A hotel is a temporary home for people who are travelling. In a hotel the traveller can rest and has access to food and drink.The hotel may also offer facilities for recreation, such as a swimming pool, a golf course or a beach. In many cases the hotel also provides free space for the traveller's means of transportation. All of these services are designed to accommodate the travellers, so the hotel business is often referred to as the accommodations industry.
Travel and hotels have always been closely related. In Europe and America, inns and taverns were spaced along the roads at the distance a horse could travel in a day. The inns were primitive by modern standards. The traveller usually had to share his bed with at least one other person, and as many as four other persons in some remote areas. The old-fashioned inns, however, did provide food and shelter for both men and horses and therefore became a symbol for hospitality. Indeed, the word "inn" has been used recently by many modern hotels and motels.
Modern mass transportation, that is, the movement of large numbers of people at relatively low prices, began with the development of the railroads in the 19th century. Up to that time, accommodations had been provided by country inns or by family-owned and — operated hotels in the cities. As the railroads carried larger numbers of people further and more rapidly, large hotels were constructed near the train stations. The cluster of hotels around Grand Central terminal in New York is a good surviving example of this stage of development of the hotel industry.
The other means of transportation — the automobile and the airline — resulted in the growth of corresponding accommodations facilities. In the case of automobile, motels that serve people travelling by car have sprung up along highways all over the world.
The word "motel" was created by combining motor and hotel. When automobiles were first used, flimsy and inexpensive tourist cabins were built beside the highways. Then, as people demanded greater comfort, the cabins were replaced by tourist courts and then by the modern hotels. Motel or motor hotels providing parking facilities for cars were also constructed in many large cities, where they now compete with the other commercial hotels.
The airline extended the distances that people could travel in a short period. For the accommodations industry it was a boom in the construction of resort hotels. A resort is a place to which people travel for recreation. It may offer mountain scenery, the combination of sun and sea, or features that are entirely man-made, like Disneyland in California.
All hotels do not serve the same clientele, that is, the same kind of guests. In fact, it is possible to place hotels in four board categories. The first is the commercial hotel, which provides services essentially for transients, many of them travelling on business. Many city hotels and diversely located motels fall into this group. The second category is resort hotels. Located in vacation areas, they often provide recreational facilities of their own as well. A third type of hotel aims its services largely at the convention trade. Conventions are meetings, usually held yearly, of various business or professional groups. Not so long ago, most conventions were held in large urban centers such as New York and Washington D.C. The forth category is resident hotels. People who do not wish to keep house themselves can rent accommodations on a seasonal basis or even permanently in many hotels.
No firm distinction exists between the different kinds of hotels. In large cities that are also tourist centers, such as New York, Paris, Tokyo, London and Rome, one hotel may offer all types of service. And even a small hotel may have banquet rooms and meeting rooms in addition to its accommodations for transients.
Another way of categorizing hotels by its quality of service they offer. At the top are the luxury hotels, which generally offer their guests the greatest comfort and convenience possible. At the bottom are those that provide merely a place to sleep. A system for rating hotels according to quality is widely used in France and a number of other countries. This system puts the top hotels in a special deluxe category, with other receiving from five stars to one star or "A's". The standard features include private bathrooms, room telephones, recreational facilities and so on.
The difference in quality between hotels is not entirely a matter of equipment or furnishings. The proportion of employees to guests and guest rooms is also a matter of prime importance. In general, the accommodations industry is labour-intensive; that is it employs a large number of people to perform its services. In a luxury hotel, there may be three employees for every guest room. In a large commercial hotel in a big city, the ratio is usually closer to one employee per guest room. Obviously, the services offered by a small hotel will be far more restricted than those provided by a luxury hotel.
The larger and more luxurious the hotel, the greater the variety of jobs that it offers. Nevertheless, the administration and organization of a small hotel is similar to a large one. Engineering and maintenance for a small establishment may be done by contract with local firms, whereas a large hotel will hire its own staff for these functions.
Generally, the problems and opportunities in all hotels are comparable, since all provide shelter, food and other services for the travelling public.
(by E.J. Hall)
1. Answer the following questions:
1. What is a hotel? What does it provide for a traveller?
2. In the age of travel by horse, how were inns and taverns related to travel?
3. Why did old-fashioned inns become symbols of hospitality? What kind of image do they bring to mind for many people even at the present time?
4. What is meant by modern means of transportation? When did it begin?
5. What new development in the location hotels did the railroads bring about? What is the surviving example?
6. Do many people travel by car?
7. From what words was the word "motel" derived? What kinds of accommodations were offered?
8. What are some of the attractions that a resort may offer? Give your examples.
9. What are four broad categories in which it is possible to place hotels?
10. Are there any firm distinctions between hotels in the different categories?
11. What is the other way of dividing hotels into categories? What kind of hotels are at the top? At the bottom?
12. Why are there comparable problems and opportunities in all hotels?
2. Read and pronounce correctly:
Access, facilities, recreation, designed, accommodation, taverns, automobile, inexpensive, extended, resort, scenery, clientele, transients, diversely, convention, urban, luxury, luxurious, merely, furnishings, employee, ratio, maintenance, shelter.
3. Find English equivalents in the text and use them in the sentences of your own:
(1) временный кров (2) предоставлять возможности для отдыха (3) средства передвижения (4) разработаны для размещения путешественников (5) индустрия размещения (6) примитивны по современным стандартам (7) отдаленные районы (8) старомодные гостиницы (9) символ гостеприимства (10) относительно низкие цены (11) требовать большего комфорта (12) рукотворный (13) предоставлять обслуживание (14) банкетный зал (15) качество обслуживания (16) оборудование и обстановка (17) работники (18) вопрос первоначальной важности
4. Give synonyms to the following words:
1) hotel (2) facility (3) accommodation (4) luxurious (5) employee