Thursday 24 January 2019

‘Pontiff premium’ sees price of hotel rooms rise for visit

Pope Francis blesses oils on Holy Thursday REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Pope Francis blesses oils on Holy Thursday REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

PRICES for hotel rooms on the weekend of the Pope’s visit to Ireland are beginning to rise, with the cost of a room in one lodging almost three times the price of a similar room the following week.

A survey by the Irish Independent comparing the cost of a double room in Dublin and Knock on Saturday, August 25, when Pope Francis is here, with the cost the following Saturday suggests a ‘Pope premium’ is being applied.

One hotel in Knock, Co Mayo, where the Pope will visit the local shrine, was €292 during the Pope’s visit but was listed for just €104 the following week.

Another hotel near the town was listing rooms for €151 during the pontiff’s visit, with the same rooms available at €130 a week later.

Many of the B&Bs in the area are already booked out, especially those closest to the shrine, while guest houses have prices of upwards of €600.

Even hotels in Castlebar, some 30km away, have been booking up fast, with many reporting just a handful of bedrooms left to book for the weekend.

However, there is still value to be found for eager Catholics hoping to catch a glimpse of the Pope at Croke Park.

A number of hotels in the city centre had similar prices listed for both weekends. In one city hotel, for example the price of a room was exactly the same – €332 for both Saturday nights.

In come cases though, prices have also been increasing in the capital.

One city hotel is charging €287 for a room on the Saturday of the Pope’s visit, while the price the following week is €251.

Another in the capital has rooms for €270 on August 25, but the following Saturday the price drops to €215.

A statement from the Irish Hotels Federation said it recommends people book early, “as with all major events”, and contact their chosen hotel directly as special packages may be available. “Given the scale of these events, the federation recommends that people also consider hotels in the wider Dublin and Knock areas and surrounding counties and check transport options from their hotel when booking their accommodation in light of the restrictions in car access that will be in place in both locations.”

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