Players take turns moving around the board. Each square on the board is adjacent to one or two hotel properties. Most of the squares are either purchase squares or building squares.
Whenever a player lands on a purchase square which is adjacent to an unowned property they may buy that property by paying the purchase price. Once they own a property they may attempt to build on it whenever they land on a building square. A special die is rolled to determine if permission to build is granted or denied. If it is denied the player must wait for a later turn.
When permission is granted to build the player may add new buildings or facilities to their property. Each hotel has from one to five buildings and a set of recreational facilities. The main building must be built first, followed by the other buildings then the facilities. The cost of each addition is listed on the deed card for the property.
Once a player has at least one building on a property they may add entrances to their hotels. One entrance can be placed on each square of the board. If a player lands on an entrance for a hotel belonging to another player they must pay the owner to stay at that hotel. The cost of staying depends on the number of buildings and facilities in that hotel.
If the player cannot afford to stay at the hotel they must put their own properties up for auction to raise money. A player who loses all of their money and properties is out of the game. The last player remaining is the winner.
Hotels shares many game play concepts with Monopoly, including the buying of property with a deed, improvement of the property and collecting a fee for landing on that property. Players also collect $2000 each time they round the board, akin to Monopoly's $200 for passing Go.