the first arrivals at Sochi have revealed the utter chaos two days before the official opening.
Despite having more than seven years to prepare, four-star hotels such as the Hyatt Regency, which were meant to open in late 2013, are still full of workers cutting stone for the forecourt.
Meanwhile furniture still wrapped in plastic remains stacked in the lobby. And one athlete revealed on Twitter that his pot of honey came with a dead bee inside.
It is not clear how investors, contractors and organisers all fell so far behind, but the delay has meant many guests have been told to stay in one of the five cruise ships moored in the harbour until their rooms have finished being built.
A two-minute walk down the road, small independent hotels are trying to cash in on some of the bigger hotels' failure. Built on a patch of former waste ground behind an office block, one is charging up to €200 a night for bizarrely furnished rooms with no internet, patchy electricity, and a view of a blank wall.
One participant shared a photo of a woman spray painting some dry earth green, in an effort to make the area look brighter.
The rule is money up-front and in cash. “We don’t take cards - its on the website,” the frowning manager informed one non-plussed guest who was asked to hand over 70,000 rubles - the equivalent of over €1500 - for his week’s stay in hard currency. Failure to settle up immediately, he warned, would result in them revoking your local registration: an essential document in ring-of-steel Sochi.
A light fixture that crashed on the bed of one journalist in the media hotel.