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MatPlus.Net Forum Competitions Details about WCCC & WCSC invitation for Rio 2009
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(1) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Saturday, Nov 22, 2008 14:12]

Details about WCCC & WCSC invitation for Rio 2009

The Proposal I got on November 10, contains higher prices than expected. In order to help delegates make the important decision, it would be very useful to hear some more details from our Brazilian friends, and to have some questions and answers in the Forum.
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(2) Posted by Michael McDowell [Saturday, Nov 22, 2008 15:55]

You might like to look at the reviews of the hotel on this site.
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(3) Posted by Marcos Roland [Saturday, Nov 22, 2008 23:13]

Hello chess friends,

Although I didn't participate in the negociations with Othon Palace Hotel (Roberto Stelling, Leonardo Mano and overboard GM Darcy Lima conducted the affair), I'd like to say some words about the matter.
In 2002, I myself organized an international event in Rio de Janeiro, for the Harmonized System Committee of the World Customs Organization. In that occasion, I asked for proposals from several well known and good hotels (Hotel Gloria, Hotel Copacabana Palace, Hotel Rio Palace,among others), and finally chose Othon Palace: the other hotels of the same level were much more expensive. So, it didn't surprise me that my colleagues arrived at the same conclusion. Othon Palace is a very good and very well located hotel, indeed.
I've heard from Roberto that a single room for the WCCC meeting in Othon Palace would cost about 90 euros by night, breakfast and dinner included. Given the high costs of the plane tickets from Europe to Brazil, the hotel rates seem very expensive: I can understand you. But, at the same time, I have to say you, it would be nearly impossible to have a better value for your money in Rio de Janeiro.
If I could be of any assistance to you, about Rio de Janeiro and its hotels, please don't hesitate in putting your questions. Specifically about the Othon's proposal, Roberto is the right person to give you further information.

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(4) Posted by [Sunday, Nov 23, 2008 12:39]

Marjan Kovačević wrote:

> ... questions and answers

Are the details public? Can anyone post them or point to them?
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(5) Posted by Paz Einat [Sunday, Nov 23, 2008 14:20]

The reviews on the hotel in the link Michael sent are terrible. It appears more like a 2-star hotel in a disguise of a 5-star... unless it was renovated very very recently...last bad review on July 10, 2008.
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(6) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Monday, Nov 24, 2008 12:38]

Thank you all for supporting this urgent subject. I expect Roberto will decide if we may publish here the text of Proposal. However, the important facts are: half board prices are 90 euros in a single room, 69 for a person in a double, 58 in a triple. There are additional 40 for excursion, with 120 entry-fee for using other hotels.
This sounds to me as a great misunderstanding. In Jurmala we thought the accommodation would be very cheap (perhaps out of Rio?) to compensate for the expensive flight, and to allow staying longer than a week. In fact, the prices above are the highest ever.
Out of the arrangement with the hotel, you may have noticed the excursion was included in the price all the way before Jurmala. Then, the entry-fee of 90 dollars seemed too much for me 5 years ago, but it is getting higher every year.
One of the reasons against the Turkish proposal was the entry-fee, raised up to 150 euros. However, there were other reasons, like seeing no one from Turkey having interest to come to Jurmala, contrary to our Brazilian friends, whose enthusiasm inspired all of us.
The delegates should give their opinions till November 30.
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(7) Posted by Michael McDowell [Monday, Nov 24, 2008 12:38]

Here are some other links to reviews of the hotel. I'm afraid it's mostly a similar story.
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(8) Posted by Marcos Roland [Monday, Nov 24, 2008 12:51]

You can see other reviews at
Any way, some of the reviews aren't objective. For example, one of them says that most of the staff don't speak English: nonsense, all of them speak English; most of them speak Spanish too.
The thing is: most of the time, Othon is a very crowded hotel, probably because it gives the best discounts. Maybe the building really needs some upgrade, and they don't do it because the hotel is always crowded. So, there's always people unsatisfied, and probably most of them have good reasons for that.
On the other hand, I myself didn't become 100% happy with the hotels in Rhodes and Jurmala; but you cannot have everything by the prices I've paid in those places.
The decisive aspects of Othon Palace, in my opinion, are location (better almost impossible) and value for money. Even so, there will also be people unsatisfied regarding to location...
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(9) Posted by [Monday, Nov 24, 2008 15:31]; edited by [08-11-24]

I asked about details ...

... so just in case there are other uninformed non-delegates asking the
same question, I should perhaps pass on some explanations that I received
in private mail: it is apparently a question to the PCCC delegates that
has prompted the discussion, and there are no details for the rest of us
generally available at this point. [ ... oops, now I see that some of the
details have been provided above. Oh well, ... :-) ]

But as the local weather is so unpleasant just now, I'll see if I can find
a tourist guide to Rio on my way home ...
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(10) Posted by [Monday, Nov 24, 2008 19:52]

Paz Einat said:
>The reviews on the hotel in the link Michael sent are terrible.

But they would be, wouldn't they? Comparatively few of those who were satisfied would feel
an urge to tell the rest of the world about it, while very many of those who disliked their stay
would feel a strong need to get back at the hotel in some way. A number of good reviews
with about three to four times as many bad reviews would probably mean the hotel is
decent, on average, if you see what I mean.

A bit like eBay in reverse, perhaps: on eBay everyone gets positive feedback.

Perhaps I'm not suspicious enough, or suspicious in the wrong direction -- but I see little
reason to trust anonymous reviewers to have the balanced or impartial view that I would
look for when selecting a hotel.

Marcos, I assume that the participants of the convention you mentioned were asked to review
the hotel -- do you remember how that review came out? Even if it was some years ago.
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(11) Posted by Marcos Roland [Monday, Nov 24, 2008 23:03]

Well, Anders, about the event I organized in 2002, I didn't ask for any reviews from the participants concerning the hotel, specifically. I used to work for the Brazilian Customs, I was tecnically involved, as a Delegate, in the meeting, so my concern was the overall assesment of the event, the general conditions the participants had to do their job. Only I can tell you is that everyone was happy with the event, everybody loved to stay in Rio de Janeiro. I just remember one item they praised unanimously: the food (we had breakfast and lunch at the hotel). Regarding the rooms, service, etc., nobody came to me to complain nor to praise.
In the last day, when I was saying good bye to the Director of Tariff Affairs of the World Customs Organization, Mr. Helmut Kapler, from USA, he said to me, politely, that the hotel was very good. And few weeks later he wrote to my boss, as usual, praising my work in organizing the meeting. That's all.
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(12) Posted by Paz Einat [Wednesday, Nov 26, 2008 17:40]

Anders, you have a sound hypothesis. All you need to do is to check it by looking at reviews on other hotels in the city. I know from experience in Eurpean hotels that there were, overall, good reviews on some hotel and bad reviews on others.
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MatPlus.Net Forum Competitions Details about WCCC & WCSC invitation for Rio 2009