Tbilisi, Georgia

Photo: Rooms Hotel Tbilisi

Tbilisi is one of the hottest destinations in the world right now. The city along the Kura River is in Georgia, the crossroads of Europe and Asia. It’s known for its eclectic architecture, unique museums, beautiful churches, and traditional food. It has a large central plaza (Freedom Square), an ancient hillside fortress (Narikala), and a bow-shaped pedestrian bridge (the Bridge of Peace). Everyone from artists and late-night partyers to foodies and history buffs is flocking to the unique city. You’re heading straight to Vera.

Vera is a centrally located neighborhood that sits in between the Kura River and funicular-accessed Mount Mtatsminda. It’s a quiet area with lots of hidden gardens and green Vera Park. The Tbilisi Concert Hall, where the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra plays, is just steps away. Barnovi and Zandukeli Streets are lined with little cafes. Plus it has a creative, bohemian vibe. You’re here because of a specific boutique hotel.

Rooms Hotel was a publishing house when the city was under Soviet rule. The eight-story building featured high ceilings, exposed wooden beams, and warehouse-style windows. A few years ago, it was given a new facade (reclaimed wood and black-metal trim) and an old style (1930s New York). It’s now an industrial-chic design hotel.

Photo: Rooms Hotel Tbilisi

You immediately feel at home—or at least like you’re in a friend’s perfectly decorated one—when you arrive at Rooms Hotel. A bellhop, wearing a retro uniform, greets you at the door. He grabs your luggage and leads you into the lobby. It looks like a library with a book-filled wall and leather chairs. Another wall is all glass. It extends into the Kitchen Restaurant and the Bar Room. The former serves farm-to-table meals (think duck ravioli with applesauce); the latter offers snacks and seasonal cocktails. There’s also an outside Garden Bar. The living greenhouse has foliage climbing all over its walls and herbs that are put in drinks as soon as they’re clipped.

Though you’re tempted to immediately order a Watermelon Gimlet (made with botanical gin, fresh watermelon, and lime), you should at least check out your room first. Your Terrace Queen is, well, perfect. The fifth-floor room is light and bright with crisp white walls and sunlight streaming through its French doors. It has a leather headboard, a wooden desk, and a view of the courtyard garden. While its amenities include a cocktail kit and a recipe book for you to mix your own specialty cocktail. Testing your mixology skills will have to wait, though. You’re going back to the Garden Bar to cheers your arrival in Tbilisi.

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