Reservation Policies

Read carefully below for cancellation penalty deadlines, hotel payment policies, reservation agreements, and waitlist information.

Reserve SXSW Hotel Rooms at SXSW Rates


The SXSW Housing & Travel department of SXSW services all hotel accommodations for official SXSW attendees including conference registrants, speakers, filmmakers, exhibitors, SXSW showcasing artists, press, sponsors, presenters, and sales clients. SXSW Housing & Travel does not charge a booking fee, but penalties can be incurred. See details below.

Reservations should be made online through the same shopping cart used to complete your registration, through your SXSW Social account, or through a link provided for your specific participation. Email if you have questions.

SXSW Hotel Reservations can be changed and canceled until 28 days before your arrival date without penalty.

SXSW Housing & Travel charges a $50 penalty fee for canceling or reducing the number of nights on any reservation within 28 days of the scheduled arrival.

You will NOT incur a fee if you add nights, change or add a room share’s name, change/update payment details, change room type, add a hotel loyalty number, or add a request. We want to provide the hotels with all of your details, so your changes are welcome.

Hotel Cancellation Penalties, Early Departure Fees & Taxes


All hotel charges are processed by the hotel only. SXSW Housing & Travel will NOT charge the reservations credit card for any charges related to the hotel.

Hotel Cancellation Penalties

We know plans change, so SXSW Housing & Travel has negotiated flexible cancellation policies with our hotels. Reservations confirmed outside of the SXSW block will generally require a full prepayment.

All hotels charge penalties to SXSW attendees booked through SXSW Housing & Travel for no-shows and cancellations within 72 hours to 14 days prior to your scheduled arrival date.

Each hotel’s cancellation penalty period is located on our Hotel Availability page and at the Reservation Agreement section of your reservation confirmation.

Most penalties are equivalent to the deposit each hotel charges in February and are outlined in the Reservation Agreement section of your reservation confirmation email.

Early Departure

Most hotels will charge a penalty for checking-out before your scheduled departure date after check-in. Hotel penalty details are outlined in your hotel confirmation and the Reservation Agreement of your email confirmation.

To avoid any penalty please be sure to update your reservation dates no later than 28 days prior to arrival. If a late change cannot be avoided, making that change before check-in will save you the hotel’s Early Departure Fee and cost only $50. If you shorten your stay after checking in, you will be subject to the hotel’s early departure fee. Be sure to keep in mind that if your hotel has a minimum night stay, you may not be able to modify your reservation to fewer room nights. For example, if your hotel requires a 3-night minimum stay, you will be responsible for all 3 nights. The early check-out fee will apply after you’ve completed 3 nights of your stay.

Rates & Tax

SXSW Conference rates are only available to confirmed SXSW attendees who book through SXSW Housing & Travel. Room rates are USD per night and may increase based on additional guests in the room. Rates do not include occupancy tax (currently 17%) or personal incidental charges.

Many hotels also add a “State Cost – 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.

Payment & Deposits


Credit Card Guarantee

A valid credit card is required to secure and book your reservation but is not charged at the time of booking. Hotels will charge an advance deposit to the credit card on file when they receive SXSW Housing & Travel reservations in the month leading up to the event. If you need to update the credit card number on file you must provide the new card information to SXSW no later than Friday, February 17. After February 17, we cannot guarantee that the deposit will be charged to the updated card.

If a card is no longer valid and the hotel is unable to charge your deposit, they may cancel your reservation. It is your responsibility to maintain a valid credit card number on your reservation from booking to arrival.


Guests are required to present a physical credit card at check-in for payment of room, tax and incidental charges. It is your responsibility to know your method of payment upon check-in.

If you are traveling without the credit card to be charged or the credit card is not in your own name (e.g. a company card that does not belong to the employee) you must provide a Credit Card Pre-Authorization form directly to the hotel before arrival. Hotels will not accept these forms until one month prior to arrival.

Credit Card Pre-Authorization

It is your responsibility to know your method of payment upon check-in. If you do not intend to travel with the credit card you plan to use to pay for the reservation, you must submit a Credit Card Pre-Authorization form to the hotel before you arrive. The form can be used to charge room, tax, and/or incidentals. Use the form when the credit card is not in your name (e.g. a company card that does not belong to the employee).

How to Submit Your Credit Card Pre-Authorization Form

Once you receive a reservation confirmation number from the hotel you can submit your credit card details directly to the hotel in late-February or early-March. The hotel must have your confirmation number in order to be able to process your credit card authorization.

You can access hotel Pre-Authorization forms here to complete no later than mid-February.


Credit card pre-authorization is the best method to pay for your stay without a physical credit card. If you need to pay for your room & tax in advance you can do so when the hotel charges a deposit. Please note that the hotel will still require a card to guarantee incidentals at check-in.

If you still have questions, please contact for further instruction.


Most hotels charge a deposit to the card on the reservation when they receive the SXSW reservations in late-February or early-March. This information is outlined in the ‘Reservation Agreement’ section of your reservation confirmation email.

If you’d like to update the credit card details on file you must provide the new card information to SXSW no later than Friday, February 17. After February 17, we cannot guarantee the deposit will be charged to the updated card. If a credit card is no longer valid the hotel will be unable to charge the deposit, and may cancel your reservation.

You can update your credit card details via the Request for Change link in your confirmation email, your SXSW Social Account, or the same Shopping Cart used to purchase your registration.

How to Change or Cancel Reservations & Waitlist Requests

Changes and cancellations must be made through SXSW Housing & Travel only. You cannot make changes or cancellations with the hotel directly. See below for instructions.

  1. To change or cancel use the ‘Request for Change’ link in your reservation confirmation email.
  2. Choose your reservation from the drop-down (only your reservation should be listed).
  3. Make the changes or click ‘Cancel.’
  4. Click ‘Submit’ at the bottom of the page.

Questions? Check out our Housing FAQs.

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

Hotel Waitlists


Waitlist Tips & Facts

  • SXSW Registrants and confirmed official attendees may be added to the waitlist for an entire stay or to add nights to an existing reservation.
  • Attendees cannot hold a confirmed reservation and waitlist for another hotel for the same dates.
  • The waitlist does not guarantee a room.
  • The waitlist has limited availability.
  • The most movement on the waitlist occurs between mid-January and late-February as travel plans begin to firm up.
  • If you are not comfortable waiting until a few weeks before your arrival to confirm your accommodations, then the wait list may not be for you. We recommend you book a hotel from one of our available options.
  • The SXSW Housing & Travel team will work tirelessly to help you find accommodations.

Contact for questions about locations, amenities, or for suggestions about what, when, and how to book your room. Our housing team of local Austin travel professionals can help guide you to the best available hotel to fit your needs.

Waitlist to Extend Your Stay

If you can’t find the hotel you want for all of the nights you need, then check to see which nights are available and book those nights. You can waitlist the remaining nights to extend your stay.

To extend the nights of a confirmed reservation:

  1. From your SXSW Shopping Cart or your SXSW Social, book the available nights.
  2. While booking the available nights, note your preferred arrival and/or departure dates in the Special Request field.
  3. The Housing & Travel team will then add you to the waitlist for the nights you need, or contact you with any questions or to discuss other options.

If you already have a confirmed reservation and would like to extend your stay in the same hotel please use the Request for Change button at the bottom of your confirmation email to do so. Add a note in the Special Request field of your reservation and the Housing team will add you to the waitlist.

Waitlist Fulfillment

SXSW Housing & Travel will work until your check-in date to accommodate your waitlist request. Most requests are fulfilled in the month leading up to SXSW as attendees face their cancellation deadlines. If you need to secure a reservation before February, the waitlist may not be the best option for you.

We strive to accommodate all waitlist requests until the arrival date. Should a room become available for you, SXSW Housing will immediately book your reservation and send you a confirmation email.

Be sure to check your email for a waitlist confirmation and add to your contact list to be sure you receive your reservation confirmation.

Waitlist Fees & Penalties

If your waitlist request is fulfilled within the hotel’s cancellation period (usually 7-14 days) you may be responsible for any hotel cancellation fees. It is very important to cancel or adjust your waitlist request if you no longer need it or it is no longer accurate.

Check the reservation policy section of your waitlist request confirmation for your hotel's cancellation policy.

How to Cancel Your Waitlist Request

There is never a fee to cancel your waitlist request. To cancel, use the Request for Change link located at the bottom of your waitlist confirmation email.

Housing & Travel Resources

Housing & Travel FAQs

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