1768 saw the opening of the first hotel in England, built in Exeter. In the 1810s purpose-built public houses, or hotels, began appearing in London and other large provincial towns. Hotels began to appear close to the new railway stations with some of the grandest being built alongside the London terminuses.
Hotel Fr., from O.Fr. (origin of Eng. hostel ), from Latin (origin of Eng. hospital ),=guest place], name applied since the late 17th cent. to an establishment supplying both food and lodging to the public (see inn ). In common law of England and America, the hotelkeeper is a public servant and must receive all proper persons.
The first American hotels, successors to the early inns, differed from their European prototypes by charging a fixed fee for food and lodging (American plan). For many years $1.00 per day was the accepted price.
Fraunces Tavern (1762; see under Fraunces, Samuel ) and the City Hotel (1793) were fashionable resorts of early New York City. The Tremont House, in Boston (1829), for years considered the most imposing hotel in the United States, was rivaled by the Astor House, built in New York in 1836.
The modern hotel in America dates from the early days of railroad travel, when the modest hostelry, prepared to entertain small groups of occasional guests, was forced to become a more commodious and efficient institution to accommodate the great number of traveling salespeople.