It’s not a bad deal, after all. While the world sees India in all its dirty Third World clichés, the foreign players who’ve reached Delhi, are living like maharajas. With the Commonwealth Games Village (CWG) deemed “filthy” and “unlivable” by some, players of a few countries have been temporarily put up in 5-star hotels.
HT City sneaked into Lodhi Road’s Aman Hotel to discover a contingent of English players chilling out in the lobby. They were clearly house guests, though the hotel refused to confirm it. “We shall not be able to say anything about the CWG players in our hotel,” said the spokesperson.
“It would have been great to live in the Village, but I don’t mind this either,” said an athlete, heading to the poolside, who refused to give his name. The hotel’s room rates start at R25,000 per night. The Games’s Organising Committee (OC) will foot the bill.
“If you greet the players, they give you a cheery smile,” said a restaurant steward. “Security and privacy of the players are our priorities. But nothing should seem out of the ordinary, especially when other people (non-players) are visiting the hotel.” The staff has been instructed to watch out for anyone taking pictures in the lobby or restaurants.
Other hotels too, are playing host to foreign athletes. The Ashok, Taj Ambassador, Shangri-La, Le Meridian and Hilton have been turned into fortresses. Players are mostly confined to their hotels. While a few were spotted at Khan Market on Saturday evening, some players in Aman got their hair done at the hotel’s Kim Robinson Salon, where a haircut costs close to R12,000. It’s just one of the many prices that
OC have to pay for not finishing its job on time.