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Hotel rates in Caracas are crazy. Business travelers fill almost every room in the city Monday through Thursday, and hotels slash their rates on weekends. Moreover, the high occupancy and heavy corporate traffic have made rack rates at most Caracas hotels almost meaningless. Few hotels actually charge their published and advertised rack rate. It always pays to ask for a corporate or special rate, and if that fails, try to bargain at all but the truly top-end hotels.

Note: Most of the upscale hotels in Caracas either list their prices in dollars, or peg them to the dollar.

Very Expensive -- In addition to the hotels mentioned in this guide, the new Pestana Caracas (tel. 0212/202-1900; www.pestana.com) is another excellent option in this category, with a luxurious rooftop pool and lounge area.

Expensive -- In addition to the hotel listed in this section, the Hotel Paseo Las Mercedes, Centro Comercial Paseo Las Mercedes (tel. 0212/993-6644; www.hotelpaseolasmercedes.com), is a business-class hotel located in the heart of the fashionable Las Mercedes shopping and dining district.

Where To Stay Near The Airport

If you're just looking for a quick overnight, are planning on heading straight to a beach, jungle or mountain destination, or simply have little use or interest in Caracas, you should consider staying near the airport.

In addition to the options listed below, the Eurobuilding Express Hotel, Av. La Armada, Urbanización 10 de Marzo, Maiquetía (tel. 0212/700-0700; www.eurobuilding.com.ve), is located directly across from the Simón Bolívar International Airport. This business-class hotel offers little in the way of personality, but they do have a free shuttle to the airport, and if you arrive late and leave early the next morning, it's worth considering. If you're looking for a budget option in the area, try the Buenavista Inn, Av. el Hotel con Calle 4, Playa Grande, Catia La Mar (tel. 0212/352-9163; www.buenavistainn.com.ve).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.