staying in an inn outside of the city centre will save you time (in terms of traffic and getting into the city) and money.

Whatever you choose, both hotels and inns will provide you with a quiet place to catch on your sleep to better enjoy your travels!

Boutique Hotels and Inns in Canada

Royal Scot Hotel and Suites

Where: Victoria, British Columbia
Rates from: C$178

When looking for hotels and accommodation in Victoria, BC, you’re bound to find a slew of wonderful selections of quaint inns. The Royal Scot Hotel and Suites is a delightful inn-style hotel located within steps of the Inner Harbour. You’ll find old-world charm, traditional decor, and all the comforts to make your vacation in Victoria a winner. This place really is like a home away from home.

The Village Inn

Where: Elora, Ontario
Rates from: C$99

Elora is one of those underrated getaway spots that could be on more Canadian travel bucket lists. If you’re seeking some nature therapy, this little town, about an hour’s road trip from Toronto is ideal. There aren’t a lot of Elora hotels and inns but there certainly are a few choices. For a stay that won’t break the bank, book yourself a room at The Village Inn. Don’t expect top-end luxury, but you will get a clean room with a comfy bed and an ensuite to freshen up and relax at the end of your day.

Kings Inn Near The Falls

Where: Niagara on the Lake, Ontario
Rates from: C$53

Hotels and inns at Niagara on the Lake are in abundance and available for all budgets. Offering amazing value for money is the humble Kings Inn Near The Falls, which is incidentally, walking distance to the famous Niagara Falls. This motel-style inn once won the Innkeeper of the Year Award, which brings them great pride. The rooms are basic but offer comfort and you can’t beat the location. Planning a romantic getaway? Request the suite with the heart-shaped hot tub.

Top Places to Visit For a Quaint Hotel or Inn Stay

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