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A place for students, teachers and native Russian speakers to discuss Russian grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and other aspects of the Russian language.

What's the difference between "гостиница" and "отель" (gostinitsa vs otel)?

+1 vote
Hi, I would like to know the difference between "гостиница" and "отель". When should I use one word and not another? By the way, is "отель" a borrowed word from the English "hotel"? Thanks in advance for your answers and opinions.
asked Jan 16, 2013 by strochka (530 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
These words mean the same but the word гостиница is more official and normally used when speaking about hotels in Russia and other CIS countries. Word отель is of more modern style and normally used to identify foreign hotels.

Word отель most probably is borrowed from French "hôtel" because the way of transliteration corresponds to French pronunciation rather than English: stress on the last syllable, "h" is not pronounced and "л" is palatalized with "ь".
answered Jan 16, 2013 by it-ogo (18,220 points)
0 votes

I would use гостиница when talking about a hotel, e.g.. "I stayed in a hotel", "There's a hotel next to the metro station"

I've heard 
отель more in use in the names of hotels.

answered Apr 11, 2013 by bluewmelon (2,560 points)