If you regularly read this blog you know that I love the Olympics, and that myself and a few other friends have plans to head to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.  These games are now just 9 months away in February 2014.  So far we have secured event tickets and flights in business class using miles, but the big piece of the pie that is still missing is hotel rooms.  I actually did have a reservation on points via Club Carlson, but that got cancelled due to the International Olympic Committee informing the hotel that all rooms need to be available to go through them for their purposes.  I did receive some points as compensation for that cancellation (after fussing), but at the end of the day I am still “homeless” in Russia.

Based on the emails and comments that I have received, it seems that many of you are in that same situation.  So, what is there to be done about the “homeless in Russia” situation?  I’ll say up-front that there is not a perfect answer at this time, but here are a few suggestions.

  • Be patient.  I know that sounds crazy given we are talking about the Olympics, Russia, needing a visa, etc.  But honestly the very best advice I can give is to just be patient.  It is extremely likely that as we get closer to this fall that the hotels will be able to release the rooms that weren’t utilized by the IOC or via package sales and you will be able to reserve a decent room at a decent price.  In fact there are many hotels that should be finished with construction toward this end of this year – including a Haytt!  This “be patient” strategy is the one I am using myself.  I’m even hopeful I will be able to secure a room (again) on points.
  • Read some of the Sochi threads on Tripadvisor.  If you want to read what others in your situation are doing and learning, I highly recommend heading to the Sochi Forum on TripAdvisor.  I suspect this will continue to be a good resource as hotel rooms (hopefully) become more available later this year.
  • Request modest accommodations now.  If you really want to book now for the peace of mind, you can make a request for some rooms now via this site…though admittedly most shown aren’t my first choice.  It also seems that you are just making requests and may or may not be able to actually book.  That said, I have heard a story or two about folks who have booked without having to give a credit card.  That could be super handy back-up plan if you can find a deal like that.
  • Book a ticket + lodging package.  If you have deep pockets and want to get everything situated right now, you can book a package that includes hotel accommodations, event tickets, plus other perks right now via the official CoSport.com website.  The ones I briefly looked at were in the $7,000 – $9,000 range for three days.  Ouch!  My pockets aren’t that deep, and my anxiety isn’t nearly high enough for that to appeal to me, but it might for some.

I’ll periodically continue to post about the process of planning a trip to the 2014 Winter Olympics, and would love to hear how it is going for those of you who are also planning to head to Sochi!

Posted by Mommy Points | 66 Comments

66 Responses to “2014 Olympics in Sochi: Securing Hotel Rooms”

  1. Joey says:

    Awesome post! I’m planning to go to Sochi as well and am in the same situation as many of you in regards to accommodations. I read this article http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2013/04/01/Olympics/Sochi.aspx
    that even US luge and US Hockey olympic folks don’t have hotel rooms either so being patient is certainly key.

  2. thanks for this update! i have an event ticket but no flights yet or hotel, so it’s good to get some advice. (i’m less worried about the flights, i think, but we’ll see!)

  3. Carl says:

    I hope you fussed a lot to Club Carlson. Kinda crappy they cancelled your booking that was made in good faith.

  4. Whiskarina says:

    I am the same boat… I have event tickets, plane tickets, but I am homeless in Sochi. I keep checking various websites and I am confident SOMETHING will come up. Worst case, I rent an apartment or home or something. I’m not freaking out just yet :)

  5. mommypoints says:

    Joey, thanks for sharing that link. I think we are all in good company.
    Jonathan, flights to the region aren’t hard, flights into Sochi are. Just be ready to pay cash for that last segment.
    Carl, you know I did…though I do now believe in the end their hands were tied. Got fairly compensated I think.
    Whiskarina, same. ;)

  6. Andy O. says:

    How about a few of you that are going gang up together to get an apartment or house? With enough fellow minded travellers you could have a great time!

  7. Phil says:

    I’ve been in the same situation for a while.

    I got a great flight from Chicago to Istanbul. From there I’m flying to Krasnodar on Pegasus. I bought six event tickets through CoSport in the USA, and three from Dertour in Germany (thanks to a second cousin).

    But the elusive thing has been accommodation. I lost out on a very cheap room near the border in Abkhazia by not booking while I should have. And now I’ve booked a hotel in Adler. It’s a 15 minute walk from the coastal cluster! Unfortunately it is a double room (I’m traveling alone), and it’s €250/night.

    So if anybody wants to share…. :)

    I probably overpaid, but felt like I had to get it secured.

    Phil

  8. Great update! We have our event tickets via CoSport. Still trying to decide how to get to Sochi from Kauai, as we’d like to do some land traveling in Europe as long as we’re going to be on that side of the world! It looks as though most of you are traveling via Istanbul, eh? Thanks for all the info! And as the event gets closer, let’s plan to meet up. :)

  9. pete says:

    Phil, how did you get that?

  10. Phil says:

    For some reason I was a bit reluctant to post it. But we’re all friends here, right?

    http://www.sotschi-olympiade2014.de/sochi_olympic_hotel_adler_gala.html

    They are a Russian based Abkhazia travel agency. But they list 3 hotels in Adler as well. When I inquired, only the Gala Hotel was available.

    I’m staying 02/07 to 02/14.

  11. pete says:

    Thanks!

  12. Chris says:

    Thanks for the update.
    Family of 5 traveling from Alaska. Event tickets and flight purchased from Anchorage-Moscow (RT). Lodging in Moscow booked. Lodging in St. Petersburg booked

    Waiting on:
    Train from Moscow to Sochi
    Lodging in Sochi
    Flight from Sochi to St. Petersburg
    Train St. Petersburg to Moscow

    If lodging doesn’t pan out in Sochi, we may be the first family to camp at the Winter Olympics. Camping on the beaches of the Black Sea doesn’t sound too bad :)

  13. Diana D. says:

    I have already spent $7000 on air and event tickets. But, like all us non-Olympic-connected folks – no hotel. I had thought I got really lucky when I was able to make a reservation at a new, not even open yet hotel, in Krasnaya Polyana. Turned out to be a glitch in their system, and it was cancelled. I am a somewhat elderly, lone, traveller, and really need a nice hotel room – none of those private apartments, out in the boonies. I had a very expensive “Cancel for Any Reason” insurance policy – but then that got cancelled, as well, because I had forgotten I bought the event tickets much earlier than the airline tickets. Who could know so early what the cost of the trip was going to be? Anyway, your little forum here has given me some since of connection, comfort and hope – that we will all be okay in the end, and probably much better off than all those “chickens” who spent tens of thousands of dollars on Co-Sport’s packages. You know Co-Sport is, of course, in bed with the Committee. All out to make a buck on the backs of “common-folk”. Kinda like the Banks- huh?

  14. Lesha says:

    Same deal here. I’m have tickets for feb10-14. I was able to get tickets into Istanbul and out of Moscow with miles. I still need a hotel and flights connecting to and from sochi. It seems like the one nonstop from turkey went up significantly and is not going back down :( I was able to book a backup hotel for way more than I would like to spend for a plce that is really far away from sochi much less adler or krasnaya polyana. I know we have a long way to go before we can even apply for a visa but I’m also worried about finding a place that will help with registration and hopefully give me an invitation too

  15. Chris says:

    Finally I have found some others heading to Sochi!! This will be my 3rd Winter Olympics in a row.I go for the whole thing, Opening to Closing.In 2006 went the Cosport/Trekking Hellas route..I may still be paying for that. 2010 (in my home country)had no tickets in advance and rented a 2 bedroom condo downtown.Did the games for less than half of what I spent in 2006 (and saw Canada win gold in Hockey :-).Now Sochi..I won’t do many tickets in advance..and like others here I have no idea where I am staying lol..Would love to share accommodations with others however renting something is incredibly risky (does it even exist?. I still haven’t figured out what area to stay in..Alder? Sochi downtown area? I won’t be up in the mountains much so they are out. I will say that the last 2 games most of the action outside of the events wasn’t anywhere near the venues..We need someone with a cousin over there to help!!

  16. Chris S. says:

    Phil,

    I see that you are traveling from Chicago. I will be traveling from Chicago as well. If you are interested in a potential room mate, let me know. I would consider it. My email is SpeedSkt1@aol.com. Thanks.

    Chris S.

  17. Christina says:

    Thanks for this reassurance! I too will be going to Sochi. It will be my first winter games, but I have gone to every summer games since Athens.

    I am more concerned about the timing in relation to getting a Visa, which friends who work for the Olympics have said has already been worse than China was for the summer olympics… which was pretty bad. Does anyone have reccomendations about how to get the process going for the visa if you don’t have hotel to cite on the visa application?

    Many thanks!

  18. Dave says:

    Hi Phil –

    I would be interested in possibly sharing a room. Your dates line up with mine. If interested you may email me at adventuredave at comcast.net.

    Thanks,

    Dave

  19. Josef says:

    This will be my fourth Winter Games in a row, but the first for my ten year old son. Because he will be in tow I am somewhat anxious about the accomodations. We are round trip JFK-Moscow on Delta and have accomodations already in Moscow. For those looking for reasonable travel between Moscow and Sochi we booked flights on S7 Airlines http://www.s7.ru/en S7 is a member of the One World Alliance and seems decent (Russia’s Southwest?). They fly in and out of another major Moscow airport, Domodedovo, than most US arrival ports, Sheremetyevo. We have tickets to six events. So we are pretty well booked, but, NO HOTEL. Does anyone know if we can attain visas just off the Moscow hotel or will we need “host” paperwork for both locations? Thanks for any help you can provide.

  20. Ben says:

    Nice to see (ok, not really) that others are in the same boat as we are. This will be my wife and my 1st Olympics. We’re doing the entire show, starting off with 5 days in Moscow. I have my venue tickets, I have my international flight from Houston to Moscow (Singapore). I have my domestic flight from Moscow to Sochi (Transaero), but no accommodations. It’s truly frustrating.

    Waiting impatiently,
    Ben

  21. Jumping in here! Tickets to sochi have gotten out of control but taking the train there over 24 hours! Thats nuts :)

    I have a feeling that hotels will open up. Does anyone have any good info about the spectator pass?

  22. nomad says:

    Here’s a recent post on MP thead from 9/2/12 offering accommodations in Sochi:
    quote:

    Vitaly says:
    June 17, 2013 at 6:32 am
    I want to offer housing on Winter Games in Sochi 2014.
    I have 5 flats – 32 – 40m2 and 1 flat – 200m2 on last floor (studio room in new house) in Mountain Cluster of Red Meadow).
    The flat accommodates a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. +internet. TV.
    Fully furnished and fitted with home appliances
    5-10 minutes by road to get to ski centers and all.

    unquote

    Good luck to all that wanna give it a try ;)

  23. nomad says:

    @ Reba:
    There’s always the ferry from Trabzon (Turkey) to Sochi ;)

  24. chedek says:

    I can offer the apartment with 2 rooms and kitchen during the Sochi Olympic 2014 period. The appartment located in Hosta (5km from Adler town) at ground floor at fourth floor house, 200m from Black Sea side. it has 6 places, good appearance, bathroom, satelite TV, INTERNET. The transfer from airport or ship landing is available too. I am owner of this apartment. The price is 45000 RUB (about 1360 dollars) for 7 days.

    Please answer to email: chedek@hotbox.ru

  25. Kristina says:

    Hi there! I totally agree what you have described in your article. I experience the same as you do.

    Ok, fingers crossed for our journey.

    Kristina

  26. Dean says:

    Everyone that is looking for rooms during the Olympics should read the Trip Advisor thread.

    The Russian government has arranged for 7cruise ships to be used as floating hotels. Some of the ships will be located right at the coastal cluster. Rooms are available for booking now.

    Would not suggest waiting for normal rooms to become available because construction schedules and not knowing when, or if, the Olympic Committee will release rooms.

    • Betsy says:

      Aloha Dean – Thanks for the major heads up on that thread. Very informative; the gentleman from Moscow is particularly helpful. I would suggest using the Chrome browser to open the Russian language websites they are discussing, and you will find the ship information. Additionally, note the Russian website system is glitching on foreign payments, so they have waived payment deadlines until approximately July 15th.

      I now have an outside cabin reserved (and received confirming email promising additional communication re: payment) on the Grand Holiday cruise ship, Feb 7 – 15th, very reasonably priced at around $1600 total stay, includes breakfast. Our event tickets are all at Santi or Rosa Khutor venues (so far), and I understand getting to those venues from the coastal cluster will be fairly straightforward.

      We are planning to get into Sochi from Bucharest on Moldova Air via Chisinau but first I must confirm other European arrangements prior.

      I am feeling much better about this! If I can accomplish the additional Europe plans we’re working on, this is going to be an amazing trip!

      • mommypoints says:

        Thanks Dean and Betsy for sharing – I’m on the fence about booking this vs waiting it out for a hotel, but will look into it more and will share this info soon for sure. Thanks!

  27. Chris says:

    I couldn’t resist and took the plunge…just booked two rooms on the Grand Holiday for our family of 5. The ship is just blocks from the coastal villageI couldn’t resist the novelty of staying on a ship for the Winter Olympics. Hope the pool is open!

    If anyone questions the legitimacy of the site…don’t. They are extremely professional and helpful. Access the website is through Google Chrome and you’ll be able to see the website in English. http://www.svoy-sochi.ru

    They were very responsive to emails…our contact was-Olga Bereznova o.bereznova@reservation.ru A English website is coming soon, but I’m guessing rooms will move pretty quick once the english website is up and running.

  28. Betsy says:

    Just received a couple of emails from Olga regarding the Grand Holiday reservations. Their system is still unable to process non-Russian credit card payments. They will be direct billing and payment method will be via bank transfer.

  29. Lesha says:

    I just wanted to give you guys an update. I have been seeing more/ hotels available. Bookings.com seems to be what works best. I got a hotel in Adler booked today! Whoo hoo!

    • mommypoints says:

      Lesha, just checked and still seeing nothing…can you give more details?

      • Lesha says:

        maybe it is the dates you are going? I will be in Sochi from Feb 10 – Feb 14. I still see the Forsage hotel. The one I booked this morning is no longer showing up. They must have booked up. The hotel (which name escapes me) is actually in Adler which is what I was hoping for. Keep checking though because over the course of the past month I have seen different ones pop up. (Usually still too far away from either Sochi or Adler)

  30. Betsy says:

    Thanks for the heads up! After a lot of back and forth with the cruise ship company and still no way to pay, we’re going to abandon ship. Just booked a room in Adler as well, at the Guest House Villa Deja Vu via booking.com. Still a few rooms available there. This works well as it appears to be close to the turn off for Rosa Khutor, where our events are located, and only 3 miles from the airport.

  31. Lesha says:

    awesome!! glad I was able to help. What dates are you going?

  32. Vitaly says:

    ello
    i’m living in Sochi (Red Meadow)

    I want to offer housing on Winter Games in Sochi 2014.

    I have 25 flats – 32 – 40m2 and 1 flat – 200m2 on last floor (studio room in new house) in Mountain Cluster of Red Meadow).

    The flat accommodates a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. +internet. TV.

    Fully furnished and fitted with home appliances

    5-10 minutes by road to get to ski centers.
    biovetal@gmail.com

  33. Pam says:

    People are now able to pay Svoy-Sochi.ru for cabins on the cruise ships they are offering with a credit card. It first involves giving them an authorization letter, which is a simple process.

  34. om says:

    I HAVE BOOKED MY FLIGHT FROM INDIA TO MOSCOW.
    I GOT TICKETS FROM SOME FRINEDS IN USA & UK.
    LOOKING FOR ACCOMODATION IN ADLER.
    I HAVE APPLIED TO VOLUNTEER TOO BUT DONOT KNOW THE FATE TILL NOW. I HAD VOLUNTEERED TURINO & VANCOUVER TOO.
    SHOULD I FLY FROM MOSCOW TO SOCHI OR TAKE A TRAIN. JUST SOME ONE ADVISE ME.
    FROM SOCHI I WANT TO GO TO ST.PERTERSBURG & THEN MOSCOW AND BACK TO INDIA.
    WANT ACCOMODATION IN SOCHI FROM 6TH FEB TILL 24TH FEB 2014. BUDGET ACCOMODATION ONLY OR ANY IDEA OF CAMPING IN WINTER ?

    I AM SURE ACCOMODATION WILL BE AVAILABLE BY DEC 2013. PEAOPLE ARE HOLDING ROOMS AND MAY RELEASE AT THE LAST MOMENT. IT HAPPENS AT ALL MEGA EVENTS.

  35. pete says:

    Train trip is about 24 hrs long and won’t cost much less than a flight. There’s a hostel in Adler available for $25 a night.

    • lesha says:

      I have looked for hostels. Would you mind sharing where you found that hostel? The place i found seems to be impossible to email.

  36. pete says:

    Will try to remember tonight.

  37. pete says:

    It’s on instantworldbooking dot com

  38. Maria says:

    hey there!
    I offer a guest house in Sochi during the Olympic Games 2014, it is situate very close to the main venues and you can easyly get there on foot, it takes you 10-20 minutes. the house has 4 studio appartaments and one lux appartament. All flats accomodate all necessary appliences.

    also I can suggest transfer from the airport/railway station and back, plus interpreting and guide service!

    If anyone is interested in more detailed information, pictures and conditions of housing I will be very glad to answer. mglavnova71@gmail.com

  39. Maria says:

    Hello there!
    I offer a good accomodation right in the center of the Olympic games, very close to the venues. There are 4 studio rooms and one lux room available at the moment. The rooms accomodate all the necessary appliences. Also I offer transfer from the airport/railway station and back, plus interpreting and guide service.
    for additional information I will be glad to answer on mkolobova@yahoo.com

  40. […] be possible to book rooms at the Hyatt during the Olympics though, judging from Mommy Points’ mishaps, but one can dream, […]

  41. Melissa says:

    MommyPoints, any luck yet? I check all the hotel websites several times a day and am starting to get nervous that the hotels aren’t still being held by the IOC, and maybe I just missed the boat on booking? I was doing some googling, and it looks like folks were able to book hotels for London and Vancouver a lot further in advance that we are now (just under 5 months away!)

  42. Pam says:

    I have heard that they may be all booked up now but several of us (from the main Sochi strand on Trip Advisor) have booked cabins through Svoy-Sochi.ru on the Grand Holiday and the Louis Olympia, which will be docked in Adler during the Olympics.
    There are 3 other cruise ships that will be docked in Sochi that have availability, but Sochi is further away from the venues, which are located in Adler.
    Rooms run less than $200 a night per cabin for 2 and include breakfast. The cabins are small.

  43. Melissa says:

    Okay, I guess it’s not just me then. I never jumped on the cruise opportunity because I assumed hotels would be opening up soon. I hope I don’t regret that decision!

    • mommypoints says:

      Melissa, not just you. If I’m being totally honest, if I had this to do all over again I may not have booked Sochi at all. I’m not overly concerned, but I’m far from impressed. Hopefully that will improve before February.

  44. Pam says:

    If you do go to Sochi and you have any extra lapel pins (Olympic, Hard Rock, sports-related, anything attractive), bring them along so that you can take part in the most fun, non-official Olympic sport: pin trading. The Russians love pins, and so pin trading should be popular there.
    Exchanging pins gives you an opportunity to meet and interact with people that you would never meet otherwise. I’ve been doing it for many years now and have met Olympian athletes, coaches, celebrities, media people, and travelers from all over the world as a result.

  45. Lara Christenson says:

    We were able to book on the Louis Olympia as well, although it ended up being $1000 per person for a 10 day stay (which isn’t horrible). Also, if anyone is interested, we do have some extra event tickets that we are looking to unload at face value. I have 2 curling tickets and 2 women’s hockey tickets. We also have 1 snowboarding halfpipe (gold medal) ticket that we are waiting to see if a friend is taking, but might be available. email me at larapu2000@hotmail.com if you are interested. Also, the company that we booked the Louis Olympia through was able to get us rooms on the boat when we were being told it was sold out. They also do the invitation letter for about $15 (500 rubles) for your visa. I have a question on the visa-do you really have to interview in person at a Russian consulate????

  46. Carol Escobar says:

    Yes, you have to go to the Consulate in your city. They do not process visa applications through mail. And normally they will not accept applications more than 3 months before your departure although I’ve heard of some people being able to get it way in advance. I guess it depends in the city you’re in. I would give them a call. And you will need to fill the application online first, print it and bring it with you. Again make sure your doing it within the correct time frame or else you’ll have to redo the application. I’m waiting until next month to apply (again).

  47. Diana says:

    Lara,
    I assume you live in USA? You can do Russian VISA application on internet, then mail in your app w/passport, and receive back everything in mail. You do not have to interview in person. Never heard of that! I went to Russia in 2010.

  48. Carol Escobar says:

    Diana,
    The rules may have changed since the time you went to Russia. And every city may have a different process. According to ILS USA, “Consular Division is no more processing visa applications by mail, starting from June 1, 2010″. If you live in DC, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, or Houston you can apply with Invisa Logistic Services(ILS). If you do not live in any of these cities, do a little research and check with your city. If you do have to actually go into their office, it is still a fairly easy process. I know because I did it a few days ago. Its not like a real interview. Just hand in your paper work, answer some questions and pay the fees. It’s that simple! Hope this is helpful. Safe travels everyone!

    http://www.russianembassy.org/page/general-visa-information

  49. Philipp says:

    Dear future guests! If you need personal assistance and looking for a separate flat in Sochi, contact our Real Estate Agency, I hope we can be of help to everyone! Sincerely Yours,
    Sochi Invest Ltd,
    Accomodation Services manager
    Yurkovski Philipp
    79881514204

  50. Diana says:

    Lara,
    I do not pretend to know all the answers. I would advise you do your own research on the matter of a mandatory visit to your Russian Consulate. There are a lot of folks who don’t live anywhere near one. I am reading that you can still do this by mail. Try an agency who will handle everything for you. Good luck!

    Diana

  51. […] to do that?), and there was no way of knowing when and if they’d be released. (Club Carlson cancelled MommyPoints’ existing reservation, […]

  52. Lesha says:

    Just curious to know everyones thoughts regarding the security. Anyone backing out?

  53. Lesha says:

    Just curious to know everyones thoughts regarding the security. Anyone backing out?

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