Hotel Vocab: A - Z of property types (Part 2/2)

Updated: Jun 10

Starting where left off from part one, we look into the difference between manor houses and mansions and explore the meanings of chalets, castles and tented camps.

Hotel vocabulary and definitions

Going grander


Continuing on the country theme, we explore a range of grander property types used to describe hotels derived from building types originally, but not exclusively, found in Britain.


Abbey: establishment (formerly) occupied by a community of monks or nuns

Abbaye de la Bussière in Burgundy was built in 1172 as a Cistercian abbey. It features a crypt, cloister, refectory, farmhouse, dovecote, outhouses and monastic dwellings.
Definition of an abbey or historical hotel

Castle: large building, typically of the medieval period, which is (or was formerly) fortified as a stronghold


Country-club: club with sporting or social facilities, set in a rural area


Country house: large house in the country, typically the seat of a wealthy or aristocratic family

Definition of manor house, country house, country club and villa

Estate: property consisting of a large house and extensive grounds or a property where coffee, grapes or other crops are cultivated


Manor house: large country house with lands, chiefly historical (origin Anglo-Norman maner meaning dwelling)

What is the difference between a manor, mansion, country house and estate

Mansion: large, impressive house (origin from the Latin mansio meaning ‘place where someone stays’ and Middle English denoting the chief residence of a lord)


Palace: large, impressive building forming the official residence of a sovereign or president (origin: Palatine Hill in Rome where the house of the emperor was situated)

Definition of a palace hotel
Lucknam Park & Spa in Wiltshire is a fine example of an actual 'park' hotel.

Park: large enclosed area, typically with woodland and pasture, attached to a country house


Around the world


It's time to venture abroad. Do you know the difference between a hacienda and a pousada? What actually is a villa and how does it differ from a palazzo?

What is the difference between a ranch, a riad, a chalet and a pousada?

Camp: place with temporary accommodation used by soldiers or travelling people or a complex of buildings for holiday accommodation


Chalet: wooden house with overhanging eaves, typically in the Swiss Alps or a small cabin used by holiday makers, forming a unit within a holiday complex

Definition of lodge or chalet

Chateau: large French country-house or castle


Finca: country estate or ranch (Spanish)

Finca Cortesin is one of Spain's finest properties.

Hacienda: large estate with a house (Spanish)


Palazzo: large, imposing building or residence (Italian)

Definition of hacienda

Pousada: hotel in Portugal owned and administered by the government


Ranch: large farm, especially in the Western US and Canada, where cattle and other animals are bred

Definition of a Moroccan Moorish courtyard or riad

Riad: large traditional house built around a central courtyard, often converted into a hotel (Moroccan) (origin from the Arab word riyad meaning garden)

Marrakech's El Fenn was a crumbling riad transformed into a glittering boutique hotel.

Villa: large country house in its own grounds (in continental Europe) or a detached or semi-detached house in a residential district (in Britain). In Roman times a villa was a large country house with an estate, consisting of buildings arranged around a courtyard

Definition of a villa

Drop us a line in the comments if you have any questions or want to know more!

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