The Radisson Collection is Radisson’s luxury brand, and this property opened in January 2019. It is owned by Silk Road Group, a Georgian conglomerate with interests in infrastructure, property, telecommunications and hotels.
The group also owns the Radisson Blu Iveria in Tbilisi and the forthcoming Radisson Blu Batumi in the autonomous region of Georgia, Adjara.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Stunning. The hotel sits in the historic Tsinandali wine estate in a large garden designed by Arnold Regal (1846-1917) of mature trees including Caucasian Lime and Georgian Oak.
A historic chateau is at its centre. Converted into a museum by local legend Prince Alexander Chavchavadze, who amongst other achievements introduced modern wine-making methods to Georgia, it attracts tour groups, though never enough for the gardens to seem crowded.
The hotel is towards the top of the grounds. It is very modern, yet sensitive to the location, not just because it incorporates the old wine cellars and wine-making buildings, but because the new part has been covered by a living wall of plants.
Reception is a long room with modern art, and liveried employees help you with luggage while friendly, English-speaking staff assist with check-in.
Throughout the hotel the design is outstanding, with John Fotiadis, Christina Gabas and Damien Figueras working on the project and interior design from German industrial designer Ingo Maurer and Georgian artist and sculptor Tamara Kvesitadze.
WHERE IS IT?
In Tsinandali, a village some 60 miles from Georgia’s capital Tbilisi in the Kaheti region, a 90-minute drive from the capital and a popular weekend spot (the busiest times of the year here are the summer through until September).
It is known principally for wine production, as is the whole Kaheti region, and that would be the principal reason for visiting, though you get some wonderful views of the Caucasus Mountains from the upper floors and the top floor swimming pool and bar.
The hotel is a mix of the new building where all the rooms are and then the old wine making building, which contains the majority of the public areas (though no reception) and the bar and restaurants. All the 124 rooms (including three suites) are in the new building, though there are plans next year for some villas to be built in the grounds which will take it up to 141 rooms.
The four floors of rooms (one to four) are themed with the seasons, so each floor of rooms has a slightly different colour scheme. The fourth floor where my room was had a sort of burgundy look to it, which matched the wine theme.
Room sizes differ and some are larger but have no balcony or terrace but do have baths while others have the outdoor area but are walk-in shower only. I’d pay extra to get a view of the mountains, though of course you could simply go up to the fifth floor pool area (which has seating and a bar) and spend the money you’d saved on a room with a view having some drinks and soaking in the view from up there.
Each room has a full HD Smart TV allowing you to stream content from your own device (useful when you have some Netflix viewing to catch up on), a Nespresso coffee machine, iron and ironing board, safe and mini bar, high-speed wifi, tea and coffee facilities, bathrobe and slippers.
The rooms break down as follows: 21 Collection Rooms, 64 Collection Superior Rooms, 28 Collection Premium Rooms, 8 Collection Junior Suites and three Collection Suites.
FOOD AND DRINK
The Library Bar, which is accessed from reception across a bridge is a long room, with thousands of books on the shelves along with several different areas to sit and relax, including two large fireplaces, one at either end of this long room which has the bar at its centre.
It’s the sort of room that you either take pictures of yourself sitting in for Instagram, or alternatively just take pictures of so you can buy some of the fixtures or fitting later – have a look at the Flickr side show of pictures at the end of this piece, or see them here Radisson Collection Tsinandali pictures
One end of this room, though really a part of it, is called The Golden Room designed by German Industrial Designer Ingo Maurer. The Library Bar is the first floor of the old wine making building, with the lower floor being where there are two restaurants and some large meeting venues.
At the time of my stay Le Bistro restaurant was open only from lunchtime to late afternoon, and so it was the all-day dining Prince Alexander restaurant where I ate all my meals. This is a very large room, which works well if here are plenty of people in it but can feel a little empty if there are only a few people in it. The roof is covered by paintings inspired by the Lescaux cave paintings, though I’m not sure why.
There is an outdoor terrace as well, and a short menu of food in the evening, though with both international and Georgian options. You can also order from a similar menu and eat in the beautiful Library bar area.
The hotel has a huge range of meeting and conference spaces, most of them fashioned out of the old winery buildings. The Gallery is a large hall area that can hold up to 400 guests in reception-style seating, the Theatre is a ballroom that can hold up to 500 delegates theatre-style, and the (open) Amphitheatre designed by Xavier Fabre can hold up to 1,200 guests for large events and has a retractable roof.
The open air heated rooftop infinity pool is very beautiful, and the views of the Caucasus mountains probably worth the price of admission alone. For much of the year these are snow-capped.
The hotel also has a spa, steam room and sauna. The hotel also offers tickets to the museum (open 10am to 5pm each day) and also a tour of the wine cellars of the Tsinindali Estate, with over 16,000 bottles stored there, the earliest from the Estate being 1841 though there is also an 1814 bottle of ’Polish Honey’ and a 1861 Chateau d’Yquem.
Best of all is simply wandering around the beautiful estate with its collection of mature trees including Georgian Oak, Caucasia Linden, Lime and Elm, Gingko, Oriental raisin, China tree and stands of bamboo.
This is a beautiful hotel, in outstanding mature gardens and with access to a historic museum, yet with all the modern facilities you would expect from a five-star hotel.
Visited out of season it must be very romantic, particularly in winter, but even at the busiest time of the year (the autumn) it never feels crowded because of the spaciousness of the hotel and the huge facilities.
- Best for five star luxury with views of the Caucasus Mountains
- Don’t miss A tour of the gardens and a visit to the museum, followed by a wine tasting of the Estate’s wines.
- Contact Radisson Collection Hotel, Tsinandali Estate, Tsinandali village, 2217 Telavi, Kakheti Region, Georgia. Tel: +995 350 277700; radissonhotels.com