Swellegant Stays: ROOMS, Tbilisi – Tbilisi, Georgia


ROOMS, Tbilisi

Tbilisi, Georgia

There is no doubt that Tbilisi is one of Europe’s coolest cities, but what is less well known is that Georgia’s capital is also blessed with some of the continent’s swankiest Design Hotels. And the hotel which capture’s Tbilisi’s laid-back-yet-funky vibe better than any other is ROOMS. In the past few years, ROOMS has established itself not only as a cultural landmark but also the place to be seen.

The architects who took on this former Soviet publishing house in Tbilisi’s Vera District had their work cut out for them. The building was industrial-looking and mostly derelict, and it is hard to imagine how they saw such potential in it. But imagination and plucky determination, combined with serious financial investment, go a long way in a place like Georgia, and the transformation is nothing short of remarkable. ROOMS’ guests fall in love with the building’s fusion of the past and present, function and aesthetics, and the array of different construction materials. Many of the components, from floor tiles to light fittings, have been upcycled, and some of the ornaments are tongue-in-cheek: a bust of Joseph Stalin has been snuck surreptitiously into a line up of Snow White’s seven dwarves.

Much as I was enticed by the prospect of being an Urban Queen, ROOMS’ best places to stay are the Garden View and Terrace Suites. All the rooms have a strong retro feel, but this is complemented with plenty of natural light and modern technology like Marshall speakers and powerful rain showers. I was quite tempted to copy the bold printed wallpaper and medieval-style chandelier combo at home, but am unsure how this over-the-top playfulness would translate in a London apartment!

As in everywhere else in Georgia, ROOMS takes eating and drinking very seriously. In fine weather nothing beats the Garden Bar, which is outdoors but feels as if you’re sitting in a greenhouse. There’s no excuse for skipping Georgia’s famous wines, but save space for one of ROOMS’ signature cocktails, too, and then move on through to The Kitchen where Danish restaurateur Frederik Bille Brahe has curated a menu mixing Nordic, American, and Georgian flavors in unforgettable combinations.  



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