Hotel, Motel, or Bed & Breakfast - What's the Difference?Florida has a thriving real estate market that attracts investors from all around the country. Since Key West is a unique travel destination, hospitality businesses may have a greater chance of success here. However, the location also attracts plenty of other investors, so competition could be stiff depending on which Key you are thinking of buying on. Here are the main differences between Hotels, Motels & Bed & Breakfasts:


A hotel is typically a larger property with more rooms than a motel or bed and breakfast. Most hotels are several floors high with interior hallways and elevators. Some have restaurants, pools, gyms, or spas on the grounds.
Investors should consider the costs of hotel maintenance and other factors that will affect their profits. While a big hotel has the potential to bring in a lot of business, it will also require a larger staff and more maintenance. If the aim is to operate a luxury hotel, the standards for service and amenities will be even higher. A hotel investment is best for someone with a large amount of startup capital.


A motel is smaller than a hotel. Most are only two levels and offer fewer rooms than hotels. Hallways are on the outside of the building, and rooms typically face the parking lot.
Motels are designed for shorter stays, so they don’t offer the same amenities as hotels. Having fewer rooms means you can get away with a smaller staff, but there will also be less potential for profit. Motels are generally easier to run and therefore better for an investor who is just starting out.

Bed and Breakfast

A bed and breakfast, also called B&Bs is typically run out of a residential home rather than a commercial building. The home will have under 10 bedrooms, so only a few guests can stay at any given time. You’ll be expected to serve breakfast to your guests each morning in a common room or area where your guests can mingle with each other. Many Bed & Breakfast owners like to also create unique experiences by offering themed rooms or unique special bedrooms that are decorated to give the guest a special ambiance to match the local area. A Bed & Breakfast is ideal for someone looking to live in the home (or an adjacent property ) so that you can be available to your guests if needed. This offers the possibility of living in beautiful Key West while earning a living from your home to cover the higher property expense.

Are You Looking for Commercial Property in the Florida Keys?

Use our site to search commercial real estate in Key West and all of the Florida Keys. Unlike the “big name” sites out there, our site is directly connected to our local MLS and is updated faster. By creating a Property Manager account you can stay on top of the newest businesses that go up on the market and get Price Change alerts so you can stay ahead of other buyers and beat them to the best deals! 

In the meantime, check out these 1-click searches:

Hotels, Motels & Bed & Breakfasts for Sale in Key West, FL

Business Opportunities in Key West, FL

No properties found

Newest Commercial Properties for sale in Key West, FL