From Merriam Webster

History and Etymology for motel

blend of motor and hotel

Is this supported by its earliest known uses?

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  • 3
    Have you a reason for doubting it? – Michael Harvey Apr 22 at 9:36
  • @MichaelHarvey No, not really. I just want to see it used as such. If that's OK. – user344551 Apr 22 at 9:37

Many sources, including the Smithsonian, say that the first use of "motel" was when an architect and developer, Arthur Heinemann, built a hotel aimed at motor travellers in San Luis Obispo, California (USA), in 1925. He shortened the phrase "motor hotel" in calling it the "Milestone Mo-tel", and the term went into general use, shedding the hyphen**, as motor travel, and the need for overnight accommodation for motorists, increased in the 20th century.

World's first motel

** Perhaps it was left behind in a Mo-tel; lots of things are.