A motel or motor lodge is a hotel intended for motorists and generally has a parking area for motor vehicles. Entering dictionaries after World War II, the term motel, created as a portmanteau tightening of “motor hotel”, initiates from the Milestone Mo-Tel of San Luis Obispo, California, which was built in 1925. The term referred initially to a type of hotel consisting of a single building of associated rooms whose doors faced a parking lot and in some circumstances, a general area or a series of small cabins with universal parking. Motels are often individually owned, though motel chains do be present.

As large highway systems start to be developed in the 1920s, long-distance road journeys became more ordinary, and the need for reasonably priced, easily available overnight lodging sites close to the main routes led to the expansion of the motel concept. Motels pointed in fame in the 1960s with rising car travel, only to refuse in answer to competition from the newer chain hotels that became commonplace at highway exchanges as traffic was bypassed onto recently created freeways. Several significant motels are planned on the US National Register of Historic Places.