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One thing's for sure: The hotels being built for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil are going to be baptized by a fire hotter than the tip of the Olympic torch.
In total, about 16,000 new rooms will be added over the next three years. Obviously the properties need to be built, but don't forget about all the training and management issues that will need to be addressed, as millions of travelers from all over the world land in Rio expecting to be pleased. We already told you how new training was needed as sex hotels are converted to "normal" hotels, and we would imagine prepping to cater to all the world's cultures won't be easy.
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Rio has this hotel shortage for the upcoming events, we know that. The same committee that won the sports event bid for the Brazilian city promised 8,000 additional rooms have arranged for double that amount by the Opening Ceremonies. The 16,000 rooms will be a mix of new properties being built and renovated rooms. 3,500 of those rooms will be former sex hotels that have been cleaned up to attract the world sports fans.
In all, 60 four-hour-'nap' motels will get the once over (at least) saying 'até logo' to the heart-shaped waterbeds, red carpeting and mirrored ceilings in exchange for tasteful and comfy digs. Since the rooms will still be on the smaller side, these hotels can turn into a more affordable option for staying more upscale areas like Leblon.
Not only are the rooms getting redone, even the employees of the hotels will look and sound different. Motel employees are getting special training and language courses to deal with a new clientele. We can only imagine that late night requests for room-service are a lot different after the facelift.
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The 2012 Summer Olympics in London just finished two weeks ago and already the focus has shifted to the hotel scene in Rio de Janeiro for both the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Fortunately, there's some good news. And yes, it will involve an explosion of hotel openings like we saw with London.
The Brazilian sports minister recently assured the sporting world at large that Rio would have enough hotel rooms to accommodate all the visitors who come into town for the World Cup and later, the Olympics. It appears a recent UN Summit back in May in Rio left folks very concerned as there were only 33,000 hotel beds in town to service over 50,000 attendees. Airbnb.com, anyone?
The Dorchester is known for being celeb crazy central, so it's no surprise that it's also the scene of some political drama.
London Mayor Boris Johnson revoked an invite to World Cup-governing FIFA officials to shack up at the hotel's posh suites for free during the 2012 Olympic Games in the city. The suites cost £1,000 or $1,562 a night, and the officials were slated to stay for more than a week.
Not expecting to advance to the semi-finals, Team Netherlands only booked their hotel rooms at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton until July 5. Reports were buzzing today that the Dutch team was "homeless" on the eve of their match against Uruguay since the hotel was now fully booked.
But while the boys are set to face off in just a few minutes, fans of The Oranje can relax knowing that the hotel has allowed the team to stay through July 9, provided things go their way today.
Before the World Cup started, Team England was full of optimism but firmly dedicated to the task at hand.
No-nonsense coach Fabio Capello banned WAGS from attending the group stage games and even promised to spy on his players to make sure they were not goofing off in their hotel rooms. Injury forced David Beckham off the pitch and onto the sidelines in a three-piece suit but there was still plenty of faith in Rooney, Lampard and Gerrard.
Unfortunately, nothing really went well for England. There was that unfortunate goal their keeper let slip through against USA (yay!), the embarrassing nil-nil score against Algeria and the final exit by German who defeated them 4-1.
Making matters worse, the staff at their hotel, Royal Marang Hotel allegedly filched some items from the players room.
You can't deny the appeal of The Standard's Biergarten
The 2010 World Cup has barely even begun and already we've watched the games from the comforts of our home, a friend's house and onboard an airplane. It's about time we moseyed over to a hotel bar for a beer and some rowdy cheering, don't you think? As a matter of fact, you should get out of the house too, and head to one of these Top 3 NYC Hotels for Watching the World Cup:
Underneath the High Line in the Meatpacking District, The Standard boasts of its own fully-fledged biergarten, complete with be-dirndled beer wenches and specials on Euro brews. Plus, through June 25, they'll be showing those games on a big screen erected in the biergarten for the express purpose of becoming immersed in FIFA madness.
Drama in the England camp for the World Cup! Not only has their manager threatened to spy on the lads’ behavior, but now the Sun is reporting that the boys had their sleep disturbed by a shooting outside their hotel.
The lions were shacked up at the Royal Marang Hotel at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus in Rustenburg, when the incident happened last week. Apparently there was a car chase that ended in the cops getting trigger happy – and the culprit was none other than a drunken policeman.
Although the cynic in us is thinking, hmm, the lengths some people will go to to invent an excuse for their shoddy performance against the yanks on Saturday. Not sure if we’re buying that one.
When it comes to game-day food rituals, baseball fans chow down on hot dogs and football fanatics choose brats. But The Bar at the Langham Huntington, Pasadena offers soccer fans some more upscale eats in honor of the World Cup.
To celebrate the games, The Bar created a new menu of innovative street food from chef Erik Schuster that draws inspiration from the various World Cup countries. So you can belly up to the bar to watch the soccer matches and get team-themed grub. Score.
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Andaz Liverpool Street may have started the whole fake garden thing with its Summer Garden last year, but looks like for 2010, Park Plaza County Hall has gone one better – because their new Urban Garden is actually outside.
It’s on a terrace on the second floor, and just in case you were worried about missing the World Cup while you’re outside (it’s not much of a view – nearby houses, although you can see the top of the London Eye), fear not – because the terrace is linked to the Executive Lounge, where there’s a 60-in TV that’ll be showing all the games. So you can nip in and out as you dare.
If you’ve decided to fly to South Africa and support your favorite soccer team (psst..take a look at Jaunted’s World Cup coverage!), you’ll need a place to stay. We’ve done some homework for fans looking to lay their head down in between matches and copious amounts of South African wine.
The good hotels may already be taken by flashy footballers but there are still plenty of South African hotels to go around. And even if you aren't headed to South Africa for the World Cup, you should store these hotel suggestions for a future trip. After all, the World Cup only lasts a month but hotels last forever.
Out in Cape Town, four new hotels have opened here this year alone, bringing the tally to 14 new properties in the last two years. This means there are plenty of beds, from budget to swank, available during the games.
A road trip from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth is quite doable when you take the scenic Garden Route. Another option, after the games at Nelson Mandela stadium, fans can drive 190 miles south to the seaside town of Wilderness for whale watching excursions on the Western Cape. There are several key towns along the way, all offering a low-key pre-or-post game retreat and a different side of Africa.
If you thought the English team had it bad for the World Cup, what with being spied on by their coach and all, wait till you hear about the French, who’ve just had a roasting from the government over their hotel being “too flashy”.
According to the Guardian, Rama Yade pointed out that the spoilsport Spanish team had shacked up in university accommodation, and said about the French team’s hotel:
Personally I would not have chosen that hotel. I had asked football authorities to show decency. In times of crisis, you need to think about it.
The hotel in question? The Pezula Resort on the Western Cape, which bills itself as “Africa’s most luxurious resort estate”.