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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.
When it comes to the Olympic Games, historically hotels raise rates because of a little something called supply and demand. We witnessed this in London this past summer. For the next Olympics, we might see reasonable rates coming from Sochi hotels during the 2014 Winter Games.
To make event accessible to more people, Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian Prime Minister, has capped the prices of rooms for the host city for next year's Olympics and Paralympics. With just about one year to go and about double the amount of rooms yet to be built, this is welcome news for those who want to join in the wonderment that is the Games.
In the past, hotels have charged as much as 157,000 RUB ($5,139 USD) for a one night stay, the new reduced prices are roughly 30-40% less than room rates during the port city's peak periods. A deluxe suite in a 5-star hotel will be no more than 13,896 RUB ($455 USD per night) and in 4-star properties the price will come in less than 13,148 RUB ($430) per night.
It's hard to believe after so much hype (and so many new hotel openings) that the 2012 Summer Olympics in London are coming to an end. If you didn't get the chance to celebrate these past two weeks at these hotels, never fear, there's still time to show your Olympics spirit.
1. The Reefs Hotel and Resort, Bermuda: "On your marks, get set, sip" might be an appropriate start to the Afternoon Tea service here at the Reefs in Bermuda. Executive Chef Karl Blunden working in tandem with the pastry chef has added cupcakes to the Afternoon Tea menu. The fan favorite? Cupcake contenders are running a close race; you may find vanilla or pina colada, perhaps banana and peanut butter, or strawberry champagne, double chocolate, tiramisu, red velvet, raspberry or marshmallow leading.
Tea is served every day from 4 to 5pm in the Reefs Lounge and is complimentary to all resort guests. Rates at the resort start around $670 during peak season (i.e. now) for a poolside room.
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It might be good to be the Queen of England but it's apparently better to be an Olympics boss in London right now.
The other day Reddit user posted this photo of a receipt from a lunch attended by "15 Olympics bosses" in London which totalled £44,660, or about $70,000USD. About £19,000 of that was spent on a bottle of Hennessy. Outrageous!
But it was a mystery as to where this receipt was from. However, Gawker took it upon themselves to find out, deducing that the receipt likely came from China Tang restaurant inside The Dorchester in Knightsbridge:
We [Gawker] called the restaurant to see if it had hosted a 15-person Olympic luncheon; the hostess told us that it "probably" had — apparently Olympic officials have been in and out of the restaurant over the last few weeks — but she couldn't specifically confirm this one.
In case you hadn't noticed, the 2012 Olympic Games started in London last week. We're bracing ourselves for the travel gridlock, a tube even more packed with people than it is normally, and hoping for a little bit of magic in the air at the same time.
Starting from today, the hotel has a free, two-week long programme "citizenM Reports", where you can learn to report on "everything but sports", covering aspects of London ranging from food to fashion to street art.
Well, after all the hemming and hawing over fluctuating, inflated hotel room rates for the London 2012 Olympics, the Games are finally upon us.
There have been 8 million tickets sold for the 17 days of competition, and the Opening Ceremony is tonight. So, where will everyone be staying? Social location-sharing app Foursquare has an idea, since they've just gathered data on what London hotels are most popular, overall.
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Hotels around the world are going crazy for the 2012 Summer Olympics from specialty cocktails to outrageous Olympics-inspired packages. Here are five U.S. hotels that are going for gold in the sport of attracting Olympics watchers. We'll have even more next week!
· The London NYC: There are several ways to get in the Olympics mood at The London. The hotel's London Bar is serving specialty cocktails such as the vodka-based Ultimate Olympics and the Olympics Wakaya Ginger mocktail. The afternoon tea time even feature a new Japanese Sencha Green Tea selection known to be rich in anti-oxidants and to promote wellness of the mind and body. Room service is churning out some super food smoothies and a wellness fruit plate. Rates at the midtown hotel start around $379 a night next weekend.
· The Eventi Hotel, New York City: This Chelsea hotel is hosting their own Opening Ceremonies tomorrow with a bunch of Olympics-inspired games and events like Beer Olympics (beer slides, KEG STANDS, quarters, BEER PONG and arm wrestling), horseshoes, croquet, tug of war, free arcade games, fake commentaries of your favorite sports from Upright Citizens Brigade, neighborhood scavenger hunts and even sprinklers to cool off under. The party starts tomorrow at 7pm. Head to the Facebook page for more info.
Calling all synchronized swimmers! Or anyone that wants to don some waterproof make-up and try your luck at the elaborate aquatic moves. The Standardin Miami is getting into the Olympic spirit with a few events to mark the opening of the London Summer Games.
Tonight is the night to test your skills at staying afloat with the hotel hosting an evening by the infinity-pool with The Dolphinettes. The appropriately name group is a Miami based synchronized swimming team that will be featured in a demonstration, then teaching brave guests the ins-and-outs of the intricate aquatic sport.
On the one hand, you have one of the city's most traditional hotels, housed in a nearly two centuries' old former hospital on the Knightsbridge side of Hyde Park Corner, with white-glove butler service and more Regency period pieces than you could shake a stick at. On the other hand, there's plenty of modern in-room technology (laptops and mac minis) and the hotel has seen more than its fair share of celebrity antics (rapper party anyone?).
With the Games now less than a month away, The Lanesborough is getting on the Olympic bandwagon with a signature drink in their Library Bar: the Gold Medal Martini, complete with gold leaf rim. Having a martini while curled up in one of the leather wing chairs by the fire (it is British summer after all) in this intimate, clubby space might be just the way to escape the madness that is set to take over the city this summer.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that when the Olympics come into town, the hotel rates skyrocket. But with the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics happening in London later this month, we're having a tough time deciphering what's up, what's down and what's still available.
Reports from last week put London hotels as slashing room rates as much as £160 a night, due to lower than expected bookings. Today, there's a report out saying that prices are up as much as 400 percent.
Complicating that, is the fact that room rates fluctuate throughout the Olympics based on the popular events going on and where they are located. So getting a deal really depends on what your schedules (and budgets) are like. (But don't forget, you can always book a room on HotelTonight.)
Nevertheless, we thought we would check in with some of our most-talked about London hotels to see what they are offering*:
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Remember when we learned about Andaz Liverpool Street's plans to launch a World Food Marathon menu next month to coincide with the Olympics? Well, it turns out The Goring (aka Kate Middleton's hotel of choice) is preparing a 'global menu' of its own—except you'll find this menu in the bathroom, not the dining room.
The NY Daily News reports that a bath menu wil be available this summer, in order to let guests take "a trip around the world" through different bathroom scents.
But wait, it gets better. The toiletry company that The Goring has tapped for the bath menu program is none other than Molton Brown, one of our personal favorites. We'll take two of everything, please!