Posted by: Michele Erdvig | March 7, 2010

Ireland’s “Year of the Zombie” a Tourist Windfall

Ritz Carlton Powerscourt

Ritz Carlton Powerscourt

They are posh and luxurious, set like jewels on pristine beaches, expensive estates, in glorious gardens or in Dublin’s city center. No expense was spared during the period of the Celtic Tiger to create masterpieces of indulgence. Build it and the tourists will come. Invest, get tax breaks and reap unimaginable rewards. Instead investors are reaping the whirlwind. They have created Ireland’s zombie hotels. The living dead – still functioning – have gone bust.

With tourism down by 900,000 in 2009 excess hotel rooms have been empty. Prices were cut, deals and specials offered and still the tourists did not come. Investors defaulted on their loans and the hotels now belong to the banks. The banks are in trouble themselves and can’t afford to sell or even close the hotels. What is bad for the Irish economy is a boon for tourists willing to sleep with the zombies.

A prime example of zombie hotels are the D4 in Dublin where room rates of €39 are currently on offer. Some other hotels that may be in trouble:

Radisson Blu – Limerick
Fota Island – Cork

The following hotels are being taken over by NAMA – the National Asset Management Agency:

The Shelbourne – Dublin
Ritz Carlton – Wicklow
K Club – Kildare
Radisson Blu – Galway
The G Hotel – Galway

Other hotels are scrambling to keep up with the cutthroat tactics of the zombies that are threatening to drag them down to the grave with them. Look for specials this year. Multiple-night stays including breakfast and dinners are especially attractive. Don’t see rates you like? Email or call the hotels to see what else they will offer.

Some current specials:

Ashford & Dromoland Castle Hotels: spend two nights get a night free from €295 pps*.

Mount Juliet: B&B €69 pps plus a €50 voucher, or 2-for-3.

Abbey Hotel: €49 per room.

Castle Dargan: €55 pps plus free spa treatment.

Kilronan Castle: €89 per room.

The Glasshouse: B&B €40 pps; three nights €95 pps.

Explore more options at

Even Irish B&Bs are offering specials: Family Homes of Ireland and B&B Ireland. However, make sure it is a real special before booking. One Donegal B&B is offering €100 pps for two nights, while their one night rate is €45 pps. I just might go for the normal rate on that one!

Ireland’s year of the zombie could become the year of the tourist.

* pps means per person sharing a room.

© 2010 Michele Erdvig

Michele’s Irish Shop

Ireland Dream Trip

FREE Ireland Travel Forum



  1. […] you’re planning a trip this year, you really must read Michele Erdvig’s blog post about the deals that are out there right now! If you want to read more about the Zombie Hotel […]

  2. I have edited this article as new info has come in about Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa:

    Evidently it was bought in 2008 by Des O’Dowd and is doing very well economically.

    I visited Inchydoney personally a couple of years ago and was shown around the hotel, self-catering apartments and spa. It is a splendid hotel and has had a mini-listing in my book “Ireland Dream Trip”. In the future I hope to be able to stay there and give it a complete review.

    See this newspaper article for more info:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: