A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a modest-quality mattress in a small room to large suites with bigger, higher-quality beds, a dresser, a fridge and other kitchen facilities, upholstered chairs, a flatscreen television and en-suite bathrooms. Small, lower-priced hotels may offer only the most basic guest services and facilities. Larger, higher-priced hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre (with computers, printers and other office equipment), childcare, conference and event facilities, tennis or basketball courts, gymnasium, restaurants, day spa and social function services. Hotel rooms are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some boutique, high-end hotels have custom decorated rooms. Some hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. In the United Kingdom, a hotel is required by law to serve food and drinks to all guests within certain stated hours. In Japan, capsule hotels provide a tiny room suitable only for sleeping and shared bathroom facilities.
The Peninsula Paris hotel
The precursor to the modern hotel was the inn of medieval Europe. For a period of about 200 years from the mid-17th century, coaching inns served as a place for lodging for coach travelers. Inns began to cater to richer clients in the mid-18th century. One of the first hotels in a modern sense was opened in Exeter in 1768. Hotels proliferated throughout Western Europe and North America in the early 19th century, and luxury hotels began to spring up in the later part of the 19th century.
Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most hotels and major hospitality companies have set industry standards to classify hotel types. An upscale full-service hotel facility offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, an on-site restaurant, and the highest level of personalized service, such as a concierge, room service and clothes pressing staff. Full service hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large number of full service accommodations, an on-site full service restaurant, and a variety of on-site amenities. Boutique hotels are smaller independent, non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities. Small to medium-sized hotel establishments offer a limited amount of on-site amenities. Economy hotels are small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer basic accommodations with little to no services. Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized hotels that offer longer-term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel.
Timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership involving ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage. A motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Boutique hotels are typically hotels with a unique environment or intimate setting. A number of hotels have entered the public consciousness through popular culture, such as the Ritz Hotel in London. Some hotels are built specifically as a destination in itself, for example at casinos and holiday resorts.
Most hotel establishments are run by a General Manager who serves as the head executive (often referred to as the “Hotel Manager”), department heads who oversee various departments within a hotel (e.g., food service), middle managers, administrative staff, and line-level supervisors. The organizational chart and volume of job positions and hierarchy varies by hotel size, function and class, and is often determined by hotel ownership and managing companies
Situated on Catalina Island, Avalon is the southernmost city in Los Angeles County. With less than 4,000 residents, it’s packed with Mediterranean architecture and charm, yet at the same time a quintessential American beach town. Take the 22 mile boat trip to Catalina and you’re a million miles away from the hustle of LA, making it the ideal spot to slip on flip-flops and decompress. Hop in a golf cart, the main form of transportation in Avalon and get your summer started.
With crystal clear waters Avalon has excellent scuba and snorkeling, with typical visibility of 40 to 100 feet and an average water temperature of 70 degrees in summer. If you don’t want to get your hair wet too wet, check out the Seatrek Adventure in an underwater kelp forest using a helmet with compressed air from the surface. “If you can walk and breathe, you can snuba” is the promise from the company operating this accessible underwater adventure. With a wide variety of hotels, restaurants and activities, Avalon appeals to a diverse range of travelers for romantic weekends, family beach vacations and adventure getaways.
Our pick for all-round value and Mediterranean charm is the Catalina Resort and Spa, with newly renovated rooms, heated outdoor pool and world-class spa. Do a lot or do very little, but do book early as Avalon hotels are highly sought-after in summer.
“Under the boardwalk, down by the sea, on a blanket with my baby is where I will be.” We all know the song. An ode to love and old-fashioned seaside towns with boardwalks, penny arcades, big dippers and more fried foods than you can shake a corn dog on a stick at.
Santa Cruz is all of that, minus the penny arcade, which is not a penny anymore. One of Santa Cruz’s star attractions is The Boardwalk, a designated State Historic property which opened in 1907 and still operates the 1911 carousel and the 1924 original Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster. The Boardwalk and amusement park is set on a beach along the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, so the odds are pretty good for spotting otters, dolphins, sea lions and depending on the time of year, even whales, right off shore. Wednesday nights in summer The Boardwalk screens vintage family movies on the beach with free admission. Friday nights feature free beach bands.
Be sure to set aside time to explore Santa Cruz’s gorgeous surrounding coastline, teeming with sea life and picture postcard scenery. Pack a blanket, say yes to kettle corn and travel back in time with an old-fashioned trip to the seaside.
Our pick for your throw-back getaway is the Coastview Inn, which is right across the street from The Boardwalk! Fancy? Nope. Good value? Yes. Good location? You cannot get closer to The Boardwalk.
This charming, sleepy little beach town, with less than 300 residents and covering only four blocks is about 160 miles north of LA and 200 miles south of San Francisco. Sporting three piers, with incredible seafood from the operational, commercial fishing pier, a mostly undeveloped coastline with a small sheltered beach and local rejuvenating hot springs, Avila Beach is a throw-back to a bygone, simpler era.
In the last decade, this small town has seen some development, but not at the same, frantic pace as other beach towns in California. Inland you are surrounded by award-winning wineries which are a few minutes drive away from the bay. Cheers to that!
Of special note is the commercial fishing pier anchored by Old Port Fish and Seafood, who have been supplying seafood to top-tier restaurants across the US for the last 40 years. Take a stroll along this working pier to the very end and you’ll find a window where you can purchase crabs, a huge range of fish, shellfish and other seafood to transport home in dry iced cooler chests. Peek inside and you’ll see workers busy packing shipments of seafood destined for top restaurants across the country. Outside are large troughs and tanks of live seafood waiting to be packed and shipped. Some years ago we bought a chest of crabs that is perhaps one of the best souvenirs we have ever carted home from a trip!
Kayaking, paddle-boarding, sailing and whale-watching all await you in Avila. If you prefer to stay on not- so-dry land, chug off on a winery tour or visit a local farmer’s market brimming with fresh produce, seafood and wine tastings.