Full Service vs. Limited Service Hotels

Full-service hotels offer dining and a range of guest amenities.
Full-service hotels offer dining and a range of guest amenities. (Image: Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images)

Full-service hotels can provide plenty of frills, from Michelin-starred dining to a wedding in the ballroom. The key difference between full-service and limited-service hotels is whether the property contains a food outlet. A limited-service hotel or motel does not have a restaurant, a difference that is reflected in the room rates.

Limited-Service Hotels

A guest room and a lavatory with a bath or shower are the basics included in a limited-service category hotel or motel. Some limited-service properties have introduced facilities such as a business center, a pool or whirlpool, a guest laundry, a small fitness room, in-room coffeemakers and fridges, a meeting room and a lobby marketplace for snacks and beverages. No restaurant facilities are on the premises at these properties, which suit more modest budgets.

Full-Service Hotels

From mid-price suburban hotels to five-star deluxe resorts, full-service hotels have in-house dining and lounge facilities, which distinguish them from the limited-service accommodations category. Full-service properties are not required to offer room service. Beyond having one or more restaurants and lounges, a full-service hotel typically offers amenities, food and beverage catering, meeting rooms and recreational activities depending somewhat on its size, location and guest profile.

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