HQ2016 - Travel & Accommodations


The information on this page will be updated as we get closer to the conference dates.

The workshop will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn , on South Padre Island. South Padre Island is a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico off the southernmost tip of Texas. The hotel is located in the city of South Padre Island on the southern tip of the island. The island is approximately 50 km long and often less than 1 km wide. It is connected to the mainland and the Rio Grande Valley area through a bridge over the Laguna Madre. The distance from South Padre Island to the US-Mexican border at Brownsville is roughly 40 km.

The hotel is located directly at the beach. Average high temperatures in September are 31 C and average low temperatures are 23 C. September is the wettest month on South Padre but overall precipitation is low and you can expect most days to be sunny.

Travel Information

The most convenient way to get to South Padre Island is to fly into the Brownsville - South Padre Island airport Brownsville - South Padre (BRO). Distance to SPI: 40 km (25 miles). Airlines: American, United

You can also check out the following options:

Valley International Airport in Harlingen (HRL). Distance to SPI: 70 km (45 miles). Airlines: Delta, Southwest, United McAllen Miller International (MFE). Distance to SPI: 130 km (80 miles). Airlines: Aeromar, Allegiant, American, United

All 3 are regional airports which connect to large hubs like Houston or Dallas from which you can reach from many cities nationally and internationally. We plan on offering some transportation options between Brownsville (and maybe some of the other airports, depending on need) and the conference hotel. We will post further details at a later point.

If you plan on taking a rental car and do some more sightseeing in South Texas before or after the conference you also have the option to fly into some of the larger airports. Austin, Houston-Bush, Houston-Hobby, San Antonio and Corpus Christi are all within a few hours drive of South Padre Island.

Room Information

We will automatically book rooms for participants with accepted abstracts at the conference hotel once attendance is confirmed and the conference fee is payed. The deadline for confirming attendance on indico and paying the conference fee is August 1. There is no need to contact the hotel directly.

The conference fee completely covers default accommodation which is a standard room shared by two participants, for the time of Sunday, September 11 to Sunday, September 18. You will have an opportunity to indicate preferred roommates in your indico registration form. Please note that although there won't be additional housing costs if you stay in default accommodations the hotel will usually ask for a credit card on file for incidentals at the time of check in. We ask you to provide your anticipated arrival and departure days on the indico registration form so we can make accurate hotel reservations.

If you need a single room for privacy reasons, or because you will bring a companion/spouse/children, you will be responsible for the additional expenses. The upgrade from a shared room to a private room is $44.50 per night plus applicable taxes for a standard room. This amount is due to the hotel at check out. You have to let us know in your indico registration if you would like to upgrade to a private room. If you need additional special arrangements please contact the organizers directly via email. Due to the limited number of rooms set aside for the conference upgrades to private rooms are provided on a first come first serve basis.

Meals (breakfasts, coffee breaks, lunches, dinners) on conference days (9/12 - 9/17) will be provided and are covered by the conference fee. Most meals will be taken at the conference hotel. If you bring a companion/spouse/children who want to participate in shared conference meals please indicate so on the indico registration page. You will be charged for the additional food expenses. They will be due to the hotel at the time of check out. The cost of the full meal package for the six conference days is roughly $500 per person plus applicable taxes.

Ground Transportation

Here is some basic information on how to get from the nearby airports to the conference hotel on South Padre Island.

Rental Car: All airports mentioned above have rental car facilities. You will have to make your own reservations and find your way to the hotel. This is probably your only option if you fly to airports that are farther away from South Padre Island (Houston, Corpus Christi, etc.).

The address of the hotel is

Hilton Garden Inn South Padre Island

7010 Padre Blvd

South Padre Island, TX 78597

Phone: +1 956 377-2575

Driving from Harlingen Valley International Airport: Make your way to Interstate 69E, drive south and take the Hwy 100 exit. Hwy 100 ends on South Padre Island. The hotel is on the northern end of the city on the main road (Padre Blvd.).

Driving from Brownsville SPI airport: Take Hwy 48 out of Brownsville. You will meet Hwy 100 in Port Isabel, turn right on Hwy 100, and Hwy 100 ends on South Padre Island. The hotel is on the northern end of the city on the main road (Padre Blvd.).

Public transport: Generally bus service is very inexpensive or even free, at least from the Brownsville South Padre Island Airport. Detailed instructions follow below. Always, before you hop on a bus, ask the driver if the bus is really going where you want it to take you!

Paid shuttles: Valley Transit Company offers shuttle service at all 3 regional airports (Brownsville, Harlingen, McAllen). It is recommended you make reservations in advance through their website. At Harlingen Valley International Airport there is a dedicated South Padre shuttle. The price is $25 one-way and $40 roundtrip. Reservations are recommended and can be made from the company website: South Padre Shuttle . All shuttles should be able to take you directly to the hotel.

Instructions for public transportation from Brownsville International Airport to South Padre Island: STEP 1: Take the METRO CONNECT Blue Line (the buses are actually orange color!) from the airport to Port Isabel. Departure times and other information can be found at the Metro Connect website. OR, OPTIONAL STEP 1: Take the VALLEY METRO Line 50 from the airport to Port Isabel. The fare is $1. Departure times and other information can be found at the Valley Metro website. These buses do not run on Sundays. STEP 2: Both options should deliver you to the Las Palmas Shopping Center/Transport Center in Port Isabel. From there take the Island Metro shuttle (Red Line). The ride is free. You have to exit at the "Birding Center" stop and the hotel should be right in front of you. Departure times and other information can be found at the Metro Island website.

Special Arrangements: We ask you to provide your flight information on the Indico reservation page. You can go there at any time and click on "Modify Reservation" to enter your arrival and departure information. If many attendees arrive at an airport around the same time we might be able to offer a chartered bus. If that happens we will announce so in due time.