From the point of view of its users, a hotel is an institution of commercial hospitality, which offers its facilities and services for sale, individually or in various combinations, and this concept is made up of several elements
Its location places the hotel geographically in or near a particular city, town or village; within a given area, location denotes accessibility and the convenience this represents, attractiveness of surroundings and the appeal this represents, freedom from noise and other nuisances, or otherwise.
Its facilities, which include bedrooms, restaurants, bars, function rooms, meeting rooms and recreation facilities such as tennis courts and swimming pools, represent a repertoire of facilities for the use of its customers, and these may be differentiated in type, size and in other ways.
Its service comprises the availability and extent of particular hotel services provided through its facilities; the style and quality of all these in such terms as formality and informality, degree of personal attention, and speed and efficiency.
Its image may be defined as the way in which the hotel portrays itself to people and the way in which it is perceived as portraying itself by them. It is a by-product of its location, facilities and service, but it is enhanced by such factors as its name, appearance, atmosphere; its associations – by who stays there and who eats there; by what it says about itself and what other people say about it.
Its price expresses the value given by the hotel through its location, facilities, service and image, and the satisfaction derived by its users from these elements of the hotel concept.
The individual parts assume bigger or lesser importance for various individuals. One person may regard location as paramount and be prepared to accept basic facilities and service for an overnight stay, ignoring the image, as long as the price is within a limit to which he or she is willing to go.
Another may be more concerned with the image of the hotel, its facilities and service. However, all the five elements are related to each other, and in a situation of choice most hotel users tend either to accept or reject a hotel as a whole, that is the total concept.
There are varying degrees of adaptability and flexibility in the total hotel concept, ranging from the complete fixity of its location to the relative flexibility of price, with facilities, service and image lending themselves to some adaptation in particular circumstances with time.