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