A Glossary of Hotel Acronyms, Abbreviations and Jargon

Ever been bamboozled by the range of special terminology surrounding hotels and hospitality in general? It’s quite easy to get confused, especially in the age of digital jargon we live in. Even the professionals get stuck at times, which is one of the reasons we always encourage hotels to keep their text in plain, jargon-free English as much as possible! 

Should you be at a loss to explain what PPPN from your OTA, however, the following handy guide to commonly used hotel terms might just help:

ADR: Average daily rate

AI: all inclusive (not artificial intelligence!)

Aparthotel: These days, some hotels offer entire apartments, rather than just bedroom and ensuite bathroom. Traditionally, these would be called suites, but these days many urban locations, in particular, market themselves as aparthotels. Features such as fitted kitchens make them popular with professionals and longer stay guests. 

AV: Audio visual equipment 

BB/ DBB: Bed and breakfast / Dinner, bed and breakfast included.

BHA: British Hospitality Association

Boutique: properties driven by design and style considerations, with special or unique features. Tend to be independently owned and run, often with smaller numbers of rooms. 

BRA: Best rates available. 

Comp: Short for complimentary or free of charge.

Conference Hotels: are those that specialise in larger events, tending to have large numbers of rooms and specialised facilities. 

Contract rooms: This refers to rooms that are booked by a special contract for an extended period. This type of arrangement tends to be the domain of permanent guests, airline staff and others.

Day guests: Hotel visitors who arrive and leave the same day; usually to use facilities such as the spa or restaurant. 

DB/ Direct Booking: This means when customers book directly with the hotel, whether by phone or the company’s own site, as opposed to using outside parties like a GDS or OTA. Some hotels incentivise this practise by offering a discount, as it saves them being charged a commission from the likes of Booking.com, Trivago and others.

DC/Distribution Channel: The various ways guests can book with a hotel. Inlcudes GDS, OTA, or by phone or the hotel’s own website.

DND: Do not disturb

ETA: Estimated time of arrival.

Extended Stay: Occasionally you might  come across a property described as an “extended stay hotel”. These businesses specialise in longer stay guests. Their rooms will have features such as kitchens and offer weekly rates for guests. 

FB/Full Board: An accommodation rate that includes all three main meals, as well as a bed for the night. 

GDS: Global distribution system. In other words, a reservation management system that lets professionals make a series of reservations or booking types in one process- for example car rental, travel tickets and a hotel room all in the same swoop.

GM: General manager

Golf Hotel: As it sounds, but to have the name “golf hotel” the property must have its own golf course as party of the same site. It is not sufficient, for example, to simply have a course nearby or offer guests discounts on a separate golf club. 

HB/ Half Board: A room rate that includes breakfast and one other meal, whether lunch or dinner.  

Hospitality Tray: The tray of refreshments in a hotel room, such as tea, coffee, biscuits etc. More upmarket hotels will sometimes use this term, usually denoting hand-picked, higher quality items. 

IBE: Internet booking engine 

IPO/ EPO: The Individual pays own, or each pays their own share.

FB: Full Board (i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner)

KS/ SKS: King Size or Super King Size. Refers to rooms or beds most often. 

Late charges: Costs passed on for things that weren’t settled on departure by a hotel guest. 

Late check-out: A guest departing at a later than usual time. Sometimes hotels will allow later departure with certain dates or deals, or offer this option for an extra fee. 

MOD: The manager on duty, usually referred to simply as duty manager. 

No show: A hotel guest that does not check in or cancel after reserving a room. 

Occupancy: Refers to how full a hotel is booked, usually as a percentage of rooms booked against the total available. So if a hotel is running at an average of 50% occupancy, half its rooms are typically booked. 

OTA: Online travel agents

PP: Per person

PPPN: per person, per night

PRPN: Per room per night

Rack rate: The normal price for a room, prior to any offers or discounts being applied.

RO: Room only. I.e. no breakfast or any extras. 

RBO: Rental by owner. These are accommodation types where individuals rent rooms, beds or entire actual properties to travellers via the likes of Airbnb. The nemesis of B&Bs and smaller hotels, according to some observers!  

RO: Room only 

Serviced Apartments: Long stay accommodation. Often includes cleaning and other services, but tends to be a self-catering arrangement, where meals, 24h service etc are not necessarily included.

Spa hotel: A hotel with this moniker must have accredited spa facilities and practitioners; it is not enough, for example, just to have beauty or pampering treatments onsite. 

Walk-in: A guest who comes to stay at a hotel with no booking.