Once upon a time, a hotel was a place to rest weary travelers’ heads while on their way through town. Though not called “hotels” at the time, rest facilities – dating even back to biblical times – offered a place of refuge for those on the move. The Greeks developed thermal baths in villages designed for recuperation (remember, travel way back then was done on foot or animal), the Romans later built mansions to accommodate travelers on government business and in the Middle Ages, monasteries and abbeys offered shelter on a regular basis.

The actual beginning of the hotel industry can be traced to France at the beginning of the 15th century when the law required that hotels keep a register of guests. At the same time, English law introduced rules for inns. The very first guidebooks for travelers were also published in France during this period.

As time progressed, the hotel industry as we know it really began to take shape –

  • Beginning in the 1760’s, the industrial revolution springboarded the construction of hotels everywhere in Europe and America. The concept of hotels located in city centers began in New York City around this time.
  • Early 1800’s – The Tremont Hotel in Boston offered inside toilets, locks on the doors and an à la carte dining menu.
  • The Holt Hotel in New York City was the first to provide an automated lift to its guests for their luggage.
  • In 1880 the Sagamore Hotel on Lake George in New York was the first to provide electricity in all its rooms.
  • In 1919 Barcelona’s Ritz Hotel was equipped with bathrooms that provided both hot and cold water – an unheard of luxury at the time!
  • 1929 – the world-renowned Waldorf-Astoria Hotel was constructed, even in the midst of the Great Depression.
  • 1970’s – the beginning of hotels designed specifically for business travelers.

Major hotel chains, fine dining, room service, technology, Wi-Fi, spa’s, ratings, fitness facilities, wake up calls, chocolates on pillows… hotels have come a long way.

Today, one has to simply do an Internet search for “hotel in [city here]” to discover pages and pages of hotel options, from budget to 5-star luxury. So, how do you know if a hotel is good, better yet, great? Reviews are always a good indication; TripAdvisor is fantastic for this, as their ratings are based on actual hotel guest’s reviews. Still, we believe there are certain factors that can take your stay from “good” to “great.”

  1. Service – We’re not just talking friendly staff (even though that’s super important), but rather, does the hotel do everything they can to make your stay pleasant? Think “above and beyond.”
  2. Location – So, you’ve found a nice place to sleep and eat. What else is there to do? Having easy, quick access to a variety of activities that appeal to you is important.
  3. Amenities – Some people choose a hotel for rest and relaxation, while others need their hotel to support them while away on business. A great hotel will offer scrumptious bath amenities, extra comfy beds, supreme dining, free Wi-Fi and more.

We at Ponte Vineyard Inn make it our goal, 365 days a year, to excel in these three factors. Our boutique, 60-room hotel has been ranked the #6 hotel in the U.S. by Trip Advisor, #2 in California and #1 in Temecula.

Wedding guests, business travelers, anniversary celebrating-couples and girls-getaway guests alike continue to find their needs met when they stay with us in the heart of Temecula Wine Country.

As indicated above, the hotel industry is constantly evolving, and we fully intend on evolving with it…so long as great service is always in fashion.

–Erica Martinez

Information source here