The capital of Georgia – formerly known as Tiflis – has a long and colourful history, stretching back to the 5th century. Much of this heritage is reflected in the buildings, ranging from Eastern Orthodox churches to art nouveau architecture and mid-century Soviet structures. But it has many modern draws too; a buzzing nightclub scene, speakeasy cafes, bohemian restaurants, artists’ studios and hip hotels. If you like to stay ahead of the game when it comes to discovering the next big thing in city breaks, you should definitely book a trip to Tbilisi — and here’s where to stay when you do.
Radisson Blu Tbilisi
Proximity to the Old Town and a setting within the commercial centre of the capital ensures this Radisson Blu suits both leisure and business. Visit the Filini Restaurant for an Italian meal; the Asian Fusion Restaurant for some teppanyaki or teriyaki cooked in the open kitchen; the Casino Iveria for a flutter and the spa for Anne Semonin treatments. 236 bedrooms here have floor-to-ceiling windows (some with panoramic mountain views) and coffee machines. Other facilities include a sauna, an indoor pool and an outdoor pool with a bar.
Rooms Hotel Tbilisi
Like many of the venues in the city, this building has an interesting industrial past. Once a publishing house, it’s found in the suburb of Vera, occupying eight storeys. There are 125 bedrooms, each with minibars, Marshall speakers, Prija bath products, balconies and contemporary artworks. The design has been inspired by New York in the 1930s (a vibe that’s aided by the warehouse/loft architecture of the property). Comfy tan leather and velvet sofas and art deco orb lighting contrast the industrial-chic accents, creating a fashionable, but cosy ambience. The restaurant follows the Big Apple theme in its menus, with farm-to-table dishes and there are two bars, one alfresco.
With bedrooms and spaces that could be mistaken for a Greenwich Village loft apartment, Stamba is homely but cool. Very cool. Stay in an Aviator or Terrace Suite, with features like art-deco inspired tan leather beds, white industrial beamed ceilings, gold and black freestanding tubs, glossy khaki paintwork and large abstracts — a lot of effort has been invested in the design detail, with plenty of retro artefacts. The lobby is filled with floor to ceiling bookcases and living trees, offsetting the brutalist architecture. Stamba has its own Space Farm, growing baby and leafy greens, edible flowers, strawberries and miniature vegetables for the hotel’s all-day cafe, chocolaterie and Asian restaurant. It also has a photo museum, an amphitheatre and a Pink Bar.
Tbilisi Marriott Hotel
On the refined Rustaveli Avenue, this five-star Marriott hotel offers classic grandeur with its impressive frontage, huge crystal chandeliers, indoor palms and marble bathrooms. Bedrooms take on a more modern feel with geo-patterns, mid-century inspired contemporary furnishings and a cosy, yet minimalist approach to decor. Each is soundproofed and comes with Acca Kappa toiletries, coffee makers, mini bars, light up make-up mirrors, robes and slippers, Parnas Café is the hotel’s signature restaurant, serving national and international fare, while daytime snacks and lunches can be taken at the Majestic Lounge & Bar.
Wyndham Grand Tbilisi
Close to the Marriott, the Wyndham is a great option for access to a spa. The wellness centre has a fitness suite, a heated indoor pool and a sauna, with a great choice of treatments. Guests can dine on European food 24 hours a day at Lobby Lounge and receive a daily complimentary continental breakfast. Rooms come with indulgent toiletries, pillow-top mattresses and epic views, while superior suites – housed in a dramatic glass dome – have unusual curved geometric-paned floor to ceiling windows.