What a Venezuelan State-owned 5-star hotel looks like…

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I’ve written before about the State-owned Venetur hotel chain, but thanks to this report from Peru’s Panamericana TV, we can see the current conditions inside one of its five-star hotels: Puerto La Cruz’s Maremares.

As the Peruvian football team is staying there for its World Cup qualifier against Venezuela on Tuesday night, the TV crew made a visit to the premises and what they found out was not even close to what a five-star hotel should be like. It starts at 4:03 and ends at 6:30.

To recap: there’s no AC system in the hallways, only one of three elevators is working, the carpets are dirty, the electronic room keys only work when they feel like it and about the room itself… not five-star at all.

Ok, this report is obviously not Frontline. But even if it comes from a typical not-so-great sports show (and we have our share of those here at home), this proves that to attract tourists a fancy new PR campaign won’t do. Having a good infrastructure is important. But having more overall security for the tourists themselves should be the top priority.

BTW, the same TV crew faced an uncomfortable situation while visiting J.A. Anzoategui Stadium (1:52-3:49). Out of nowhere, some guy in a T-shirt and without any identification  went on full guapeton de barrio mode and harassed both the reporter and cameraman. If he was part of the stadium’s security staff why he didn’t have an I.D. badge? And why he was dressed like he was on his day-off? It’s just embarrassing.

1 COMMENT

  1. Off topic: Norwegians had their election, the right won and socialist Stoltenberg conceded defeat. No Smartmatic was used and they got results faster than in Venezuela. Stoltenberg didn’t say the opposition’s victory was “una victoria de mierda, mierda, mierda”.
    No military thugs had to “guarantee the peace and order” during the elections.

    • yeah, whatever… but do you really think Norway doesn’t have problems of its own? for starters, they have way too much money on their hands > http://read.bi/15HbJUt

      they should hire Venezuelan consultants to help them get rid of THAT problem with a couple of misiones, know what I’m sayin’… *wink wink nudge nudge*

  2. How embarrassing, really. Ughhh

    @keepitup, “opposition priority #1: luxury vacations for wealthy foreigners”

    Should be on the top of the list for the Edo. Anzoategui no?

  3. Meh. Anyone who does their research prior to a trip to Venezuela would avoid the state owned hotels at all costs, regardless of how they are pimped in the press.

    When we are in Merida, we stay in the posadas so as not to impose on the in-laws ( I <3 Casa Sol and the avocado tree in the courtyard). I've noticed the service is much nicer, the building cleaner, the staff more polite, and yada, yada yada. Of course, I've also noticed that a large number of them tend to be owned by folk who moved to Venezuela from outside the country; largely from Europe. This holds true for a good many of the other tourist-based businesses in the area from the canyoneros, parapente companies, and the climbing/atv empresas, all though this may be from the steep capital costs to start the thing in the first place. They do employ a large number of locals who are pretty knowledgeable in what they do; the climbers I met are as good as any here or in Europe I've climbed with.

    My wife always seems vaguely embarassed when I chide her that the extranjeros have to come to Vz to teach hospitality.

  4. Ok, just for a little journalistic clarity: the peruvians clearly are dramatizing for effect. IMHO electronic doors suck, that they don’t open the first time should not surprise given that guys’ hyperactive technique. Lack of AC in the hallways? Call that reducing your carbon footprint. A peek into a janitor’s closet showing some broken matress etc? Give me a break, maybe there was someone in there looking for something and left the door open.

    But the room looked shoddy, and the carpet dirty. It’s not about lack of infrastructure, but lack of maintenance, and most importantly, pride (the right kind). Sad thing is that keeping floors clean is just not so challenging. Fixing a hinge on a door should be child’s play. It’s not even about lack of money, just lack of organization, and caring.

    • Indeed, the guy exaggerated. I am not sure if I would be able to open a door the way he did in any hotel in Europe or in the USA.

      The stupid music trying to manipulate viewers is an insult. But it is still a shame the hotels are so badly kept.

  5. The point here is that a hotel that tries to advertise itself as a world class 5-star hotel is not up to par. Yes, there are hotels in the U.S. where I stay where the minibar door may be hanging loose, but I guarantee you if I call the front desk someone will have it fixed within the hour. And those AREN’T 5-star hotels.

    • OK, you are right. But the music is so ultimately tacky…is that norm in South American TV channels to try to put people in some mood?
      It would have been better if they had simply showed the wrecked mini bar and the crappy rugs and said: “and this costs XXXXX dollars a day”.
      That’s more convincing.

      A couple of years ago I was looking for some tourist accommodation in Bejuma…the “ecological hotel” (whatever ecological meant for them) was more expensive than a chalet in Switzerland. Of course, the Swiss chalet didn’t have the excitement you can get when trying to go from Valencia International Airport to Bejuma: the holes in the road, the cops, the robbers…

  6. Unfortunately, it’s not just Venetur hotels that are dumps. Many privately owned hotels are crappy or mediocre as well. Even the Inter Continental Hotel in Caracas where they have hosted Miss Venezuela and other big name events is said to be only average. The worst part of all of this is that the cheapest rooms in hotels that cater to foreign tourists are typically a hundred dollars a night or more, even at the “street” exchange rate!!!

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