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Stamba Hotel Tbilisi review: prepare to be impressed at every turn in this Soviet-era ex-publishing house

montage of images showcasing the interiors and bedrooms of Stamba Hotel in Tbilisi, Georgia
Tbilisi's Stamba Hotel 

• Rating 10/10

Rooms at Stamba start from $248 (£194) per night

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Tbilisi’s hotel scene hasn’t always been so impressive. Before Stamba, Unfound Door, Rooms Hotel Tbilisi, or Communal Hotel, the best lodgings that could be found were just a handful of the usual uninspiring chains. It’s only really since 2014 that the city has seen an emergence of real design-focused hotels, and judging by my last visit to the intriguing city this trend is likely to continue with more gorgeously designed sanctuaries due to open over the coming years. 

Large windows and red beams inside Stamba Hotel in Georgia's capital city Tbilisi
The ex-publishing house features impressive features 
I fell in love with Stamba almost instantly, and when I wasn’t hiking the surrounding countryside, looking for street art, or eating the best khinkali in Tbilisi I’d relax in my huge bedroom, in awe of the design prowess used throughout the impressive structure. Having opened in 2018, Stamba has fast become the place to stay, I’d recommend booking for as many nights as you can afford because, once you check-in, it’s hard to leave.

Who designed Stamba Hotel?

Stamba Hotel was designed by one of my favorite companies, the Adjara Group based in Georgia. Internationally acclaimed for its well-designed hotels, fun restaurants, and cultural hotspots I was immediately impressed with the design aesthetic used throughout the hotel, and especially D Block workspace, the hotel’s most recent addition. During my stay, I was told that the founder of the group, Temur Ugulava is extremely hands-on with the design aspect of all his ventures, with a lot of the books in DBlock coming from his very own collection.

two metal staircases in front of bookshelves in D Block, the workspace in the Stamba Hotel in Tbilisi, Georgia
Staircase in D Block, the hotel's workspace

What’s the vibe at Stamba Hotel?

The vibe at Stamba is pretty edgy and unique reminding me of other creatively designed spaces such as The Mandrake hotel, the Wes Anderson-esque Rooms Hotel in Batumi, and Dorothée Meilichzon’s Menorca Experimental. Sitting directly on one of Tbilsis’s main thoroughfares, Merab Kostava Street, the hotel from the outside gives off an industrial air, no wonder given that in its previous iteration the building was a soviet era publishing house. The first time I entered the hotel I was struck by the sheer size of the place. The entranceway features huge concrete beams, wooden flooring, and even the ancient metal runners that took pamphlets to be printed remain when it was a printing house.

Table, chairs and an impressive chandelier at Cafe Stamba inside Stamba hotel, Tbilisi
Interiors at Cafe Stamba
Shelves upon shelves stacked with thousands of books separate the entrance hall from the reception where straight-backed porters wait wearing gold-buttoned uniforms ready to whisk luggage away to bedrooms. Sitting to the right as you enter is where the reception desk is situated past ginormous animal sculptures that change every year depending on the Chinese zodiac, for my visit in, 2023, a pair of large-eared hares watched over the place. The hotel’s hip work space D Block is just beyond the reception area and is open to guests for the duration of their stay, while lifts to the bedrooms can be found opposite the reception desk. For the most part, the hotel’s communal areas have a real buzz, there are always tourists and locals milling around, whether that’s to check out Cafe Stamba, use the workspace, or even peruse the hotel’s stores.

How are the rooms at Stamba Hotel?

I spent two nights in room number 419, one of the signature terrace suites with its very own expansive terrace overlooking the garden. Upon entering the first thing I noticed was the room's gorgeous wooden parquet flooring and floor-to-ceiling windows that let in beams of glorious sunshine. The walls looked to be reclaimed brick and there was a very striking piece of local art on the wall. A gray 1960s desk lamp, bright red old-school telephone, and matching record player added interest, and just like in the lobby, there were hundreds of books lining bookshelves.

A white bed in front of a brick wall and yellow painting in room 419 at Stamba Hotel in Tbilisi, Georgia
My room at Stamba (No. 419)

Hidden behind the bed was where I found the bathroom area which comprised of an open shower cubicle with Grown Alchemist bath products, a muted gold rainfall shower, and pretty terracotta and cream tiles underfoot. Complementary toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving kit, and Grown Alchemist miniatures sat atop a large porcelain washstand. Directly behind the washstand, I found an open wardrobe area with robes, slippers, and plenty of hanging space. This area was easily concealed by a heavy deep blue velvet curtain.

bedroom number 419 with a view of the bed and two chairs at Stamba hotel in Tbilisi, Georgia
The bedroom as seen from the balcony

The in-room drinks selection was one of the best I’ve come across during my travels with a cocktail tray full of all the big-hitting spirits, a cut glass jug, and a shaker sitting on the countertop. Inside the fridge, I found champagne, wine, and beer as well as miniature bottles of spirits, while non-alcoholic options came in the form of Palais des Thés teas and still water that was replenished daily. Crisps, sweets, chocolate, biscuits, protein balls, nuts, and mints were all in abundance and could be found next to the minibar.

What is there to eat and drink?

Aside from the bountiful in-room drinks and snacks on offer guests are invited to dine at Cafe Stamba, the hotel’s restaurant and bar, where you can enjoy one of the best breakfasts in Tbilisi.

A breakfast menu and vase with yellow flower on a table in Cafe Stamba, Stamba Hotel's cafe and bar in Tbilisi, Georgia
Inside Cafe Stamba

Open also to non-guests, it’s not only one of the best cafes in Tbilisi but also serves avant-garde takes on the country’s classic dishes—many are prepared using herbs and vegetables from the hotel’s micro-farm. 

Any highlights?

I loved the bean-to-bar housemade complementary chocolates left in my room and the fact that the hotel grows its own herbs, and vegetables, and even blends its own nut butters on site. There’s also a fascinating multimedia gallery inside the hotel; Tbilisi Photography and Multimedia Museum can be found a few levels above the cafe showcasing photography from international, regional, and local artists. They collaborate regularly with the art platform Soundwalk Collective and one of my true idols Patti Smith. I was even lucky enough to bump into the punk poet three times during my last trip to Tbilisi and it pretty much made my year.

Any improvements?

Being completely fastidious, my breakfast was quite slow to arrive in the hotel’s restaurant Cafe Stamba on both mornings of my stay. But when I’m away I really don’t mind a long lingering breakfast. Everything else was heavenly. 

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