Sochis new party pad

Sochis new party pad

Opening just in time for the Winter Olympics 2014 – it’s the city’s bright new hotel, designed for apres-luge aperitifs.

Strangely compelling, the Winter Olympics, even for those who aren’t keen on sport. ‘Forty different kinds of sliding,’ as Dara O Briain described it – and most of them a thousand times more dangerous than anything in the London Games.

Suddenly everyone has heard of Sochi, not just Russians. The city will host the most expensive Olympics yet (?30bn spent so far), which opens with a solid-gold bang on Friday 7 February 2014.

Located partly on a shore of the Black Sea, and partly on the slopes of the Caucasus Mountains, Sochi was a kind of Stalinist Cannes for Russians before they were allowed to go on holiday to Ibiza and Hvar. Consequently there’s no shortage of five-star hotels – though the architecture tends towards imposing, brutalist and neoclassical.

For the Winter Olympics 2014, several new hotels have been built in the mountain region of Sochi, in an altogether less-intimidating style. The latest of them has been finished just in the nick of time for the Games.

Dolina 960 is bright, modern and young – an exuberant antidote to old Soviet Sochi. It’s up at 960m (hence the name) near the games in Rosa Khutor, and the main focus seems to have been on creating partycentric spaces in time for the influx of fit young athletes. The bar and the lobby lounge, with Pop Art-inspired decor, are colourful and contemporary; there’s also a library and an outside terrace (so far, still no snow; the temperature in Sochi is a clement 7?C) which are also both designed for socialising; plus the jaunty Lichtenstein restaurant.

There’s also a spa, and 48 more sober rooms. The one to book for throwing Ice Dancing after-parties is the two-storey Dolina Suite, which has picture windows and more than 220 square metres in which to drink Sovetskoye Shampanskoye and take in the mountain views – even from the bath.

Dolina 960, Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi, Russia ( Doubles from Roubles8,130 (around ?150)

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