Hotel vs. Motel

23 Jul

The first half of our trip was a success and torture. As the end of the wedding marked our touching the wall in a “there-and-back” race, we left in a hurry. Actually, we have a weird challenge to stay in every state and New York had been crossed off our list. So, as we decided to head back a slightly different way than we came, we took off.

We would be to Pennsylvania in just a couple of hours, so we were geared up to stay in that state. Unfortunately, we learned that if there is ever a July 21 on a Saturday, the state of Pennsylvania comes together to make sure every hotel owner is well compensated for the event. We literally called 13 hotels in the state that were all sold out. They were all Hampton Inns, because I am a hotel snob (which may become ironic later). At any rate, we ended up driving past 2 AM, when we found a handicap room in Frederick, Maryland (We made Jacob limp on the way in).

The one good thing is we made it through a myriad of roads that normally are congested enough and are not interstates, so that driving the maximum speed is usually impossible. We made pretty good time. However, the late arrival made waking up early something we just didn’t do. This turned out to be terrible, because although we made it through DC without an issue, we ended up delayed by three different wrecks through Virginia, and the good time was thrown out the window.

What was supposed to be a short drive and early arrival at the hotel ended up a few hours later than we had hoped. Nevertheless, when we arrived, we were surprised to find that the Hampton Inn was a motel. (A motel being an accommodation where the rooms open up to the parking lot, whereas the hotel has rooms that open up to the hallway in the middle). Perhaps it should not matter to me, but when I make a reservation at a Hampton, I expect for it to be a hotel, especially when the prices are comparable.

Certainly the room was nice, and there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with motels, but I just don’t like them as much. I know some people who prefer them. Even when I slum it (by staying in any hotel other than Hampton Inn), I prefer the hotel concept. Not sure it is nicer, just a preference. Nevertheless, it colors my judgment. We had pizza, free muffins, extra late swim time, a great breakfast, and all I can think about is that the window is next to the door instead of on the opposite side. Not sure it should bother me, but I can’t really talk about anything else.

Is this a sickness, a disease, or just good old-fashioned wisdom? I prefer me my hotels and when I don’t get it, I want to complain. Obviously it isn’t the fault of the employees, and frankly, they were the kindest hotel employees we met. They kept the pool open late for us and allowed us to get drinks from behind the counter. Basically, my whole frame of mind is driven by the hotel-motel issue and I can’t really explain why.


3 Responses to “Hotel vs. Motel”

  1. Kirbysdance July 24, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    I am not as snobby with hotels as you are (I'll go to either Hampton or Marriott) but I try to avoid motels as much as possible. If I'm paying a standard price for a room, I want the security and luxury(perceived or otherwise) of an "indoor" establishment. Now, the ethics of having your kid limp to get a handicap room on the other hand…

  2. Matthew Anderson August 4, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    (actually Jennifer said) Very interesting. I never understood the difference between a hotel and motel (just figured motels were "cheaper" and not as "nice"). Thank you for explanation. The hotels (or motels) at Disney's All-Star Value Resorts have doors that open to the outside (and are referred to as having a motel-style outdoor walkway). The new value Art of Animation resort has both interior and exterior doorways in the Little Mermaid resort. Then they decide to build the other 3 animation resorts with interior hallways (perhaps they were catching on to your preference). The more expensive hotels/resort rooms have doors that open into the interior hallway. I am sort of a hotel snob too and prefer the hallway opening, and prefer Hampton Inn, Hilton, or Marriott. We are going to try and stay at the new Nemo resort for Chris' birthday this month. It's his "birthday wish". Glad you guys had a relatively good vacation and made it back safely!

  3. Matthew Anderson August 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Ok, you got me (or I got myself) researching the Art of Animation resort and why it has only 1 portion (Little Mermaid) with some exterior entrances, but the other Little Mermaid building with interior entrances as well as the other animation resorts. I was actually Googling Pop Century resort (as the all the Animation resorts have expensive Family Suites and Little Mermaid is the only one with some affordable Standard Rooms, plus Family Suites but doesn't open until Sept.). So anyway, I enter "Disney Pop Century" and see the word "abandoned" pop up. Curious, I went with it and discovered that the new Art of Animation resort (set across the Hourglass lake from Pop Century and connected by a bridge) was actually the abandoned 2nd half of the Pop Century resort (to be called Legendary Years: 00s, 10s, 20s, 30s, 40s) that began construction in 2000-2001, but was halted due to the slowing economy in summer of 2001. Well then, 9/11 happened and they completely scrapped construction of that send half, although 2 of the buildings had already been partially built. These 2 building are now part of (I suspect) The Little Mermaid portion of the resort, hence why they are the only buildings with exterior entrances. I was just so thrilled to solve this little "mystery" by accident. I also happened upon a cool website called Abandoned FL ( There is a video and photos of the abandoned property before they started construction on Art of Animation. Though I would share this fascinating piece of forgotten Disney history!

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