Hotels and Motels Law and Legal Definition

Hotels and motels are regulated under the police power of the state to guard the health and safety of patrons. A hotel is a commercial establishment offering lodging to travelers and sometimes to permanent residents, and often having restaurants, meeting rooms, stores, etc., which may be used by the general public. Many states have created administrative bodies or agencies such as a state hotel and restaurant commission, or a state board of health to regulate inns and restaurants. Most states require restaurant and inn owners to apply for and receive a license to operate such facilities.

Innkeepers and patrons have reciprocal obligations and duties. The owner is under a duty to furnish proper accomodations, and to exercise proper care for the safety and peaceful stay of the guest, while the guest must exercise due care to refrain from any disruptive or offensive conduct.

An inkeeper is under an additional duty to offer service and lodging to all persons unless he or she has some reasonable grounds for refusal. An inkeeper may not refuse service to any person on ground that would violate civil rights laws. Owners are prohibited from refusing to accomodate or entertain persons on account of their race, color, religion, or national origin.

Hotels and motel services are governed by Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code. The express and implied warranties apply to both hotel rooms, however, most law governing hospitality srevices derives from case law.