While millions of travellers visit cities such as Paris and Rome every year, Europe is teeming with lesser-known destinations that are just as captivating when it comes to culture, cuisine and everything in-between.
Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, is one such unique European getaway to mark for your next vacation. As one of the oldest cities in Europe, it boasts a variety of historical sites thanks to its colourful past. Standing by the ages when Georgia was ruled by Russia, Iran, the Arabs, Persians and even the Mongols, Tbilisi’s rich history is reflected deeply in its diverse architecture and food. Since the times of turmoil, Tbilisi has blossomed into Georgia’s creative hub, thriving with innovation.
For a dose of Tbilisian life, swing by the numerous Georgian Orthodox Churches and Cathedrals in the day and relax in historic bathhouses with hot, sulphur-rich water by the evening to cap off a perfect day. However, one thing’s for sure: whether you’re strolling the ruins of Narikala, or tracing their Middle Eastern and Russian roots into the backstreets of the town, this city is a treasure trove for history aficionados.
Here are five of the best boutique hotels to use as a spring board to explore Tbilisi.
In a city more than 1,400 years old, Rooms Hotel Tbilisi illuminates with a combination of classic 1930s New York design and old-world Tbilisi charm. Formerly an eight-story Soviet-era publishing house, the Hotel is currently situated amidst the entrancing neighbourhood of Vera. Meander down cobbled streets and wander off the beaten path with their specially designed guided tours to discover this beautiful city. Back in the comfort of your room, bask in the views of Chovelidze Street and delight your tastebuds with a delectable weekly menu using locally sourced ingredients from “The Kitchen” — the restaurant downstairs.
Just a seven-minute walk from the famous Sulphur baths, Abanotuban, Folk Boutique Hotel is situated within Krtsanisi Park for the perfect balance of nature. One might imagine noise and disturbance due to its central location, but the peace and serenity from this stay is almost exemplary despite the close distance to the city’s buzzing nightlife and Freedom Square. Folk Boutique Hotel pays homage to Georgian history through the eyes of fashion, illustrating Georgian dresses and elements from the XVIII century in all guest rooms as well as its hotel reception. This 4-star experience encompasses the traditions common to Georgian culture whilst maintaining an air of elegance and contemporary designs in their architectural decisions.
The Grove is an icon for innovation. The building’s architectural design was shaped to integrate the group of cypress trees to honour the vegetation by serving as a giant planter. Each of the 39 rooms feature spatial experimentations to deliver a unique aesthetic experience. The interiors are left without any objects of art or any other visually descriptive images so that their guests is the visual center of the world.
Location is key here at Shota, making it perfect for travellers seeking easy access to the city’s sights. Just 100 metres away from Tbilisi’s main street, guests still experience a comfortable stay thanks to a quiet street across the avenue. Gourmands can tickle their tastebuds at Melograno, one of the city’s finest restaurants located in Shota. Here, culinary delights come together in one convenient location. The hotel is armed with a swimming pool, sauna and gym, making it a home away from home you cannot miss.
You can be sure that quality is of the essence once you step into Moxy Tbilisi, the first Moxy Hotel in Georgia. Situated on grounds once destined to be a metro station, this funky hotel now sits in Saarbrücken Square, with nearby 19th century buildings that house quaint shops, nice restaurants and vibrant wine bars. Made specially for guests who want more than just a regular stay, Moxy Tbilisi draws you in for a drink or two in their roomy, light, locally designed lobby as you bob your head to the tunes of resident DJs. From freshly brewed joe in the lobby to grab- and-go bites, low tech play time and crafted cocktails, Moxy Tbilisi is every bit of unexpected fun both in and around Tbilisi.