European Plan vs All-Inclusive – What’s The Difference?

All-inclusive and European Plan are both hotel listing terminologies used to simply denote the services the “overall” rates a hotel charges and accords to its clients all through their stay.

Whilst an all-inclusive plan means that accommodation, meals, and other services listed on the booking price are taken care of without one having to pay an extra dime, a European plan caters exclusively to providing accommodation.

Keep reading below to find out more about the two types of plans as we give an example of each to drive home the point.

What is the difference between European plan and all-inclusive?

The difference is in the food, drinks, activities, and other services one hotel plan caters for while the other does not.


Accommodation is definite in both of the hotel plans, yes, but do you get any service on top of that?

Do you perhaps get served breakfast? Lunch? Supper? Drinks maybe?

In some hotel booking rates, entertainment and even room service are included in the package while they offer different rates for those who care less for extra services other than “the room” only.

This goes for guys who love trying out new joints within the locality especially if the hotel has a surrounding locality.

All the same, a client may need to pay upfront for an extra service they may require that is not on the package they signed up for at some point during their stay at the hotel.

That is regardless of whether the plan they signed up for is all-inclusive or a European plan.
But this also largely depends on what a client wants or prefers.

Maybe because of the slimness of one’s budget or simply because a client would rather pay for whatever they may need from the same hotel if they need the service or from a different hotel or joint and come back just to sleep.
At the end of the day, what is important is convenience, quality of meals and drinks, and manageable cost of services.

Among hotel, clients are those with an adventurous spirit and these are mostly the lot that pays for European plans.

But they need to have studied their destination well and have a pre-planned schedule on the places they want to visit and the cuisines they want to sample.

They are in control of their budget and may end up spending more or less.

On all-inclusive rates, the most enticing service are the activities offered by the hotel depending on the destination.

Leisure travels for example offer water sports activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, and windsurfing.

These are all non-motorized water sports to be precise but motorized sports like jet skiing are limited but available in some hotels or resorts.

The most important thing before making a booking is to check on hotel listings to ensure that you get the best deal and end up in the best destination.

See related: What is “Room Run of the House”? Is it even worth It?

Definition of a European plan

This is a plan available in a hotel’s listing package where a client books and pays for one of their rooms and gets just that. No meals, no drinks, or any activity.

And the client is fully aware of this option.

A client books a hotel room online or in person and the front office expects him to just pick up the key on arrival and return it when their stay at the hotel comes to an end.

Anything else they may need is available for them but on new terms while they get to pay for meals and drinks at the rates given at the restaurant.

Hotel rates cover daily expenses but the problem with the European plan is that dining facilities and other services will be expensive at the end of the day because they are not discounted.

European plan example

A company plans to have its representative travel to another town, city, or country to engage with existing or potential clients on matters of business and books for “rooms only” at a hotel downtown.

Part of the reason they settle for this plan is to have their dining plans open for any change of events.

The advantage is that the company representative has the honor and flexibility of meeting and dining with their client away from the hotel at any time of day.

On the other hand, the representative gets to sample and enjoy the services of other hotels without being fixed to the already chosen option.

Definition of All inclusive

Not only accommodation but also meals, drinks, entertainment, available activities, and even room service are included and packaged as an item in the booking listing.

When you go to a hotel’s online booking site, you will find different packages with a variety of services listed and a rate that covers them all indicated.

That means that you will be provided with the same services. All these services are provided for free and a client is not supposed to pay any more money unless it is for something else.

The advantage of this package is that the same services on their own tend to cost more but as an item, the hotel gives a discounted rate which is favorable to the client.

The all-inclusive package is very common with cruise lines, resorts, country clubs, and other facilities that accommodate conferences, team-building activities, vacations, and so forth.

These are facilities that sit on spacious grounds or facilitate travel and leisure activities.

And of all other hotel listing packages, the all-inclusive is one of the most sought after plans as it favors all interested parties as things or services offered in bulk cost less and draw more clients as long as they are top-notch.

Read also: European Plan vs American Plan

All inclusive example

Say a company plans to have its employees attend a learning seminar for a whole week at a country club hotel where they get to attend meetings slated into a timetable.

This means that every waking day is planned for.
And because seminars involve many people, the best thing to do is to book a hotel listing plan which caters to accommodation, food, drinks, and an activity for the employees attending.

This way, everyone’s needs are catered for cumulatively while ensuring that the seminar goes on uninterrupted while time is observed at all times.

For the record, this plan is best suited for an individual whose days are packed with activity and has no time or energy to go looking into other packages or sit waiting for meals that are made by order.

See related: Can You Smoke On Hotel Balconies?

Final Thoughts

All-inclusive vs. European hotel plans are considerate of clients’ needs because clients are varied and while one is comfortable with a service, another is not.

What is important is that they want to spend time in your facility and it is a hotel’s duty as a business premise to come up with a plan that suits every other client.

At the end of the day, client satisfaction is key in the little or much they may require.