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The term “motel” is used to refer to a variety of establishments that are usually much smaller than hotels. Larger motels may have on-site restaurants and conference rooms, while smaller motels often have just a few rooms, commonly facing the road or parking lot.

Some prominent major motel chains (often called “budget hotels”) include Day’s Inn, Red Roof Inn, Motel 6, Sleep Inn, Budgetel, Travelodge, Super 8 Motels, Econo Lodge, and Knights Inn. All of these chains have toll-free reservation numbers and Internet reservations capabilities.

The nation also has thousands of small, individually-owned motels. Many motels have traditionally had “gimmicks” to attract attention, such as a large windmill in front, or a 25 foot tall cowboy. They can be comfortable and affordable, but you never can be sure when you happen to come on one by chance on the road. The smaller, individually owned motels often have signs outside saying “vacancy” or “no vacancy.”

No-frills small motels may give guests little more than a room, a television, a few towels and a bar of soap, while full-service budget hotels often include Internet service, exercise rooms, pay-per-view television, wake up calls, and other services generally associated with hotels.

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