Just Your Average Sochi Hotel: Sticky Carpets, No Electricity, a Strip Club and a Cage of Monkeys
February 7, 2014 at 12:45 PM
The 2014 Winter Olympics Games have begun, many miles and several tape delayed hours away in Sochi, Russia. But all anyone can seem to talk about is how terribly unprepared the Sochi hotels have been.
We saw journalists take to Twitter the other day, detailing the horrible hotel conditions--from broken drapes to toxic water and broken toilets. While laughable in some cases, sadly, these conditions seem to be "standard" for Sochi.
Today, we've got a report from a Super Secret Sochi Insider who spent a few months in the city preparing for the Olympics. Here's his tale of hotel woes:
A Super Secret Sochi Insider Speaks:
The hotel I was living at is called Marins Park Hotel - they say itís 4 stars but thatís laughable. Itís been open for a long time (in fact it used to be a Radisson SAS) so I did not have any of the extreme issues like what youíre seeing on Twitter.
Still, weíd only have hot water a few days of the week. Asking the Front Desk about it would result in a shrug and a forced smile. When the hotel lost electricity over one weekend, we asked about it being restored and the response was something to the effect of ďeveryone is complaining, what do we know? it will come back soonĒ. Like sorry to disturb you from texting.
What sucked about losing electricity - other than the obvious of being on generators only - is that the heater in most of the rooms donít work. I was given a small space heater which has to be plugged in to the wall. No electricity in the wall = no heat from space heater. In the middle of Russia. In winter. Fun.
Next to Marins Park are a brand new Mercure and Pullman (in the same complex) but I heard itís the same story there - no hot water, bad service, unfinished hotel. Apparently there is a Marriott Courtyard and a Swissotel opening too. But I didn't see those. As for open hotels thereís a Soviet-style hotel on the seaside strip is called the Grand Hotel Zhemchuzhina Sochi. Looks as great as it sounds
At restaurants I felt like an inconvenience - especially when weíd then have to ask for an English menu. That just made some servers almost seethe with hatred. What I found funny was that menus come entirely in English OR Russian so even when you find what you like, the server doesnít know what youíre pointing to because itís in English.
The city itself is actually really, really pretty. Lots of green spaces and parks and art everywhere. Very well-maintained. I can imagine itís even prettier in the summer.
If you want a laugh - hereís the video on Marins Park Hotel. Itís all in Russian but itís so weird to watch. Make sure you donít miss the part where they show the hotel Strip Club (oh yes ó itís around 4:25). Doesnít every city center 4-star hotel have one?
The video makes it look - as my mom said "not that bad". But thatís before I told her the carpet in the room is sticky and the box spring had brown stains all over it and the empty mini-bar fridge had mystery liquid goo all over the bottom of it.
Donít even get me started on the SO random cage of monkeys in front of the hotel OUTSIDE. Who knows.
Here's the video. It's NSFW, around the 4:25 mark when they show the strip club. Bet that makes you want to watch it even more now, huh?
[Photo: Marins Park Hotel]