Historically, hotels have undertaken various other purposes, serving as medical centers, business exchanges, meeting grounds of civic assembly, centers of social interaction and deliberation, places of recreation, etc. They have even served as houses for royalty. These establishments have been a part of history since times immemorial. But the role they play today is comparatively newer. In order to understand the changing roles of hotels in our lives, let us go through some of their earliest origins.
The very first establishment that can be regarded as a hotel was the ‘tavern’. This was a place which functioned as the meeting place for all the different tribes and groups of travelers. The very next establishment that can be classified as a hotel is the ‘tavern’. This was an open structure which served as a housekeeping facility for the guests who were staying at the inn.
After these two establishments were established, other hotel types were developed based upon their characteristics. For instance, one such type is the inn or the homestead. In this case, the inn includes both the housekeeping aspect and the guest rooms as well. Here guests have their own rooms and the housekeeping staff provides them with the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay. Inn hotel types further include those which provide self-contained accommodations, meaning that the guests can select their own food, beverage and amenities.
But there was a limitation to the nature of inns and homesteads. In order to keep the guests interested, the owners of these establishments had to offer additional facilities like billiard halls, dancing halls, swimming pools, tennis courts, gambling tables, restaurants and bars. This added to the overall cost of maintaining these hotels. However, the rise of the business sector in America led to the opening up of such establishments to all categories of customers including businessmen. Thus, the American hotel system became more competitive and choices for the customers increased.
As a result of the competitive atmosphere and growing demand for the services provided by hotels, the standards of the modern hotel system have also improved. Today, you will find that even the most basic amenities are available in the hotels of America. For instance, the common amenity in all the hotel systems of America includes clean and fresh water, telephone lines, heated floors, air conditioning, private baths and laundry facilities.
When it comes to housekeeping, a separate housekeeping service is provided for the guests. The housekeeping services for the guests depend upon the type of hotel they are staying in. For instance, in hotels that provide continental or modern style accommodations, housekeeping services are provided for the guests. Likewise, depending upon the type of the establishment, housekeeping services are provided in guest rooms only.