In news from Ukraine and the upcoming 2012 European Championships, organizers are concerned with keeping down hospitality prices for the coming wave of travelers headed East. Along with integrating their efforts with those of sister venues in Poland, soccer fans being fleeced seems to be at the top of the Euro 2012 agenda of late. But is the concern already too late and too little? A great many visitors may have already been fleeced.
Beginning in June, Euro 2012 will undoubtably be the biggest travel boom to either Poland or Ukraine, perhaps ever. Both countries have been frantically building infastructure, hotels, airports, roads, and stadiums to accommodate the world of soccer. But ultra high prices for hotels and other commodities could well dampen not only the spirit of these events, but the final tally on success too.
Euro 2012 organizers have called for “reason’’ in hotel pricing as most fear fleecing would give the games a bad image. Kiev has pulled out all stops to get prepared for these matches, revamping the old Olympic stadium among the many other construction projects. However, some experts suggest hotel prices for the Euro 2012 could reach past $300 per night.
We searched TripAdvisor just for a clue as to room availability in Kiev. Much to our surprise, even TripAdvisor on has listed one hotel with rooms left available, and this, very far from the center of happenings.
Checking availability at the Hyatt, the Fairmont Grand Hotel, the Radisson Blu, even the Intercontinental via Google Hotel Finder, you can forget about finding a luxury hotel in Kiev during the event.
Researching just a bit it seems organizer’s worst fears have been realized. The hotel Ecotel Nivki (room image at top) is 12 kilometers from the Olympic stadium and the city center. The hotel appears to be in if not the worst neighborhood of Kiev, no exactly welcome central either. In fact, looking at the hotel via Google, it may be a converted high rise apartment unit from the Cold War era. (click the image above to book via the hotel)
Finally, we took note of the rate notification on their website. As you can see in the screenshot above, plans are to bump up rates just prior to Euro 2012. We would not be doing our job if we did not show readers both sides of the story. Like every other major city in the world, there are two sides to Kiev. The video below from a resident shows the darker side of the city. As an advisory, if you are going to enjoy Euro 2012, be appraised of this side too.
Kiev is beautiful, Kiev is also a metropolis. And Kiev’s hotels are just about all booked up, price gouging or no.
Kiev image top – courtesy © Dmitry Yatsenko – Fotolia.com