Sochi First Look: Rosa Khutor

I’ve been here in Sochi for several weeks now working at the Olympics and in that time Rosa Khutor has definitely become my favorite area to spend time. It’s hard to define what Rosa Khutor is exactly. I suppose it’s a town, but it’s so small I’m not sure it even qualifies. It’s more of a commercial area filled with hotels, restaurants, bars and shops that makes up part of the Sochi Mountain Cluster. What I like about the area is that it feels real. It doesn’t feel like temporary structures erected for the Games. It has a real alpine mountain feel to it and there are legitimate places to eat drink and shop.

Rosa Khutor is divided by a river that makes the area all the more picturesque

Rosa Khutor is divided by a river that makes the area all the more picturesque

Of course there is nothing “real” about Rosa Khutor. According to my friends who were here a year ago, this little “town” didn’t even exist before the Olympics. In fact, even the river that runs through it was manually straightened to create a more pleasurable landscape to build the town around. Even as a fake town, it has a lot to offer and the views of the surrounding Western Caucasus really can’t be beat. Of course, the best part of Rosa Khutor is how accessible it is. The town is just a short walk from Krasnaya Polyana’s central train station and also accessible by several cable-car gondolas that take you directly to many of the Olympic venues. After the Games, this town will go back to being a resort but there’s no doubt it will be one of the most desirable places to spend time in this region.

Rosa Khutor as seen from the Sanki cable-way

Rosa Khutor as seen from the Sanki cable-way

Rosa Square and its clock-tower mark the center of Rosa Khutor and the hub of activity

Rosa Square and its clock-tower mark the center of Rosa Khutor and the hub of activity

The Red Fox is just one of several higher end bars and restaurants available

The Red Fox is just one of several higher end bars and restaurants available

Potatoes roasting in a giant pot is just one of the examples of Rosa Khutor's abundant street food

Potatoes roasting in a giant pot is just one of the examples of Rosa Khutor’s abundant street food

The town is dotted with shops, hotels and cable-car stations all up and down the river

The town is dotted with shops, hotels and cable-car stations all up and down the river

There really isn't much you can't buy in Rosa Khutor

There really isn’t much you can’t buy in Rosa Khutor

I don't know how these aren't sold out yet

I don’t know how these aren’t sold out yet

A bit of old world charm in the heart of Rosa Khutor

A bit of old world charm in the heart of Rosa Khutor

Although accessible by train and bus, the best way to get to Rosa Khutor is by cable-car

Although accessible by train and bus, the best way to get to Rosa Khutor is by cable-car

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