The rise of the hotel
12th November 2018
Staying in a hotel is something most of us love - a freshly made bed with sheets you haven’t had to wash and dry, delicious food you don’t have to cook, and no washing up either!
But how and when did hotels become popular? Who first came up with the idea of staying away from home for a night or more?
For today’s Wroxeter blogpost, we’ve taken a trip back through time to look at the rise of the hotel and how providing a place for people to stay has become a multi-billion pound industry.
While cavemen probably weren’t offering room service and afternoon teas to their fellow cave-dwellers, the idea of hospitality has been around for a long time and there is evidence to suggest there were caves stayed in by different tribes.
From the Greeks’ thermal baths to the Romans’ mansions for travellers on Government business to monasteries and abbeys offering respite, people have always been able to find somewhere to stay.
The world’s oldest hotel as recognised by the Guinness World Records is Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Japan, an inn founded in 705AD.
Many of these early places to stay were simply that - somewhere people would stop overnight, moving on to continue their journeys the following morning. The idea of a holiday where you’d stay in one place for a week or two didn’t really become popular until much later.
Since then there have been many advances: the introduction of lifts to help guests get their luggage to their rooms, the rise and subsequent fall in popularity of roadside ‘inns’, the first chain hotels and the ability for anyone to go on holiday, not just the upper classes.
As far back as the 16th century, guides began being produced which would highlight the best places to stay for those travelling away from home.
There are now massive hotels (the biggest in the world is in Malaysia and has more than 7,300 rooms), skyscraper hotels (a Hong Kong venue holds the ‘highest’ record - it’s situated on the 102nd to 118th floors of the International Commerce Centre) and whatever you want in your room, you’ll probably be about to find it somewhere - whether that’s a pet goldfish for the duration of your stay, customised perfume or musical instruments!
Currently, there are around half a million hotels in the world - but of course here at the Wroxeter we are very proud to be the only one situated on the former site of the UK’s fourth largest Roman city!
And as we are a weddings and events venue we spend a lot of time providing a comfortable bed to rest those dancing feet!