PHOTO: A quick selfie in my hotel room before our welcome dinner in Tbilisi, Georgia (c) Sery Kim
After a long 20 hour travel to the other side of the world, I landed very safely in Tbilisi, Georgia for a week of merriment hosted by the Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace ("Sheraton Grand Tbilisi"). A historic property built in the 1990's after Georgia declared its independence from the Soviet Union, the Sheraton Grand Tbilisi has undergone a tremendous renovation, particularly to the food-and-beverage facilities. The hotel's pristine 360 degree views of Tbilisi from the sexy rooftop bar is more exquisite than even the best bars in New York City and will soundly resonate with the seasoned and luxurious-minded traveler.
PHOTO: Views from the rooftop bar at the Sheraton Grand Tbilisi (c) Sery Kim
As for the rooms themselves, they are spacious with plenty of natural light flooding in from two large windows. Actually, two seems to be a running theme with two very large closets for hanging plenty of clothes as well as two large spaces in the bathroom for getting ready: an oversized tub built for two as well as a very large shower.
The bathrooms in particular have a sleek contemporary feel with plenty of mirrors, including three oversized #OOTD-esque ("outfit of the day") mirrors for those who love to social media, and a mirror-in-mirror for careful make-up application. Plus the Sheraton brand has carefully updated their more dated properties, such as the Sheraton Grand Tbilisi, to fully encompass all the non-luddite desires of the modern traveler. Buttons have been replaced by sleek touch pads for master lighting control and there are enough plugs/outlets at the desk and bedside to satisfy even the most tech-savvy. Additionally, the television has been made capable of logging into streaming services where you don't even have to remember to log-out when you leave because the system does it for you.
PHOTO: My travel buddy Leslie Patrick Moore who I haven't seen in two years since our Maldives trip (c) Sery Kim
After a quick one-hour turnaround time, the group headed to Restaurant Keto & Kote, 3 Mikheil Zandukeli Dead End, T'bilisi 0179, in the heart of historic Tbilisi. Located in a former home, as many of the best restaurants in Tbilisi are want, Restaurant Keto & Kote has flawless views of Old Town Tbilisi as well as really healthy Georgian classics. In particular, I would note the vegetable/vegan dishes. Thankfully the welcome dinner was a very abbreviated version of the lengthy and hearty multi-course Georgian classics because I was struggling through some deadly jet-lag -- I am definitely getting OLD as traveling seems to take a harder toil on my body.
PHOTO: Dinner at Restaurant Keto & Kote (c) Sery Kim
Somehow I rallied to come back to the hotel for some late night drinks on the Sheraton Grand Tbilisi's rooftop bar. I'm so glad I did because I had the best red wine I've had all year long. Khvanchkara is a semi-sweet red wine and as famous a wine as they have here in the country that invented wine. In fact, so good was this wine, I literally went to the wine store the next day to buy three bottles!
PHOTO: My glass of Khvanchkara (c) Sery Kim
Before the group dismissed themselves for bed, we also had some Georgian "Cha-Cha," a liquor that is near 140 proof alcohol. While most of the group could barely drink some, I not only downed mine but had a double. (Yes! I slept very very well!)
Overall, it has been a great start to what will be a super fun week here in Tbilisi, Georgia. I'm so glad I came. Also, the people in Tbilisi could not be more friendly and hospitable. Truly, everyone is just lovely -- and I don't just mean the hotel staff ... pretty much everywhere we go! Be sure to sign up for the blog's newsletters to get my daily updates from here in Tbilisi! Until then, I am off to dinner!