Accommodation in any city or town comes in various shapes and sizes. There are bed and breakfast establishments, guest houses, inns lodges and hotels. A tourist who chooses to stay at an hotel will have expectations and some tourist or leisure industry body should have ensured that a system of star grading will give an Internet browser a good idea of what to expect. There may not be on internationally recognized body that stipulates the star ratings of hotels, but countries take their cues from the World Wide Web and a degree of conformity exists.
A tourist who chooses to book at an hotel will have certain expectations, based on the type of establishment that he has chosen. First and foremost he will expect it to be always open. He will not have to shake someone awake to give a key if he arrives at eleven in the evening whereas at a bed and breakfast place he might find the sole proprietor fast asleep with his wife.
The fact that they are always open gives them a special role in the social systems that they serve. Although they reserve the right to admission they are always open to guests. The receptionists might be tempted to doze off at times but they are always there, and vigilant about who comes and goes because they are like sentries guarding the front between public and private.
At a five star establishment the reception area will have a wide sweep and there will be comfortable sofas for people to sit about in a public space enjoying a cup of coffee or reading the newspaper. A porter will be on hand to help with suitcases and will escort a guest to his room, open the door for him and make sure that he is comfortably settled. A one or two star place will simply hand a gust his key and tell him where to find the room allotted to him.
Whether he books into a five star or one star hotel the guest books some privacy. He may be filmed by a surveillance camera as he walks down the corridor to the door of his room but once he gains entrance and hangs the Do Not Disturb sign outside his door he becomes master of his private space .
A camera on the inside of a hotel room would record some interesting mannerism. On being left alone in his room a guest would possibly walk first to the window and check what he can see of the outside world from his hideaway. Then he might look reflectively at the bed, possibly wondering how many strangers have slept there in the past week. He might check the linen and hopefully find it crisp and fresh.
Finally, if a male, he might check for any refreshments, and if a female, check her image in a mirror. In a five star hotel there will be quality full length mirror and ample refreshments in a fridge. There will be things to make tea and ample space.
A one or two star room will probably be clean and just as private as its richer cousin, even if sounds of coughing and water running may be heard from the room next door. The bed in a cheap hotel room may dominate the space to an extent that it has to be edged past. There may be a TV set with a few programs and a very small wash basin. A tiny plastic shower and toilet may be fitted somehow into the corner of the room. A budget hotel will be what it says it is and priced accordingly. The stars on the Internet will indicate what to expect.