AP. MAP. CP. EP. You might have noticed these words when booking a hotel or scrolling through any hotel’s brochure or website.
These terms are more common when you are directly dealing with a hotel. For example, to book a stay for a group, for an event or for a longer duration.
But what are these terms supposed to mean? Well, they are nothing but meal plans. They tell you which meal in included in the room rate, or not.
Here is what they generally mean:
AP or American Plan
American Plan or AP means that apart from room rent, quoted hotel tariff includes all 3 meals as well, i.e., Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. In Europe and some other countries, the American Plan is also referred to as Full Pension or Full Board Plan.
This plan is good for tourists visiting remote places where availability of food outside/nearby or hygiene could be an issue.
MAP or Modified American Plan
Modified American Plan or MAP means quoted rates include two meals a day, namely breakfast and either lunch or dinner. In Europe and some other countries, the Modified American Plan is also referred to as Half Pension or Half Board Plan.
Preferred by most of the tourists as you can leave hotel with a good breakfast, spend the day out, have lunch at some nice local restaurant and go for dinner in the hotel after a shower.
CP or Continental Plan
Under Continental or CP Meal Plan, room rent and complimentary free breakfast are included in the tariff. And in case you decide to have dinner and lunch at the hotel, you always have the option to pay extra.
Continental Plan is supposed to include a continental breakfast. However, hotel nowadays use the term for any kind of breakfast. Most of the hotels have breakfast buffet (for all meal plans) with tea, coffee, milk, juices, eggs, pancakes, local dishes, breads, and corn flakes etc.
EP or European Plan
European Plan or EP will mostly have the lowest tariff in a rate card, simply because it includes only room rent and no meals.
This gives you the option of trying local food and save some money as well. You always have the option of paying and having food in the hotel.
Another advantage of EP is that since almost every hotel has more than 1 restaurant, you are free to try all and choose the one you like.
It also gives you freedom to try a new local place daily for breakfast.
Club Access Plan
Many hotel chains offer a clubroom or a club access plan, where you get access to the hotel’s club or lounge.
These clubs generally have complimentary breakfast, all day beverages, light snacks and meals during fixed hours and free drinks in the evening.
Depending on the rate booked, you might have access to breakfast at the lounge as well as the main restaurant.
Even though the spread at the club lounge would be smaller in most cases, it is still preferred by guests who want to avoid too many tourists or waiting times. Club lounges are largely much quieter and emptier.
Club Lounge Access plan can be mostly booked online, like most other rates. When booking a Club Access plan, you are likely to be offered the room on the same floor as the club lounge.
Many hotel chains offer Club Lounge access free for their top elite members. Which is not that difficult to achieve, if you keep a track of hotel promotions and upgrade offers.