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Old 01-23-2006, 09:04 AM
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Hotel terminology: "American Plan" and "European Plan"?

What do the terms American Plan and European Plan mean in reference to hotels? I notice that Expedia uses these terms frequently, especially for hotels that are in resort areas.

I thought the American Plan was what you typically find in an American hotel, i.e., the quoted tariff is just for your room and bed, and includes no food or other incidentals. The European Plan would presumably have to include a little more, but what? One or more meals a day? A Continental breakfast? Or does it not mean anything at all?

I'm sure you will all understand that googling on these terms is nearly impossible, as I found out.
Old 01-23-2006, 09:06 AM
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Unless it's changed recently:

American Plan = Meals are included
Modified American Plan = Breakfast and Dinner are included, but no lunch
European Plan = No meals.
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Old 01-23-2006, 09:36 AM
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Agree. Will just add that sometimes, especially in Europe, AP is called "Full Board" and MAP is called "Half Board."
Old 01-23-2006, 09:38 AM
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A quick Google tip

BTW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
I'm sure you will all understand that googling on these terms is nearly impossible, as I found out.
No, very possible. Googling on "american plan modified american plan european plan" I got this site as the first hit, which explains these very nicely.
Old 01-23-2006, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas
BTW

No, very possible. Googling on "american plan modified american plan european plan" I got this site as the first hit, which explains these very nicely.
I see where I made my mistake; I tried "American plan hotel" and "European plan hotel" separately.

The explanation is interesting in view of the fact that I've never seen a hotel in the U.S. that provides anything other than the bed and room in the basic price.
Old 01-23-2006, 12:34 PM
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You'll often see these meal pricing plans at resort hotels.

My wife and I enjoyed having MAP while on honeymoon in Puerto Rico, especially since other people were paying the tab for it and the room.
Old 01-23-2006, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
The explanation is interesting in view of the fact that I've never seen a hotel in the U.S. that provides anything other than the bed and room in the basic price.
I suspect it was more common in the earlier part of the 20th century, and lingers on in a handful of elite (or elitist) establishments. I once went to the Greenbrier in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia (my dad entertained for a weekend there), where they had the American Plan. The food was first rate. They still have the American Plan, and I'm sure there are some other luxury hotels that do as well.
Old 01-23-2006, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
I see where I made my mistake; I tried "American plan hotel" and "European plan hotel" separately.

The explanation is interesting in view of the fact that I've never seen a hotel in the U.S. that provides anything other than the bed and room in the basic price.
"Continental breakfast" is very common, from what I have seen. I have also seen a lunch buffet and a happy hour with snacks. Even a "midnite warm cookie & hotchocolate" bar.
Old 01-23-2006, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Moto
You'll often see these meal pricing plans at resort hotels.

My wife and I enjoyed having MAP while on honeymoon in Puerto Rico, especially since other people were paying the tab for it and the room.
How did you enjoy Puerto Rico? As a matter of fact we're casting about now for a summer vacation destination this year, probably to involve an island and warm tropical waters. Yaarrr!
Old 01-23-2006, 02:06 PM
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American Plan was usually used at places like the Catskill resorts. You were doing everything at the resort, so you had all three meals there.

Modified American Plan skipped lunches, so you didn't have to return in the middle of the day to eat. This let you visit areas points of interest all day without having to return to the hotel at noon.

Most hotels use European Plan, though a few give a breakfast as part of the package.
Old 01-23-2006, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
I see where I made my mistake; I tried "American plan hotel" and "European plan hotel" separately.
Another Google tip:

If you want to weed out returns that take it as a given that you know what an "American plan" is, try a partial explanatory phrase, like this:

"American plan is" (With the quotes.)

This tells us:
Quote:
The American Plan, sometimes abbreviated as AP in hotel listings, means that the quoted rate includes three meals a day, i.e. breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Similarly, "European plan is" quickly offers up the intelligence that:
Quote:
The European Plan, sometimes abbreviated as EP in hotel listings, indicates that the quoted rate is strictly for lodging and does not include any meals.
(Both from the same site that CookingWithGas's search returned, but this method doesn't require you to know about the other types of plans.)
Old 01-23-2006, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
How did you enjoy Puerto Rico? As a matter of fact we're casting about now for a summer vacation destination this year, probably to involve an island and warm tropical waters. Yaarrr!
We loved Puerto Rico. I had been there a few times in the Navy, and had a blast, but going and staying at the Wyndham El Conquistador involved a big step up in luxury, and I don't think I'll be in as nice a place for a very long time.

The resort had numerous pools, a marina, a private island accessible by water taxi, eleven restaurants, and a golf course. The only thing we had to pay for was lunch every day and alcoholic beverages.

I won the trip on a game show.
Old 01-23-2006, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
The explanation is interesting in view of the fact that I've never seen a hotel in the U.S. that provides anything other than the bed and room in the basic price.
That's a good point, it's not the norm. And many tiny European hotels I've been to include a modest Continental breakfast.
Old 01-23-2006, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas
And many tiny European hotels I've been to include a modest Continental breakfast.
Isn't that basically why it's called a "Continental" breakfast?

An "English" breakfast is bacon, sausage, eggs, potatoes, toast, beans, and tomato, while a "Continental" breakfast is a demitasse of strong coffee, a roll, and a mouthful of juice to clear the palate, such as is enjoyed by those effete french and italians.
Old 01-24-2006, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Mudd
Isn't that basically why it's called a "Continental" breakfast?

An "English" breakfast is bacon, sausage, eggs, potatoes, toast, beans, and tomato, while a "Continental" breakfast is a demitasse of strong coffee, a roll, and a mouthful of juice to clear the palate, such as is enjoyed by those effete french and italians.
Here I always thought that "Continental" breakfast consisted of juice, coffee, croissants, and post-structuralism.
Old 01-24-2006, 08:21 AM
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I always found a continental breakfast much too much to eat. Even Australia or Antarctica are too much to eat first thing in the morning, and when they server Eurasis -- well, that's just overkill.
Old 01-24-2006, 08:57 AM
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I think the idea stems from the fact that very few European hotel guests would expect or desire to eat every meal in the same place, especially their own hotel.
If the hotel has a good restaurant one might eat there once or twice, but the same place every night-no way.

The exception is all-inclusive resorts, where you're pretty much locked into the compound, so you have to eat there anyway, and it may as well be included in the price.

Most European hotels which offer dinner have a restaurant with an a la carte menu, rather than a buffet, while the smaller ones might have a simple dining room where breakfast is served.

The nicest hotel breakfast I ever ate was in Italy- coffee, fresh fruit, juice, cereal, toast and a number of yummy pastries were on offer.

The second nicest was in a small hotel in Kerry, Ireland, which was because the owner will make anything you like for breakfast- I had french toast with cinnamon, a poached egg on toast and some grilled mushrooms.
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