The Meaning of Motels and Hotels in Dreams

Categories Practical


Have you ever wondered what dreaming of a seedy motel means? Well, the meaning of motels and hotels in dreams is not cut and dry. There are many possibilities, some good and some bad. One thing’s for sure, the whole thing is very interesting. Let’s dive in and go deep, shall we?


CC Image Courtesy of Roadsidepictures on Flickr.

Motels and Hotels in Dreams When You’re at Home, What’s That All About?

The last time I dreamt of a motel, I was in one. Pretty meta. But usually I dream of motels and hotels when I’m home. The main symbol of motels is that they are places of transience, a place you rent and don’t stay in that long. You’re on the way somewhere else, after all. In that sense, on a basic level they represent fleeting time. This can be positive and negative. Positively, motels can represent freedom and adventure. You’re on a roll! Negatively, motels can represent a sense of disorder and chaos. You’re out there all alone, scary! If the motel in your dream contains ghosts, ghouls, goblins, and things like that, it’s probably a bad sign. If the wifi doesn’t work, also not good. In other words, five-star hotel with no ghostly spectres of repressed memories and trauma = good, one or two-star motel with weird stuff going on = bad. Hotels differ in symbolism from motels in some measure, because they can be more attached to a place you are visiting and therefore a more sustained experience.


If I was having a lucid dream, I probably wouldn’t stroll into this one… CC Image Courtesy of Kate Ter Haar on Flickr.


What is the Meaning of a Haunted Hotel or Motel in a Dream?

When you experience horror-movie style paranormal or “threatening” activity in a motel or hotel dream, the most obvious interpretation is that it is in fact you who is “haunted.” Something from the past is not resolved, and you aren’t able to totally move on as a result. When it comes to the darker symbolism of hotels and motels in dreams, Hitchcock’s Psycho is a great example. The movie opens with secretary Marion Crane and her illicit lover in a (fairly nice) hotel, living out the affair she is sick of hiding. The couple’s comfortable room is a place of sanctuary but also a “dead end”. Meanwhile, the Bates Motel in the middle of nowhere, where she drives later with a suitcase full of stolen money, is another kind of “dead end.” The literal kind. Marion Crane talks about getting caught in “personal traps” to Norman Bates, but it’s already too late. Cue the stabbing music.

Don’t Fear Hotels and Motels in Dreams 

Bear in mind a nightmare or a bad dream sometimes doesn’t have a really deep meaning, nor is it major cause for concern. However, it is always interesting to pick your own brain and take stock of the concerns and hopes in your life. A warm and fuzzy dream about a motel or hotel can signal that taking a trip would be a great idea, or that you’re on a good journey at this point in your life. It’s not all about the scary stuff. Well, I hope this psychology amateur hour has been fun for you – keep on dreaming!

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