Is a Hotel Commercial or Residential

by | Last updated Jan 5, 2024 | General Architecture, NYC DOB, NYC Zoning

Weather a hotel is a commercial or residential building is a matter of context. For example according to the New York City Zoning Resolution a hotel is a commercial use whereas the New York City Building Code Classifies a Hotel as Residential Occupancy. A hotel being residential or commercial is dependent on the context.


Is a Hotel Commercial or Residential 

A hotel can be categorized as residential and commercial in different contexts. This may be confusing but it is clear if you understand the context. I am an architect in New York and I will use New York City Codes to answer this question. In NYC we have different sets of codes as do most places. Zoning Codes dictate what you can build for example the use of a building allowed in a certain area and the size of building you can develop. Building Codes dictate how buildings can be built for example fire exits and construction classification are building codes.


Here is a Youtube Video from my channel explaining if a hotel is residential or commercial. 


Hotel Zoning Code Use Group

In New York City a Hotel falls under Zoning Use Group 5. This is a Commercial Use Group therefor Hotels are allowed in Commercial Zoning districts but typically not in Residential Zoning Districts. This is for Zoning Codes only and has nothing to do with Building Codes. Zoning Codes and Building Codes are completely different. When it comes to Zoning a Hotel is commercial and must be in commercial zoning districts.


Hotel Building Occupancy Classification

In New York City a Hotel falls under Residential Building Occupancy Group R-1. This is for Building Code only and has nothing to do with Zoning Codes. Zoning Codes and Building Codes are completely different. Additionally the Multiple Dwelling Law has regulations for Hotels. According to the New York Multiple Dwelling Law a hotel is a Class B Dwelling Unit. For the applicability of building codes a hotel is a Residential Use.


Hotel Residential or Commercial Codes

As an architect, I study Building Codes and Zoning Codes closely, but these are complicated and quite involved issues. In this article, we reviewed some of the basic concepts with regards to weather Hotels follow Residential or Commercial codes. This post does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition, but provide a general overview of the topic.


Thank you for reading our blog post on Hotels Residential VS Commercial.

I hope this was helpful. Please leave questions and comments below. If you would like to speak with an architect, you can Contact Fontan Architecture directly.


External Sources:


Jorge Fontan

Jorge Fontan

This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 20 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.