Room prices rocket in Rio as landlords dig for Olympic gold

Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:44pm EDT
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By Juliana Schincariol

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - With hotels mostly booked, landlords are charging a pretty penny for tourists still seeking accommodation in Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics in August -- asking as much as $2,305 per night for a three-bedroom apartment far from venues and beaches.

With 97.3 percent of hotels full, according to price-comparison site Trivago, visitors are resorting to room rental websites like Airbnb to find lodging.

From penthouses in the plush beachside neighborhoods of Leblon and Ipanema to bare brick homes clinging to the hillsides of Rio slums, or favelas, lodging of all types is on offer.

But some Cariocas, as Rio locals are known, appear a little overeager to turn a profit.

Taxi driver Vitor Hugo Alves is trying to rent out his three-bedroom apartment in the traditional neighborhood of Cosme Velho for 8,000 reais ($2,305) per night during the games.

The apartment has a view of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, but is 8 km (5 miles) from Copacabana beach and 35 km (22 miles) from the Olympic Park.

"I haven't managed to rent it out yet," Alves told Reuters. "There's been less interest than I'd hoped."

Across town, 37-year-old Filipe Passos seeks to rent out a one-room apartment near Galeao airport for 20,000 reais ($5,764) for the 17-day event.   Continued...

An apartment with a board which reads "Rent for season" is pictured in Copacabana neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 13, 2016.  REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes