C: Rhema Kallianpur via Unsplash

Rip-off Ireland? Room prices up 56% from last year in Kildare hotel

Hotel room prices are continuing to skyrocket, making securing an affordable hotel break in Ireland increasingly out of reach for many people keen to holiday at home.

The price of a single hotel room in one popular hotel in Naas has risen by almost 60% in less than one year, Gript can reveal, after one surprised consumer and reader contacted us to share the details.

The consumer who contacted Gript in recent days said he couldn’t believe the quote he was given when he contacted a hotel he stayed at just months ago to rebook a set of single rooms months in advance.

The consumer put an inquiry into the four-star Killashee Hotel in Naas asking if the hotel would have rooms available for single occupancy in early autumn 2023, and if the rate was available for a corporate booking. The 4 star luxury hotel, which promises a luxurious escape, is situated in Naas, County Kildare. The hotel, which has a Spa and is rated as excellent on booking.com is described as “a magical place for a unique escape, catering to all your needs and wishes”.

To our reader’s surprise, the hotel quoted him a rate which was 57% more than he paid when he last stayed there in October 2023 – when he paid €144 for a room.

The consumer couldn’t believe it when the hotel said that the bed and breakfast rate would be €250.00 per room, even for the mid-week group booking. Reaching out to the consumer, the hotel offered a 3 course set meal option for an extra €40.00 per person, but there was no explanation as to why the cost per room had risen so sharply.

In an invoice from last October seen by Gript, the consumer’s receipt showed that the price paid for a double room with bed and breakfast at the same hotel was €144 – €106 less than the cost for a room in October 2024.

We contacted the Killashee hotel for a response, asking why the price of the booking had more than doubled. The hotel declined to formally comment. However, Gript understands that the hotel was recently refurbished after being taken over on 1 April 2022 by FBD Hotels and Resorts.

The hotel unveiled the new chapter in November 2022 – after €3 million euros was splashed on the project which saw bedrooms upgraded to include Nespresso machines, flat screen televisions and new Dyson hair dryers. However, for many punters, such a factor is not likely to fully explain such a steep increase in the cost of staying there.

When we did a search for a single room for next weekend (24-24 February), we were able to get a rate of €169 on booking.com – which represents an increase on last year, but is significantly less than a room for next autumn for a corporate booking.

The hotel is unlikely to be the only one causing some disappointment for those keen to stay there at an affordable rate. It comes as Fáilte Ireland issued a December warning that “significant increases” in the cost of hotel rooms in Ireland were set to continue well into 2023.  The head of the tourism body wrote to providers at the end of 2022, accusing them of charging huge prices for hotel rooms to “squeeze the last few euros” out of consumers.

Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly said in December that “the reputational damage of high pricing on small rooms is not worth the extra revenue that they generate”.

“That’s the context I’m writing [to hotels], to remind them to try not squeeze the last few euros out of those last few rooms.”

Concern has also been voiced over the impact on Irish tourism from the high occupancy rates of Ukrainians and international protection applicants in hotels, with the Oireachtas Tourism Committee head industry officials raising the issue.

In addition, the Irish Hotel Federation last month expressed concerns that Ireland’s hotel industry is continuing to play catch-up due to a fall in foreign tourists. The industry body warned that Ireland is set to continue to see a shortfall of visitors from overseas, pinning the blame on inflation and the war in Ukraine. The number of overseas visitors to Ireland fell by more than 25% in 2022 compared to 2019.

“Of particular concern is the bleak economic outlook for the UK with inflation having reached a four-decade high and the country facing the risk of a prolonged recession,” the IHF said in January.

“This is worrying for hotels and other tourism businesses given the UK has traditionally been our largest source market for overseas visitors,” it added.

The average national room occupancy was 70% in 2022 – down from 78% in 2019. However, more than one fifth of all tourist beds are now contracted to the State for refugees and others, according to a report from the  Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) released in December.

An enormous €440m is anticipated to be spent on such accommodation by the end of 2023, according to the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, which is managing Ireland’s response to accommodating refugees.

Last month, Gript highlighted the exorbitant cost of staying in Dublin City – as we revealed that staying in a hostel in the capital costs more than some four-star hotels in Florence and Barcelona, making the prospect of holidaying at home increasingly less attractive.

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