Is there a difference between a Lodge and a Hotel? We have been asking ourselves this question for quite a while now but as we began our journey of discovery, we realised it was not going to be an easy task as we had thought.

The line between the 2 is so thin, it is nearly invisible, especially in Kenya. Having said that, we did manage to identify 3 distinguishing factors that tell the 2 apart. Read on to discover secrets you probably did not know.

1. A Lodge Combines Luxury and Comfort

By definition, a lodge appears more homely despite seeming like a bed and breakfast. But that definition could not be far from reality. Today most lodges will have nearly all the amenities hotels used to provide including things like a coffee maker, microwave, breakfast buffet and big-screen TV.

To be safe, think of a lodge as a cross between a bed and breakfast and a luxury hotel. Actually, most lodges tend to have cosier finishing and furnishing.

2. A Lodge Has a Rustic and Laid Back Setting

Another relatively clear difference is that lodges have a more rustic appearance than hotels. Most tend to be built on the outskirts of a big city or town, for instance in National Parks and Game Reserves, where they are isolated.

AfroChic Diani Beach Hotel is an example of a hotel although Elewana Collection who own it, sometimes also call it their 10 rooms villas.

This makes them the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Lodges give guests a chance to view wide open spaces right at their doorsteps – this could be the beach, forest or a Savannah grassland. Hotels would deliver you concrete, glass and the usual noise of city life.

3. Lodges Have More Personalised Service and Fewer Rooms

Not too sure about this one but apparently experts in the industry say most lodges would have more rooms than a bed and breakfast and fewer rooms than a full-scale hotel. Because of this ‘smallness’ of the lodge, it offers a more personalised service than a hotel would, including investing more time cleaning rooms, organising a tour of the nearby attractions and so on.

Do these three help you be clearer on the difference between the 2? It is apparent that a lodge cannot be a hotel but as we ended our investigation, we realised the difference is getting increasingly vague as the need to please the customer blurs the boundaries governing the industry.

In Kenya, this difference gets, even more, vaguer as it is not uncommon to get, for instance, a facility called a lodge located right in the heart of the city and vice versa for a hotel.

It is critical that custodians of industry standards maintain these definitions to enable those who are aware to make better, more informed decisions as they make bookings. Have you ever found yourself in a lodge that was actually supposed to be a hotel? Share your experience below.