Hotels and other hospitality establishments have been around for as long as the world can remember. In the time that they have existed, they comprised a big chunk of the global economy. And rightfully so: travellers require a good place to stay wherever they go. From typical hotels in the Bath city centre to the world’s biggest and grandest, hotels and the hospitality industry boast a rich, long history that’s filled with lessons to learn.
There is evidence of hospitality establishments dating back thousands of years. The Ancient Greeks were known to have built thermal baths to offer travellers a place to rest and recover. Ancient Romans are also in on the fray, building mansions to accommodate early ‘business travellers.’ These people are also known to have built thermal baths all across Switzerland, England, and even the Middle East.
Even the term ‘hospitality’ also has age-old origins. Researchers from Texas Tech University claim that the word is the offshoot of a Latin word which means ‘host’ or ‘hospice.’ Back then, they reveal that hotels were basically private homes open to the public. The Romans (again) paved the way for hotels intended for actually pleasing travellers since the earliest ones often had bad reputations for being just private homes.
On To The Modern Era
The Middle Ages often featured monasteries and abbeys as makeshift inns. Various religious orders recognised the constant influx of travellers needing a rest stop, and so decided to build more inns. The hotel industry as it is known didn’t begin until the 15th century when inns were required by the law to register for the first time.
Such decisions further paved the way for modern hospitality. For instance, the idea of the ‘grand’ hotel never materialised until the mid 19th century. From 1860 to 1960, the grand hotel with its many rooms and overall sophisticated atmosphere took ground. Among the most notable was the Le Grand Hotel in Paris, opened by Empress Eugenie. It was one of the first to feature hundreds of rooms (800 to be exact) and was designed to ‘celebrate French science and art.’
Since then, the hospitality industry evolved into a menagerie of budget hotels, hostels, inns, five-star hotels, and even hotel chains. The hospitality industry continues to be a big part of human civilisation, and rightfully so.