Stamba — Tbilisi, Georgia
Since the launch of Rooms Kazbegi, its hotel among the looming Caucasus Mountain Range, Georgian hospitality group Adjara has quietly been turning heads with the opening of a series of cool projects that have become known for their design, architecture and commitment to local culture. Following the opening of Fabrika – a dynamic hostel housed in a former sewing factory – its latest venture Stamba hotel, also in Tbilisi, has touched down in the emerging Vera neighbourhood, just a short stroll from Rustaveli Avenue, the city’s main artery that is lined with landmarks such as the Moorish-style State Opera House.
Pitching up within the brutalist skeleton of a former 1930s publishing house – also once the site of the city’s first cognac distillery – the hotel sits quietly within its original surroundings, blending its concrete superstructure with contemporary details from handmade ceramic tiles by London-based studio Pataki to local artwork like the whimsical wallpaper by Georgian designer Maya Sumbadze. The striking atrium lobby meanwhile extends the full-height of the building, after five floors were removed, leaving only the structural pillars for support. This dramatic architectural feat is best admired from the surrounding internal balconies or from inside the glass-bottomed rooftop pool.
Stamba hotel’s guestrooms follow a similar industrial-luxe aesthetic, with exposed brickwork, lofty ceilings and oversized windows, which are exact replicas of those that were once featured on the façade of the publishing house. This is softened with plush touches like squishy deep-pile carpets, butter-soft leather bedheads, comfortable armchairs upholstered in natural wool, freestanding copper bathtubs, and a soaring bookshelf along one wall.
The hotel’s curb-side restaurant, which spills out onto a buzzing inner courtyard terrace, has fast become a local hotspot that hums from the first serving of cheesy khachapuri in the morning to last orders at night. Expect modern comfort food from whole roasted chicken straight from the rotisseri to traditional Georgian dishes like chakapuli (lamb stew cooked with tarragon and wild plums) served within an industrial chic setting layered with vintage mosaic tiles, salvaged mint-green leather booths and sparkly art deco chandeliers.
If this is not enough to keep you in, try the restaurant at Rooms, Stamba’s adjoining sister property, where juicy steaks are served alongside a menu of killer cocktails. Or, for even more variety, head over the road to Lolita to nibble on crowd-pleasing offerings from burgers to hotdogs, while rubbing shoulders with the city’s creative elite.