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 a confirmation to the registrant. The confirmation should be read carefully for important policies, procedures, penalties and deadlines.

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, SXSW official showcasing artists and Filmmakers. Registrants include Speakers, Filmmakers, Press, Sales/Trade Clients, Sponsors, and Media Partners. Click here for specific instruction on how to make your hotel request.

Reservation Changes:

Changes and cancellations must be made through the SXSW Housing Department (not the hotel). This can be done via the ‘Request for Change’ link located at the bottom of your reservation confirmation email. You can also submit changes and cancellations via your SXsocial account, or in the shopping cart account used to purchase your registration. For additional information, please see our FAQ.

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


All hotels charge penalties (usually equal to 1 or 2 nights room & tax) for no-shows or for canceling within a certain time frame (usually 7 to 14 days before scheduled arrival, suites are usually 30 days). Some hotels also charge 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 found on the Availability Page by clicking on the hotel name and then ‘See All Amenities.' Details will also be listed on your 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:

SXSW group rates are available only to confirmed SXSW attendees who book through the SXSW Housing Department. 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. Visit the Availability Page and enter your check-in and check-out dates to see available hotels. Click "See All Amenities" to see rates by room type.

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.

Credit Card Guarantee:

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 can update it via the link to make changes in your reservation confirmation, your SXsocial Account, or the same Shopping Cart used to purchase your registration.

Payment & Deposit:

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 physical credit card (or sufficient cash deposit) upon check in 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 the Pre-Authorization section 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, incidentals or both.

Please note that the hotel will not receive reservations made with the SXSW Housing Department until the end of February. When the hotel has received your reservation you will receive another reservation confirmation containing your confirmation number. Once you receive your confirmation number you will be able to provide the hotel with the Pre-Authorization form.

Hotel Credit Card Authorization Forms


While credit card pre-authorization is the recommended method for paying if you will not be traveling with the credit card you intend to use to pay for your room, 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 instruction.


Some hotels will charge a deposit to the card on file. This information can be found on their amenities 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 it via the link to make changes in your reservation confirmation, your SXsocial Account, or the same Shopping Cart used to purchase your registration.