History of Hotels and Hospitality

Curtis Carlson Nelson holds a strong passion for hospitality, with a long and successful career in the industry.

He has worked in many areas related to travel and hospitality including business, marketing, management, sales, branding, etc. One of the most interesting things Curtis Carlson Nelson has learned throughout his career is the long celebrated history of hospitality which dates back even before the Middle Ages.

Curtis Carlson Nelson - History of Hotels

Hospitality in the Middle Ages and Beyond

All throughout history including the Greek and Roman times people have set aside accommodations for travelers. It is unclear, however, as to whether this was just for government business or if alternate accommodations were made for just the weary traveler.

As the world entered the Middle Ages and life as a whole became more dangerous traveling and taking in travelers was really called to a halt. What happened was that people didn’t want to take travelers into their homes, so they started opening Inns, leading to the birth of what is known around the world today as a hotel.

The Birth of an Industry

Curtis Carlson Nelson is fascinated by the time that hotels and hospitality really began to grow within society. The hospitality industry was born in about the fifteenth century as governments began to regulate inns with their growing popularity. Traveling was becoming popular because the dangers of the Middle Ages were finally easing up a bit. This time frame also gave way to the first guidebooks for travelers to use, first produced in France.

Many of these early Inns had a similar structure in which all common areas were located in the front and then access to bedrooms was setup through a courtyard. There were also highly prized, but expected amenities of the time such as stables and storehouses, what Curtis Carlson Nelson considers “The Wi-Fi of the fifteenth century”.

Nineteenth Century

We fast forward a few hundred years and find ourselves in the middle of America and England’s Industrial Revolutions. New York, as you might have imagined was a hot spot for new hotels, many of which can still be seen and visited today. New York was not to be out done through, with constant additions to services that were offered including the now expected bell hop and private bathrooms.

Between 1822 and 1840 nearly every well-known city including Venice, Cairo, or even out on the shores of Lake Geneva had a highly prized hotel that were all in themselves, works of art.

No Slowing Down in the Twentieth Century…

The efforts kept going and amenities, offerings and rich feel of hotels continued to escalate. With the art deco movement in the early 1900’s the United States bloomed in artistic and fully themed hotels. 

Where are we today?

Now Curtis Carlson Nelson has observed the hospitality industry operating with full-fledged technological advances in nearly every hotel room. Free Wi-Fi, free parking, free valet. And this all just the surface technology. The hospitality industry has an ever growing number of technology systems that propel each business into models of efficiency and encourage, if not guarantee, excellent guest service.

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