The history of hotels has been interlocked with that of civilizations, for as long as man has existed facilities for travellers and visitors to eat and rest have always been there. Earlier than Biblical times evidence shows that there has both been rudimentary and opulent accommodation for rent from the ancient Greeks to the Romans. It was in fact the Romans who started building bath-houses and accommodation around Europe and the Middle East.
The first hotels that we can call them were situated on the routes of the caravanserais in the Middle East. This was for the protection of the businesses people and travellers and these first Inns provided food, shelter and protection. At the same time religious orders were erecting their own monasteries, hospices and hospitals for both religious persons and their followers who were on pilgrimage or just moving about. As the Inns grew in the Middle East and Europe over a thousand Staging Posts were set up in China and Mongolia, these were to service travellers on the Silk Route.
France took to the hospitality industry and at the start of the fifteenth century there were government rules implemented about owning and trading as a hotel. The first registers appeared detailing documentation of the patrons, where they were from and what business they were travelling in. At the same time English Inns were also subject to new legislation and taxation was formulated on innkeepers. During this period over 600 inns were registered all over England. The usual format was a central courtyard with the guest rooms on two sides, the main public room at the front and the stables towards the rear. In France the first guide books for travellers were starting to be published and this was the start of the tourist industry.
The Hotel Industry
The start of the tourism industry in Europe came hand in hand with the hotel industry. Innkeepers use to mark their establishments with distinctive wooden signs and in the late 1600’s the first stage coaches started to appear in England, and about fifty years later they were established in America. Then the explosion of accommodation hit the large towns and cities, not only was refuge needed on the road, taverns and inns in the town began to be more lavish and offer more extensive services.
The Industrial Revolution
The real cementing of the hotel industry was brought about by the Industrial Revolution in the mid 1700’s. Hotels sprang up all over the world from Europe to America. The first city Centre hotels were in New York and Copenhagen.
The Tourist Hotel
The early 1800’s saw an increase in tourism, grand tours started to appear and the French and Italian Rivieras started to flourish. The specific tourist driven hotel was founded and the rest is history.
The hotel has grown from somewhere offering travellers protection on the road, to a lavish facility with every known amenity to offer. From seaside resort hotels to city Centre 5-star luxury accommodation, everything is now available and for a budget everybody can afford.