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Boutique Hotel British House

5 out of 5 from 1 review
Tamar Chovelidze Street 32 (ex. Belinski Street), Vera, 0108 Tbilisi City, Georgia

1 Review

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Review Overview

  • Cleanliness
  • Food
  • Service
  • Location
James Ensor
British House a haven in Tbilisi - a tour bus city.
5 years 6 months ago
Georgia remains stuck in the soviet Inturist era Coachloads of Asian hurtle from airport to hotel to site to restaurant. If you arrive behind one you will have a long wait. In Tbilisi, the former capital, the big hotels are along the main street, Rustaveli. This runs for over a mile from Freedom Square on the edge of the Old Town to Rustaveli square. The British House is about 500m up the hill. It is a ramshackle 19th century building with narrow squares. One room is up an external spiral fire escape.

There are balconies overlooking the city and when the Metro is not on strike, it whisks you to the Old Town in one stop. The former British part-owner has long departed: but some Indian inlaid furniture and British landscape prints remain. The staff, some of whom are graduates with good english are welcoming and will make you breakfast at 6am. The owner`s offspring also have good english and bought raspberries to go with our breakfast porridge. Otherwise breakfast is blinis or pancakes with ham or cheese or jam and the Georgian thick cheese-bread. Some rooms have balconies with views over the city. It does not have a restaurant.

But just down the hill on Choveladze (named for a martyr of the resistance against Russia) is an excellent restaurant disguised as a cafe and misleadingly called Public Cafe. The daughter of the house speaks good English and will prepare special Georgian dishes given enough prior warning. Local wine is special and often tastes too young, But the lager is nice.

If you fly to Tbilisi the hotel will arrange to collect you. But most will fly to Kutaisi, the new capital, five hours away. Wizz Air, a Hungarian copy of Ryanair, flies there by night at half the fares of any other route. Georgian Bus meets the flights but dumps you by a race-track in Tbilisi in the early hours. It is best to ask a Georgian to call a taxi on the Russian Uber which will cost just over £1 - as if you flag one down he will ask for £17.

Except by metro (there is one line with a spur) getting around Tbilisi is a matter of braving the broken down pavements, dank tunnels, and the aggressive traffic on foot as there is no bus map and destination boards are in Georgian script. You can take a Minibus from the northern suburbs to most places or the Turkish Metrobus six times a day to Kutaisi and Batumi for about £6-9, from a southern suburb.

Taxis cost about £2 if you order from the hotel, which was kind enough to give us a half-day trip to a nunnery, after we moaned about waling around during the metro strike.

Travel operator: Wizz Air

Hotel tip: Try for the top floor but avoid the room with the spiral fire escape.


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