The words "hotel", "hostel", and "hostal" are etymologically related, coming into the English language from Old French hostel, itself from Late Latin hospitale, denoting a "hospice" or place of rest.

Nowadays, however, they each refer to distinct types of accommodation. In particular, hostal is used in Spanish either with the same sense as "hostel", or it can also refer to a certain type of pension which is found mostly in Spain.

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