Hotels are commonly seen as convenient, short term rental lodgings located in, or on the way to, an area where travel takes one for some other purpose, whether business or pleasure. In this case the traveler will often spend little time at the facility, and little money, provided the room meets minimal requirements for a clean, quiet place to sleep. Some special accommodations however are the attraction themselves, and are at least partly the reason for the trip to the area. Vacation or holiday travels can be planned around one of these inns and enjoyment of attractions on site, or the nearby natural features.
In this article we will not be discussing budget, overnight, or limited service accommodations. These have their purpose as stopping places on the way somewhere and may fulfill all that traveler’s needs and expectations. They most likely are not something to design a memorable travel experience around.
There are several other types that will fit the bill, however. One such type is located in scenic areas, whether on the ocean, in the mountains, near a volcano, in a rain forest, or in a warm desert climate during the winter months. This base of operations is sometimes located in a remote area. It offers relaxation and access to quiet enjoyment of scenery, or activities such as hiking, biking, boating, fishing, hunting, skiing, or climbing.
Another type has a unique venue. Guests here can live for a time in lodging in caves, trees, or pyramids, on artificial islands, or underwater. Some are unique architectural anomalies, perhaps designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, or so old they have been in operation since the year 718. There are even several that are shoe shaped, after the tale of the old woman that lived with her children in a shoe.
Some are found in renovated mines, bunkers, prisons, railway terminals, airliners, and ocean liners. Others are built each year of ice or snow, or are located in wintry areas, with outdoor natural hot spring baths.
A third type are those that are self contained and built around some sort of activity. They have facilities owned by the establishment, on site, which will keep the guests occupied. Examples here are resort golf resorts, conference centers, theme parks, and those at or near horse or auto racetracks and sports stadiums.
Others are health oriented. They offer spas, integrative medical treatments, massage, healthy meals, fitness activities, yoga, meditation, stress management techniques, life style management training, and spiritual pursuits.
For some the draw is large urban areas with their cultural attractions such as theater, concerts, museums, or shopping and boutiques. While some people seek to escape the city and get away from people, others enjoy the 24 hour a day big city energy and find it invigorating.
Some destination hotels are known as places for students to blow off some steam over spring break, or for groups like motorcyclists to gather together for a rally with others with the same interests or hobbies. Some attract a variety of different types of people with a common interest such as investment or Star Trek movies and television programs.