Known for its cuisine, cultural heritage, and skiing, FACT ventures off the tourist trail in Georgia to explore the Tsinandali Estate.
Nestled at the base of the Caucasus Mountains, two hours from the capital of Tbilisi, lies the enclave of Tsinandali. This small Georgian village is reputed for its palace and historic winery estate, which once belonged to the 19th-century aristocratic poet Alexander Chavchavadze and has recently been transformed into Tsinandali Estate, A Radisson Collection Hotel.
Radisson Collection is a new generation of luxurious properties in one-of-a-kind spaces, from Nofa Riyadh, A Radisson Collection Resort in Saudi Arabia, to Radisson Collection Hotel, Santa Sofia Milan in Italy. Cast aside any preconceived notions about the Radisson brand, which has amassed over 1,700 hotels in 120 countries. While you may be familiar with the business-driven Radisson Blu airport hotels, Tsinandali Estate, A Radisson Collection Hotel, offers an individualised and inspiring stay.
Known for its wine production and expansive vineyards, this transcontinental Radisson Collection property is situated on the grounds of the ancestral Tsinandali Estate. Here, in a foliage-clad sanctuary miles from civilisation, guests can expect a stay that revolves around wine, glorious wine.
A domed lobby replicates the cathedral-like arches of a wine cellar, while pools of water reflect the striking stone facade of the historic building. Circular ring lights and contrasting maroon and teal soft furnishings instil the space with a contemporary feel. The front desk staff are warm, welcoming and efficient.
Rooms and suites
Designed by Spanish designers Christina Gabas and Damian Figueras, each of the 124 rooms and suites is inspired by the seasons, lending each abode a sophisticated yet very cosy vibe that feels like a stay in a stylish country manor house. Communal corridors are carpeted in designs depicting grape vines, leading the way into a sanctuary of soothing colours and natural materials that give way to views of the forest, gardens, vineyards and snow-capped mountains.
Our Collection Superior Room with terrace offers 22-square metres of space. Tapestry-style artworks line the wainscot panelled walls, painted in a rich teal that ensconces guests in a cosy cocoon. The elegant furniture and a deluxe king-size bed ensure comfort and convenience, while creature comforts such as a Nespresso machine and television with mirror casting ensure relaxation remains paramount at this property. Bathrooms feature walk-in rainfall showers, plush robes and chic black slippers.
Tsinandali Estate, A Radisson Collection Hotel, offers an immersive experience into the Georgian culture. Natella is the hotel’s signature restaurant on the ground floor. Serving authentic Georgian cuisine and wine from the estate, it is the place to dine on Georgian Salad, Khinkali, Pumpkin Pkhali and grilled meats. The soup-stuffed Kinkali dumplings and the Chicken BBQ with pomegranate sauce would be our picks for whiling away an evening in a dining room punctuated with chandeliers made from wine bottles above and hand-woven Kilim carpets below.
Named after the Georgian aristocrat, Prince Alexander is the hotel’s day-to-night dining destination, serving a bountiful buffet breakfast of cheeses, cold cuts, eggs to order, preserves and pressed cherry juice before transitioning to an à la carte offering of French fare for lunch and dinner. The rustic stone setting is ideal for sipping on a viscous hot chocolate at the start or end of a day of estate exploring.
The aptly named Library Bar feels like a homely living room with its pool table and trinkets, but it also serves spectacular sushi and a long beverage list of classic cocktails and Georgian wines. Completing the selection of destination dining experiences steeped in history, Gaumarjos Wine Bar is the place to experience a wine degustation led by the in-house sommelier.
Guests can explore the local area on foot or bicycle. The meandering forest paths of the estate lead to the Tsinandali Museum. Recognisable for its turquoise Fretwork and revered as the place where the first bottle of Georgian wine was corked in 1841, the building was once home to the influential Chavchavadze family. The site revives 19th-century Georgia through a collection of artworks, belongings, manuscripts and lithographs that capture the expansion of European culture in Georgia. The small museum also offers insight into Alexander Chavchavadze, the poet hailed as the “father of Georgian romanticism.”
The expansive grounds feature a hedge maze, kids’ club, outdoor playground, and a stunning glasshouse housing a temperature-controlled swimming pool, sauna, and steam room, each providing panoramic views of the region’s mountainous topography.
If you’ve ever wanted a mulled wine massage, the spa focuses on treatments revolving around the grape-driven beverage, from a Hot Stone Massage with Mulled Wine Oil to a Rejuvenating Wine Bath. A seasonal infinity pool is situated on the hotel’s rooftop but was closed during our winter stay.
Following decades of neglect and an expensive refurbishment project, Tsinandali Estate, A Radisson Collection Hotel, opened in 2018 and became the first five-star hotel in Georgia’s Kakheti wine region. The hotel lives up to the Radisson Collection ethos of creating unique stays in one-of-a-kind spaces. From the subterranean oenothèque to the glass bridge and outdoor sunken courtyard featuring an amphitheatre for 1,200 guests, this hotel offers a refined stay for oenophiles looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Tbilisi while venturing far off the tourist trail.
GO: Visit www.radissonhotels.com for reservations and more information.