This paper provides an overview and insight into the intellectual foundations and evolution of hospitality scholarship. The authors found that hospitality research has exhibited certain defining and evolving characteristics when an extended period - six decades - is considered. Quantitative methods have predominated with ongoing efforts to reach agreement about the most valid and applicable research methods. Four of the six identified research domains are marketing related, each with its defining characteristics. Some domains are heavily reliant on sources from work originally published in "mainstream" literature such as marketing, though the fast-developing field of online reviews draws sources overwhelmingly from the hospitality and tourism journals. The paper contributes to theory by synthesizing key theoretical concerns over six decades. It also evidences the shift of hospitality scholarship from its pragmatic and operational origins to a stronger theory base offering practitioners an important reference point when confronting unprecedented industry upheavals.