What is the difference between a guest house and a hotel?

When choosing somewhere to stay, many travellers automatically think of hotels. But there are a whole host of other accommodation options available, including guest houses.

The boundaries between a guest house and a hotel can sometimes be blurred; after all, both are based on the same principle of providing accommodation to paying guests.

However, there are a number of key differences that differentiate these two types of accommodation.


What is a guest house?

A guest house is a private house, which provides accommodation for guests. Guest houses are usually owner-operated, with many hosts actually living on the premises. The vast majority of UK guest houses have no more than 5 bedrooms and offer a distinctly home-from-home feel.


What is a hotel?

A hotel also caterers for customers who require overnight accommodation. However, the hotels are typically bigger than guest houses, have more facilities, and can accommodate more guests. They can often hold hundreds of guests at any one time and are frequently part of larger chains.


What are the differences between a guest house and a hotel?

The key differences between a guest house and a hotel are:



Guest houses tend to be a lot smaller than hotels. Even though they can accommodate fewer people, guests still enjoy a comfortable stay and appreciate the many personal touches that come with guest house stays.

As guest house owners usually live on the premises, they are incredibly attentive and often go above and beyond to ensure that their guests have a great stay.



Generally speaking, guest houses are cheaper than hotels. They can also work out more cost-effective for guests staying for longer periods as they may have access to facilities such as kitchens to cook meals in rather than always dining out, as well as clothes washing facilities.



Across the hospitality sector, you will find that the vast majority of guest houses are run as family businesses and tend not to have a reception desk or a concierge service. This means guests usually receive a more personal level of service.

On the other hand, hotels are commercial businesses that employ full-time staff with dedicated roles, operate around the clock and always have lots of facilities and amenities on-site to enhance their guests’ stay.



Guest houses tend to have comfortable but basic, home-style facilities. Hotels, on the other hand, typically have more facilities, including in-room mini-bars, bar and restaurant areas, gyms, and more.


Buying a guest house or hotel?

If you’re considering buying a commercial property, such as a guest house or hotel, it’s important to speak to someone experienced in the sector to ensure that you are aware of all the funding options available to you.


Get in touch to speak to one of our skilled and experienced team. We are always on hand to answer any of your queries regarding commercial mortgages.




Stewart Hindley
Specialist financial experts helping you secure commercial loans across the hospitality, leisure and commercial property sectors.

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