"The hotel has the basics."
Translation:El hotel tiene lo básico.
I asked a native Spanish speaker (from Spain) about this. He said he'd only use "tener lo básico" (meaning "has all the basic things") and wouldn't understand what "tener los básicos" meant (noting it looked like a bad copy of the English "have the basics").
He noted there are a good number of results for "tener los básicos" in Google, so he suspects it might be used in Latin America, presumably with the same meaning as "tener lo básico," but he can't be sure because he doesn't use it, and to him it doesn't sound good at all.
If one were looking for the go-to translation of "el básico," it'd be "the basic one" (I defer to native speakers as to any specific usage nuances of this turn of phrase).
"lo" before an adjective yields a meaning something like "that which is [adjective]"; for some adjectives this can be expressed in English just putting a "the" in front of the adjective: He sees the good in people = Él ve lo bueno en las personas. For "basic" the common English rendering for "that which is basic" happens to be "the basics" for whatever reason.
"tiene los básicos" actually has more Google results than "tiene lo básico" Some are irrelevant adjectives before a noun, but most aren't. Many are in a fashion/clothing context where one suspects it's a calque of "basic" used as a noun to indicate a simple staple of a wardrobe.
Others seem to be used similarly to the more general "the basics" is in English. Of course, the origin of this usage may be English influence (or simply native language interference for second-language Spanish speakers; one can't tell who it is that's writing online), but it's quite possible "los básicos" enjoys a certain degree of general currency in Spanish. This, of course, is quite a different matter than whether it is sufficiently standard for Duolingo to accept it as a translation.
So lo básico is a neuter article, which is used in this case to express an abstract concept. Now I understand...It is also used in clauses with que i.e. "lo que dice."
I also found this link short and sweet to the point: https://www.lawlessspanish.com/grammar/articles/neuter-article/
This sentence taught me a lot!
Pretty much what was explained above. In this case the translation/meaning 'things (that are)' is best suited: "The hotel has the things that are basic". You would almost never translate it like this, because you can simply use "the" in English instead, but the meaning is the same here.