Hotel Payment, Policies & Penalties

Reservation Policies & Penalties

Please note that requesting a room through SXSW Housing is a request and not a confirmed reservation until SXSW emails confirmation to the registrant. The confirmation should be read carefully for important policies, procedures and penalties.

SXSW reserves the right in its sole discretion, at any time, to cancel hotel reservations made through SXSW Housing. SXSW will not be responsible for any penalty, fee, loss, or expense that might result from such action.

Who can book:

Confirmed SXSW conference registrants (badge-holders), exhibitors, and festival artists (music or film). Registrants include Panelists, Filmmakers, Press, Sales/Trade Clients, Sponsors, and Media Partners. See the How to Book page for instructions on how to request a room.

Reservation Changes:

Changes and cancellations must be made through The SXSW Housing Department (not the hotel). This can be done via the link in your housing Approval Confirmation, through your SXsocial Account, or from the shopping cart you used to purchase your registration. More information can be found in our FAQs.

*Please review all change requests carefully before submitting. Canceled nights will likely not be able to be reinstated.


All hotels assess penalties (usually equal to 1 or 2 nights room & tax) for no-shows or for canceling within certain time frames (usually 7 to 18 days before scheduled arrival). Many assess penalties ($50 - $350) for early departures (leaving before scheduled checkout date) as shown on their amenities and policies page. Each hotel's policies can be seen by clicking on hotel name from the Availability page. Details will also be listed on your emailed reservation confirmation.

SXSW will charge a $50 processing fee to the credit card on file for each reservation that is cancelled or reduced in length of stay within 28 days of scheduled check-in. (This is in addition to cancellation fees charged by the hotel per their stated policy on your confirmation).

Rates & tax:

Special group rates seen here are available only to confirmed SXSW attendees who book through the SXSW Housing Desk. Room rates are US$ per night and may increase based on additional guests in the room. Rates do not include occupancy tax (currently 15%) or personal charges.

Recently we've noticed an increase in the number of hotels adding a "state tax recovery fee" of less than 1% to the total bill. This is an optional fee that some businesses in Texas can charge to offset their franchise taxes but this is not a local tax. The Comptroller's office has more information if you are curious about this charge on your bill.


A valid credit card is required to make a reservation. Some hotels charge an advance deposit to the credit card (see the Deposit section below). Other hotels check the card's creditworthiness and hold it as a guarantee of payment. If your credit card on file expires or the number changes before the event, you must notify SXSW Housing by phone (512-467-7979) to continue holding the reservation.

Payment & Deposit Information

At check-in, each guest is responsible for knowing the method of payment for room, tax, and incidental charges. Guests will be asked for a credit card (or sufficient cash deposit) to pay for room, tax, and incidental charges.

If you will be traveling without the credit card to be charged or the credit card is not in your own name, you must arrange payment directly with the hotel before arrival. Your choices are pre-authorization (card holder provides in advance the payment info and authorizes what charges may be applied to their card) or pre-payment (payment of room & tax in advance). See below for details.


Guests may provide their billing information and authorization to the hotel in advance. The hotel will generally allow guests to pre-authorize room & tax or incidentals or both.

See our Hotel Payment Authorization page for downloadable PDF's for most of our hotels and more information about pre-authorizing a credit card.


You may elect to pay room & tax in advance. Please note that the hotel will still require a card to guarantee incidentals at check-in.

If pre-payment of your hotel reservation is necessary, please contact for further instructions.


Some hotels will charge a deposit to the card on file. This information can be found on their amenities and policies page and in your reservation confirmation e-mail. The deposit will be charged in late February or early March.

If you’d like to change the card number on file you must provide that number to SXSW no later than Feb 17th. After that, we cannot guarantee that the the new credit card information will be passed along to the hotel before the deposit is charged. You can update your credit card information from your housing approval confirmation e-mail, your SXscocial account or from the shopping cart you used to purchase your registration. More information on how to make changes to your hotel reservation can be found in our Hotel FAQs.