Sochi 2014: Journalists Live Tweet the Terrible State of Hotels Ahead of Olympics [Gallery]

The 2014 Winter Olympics is officially to begin Friday, but it’s already full of disappointment.

  • In my Sochi hotel. You're welcome to pop by and sit forlornly in my Chairs of Desolation. Photo: cathalkellyIn my Sochi hotel. You're welcome to pop by and sit forlornly in my Chairs of Desolation. Photo: cathalkelly
  • Update from #Sochi2014 barracks: Arrived back at my room and found door like this: (Clue: I didn't leave it that way). Photo: Bonnie D. FordUpdate from #Sochi2014 barracks: Arrived back at my room and found door like this: (Clue: I didn't leave it that way). Photo: Bonnie D. Ford
  • To anyone in Sochi: I am now in possession of three light bulbs. Will trade for a door handle. This offer is real. Photo: Dan WetzelTo anyone in Sochi: I am now in possession of three light bulbs. Will trade for a door handle. This offer is real. Photo: Dan Wetzel
  • Water restored, sorta. On the bright side, I now know what very dangerous face water looks like. Photo: Stacy St. ClairWater restored, sorta. On the bright side, I now know what very dangerous face water looks like. Photo: Stacy St. Clair
  • People have asked me what surprised me the most here in Sochi. It's this. Without question ... it's ... this. Photo: Greg WyshynskiPeople have asked me what surprised me the most here in Sochi. It's this. Without question ... it's ... this. Photo: Greg Wyshynski
  • The reception of our hotel in #Sochi has no floor. But it does have this welcoming picture. Photo: Kevin BishopThe reception of our hotel in #Sochi has no floor. But it does have this welcoming picture. Photo: Kevin Bishop
  • This is the one hotel room @Sochi2014 have given us so far. Shambles. Photo: Harry ReekieThis is the one hotel room @Sochi2014 have given us so far. Shambles. Photo: Harry Reekie

Reporters from around the world are finally arriving in Sochi, Russia, for the Winter Olympics, and their first impressions have not been the best, as they turn to Twitter to moan about their Sochi hotel accommodations, and the complaints are not just about lack of flowers in the room.

An estimated $51 billion was invested into turning the “Russian Riviera” from a summer resort into a winter destination, but construction was repeatedly hampered by heavy rain, leaving sodden building sites and resulting in only six of the nine media hotels being fully operational.

As The New York Times described the situation: “The official mascots for the Winter Olympics are a polar bear, a hare and a leopard. … What seem more apt are a hand drill, a backhoe and a shovel.”

The range of complaints included some small accommodation problems like broken doorknobs and shaky curtain rails, to more serious ones like the lack of drinking water, having no internet or arriving to find there isn’t even a room for you.

A CNN crew was one of the first to experience the refined Russian service. Harry Reekie, for CNN, booked their media rooms “five months ago” but clearly didn’t specify that it had functioning blinds, and described the whole scene as, in “shambles.”

Meanwhile, Dmitry Chernyshenko, president of Sochi’s Olympic organizing committee, had this Twitter exchange with Reekie saying: “@HarryCNN to believe you need just to turn back and to look at the mountains.”

Shaun Walker, from the Guardian, was awakened at 6 a.m. with an emergency alert at his hotel, and while the terrifying alert turned out to be a false alarm, he was quickly reminded how atrocious his accommodations are.

Some journalists are being warned that the water in their hotels is too polluted to bathe in. not to say to drink.

“I just washed my face with Evian, like I’m a Kardashian or something,” tweeted the Chicago Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair, minutes after posting a photo of the cloudy yellow water coming out of her tap.

One German photographer told the AP that he arrived at his hotel to find construction workers and stray dogs still walking in and out of rooms, and that’s after Vladimir Putin has sanctioned action to be taken on the city’s large population of stray dogs.

Alexei Sorokin, director general of pest control firm Basya Services, told The Associated Press that his company had a contract to exterminate the animals throughout the Olympics, which open Friday.

International Olympic Committee President Steve Bach, who previously expressed confidence in the organizers’ efforts to ensure a safe and secure Games, says the committee is in contact with the Russian organizers and expects the issue to be resolved early this coming week.

Until then, media personnel affected will reportedly be given new accommodations. Up to 6,000 press members will arrive in Sochi on Monday with 11,000 overall expected to cover the Games locally, reports Examiner.

Public perception of the games online is so bad that a Twitter account called @SochiProblems has already racked up more than 11,000 followers. The account’s bio: “I’m a mess, and not prepared for you!”

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