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Oslo's hottest hotel, The Thief, isn't protesting the Olympics, but it is showing its support for Principle 6, a campaign to uphold the Olympic idea of inclusion and underscore Russia's anti-LGBT discrimination.
For the entire length of the Olympic Games, the hotel will be projecting a video at its entrance called "Russian Kiss," which is a sexy, music-video-esk short that features couples of all different backgrounds -- notably gay, lesbian, and interracial -- sharing some sugar.
"While Norwegian athletes are entering the podiums in Sochi, we are putting human rights on the agenda at The Thief," Owner Petter Stordalen said.
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While lots of hotels are cashing in on the Winter Olympics spirit with speciality cocktails and patriotic packages, the Waldorf Astoria Park City is actually bringing a bit of the Sochi Olympics to its guests.
One of their valet staffers, Patrick Meek, just competed for the U.S. National Speedskating team over the weekend (He finished 20th in the 5000 meters race.) And now guests can book a lesson with Meek while staying at the hotel. The lesson lasts for two hours and costs $120. Rates at the hotel start at $839 for a king bed with a gas fireplace this weekend. (Meek will probably be back at the hotel in a few weeks.)
Meek is employed at the hotel as part of the Hilton HHonors Team USA athlete career program, which works around his busy training schedule. Since Park City is a training ground for winter sports, the place is probably crawling with past, present and future Olympians. Learn more about Meek and the program in this video here.
DON'T MISS HOTELCHATTER'S OWN SURVIVAL GUIDE TO PARK CITY HOTELS RIGHT HERE
[Photo via Patrick Meek/Facebook]
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 it’s 4 stars but that’s laughable. It’s 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 you’re seeing on Twitter.
Still, we’d 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 “everyone is complaining, what do we know? it will come back soon”. 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 don’t 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.
Well, while we certainly feel for them having had our fair share of bad experiences, this is definitely a case of "it's funny because it's not us."
Media covering the Winter Games landed in Sochi this week to find that their rooms weren't ready for check in. Unfortunately, it had nothing to do with delayed room turnover. No -- the rooms really weren't ready, as in still under construction.
Social media is dangerous enough when it comes to the everyday person, let alone when a group of American media encounter a problem. Tweets from reporters, some hilarious and some sad, have been the talk of the town as they attempt to settle in before the opening ceremonies on Thursday. We've embedded a few of them below for your reading pleasure, and it won't take you long to find others from various news outlets via a quick Google search. And of course, Twitter itself.
It looks like Andaz Hotels made a very good decision in adding Tokyo to their list of new cities, now that Tokyo has been selected as the site of the 2020 Summer Olympics. (The Andaz is set to open sometime next year, giving it plenty of time to get things in order before the crowds arrive. )
As with all host cities of massive events like the Olympics, we can expect many more new hotels to pop up as the date approaches, as well as lots of renovations by existing hotels. Remember London last summer? Insanity.
Of course, we need to contain our excitement as these Olympics are still a good SEVEN YEARS AWAY. Nevertheless, according to the Wall Street Journal, Tokyo plans on having 87,000 hotel rooms available within a 10 kilometer radius, and 140,000 rooms in a 50 kilometer radius. And Forbes.com believes the rates and prices will remain "fair" especially compared to other cities (cough, NYC, cough.)
We just wonder if more hotels will break out special Hello Kitty suites , perhaps with an Olympics theme?
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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.