Gehst du zum hotel?
I got the sentence above on DL. But on google translate, ins is used in place of zum. I recently checked out an article that said the choice for "to" in German is determined by where you would eventually end up, ie, "in" the place, "next to" it, "outside" it, etc. Since a person will be walking into a hotel, unless she is gonna wait for someone, shouldnt it be ins? Why is zum used on DL.. Is it cux zu is generally acceptable if you dont know a more suitable preposition?
"zum" is not generally acceptable e.g. "Ich gehe nach Hause" is translated with "I am going home", or if you want to stress that you are going into the hotel you say "ins". If you ask someone if he/she is going to the hotel (doesn't matter if you go in or not) you mostly use "zum" because you cannot be 100% sure where he or she is going exactly. I think Duolingo used "zum" because it is the most common and most precise translation. Zum is a contraction of "zu" and "dem", thus "zu" is the most general preposition.
Personally, I would use "zum Hotel" if I am farther away and "ins Hotel" if I were nearby and willing to enter it. If I were already in the hotel or immediately in front of it, I might choose "aufs Zimmer", to the room.