0 Replies Latest reply: Apr 1, 2010 1:11 PM by cancerkiller RSS

Caracas

cancerkiller Platinum 1 Reviews
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 My wife and I just returned from a trip that included a stop in Caracas.  We stayed at the newly-opened Marriott Playa Grande, which is near the airport, and the airport we found is one long drive (in nearly bumper to bumper traffic, so it takes about an hour) from the city.  This Marriott has been open only since the first week in February, and it needs one heck of a lot of work.  Only the managers are fluent in English, and nearly every time we communicated with anyone below manager level, it was my broken Spanish trying to communicate with their broken English.  Also, my opinion is to STAY AWAY from that country entirely!  The fixed exchange rate for the bolivar is 2.14 to the dollar, while the black market is some 3-4 to the dollar.  Of course, all places to exchange dollars give you the fixed rate and all charges at the hotel are at the fixed rate.  This results, for example, in $16 for a small glass of house wine at the bar, and prices on upward for even a simple Marriott Club Sandwich.  Then Hugo Chavez's govt nails you again at the airport with 2 separate fees to get out of that country.  We had to pay US$230 in total fees (in bolivars of course, making one pay the exchange bank fee too) just to depart the airport.  What a ripoff, and the bumper to bumper traffic everywhere makes any attempt at sightseeing essentially useless.  This is NOT a country to visit unless your business makes it necessary!

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