Since we relocated to Dubai, its opened so many doors to little gems like this, while living in South Africa, we would never in a million years have dreamed of going to Georgia. One of the perks of living in the UAE is that travelling is so much easier and only a 3-4 hours flight from here, you can find the most beautiful places. Well, Georgia is just one of these places, and in the last 3 years, it was high on ‘THE TRAVELING LIST’. Earlier last year I discovered a hotel in Tbilisi called Rooms Hotel and immediately fell in love, design heaven. They are also a member of Design Hotels, which if you don’t know about yet, go have a look, its hotels and locations one can only dream of! I soon found they have another hotel up in the mountains, Rooms Kazbegi. So there it was, easy peasy, one country, six days, two completely different experiences and two stunning hotels.
Day 1 | We took the late night flight out of Dubai with flydubai and 3 hours later landed in a very chilly Georgia, grabbed the 1st taxi we could and headed to the mountains. Arriving at 3 am in the morning, meant we slept most of the drive to the hotel. Just before sunrise, we arrived at this breathtaking location, with the most amazing view of the snowy mountains, and as the sun started to rise the colours changed from a blues to pinks, to yellow… picture perfect. We spend most of the day relaxing around the hotel, playing dominos, enjoy the cool fresh air, trying some amazing local cuisine and soaking up the stunning surroundings.
Day 2 | After a little lie-in we headed for a breakfast feast! We decided to visit Gergeti Trinity Church which is on the opposite mountain from the hotel. Now to get to Gergeti Trinity Church you can either do a scenic 3-hour hike or take a taxi provided by the hotel which is about a 30-minute drive to the top. Guess what we took… A local taxi driver picked us up in a 4×4 and took us on a little adventure. Driving up a mountain, on a very narrow path, in snow, through tiny streams and up steep hills, I would say it was quite the adventure. Once at the top, we took a walk to the church, surrounded by snowy mountains as far as the eye could see. Gergeti Trinity Church is a beautiful old church dating back the 18th century and is situated on the right bank of the river Chkheri, at an elevation of 2170 meters, under Mount Kazbegi. Well worth a visit!
Day 3 | Early start to the day and off to the slopes. About 45 mins drive from Rooms Hotel Kazbegi is Guduari Ski Resort. Now, Barry and I have done a little snowboarding in the past but decided this time around will give skiing ago. We took some lessons from a local instructor and it was a great experience, but let’s just say we’ll be sticking to snowboarding in the future. After a couple runs, we ditched the ski’s and headed to the top for lunch. The weather was perfect, lunch o’ so delicious, the beers cold and THE VIEWS, well breathtaking, just perfection! Back at the ski resorts we took a little walk around, did some snow tubing (the most fun ever) and as perfect as endings could be, it started snowing. So so unbelievably beautiful!
Day 4 | Started with a swim in hotels beautiful indoor 30ft heated pool. Typical us, expected it to be way warmer than 21 degrees, so let’s just call it a quick dip. After breakfast, it was time packed and say goodbye to the tranquillity of Kazbegi.
- Use a local taxi from the airport to Kazbegi, it a little more affordable than the hotel transport around GEL 300 on way.
- Use the local taxi’s around Kazbegi, they are very friendly and affordable.
- There isn’t a lot going on in Kazbegi, but they do have a couple of little local restaurants in the town centre, which is well worth a visit for a local experience.
- Things to do, hike up to Gergeti Trinity Church or to the Gveleti Waterfall or a scenic helicopter ride, all organised by the hotel.
- Not everyone in the town can speak English, but everyone are still so helpful and friendly and love the tourist. So a lot of pointing, smiling and ‘yes’ could get you around.
- Georgia has delicious wine, so be sure to try as many different varieties as possible. Epessicaly the ones that are still fermented in the true Georgian style in a Kveri.
- The Georgian National dish is Khachapuri, or otherwise also known as cheese boat. The freshly baked bread shaped in various ways, usually with Georgian cheese in the middle and a crust which is ripped off and used to dip in the cheese. Try these in all shapes and sizes.
- Foods to try | Khinkali (similar to a dumpling), Lobio (bean stew), Mtsvadi (meat skewers), Kharcho (meat stew).
Thank you Kazbegi for having us and till next time!
Next stop Tbilisi.