Other hotels are also offering amazing deals to stimulate recession custom. The legendary 13th century Ashford Castle in Mayo, which regularly hosts royalty and foreign leaders, is offering three nights’ accommodation for two adults at €175 each, a price unthinkable even a year ago.
Dromoland Castle in Clare, once the seat of the descendants of Brian Boru, is offering a similar deal.
But the Dublin market is the most cut-throat. Bewleys hotels are offering double, twin and single rooms in Dublin at €50 per night in January while D4 Hotels has a two-month room sale for just more than €20 a room.
Owned by property developer Sean Dunne, the D4 Hotels chain, which comprises the Ballsbridge Court, Towers and Ballsbridge Inn, has had a phenomenal response to its offer of rooms for less than the price of daily parking at the Shelbourne Hotel.
Even their up-market Ballsbridge Court has slashed room prices. Formerly the five star Berkley Court, it has double and twins rooms for €50 a night, the same as Bewleys. The Berkley Court has played host to many celebrities, including Madonna, Nelson Mandela and Elton John.
However, D4 Hotels manager Sarah Curran has been accused of misleading customers who believed that every room in the chain of three hotels was available at €20 a night.
Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Today With Pat Kenny on Wednesday, Ms Curran appeared to offer all comers rooms for €20.09 a night, saying that even a penthouse suite could be had at this price “depending on availability”.
However, many callers to the programme claimed that rooms could not be had at this price.
Responding to the criticism, Ms Curran apologised for any perceived misleading information she gave, but insisted that the D4 hotels offer was valid and had been taken up by hundreds of customers.
“We had phenomenal calls, both calls to hotel and on website. You would not believe the number of rooms we have sold,” said Ms Curran.
“All those rooms were given at the €20.09 rate. It was never our intention to mislead anyone.
“We could not foresee the number of calls we received or the numbers visiting our website. It has been incredible.”
Yesterday afternoon, family, double and corporate rooms could still be had on certain dates in February for the promotion rate. This reporter secured a twin room at the Ballsbridge Inn on Thursday, February 19, for €20.09. Families planning a trip to Dublin could get a room for two adults and two children for five nights from Sunday, February 22 to Thursday, February 26, for €100 all-in.
However, a family room for the following night, Friday, February 27, would cost more than 10 times more at €229.
WHILE most hotels in Dublin cannot match the D4 Hotels offer, many are still available at little more than half their rates a year ago.
Customers who spend two weekend nights at the Shelbourne Hotel earn a free third night, with rates starting at €229 a night per person double occupancy.
The Four Seasons in Dublin is also offering a third night free with any two-night stay between now and April, with rates starting at €225.
At the Ritz-Carlton in Powerscourt, Co Wicklow, American Express cardholders who stay three nights in a row get the fourth night free.