We have been negotiating with hotels in Dublin for over 12 months to get the very best rates possible. To a large extent, we have been successful. We have secured blocks in many 3 and 4 star hotels near the city centre, including all those closest to our venue – The Convention Centre Dublin (CCD). These hotels have all given us rates which are heavily discounted, and which are for many of the hotels 15-30% lower than the average lowest rate you’ll find for these same hotels in August 2018.
However, even with this level of discount, this is not going to be cheap. The reality is that Dublin hotel rates are high, even for Europe, with Dublin being measured in 2017 as the 2nd highest on the continent, and 25% higher than in Helsinki (host of the 2017 Worldcon). They are also rising quicker than in any other European city, with last year’s rate rise being triple the European average and several times the inflation rate. This is all down to Dublin being one of the most popular city break locations in Europe and a distinct lack of hotel rooms resulting in average occupancy well over 85% and hitting 100% in the summer months.
So even with our discounts, starting from such a high baseline our hotel rates will be somewhat higher than what you are used to at a Worldcon. We currently expect our rates to average €205 for Single occupancy and €219 for Double occupancy, with a low of €165 for Single occupancy at a four star hotel and a high of €315 for double occupancy in a luxury five star hotel close to the CCD.
These rates, however, are not as bad as they might first appear to a Worldcon regular, since they include taxes and a full Irish breakfast. This is equivalent to the average for a room-only, pre-tax rate of €163 (around $200 at current FX rates). We’re also exploring the possibility of offering triple and quad occupancy rates that would help spread the load.
Unfortunately there’s more.
To achieve this level of discount, especially for that time of the year and considering the location of our hotels, we had to accept some unusual limitations that may affect the scheduling of your booking:
- Payment in Full – When you book, the full amount for all the nights of your stay will be charged as a deposit.
- Refunds & Cancellations – Payment will be fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 10th May 2019 (just over 3 months out from the first night you can book at the convention rate). Beyond that date, it will be 50% refundable for another month. After 10th June 2019, the deposit will become non-refundable.
- Block Expiration – You will not be able to book at the convention rate in these hotels after 10th June, as any unsold rooms in our block will have been returned to the hotels for sale on the open market – almost certainly at rates significantly higher than before.
However, we are doing everything we can to alleviate these challenges.
For those on a budget we will have a range of cheaper non-hotel accommodations that currently include over 250 en-suite student dorm rooms (50 of which are twins) and some one and two room apartments able to house over 100 people. Both these options offer substantially cheaper alternatives to our hotels, and we are looking to expand these options.
We are also investigating ways to allow members to transfer their hotel bookings to other members after the deposit deadlines have passed, should they find they cannot attend the convention at the last minute. As with memberships, we will do all we can to facilitate these transfers, but the agreement will be between the members, and we cannot guarantee that they will find a buyer, or that members will find someone offering a booking.
In addition, we thought we should point out that there may be some cheaper hotels available in the city centre (generally smaller hotels, with lower star ratings) and in the suburbs or near the airport (with longer travelling to our venue). There are also some hostels and other budget alternatives available that will probably even undercut student dorm solutions. You can also opt for the personal touch of staying at a Bed & Breakfast or renting your own accommodation through AirBnB. For those who decide to go this route, we will soon provide more information, including on the different areas of the city and which have the best transport links to our venue.
Finally, our original plan was to release details about all our accommodation offerings in September 2018 – detailing the rates for each, the nature of the rooms available (bed and room sizes, access room details…) and the options to reach our venue. But, because of the above challenges, we are releasing now what information we can about the hotels that we have contracted (though we hope to add another 7-8 hotels by September) to give you as much information as we can from this point, and will update this page as more information becomes available.
But for now, here’s what we can tell you.
We have divided out hotels into three groups:
- Local Hotels – There are no hotels directly connected to the CCD, but there are six that are within a 10-minute (1 kilometre) walk, with distances varying between 280 and 900 metres. In two cases, there are public transport options that can be taken, that on average take at least as long as walking, but which reduce the distance to under 300 metres. We are in the process of contracting with all the hotels in this group. They are, in order of distance from the CCD: The Spencer Hotel, The Hilton Garden Inn Custom House, the Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane, the Marker Hotel, the Gibson Hotel and the Maldron Hotel Pearse Street.
- Easy Access – Not everyone will be able to get into our “Local” hotels. But Dublin is a small city with great public transport links. So, our next group of hotels are those where, after a short walk (generally under 500 metres), you can use public transport that will take you to a bus stop close to the front of the CCD or to the Luas (Light Rail) stop just at the back of the CCD. We currently have contracts with ten hotels in this category and hope to sign with up to four more. The hotels we are contracted with, in order of distance from the CCD, are: The North Star Hotel, Trinity City Hotel, Temple Bar Hotel, The Gresham Hotel, The Academy Plaza Hotel, The Jurys Inn Parnell Street, Brooks Hotel, Jurys Inn Christchurch, The Radisson Blu Royal and the Camden Court Hotel.
- Other Hotels – Finally, we have hotels that do not fall into either of the above categories, but which we have included as they are offering good rates. These hotels are therefore either more than a kilometre walk from the CCD, or require you to travel on two public transport links – that will increase your average (if not absolute) travel time. We are in the process of contracting with five hotels in this category, but may sign with an additional four bringing the total to nine hotels in the category. The hotels we are contracted with, in order of distance from the CCD, are: The Grand Canal Hotel, Buswells Hotel, The Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge, The Croke Park Hotel and The Herbert Park Hotel
In total, we hope to eventually block over 2,100 hotel rooms which, combined with our current apartment and student dorm solutions, would allow us to accommodate over 4,600 people.
For those with room-related access needs, you’ll be able to make reservations in December 2018, before general booking opens. In addition, our Access team of Paul and Jen are available at firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries. For general hotel-related questions, please contact email@example.com.