HOTEL (Fr, hotel, OF, hostnl, from MT,. hos pitale, large house, palace, inn). The origin of the modern hotel, especially in the United States, dates from the introdU4dion of the railroad. Its advent transformed the small road-house, which was planned for imbeasional guests, into the more pretentious hotel. Again, about ISSS, came another revolution in hotel-building, and tho 111041ern fireproof structures began to replace their poorly planned prototypes. Still later, the idea of specialization. that is, of providing particu larly for a Pertain class in the community, began to gain ground. In the United States there are three general kinds of hotels: (I) Those which are run on the American plan; (2) those using the European plan; and (3) those combining both systems. The European plan, on .which practically all the great hotels of Europe are rt:n, consists in paying a certain daily rate for a room, and then paying separately for whatever food is ordered. By the Ameriean plan the guest pays a certain amount a day for both room and meals. The difference between an American hotel which is run on the European plan and the Continental hotel, is that in the former the various minor items, such as light and service, ore included in the price of the room; while on the Continent these items are often (barged for separately. One of the most characteristic es tablishments of Europe is the road-house, which is found throughout the Continent., but especially in France. Germany, and Austria. It is, as a role, marked by simplicity and comfort and is preferred by many to the more elaborate hotel. Indeed. the small hotel in Europe is a model of its kind, and its cuisine is generally superior to that of second-class hotels in this country. The large first-class hotels of the United States are, however, unexcelled. The following descrip tion applies to the modern hotel.
By far the greater part of the space in a hotel is occupied with private rooms for guests, hut the central feature of the design of a modern hotel is the great office and lobby, which is the Pollution place for arrival and departure, and for meeting people from both without and within the building. A large and generally im posing entrance and vestibule lead to the office Or lobby, which frequently occupies an inclosed central court, two or three stories in height. The lobby generally contains not only the public office of the hotel, but also news and cigar stands, a telegraph office, and telephone booths; or, if these are not in, they are adjacent to and connect with the lobby. Reading, writing, and smoking rooms also adjoin the lobby, and there may be a parlor or reception-room near at hand. The
hotel parlors are more generally on an upper floor, commonly on the second. Both public and private parlors are usually provided. An other marked feature of a hotel is dining loom. Here the object is to get a large, un obstructed floor-space, with plenty of natural light, where possible, and at the same time to have the room only second in general accessibility to the lobby or office. Smaller public dining rooms, frequently called breakfast-rooms, are generally provided, and also a gentlemen's café, besides which there are private dining-rooms in proportion to the size and general character of the hotel. A conspicuous feature of hotels in this country is the bar. which is likely to be near, if not connected with, the café. The bar is often on the office floor, but where this floor is well above the street level the bar and cafe, together with barber-shops. lavatories, and, per haps, the public baths, are in the basement. Tho hotel kitchen must be either near or in speedy communication with the dining-room. It may be on a different floor, if dumb-waiters are pro vided. Where there are numerous dining-rooms, public and private, several kitchens are a prac tical necessity.
Spacious stairways almost invariably lead from the office or lobby to the parlor or dining room, although the universal use of elevators has lessened their importance. An impressive fea ture of some of the finest hotels is a gallery above and around the lobby. giving access to whatever public rooms may be located on the second floor. The elevators should be conven iently arranged so as to give quick access to private dining-rooms, ballrooms, and parlors; and there should be separate elevators for ser vants and freight. The guests' rooms, if any. on the second floor of large hotels, are generally in suites (bedroom, parlor, and bathroom), hut similar suites may, of course, be distributed on the other floors. Above the second floor the building commonly assumes, at least in city hotels, the form of a hollow square, or rectangle. The guests' rooms are arranged along corridors, the outer ones fronting on the street. the inner ones on the court. Even third or fourth rate ho tels of the present day rarely offer guests a room which does not have an ample window opening into the outer air. Fire-escapes must be pro vided on each floor, and red lights are placed near them and at the heads of staircases to mark their location. Besides the various rooms, pub lic and private, already mentioned, baggage and storage rooms, ballrooms, halls for concerts, con ventions, and other assemblies, music-rooms, and sometimes roof gardens, are, some or all, found in the best hotels.