JLL: Hotel conditions in Sochi overblown
07 FEBRUARY 2014 9:45 AM
The shortage of hotels in Sochi, Russia, is not as bad as social media would lead you to believe, according to Moscow-based David Jenkins, an executive VP with JLL's Hotels & Hospitality Group.
SOCHI, Russia—The swirling media reports over unfinished hotels in Sochi are a bit overblown, according to David Jenkins, an executive VP with Jones Lang LaSalle’s Hotels & Hospitality Group.
Media reports indicated that one-third of the nine planned media hotels were unfinished as the Winter Olympics got underway Thursday. Jenkins, who is based in Moscow, said there are some hotels that have yet to open, but those properties are not the global branded hotels, but rather other properties, such as large volume complexes, built as an obligation solely for the games.
Visitors for the games took to social media sites to complain about unfinished hotels, posting comments about lobby conditions and a lack of amenities, such as television and Wi-Fi. Others posted photos of unfinished construction.
Posts such as these likely are not referring to the major global brands, Jenkins said.
“The key problems we see on Twitter are coming from the latter group of hotels, where they have been built ‘on the cheap’ with no technical skills and certainly not to any international brand standards,” Jenkins wrote in an email. “I doubt that any of the pictures and stories we have heard this week have come from the Marriott or the Radisson.”
Jenkins added that the majority of rooms in the city are open. There are a total of 4,919 rooms open in Sochi, according to data from STR Global, sister company of Hotel News Now. A total of 2,935 rooms are under construction, representing growth of 60%.
“With all the recent tweeting from the media, it has cast a poor shadow on the hotels in Sochi, but it is important to differentiate between the branded hotels that have been planned and built more or less as one would expect (Pullman, Radisson, Swissôtel, Marriott, etc.),” Jenkins wrote.
Swissôtel representative Mike Taylor said both of the Swissôtel-branded properties in Sochi were open and operational in time for the games.
“We are fully booked with guests and also have Winter Games participants, as well as representatives of the Olympic Committee, staying with us,” he wrote in an email.
HNN’s Patrick Mayock contributed to this report.