SPECIAL SERVICES AND HOTEL FACILITIES
Nowadays large, modern hotels contain not only guest rooms, but many other facilities as well. They usually contain restaurants and cocktail lounges, shops and recreational facilities for social functions, conventions and conferences - ball-rooms, auditoriums, meeting rooms of different sizes, exhibit areas and so forth.
Not so long ago, convention facilities were ordinarily found only in large cities or in intensively developed resort areas like Miami Beach. Nowadays they are more often included in resort hotels so that the people who attend conventions there can combine business with pleasure.
Another trend in the hotel industry is the construction of the self-contained resort complex. Recreational facilities are another feature of many hotels and motels. A swimming pool is the most common of these, particularly in warmer climates and in resort areas. A swimming pool in front of the building is a form of advertisement for motel in places such as Florida, California, Egypt, Turkey and other resorts. Other recreational facilities include tennis courts and golf courses at resort hotels. Many resorts are designed for winter sports such as skiing and ice skating; other provide horseback riding and other outdoor activities.
Casinos, wherever they are legal, are another feature of some hotels. In Las Vegas, Nevada, the hotels feed, house and entertain guests, but the real profits come from the casinos In Puerto Rico and other places, gambling usually acts as an additional, rather than principal, attraction for hotels.
A few hotels, most of them in resort areas or large cities, include nightclubs as a part of their operation. Sometimes the nightclub is rented out to a concessionaire, but in other hotels it is the responsibility of the food and beverage, department or of a special staff. A nightclub offers entertainment, such as dancing, a singer, a band, or a floor show, in addition to food and drink. The engagement of a well-known entertainer obviously gives the hotel an excellent promotional opportunity. The hotels in the gambling resort of Las Vegas, Nevada, for example, publicize not only the entertainers in their nightclubs, but also the huge salaries that they receive, perhaps on the theory that the higher the fee, the better the entertainer.
All of these recreational facilities require the employment of additional personnel. Necessary swimming-pool maintenance is often contracted out. Golf courses must be carefully tended by a special staff of groundskeepers. Horses require stables and grooming. Many resort hotels hire professional athletes to give lessons to the guests in tennis, golf and skiing. Other employees include riding instructors and guides for hikers and campers. Lifeguards are often necessary at swimming pools and beaches.
Catering, providing food and drink for transients, has always gone together with accommodations. Food services are a feature of hotels. The typical modern "packaged hotel" includes a restaurant, a coffee shop for quicker and less expensive meals, and a bar or cocktail lounge. Many larger hotels have several restaurants, often featuring different kinds of foods, as well as different prices. Hotels also normally provide "room service" - food and drink that are brought to the guest's room. In addition, catering service provided in the hotel's recreational areas. The poolside bar and snack bar, for quick food, are normal parts of the service at a resort hotel. So, restaurants, bars and nightclubs outside the hotels are a standard feature often resort scene. They provide not only catering, but also some kind of entertainment for the tourist who is bored with the limits of hotel life. Large urban hotels also provide special services for businessmen. A commercial hotel, for example, can provide a stenographer to take dictation and do typing for the travelling businessman. Some luxury hotels also give the guests access to copying, internet, modem points, facsimile machines, computer with printer, scanner, word processor and other machines. Many large hotels also have a notary public on the staff to verify the signatures on documents.
The list of special services offered by hotels is long. These services differ according to the location and the clientele of the hotel; luxury hotels offer the greatest range of services. This is, in fact, what makes them luxury hotels.