Use Points for Hotels at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi – Start Now

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As soon as we got back from the 2012 Summer Olympics, I started planning a trip to the 2014 Winter Olympics that will be held in Sochi, Russia.  The Olympics really are an amazing experience that brings folks from all over the world together, and I would love to be able to go to Russia and see figure skating, snowboarding, etc in about a year and a half.  One of the things that made the London Olympics a reality for me was the amazing hotel reward night availability.  In fact, what started my entire quest to go to the 2012 Games was writing a piece on hotel reward availability just two months before the Games.  There were so many choices, that I ended up using Club Carlson points earned via the “Big Night Giveaway” to stay at the beautiful May Fair Hotel.  This thread on Flyertalk reminded me that I hadn’t yet posted about beginning planning now for the 2014 Games, so here we go.

London is an expensive city, but it has tons of chain hotels where you can use points, so there were plenty of solid reward night options.  Sochi, on the other hand, is a resort town on the Black Sea that doesn’t have near as many chain hotels where you can score free nights.  Or, more accurately, it doesn’t as of today.  Sochi is currently in full-on construction mode to get ready for the 2014 Games, and there are many hotels that are scheduled to open in the next 12-17 months.  Some of the hotels will be in the town itself on the Black Sea, and some will be up in the mountains where the downhill and snow events will take place.

Rates for hotels in Sochi seem to vary from the extremely affordable to the extremely expensive.  It is possible that there will be some decent and affordable rooms during the 2014 Olympics, but I’m not taking any chances.  I would rather get something (preferably refundable) on points, then cross my fingers and hope that rates are reasonable during the biggest event to ever come to that part of Russia.

I’m sure this isn’t an exhaustive list, but there are the chain hotels that I am aware of that are currently under construction:

Hyatt Regency Sochi – “With panoramic views of the Black Sea and easy access to the beach, Hyatt Regency Sochi features 199 spacious guestrooms including 171 rooms and 28 suites.  Contemporary guestrooms ranging in size from 37 to 195 sq m (398 to 2,098 sq ft) with floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies offer guests spectacular views of the Black Sea.”    It is expected to open in late 2013.  Hyatt’s booking calendar only allow you to look one year out, but as soon as February 2013 comes around, start looking for February 2014 award availability.  I’m not sure if will be released then as the hotel won’t yet be complete, but that is when I would start checking.  I don’t know what category hotel this will be, but just to give some reference, the Park Hyatt in Moscow is a Category 6 and the Hyatt Regency in Ekaterinburg is a Category 3 hotel.  I’d guess it would be somewhere between those two hotels.

Sheraton SochiI have read many articles that state that the Sheraton Sochi will open in 2013, but the actual Starwood website has it slated for 2016, so I’m not sure what the current status is on that project.  Hopefully it will be ready in time to open up a possible SPG award night option.

Doubletree by Hilton, Sochi Adler – “Occupying a prime location overlooking the Black Sea and Mzimta River, the Doubletree by Hilton, Sochi Adler plans to have a total of 200 rooms including 15 detached villas. Located in one of Russia’s most strategically important and rapidly developing investment centres, Doubletree by Hilton, Sochi Adler is expected to open by the end of 2011.”  Seems they are off their initial target date, but if you are interested in using HHonors points to stay in Sochi, I would keep my ears open for updates on this hotel.

Marriott Sochi – Marriott isn’t just building one hotel in Sochi, they are building three.

These include:

• 150-room JW Marriott Sochi Golf Resort (expected to open early 2014)
• 398-room Marriott Krasnaya Polyana Hotel (expected to open late 2013)
• 345-room Courtyard by Marriott Sochi Plaza Hotel (expected to open late 2013)

Marriott Hotels also book one year in advance, so February 2013 would be a good time to start watching for these properties to become bookable using points.

Club Carlson Properties – I may be saving the best for last with these properties.  Not because they will necessarily be the nicest properties, but because they may be the most interesting for points junkies.  Two Club Carlson properties in Sochi are actually already open.  These include:

Radisson Lazurnaya Hotel, Sochi: “Plan the perfect Black Sea resort getaway at the Radisson Lazurnaya Hotel, Sochi Conveniently located in the centre of the city near the Black Sea beach, the Radisson Lazurnaya Hotel, Sochi is one of the finest beach resort hotels in Russia. The hotel offer 299 rooms including Deluxe Rooms, Suites and Villas furnished with Free high-speed, wireless Internet access.”  This property goes for 50,000 points per night.

The Park Inn Rosa Khutor: ” Located in the heart of the Alpine Ski Resort Development, serves as the perfect base for exploring Russia’s most popular skiing destination. The Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort will host the 2014 Winter Olympic games and offers 40 runs and 18 lifts, set against the region’s stunning mountainous backdrop.”  This hotel goes for 38,000 points per night.  I enjoyed this blog post by Bruce Talley on the property.

There are other Club Carlson hotels that are in the middle of construction.  These include:

Radisson Blu Resort & Congress Centre, Sochi – this hotel will be 44,000 points per night and is scheduled to open later in 2012.

Radisson Hotel, Rosa Khutor – this hotel is scheduled to open later in 2012.

Park Inn by Radisson Sochi Imeretinskaya Resort – this hotel is scheduled to open in 2013.

Here’s all I’m going to say about the Club Carlson hotels, they take points reservations way into the future.  Update: They also are very quick to pull down availability when folks start booking, so if/when you see it again, book quickly.  I have seen both the Radisson Blu and the Park Inn Rosa Khutur with availability during the Olympics.  When I launched this post the Radisson Blu had wide open availability on points, but within a few hours it was gone…..for now.

Here is a link to the Olympic event schedule for 2014Register here for information about event tickets.  Yes, I’m already booked.  Hope to see you there.


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  1. Thanks for the post. How many days are you planning on staying? We plan to go, but really have no idea where to begin. Do you have a suggested itinerary you could post?

  2. Good heads up on accommodations. That’s almost always the toughest part of planning an Olympics trip, since hotels only package or gouge advance planners.
    Which hotel did you end up booking? Based on my experience in Vancouver, I’d strongly recommend against staying in the mountain areas. All the fun (and free!) stuff was in the city, and the transportation links are based around city visitors. Unless you plan on hitting the slopes, the mountain towns are pretty packed without a whole lot to do if unticketed.
    Do you have an airline strategy? Perhaps start building SkyMiles for Aeroflot?
    I’m probably sitting this one out unless there’s a guarantee of NHL participation. It does not look good right now, but great for you as tickets will be way easier to get without the hockey fans coming.

  3. I hadn’t thought about this yet, but I definitely want to go–I was a Russian major, and I’ve never been to Sochi. What a great opportunity this would be!

  4. Quick search on the Carlson website reveals neither of the two Radisson properties available for the range of dates during the games. Did you book with them for points?

  5. Jason, I hope to go for about four days. I also plan to include a stopover to Istanbul and possibly hop over to Moscow.
    Tim, I plan to spend some nights in the town and on the mountain…as of now. I am focusing on Star Alliance and Turkish Airlines. However, if there is a fare war/special as there was for the 2012 games, then that will be great, too. Not sure that will replicate, but it sure was nice. Otherwise, Star Alliance for me.
    Michelle, it is fun to get the “Olympics Bug”! Hope to see you there.
    Richard, that is also a very good idea. I am already registered with them, though at least last time the official ticket source was good about giving updates that were helpful for all. Good idea to double-up the registration.
    Betsy, I did book them with points, but looks like they have pulled availability since last night when this post went out. In my experience, both times I have noticed availability it disappears very quickly once folks start booking. Keep an eye on it though. I have booked two Club Carlson hotels on points within the last month as the availability comes online. I updated the post to show how quickly it has already changed.

  6. A quick check of several dates during the 2014 Oymppics, for 1- and 2-night stays, found no availability in Carlson properties.

    Looking further out, strictly for testing, I did find several 38,000-point nights in April, 2014 at the Park Inn Radisson Rosa Khutor.

    • Miles, it seems to have dried up since the post launched last night. Watch it as new properties load their availability.

  7. From another (poor) Mommy:

    My teenage son will be competing in Freestyle skiing and has the first big event in Sochi already this coming February 13-19, 2013.
    I will have to book our flights and hotel myself on my own dime and am contemplating TK or SU (the ferry across the Black Sea from Trabson in Turkey is not an option for us 😉

    Be aware that one needs a visa, including qualified athletes!

    Travel blogs do not currently provide enough info about the local situation – did you perhaps get yours at the Sochi-pavilion in Kensington Gardens?

    Our budget is very tight with at least 5 upcoming qualifying events across the globe for 2012/2013.
    Any suggestions in Sochi for us?

    • @Nomad, very true that visas are required. However, it won’t shock me if that is relaxed some during the Olympics. I have never been to Sochi, but I know there is currently a ton of construction going on to get ready for the games. I would try to use points if prices are high. If you have airline miles I would recommend looking into those options for flights as well. If you don’t have miles and points I would work on earning them so you don’t have to pay as much out of pocket next time. So cool that your son is competing on such a high level!

  8. 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.

  9. Vitaly, I’m in need for a small place near Rosa Khutor park from approx 2/10-2/14.
    Details and price quotes to: nomad1711 at gmail dot com.

    • This goes without saying, but everyone just use their own best judgement if contacting someone about housing in Sochi. I let that comment through, but I have no knowledge about how reliable this housing source is or is not. Proceed at your own discretion.

  10. MP…thanks for your concern!
    As a true skeptic, we’ll see how this works out – in other words: my hopes are not high 😉

  11. I agree with mommypoints on this: everyone PLEASE use your best judgement when making arrangements in Sochi. I’ve just returned and while it’s a fantastic place to visit, it’s also dangerous in some parts. PLEASE be careful! 😀

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