If you go
THE BEST WAY TO SOCHI, RUSSIA
From LAX, Aeroflot, Turkish, Lufthansa, Air France, KLM. British, United, Swiss,Delta and Virgin Atlantic offering connecting service (change of plane) to Sochi. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $1,021.50, including taxes and fees.
Sochi is 12 hours ahead of Los Angeles. In early December, the Russian ruble was trading at about 33 per U.S. dollar.
To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 7 (the country code for Russia), 862 (the city code for Sochi), followed by the local number.
WHERE TO STAY
Peak Hotel, 77 Zashchitnikov Kavkaza, Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi; 259-5999, http://www.peakhotel.ru/en. Four-star government rating. Two restaurants, two pools, spa, 92 guest rooms, five chalets, five villas. Ten-minute drive from nearest ski lifts. Buffet breakfast included. Rooms for two $160 to $180 in winter (already booked for the Olympics).
Tulip Inn, Rosa Khutor Resort, Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi; 243-0000, http://www.lat.ms/1htxocC). Three-star government ranking. 148 rooms, restaurant. Two-minute walk from the resort's ski lifts. Completed in 2011. Rooms for two $175 to $250 in winter (already booked for Olympics).
WHERE TO EAT
Chaika, 1 Voikova St., Sochi; 241-8164, http://www.bosco.ru). In the handsome Marine Passenger Terminal along Sochi's coast. European and Russian dishes. Large patio with sea view. Run by the retailer Bosco, which designed Russia's uniforms for the Games. Lunch and dinner. Most main dishes $13 to $21.
Red Fox, Building 13, Lavanda 3, Rosa Khutor Resort, Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi; 274-4444, en.redfoxsochi.ru/about/). French and Russian cuisine, regional ingredients, high style. Named for a rare animal in the mountains. Seats 117. Opened November 2012. Main dishes $16 to $36.
TO LEARN MORE
Olympics guide: http://www.sochi2014.com/en/
City guide: http://www.sochicityguide.com/