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The Best Hotels in Tbilisi

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Best Hotels in Tbilisi

Tbilisi Hotels

The smells of smoked kolbasa sausage and sizzling mtsvadi meat skewers will welcome you to the streets of this history-filled capital, which is Georgia in a nutshell. A quarter of the population live in the sprawling city, and Georgians have been drawn here for thousands of years to bathe in the naturally-heated sulphur baths, which bubble blissfully. As a historical crossroads between Europe and Asia, you can wander the meandering streets of the Old Town, which were shaped to cater to weary traders, before climbing to crumbling fortresses, which stand as a reminder of the city's blood-stained past.

Things to see

Take the trip to Turtle Lake, on a hot summer's day, to feel the cool, olive-coloured water against your skin, as you swim with the city sprawled out beside you. Push through the water on a pedal boat, or give your arm muscles a workout while racing in kayaks. The great views just keep coming, and Narikala fortress lets you watch over the city from its weathered battlements. Hike up to the ruins - past the red petals of poppies exploding from black buds - or sit back aboard a cable car and swing up above the multi-tiered, Georgian tetrahedron-style Tsminda Sameba Cathedral. The cathedral was only completed in 2004 and, along with the Bridge of Peace, is a bold example of this city breaking out of the Soviet shackles that held it back for so long. The glass bridge twists across the Kura River, and shines with colour and optimism at night – which has added resonance, considering the chronic power shortages that the city used to suffer under Soviet rule.

Hotels in Tbilisi

A collection of well-equipped youth hostels and cheap hotels mean budget travellers can stay in comfort, while taking advantage of laundry services, free WiFi and telephones to call home. At the other end of the scale, you can flash the cash in luxury options, where huge glass chandeliers sparkle in lobbies, and bartenders spin cocktail shakers with precision. The glamour doesn’t stop downstairs, and you’ll be shown to rooms with parcels of chocolate neatly wrapped on the pillows, and fragrant flowers beaming in the windows. The top hotels also offer spectacular spa facilities - so give your back a kneading, before soaking in a warm indoor infinity pool, while looking down over the city’s shimmering lights.

Where to stay

Stay in the Old Town, to wander between curvaceous European-style buildings, painted with fading blues and pinks. In the evenings, try some local Georgian wines, and taste the 8,000 year history in every sip - the wines here are still made using traditional clay Kvevri pots. The Abanotubani District is the ideal place to rest your legs, as the warm smell of sulphur drifts through the air from its sizzling spas. Or, stay to the south of the city, where you can look up to see the reassuring figure of Kartlis Deda - Mother Georgia - watching over you. The 20-metre-tall aluminium statue holds out a glass of wine in friendly greeting, but don’t mistake her openness for weakness - a lowered sword sits defiantly in her other hand.

How to get to Tbilisi

Tbilisi International Airport serves a variety of Middle Eastern airlines, but just a few European flights - so you’ll need to connect from somewhere like Moscow or Warsaw. Bus 37 will take you into the city centre once you land. If you want to explore a little, taxis can help you hop around the city, and you may prefer using them to renting a car, as driving can be a little manic. International sleeper trains run to Baku in Azerbaijan, and Yerevan in Armenia.