Ajara food - in one word - awesome!1 June 2015
By: Navit Zommer. Yedioth Achronoth Daily newspaper.
Most beautiful piazzas Italian Style? Deluxe hotels of international brands? Cable car? Dolphinarum and Casinos?
Yes! All of these, plus spectacular landscapes and trips to the wild nature.
Let me present you - Batumi.
Definitely, not what you expected from a small Georgian city with Soviet Heritage.
In front of the snowy mountains tops of the Caucasus, by the sea shore of the Black Sea Batumi is located. No wonder that Batumi is emerging on the map of world tourism. The skyline of the old city with one floor houses has changed in the last years - more and more international hotels chains like Sheraton and Radisson Blue opened already Deluxe hotels, Hilton is due to open its hotel this month, Holiday Inn and Kempinski are in construction and the first project for summer apartments for investors, on the sea promenade has launched: 2000$ per s"m including a terrace facing the sea and a secured car parking place.
Batumi's leaders do not rely only on the natural virtues in order to attract tourists: 6 Casino were opened in the city mainly inside hotels and another 8 Casinos will be opened until 2017. The trick: the Georgian Gov. Provides a Casino permit for free, plus exemption of tax for 15 years to the entrepreneur who builds in Batumi over 100 hotel rooms.
The vision of the mayor of Batumi is - to become Florence. Loaded investors mainly Russians and Turkish renovate and build the city with an Italian inspiration using pastel colors and sculptured colons which to my big surprise integrate nicely with the local architecture. Not far from the codling hotel where we stayed Hotel Divan in the center of the old city there is a new and beautiful piazza surrounded by colonnades with painted ceilings. At night the city is not less attractive - a special lightening lit its ancient buildings and at the end of the promenade a fountains performance style Las Vegas is on.
Batumi is the starting point for tripsto the wild nature which surrounds the city. Botanic Gardens... Mtirala national park… Kobuleti. 10 minutes out of Batumi a deluxe and highly recommended Georgia Palace Hotel & Spa. The hotel on the sea shore surrounded by a huge private garden. Used to be at the Soviet time a convalescent home for Gov. seniors. A few years ago, the Georgia Palace was bought by one of Georgia's richest people. Coca cola and Mc Donald concessionaire in Georgia. He rebuilt the hotel with large rooms and balconies facing the snowy top hills of the Caucasus mountains on one side and the Black Sea on the other side. This luxurious hotel is equipped with a private sea shore, indoor and outdoor pools. Golf fields, Tennis courts and Spa with doctors and staff from India who offer Ayurveda treatments. The CEO of the Georgia Palace Hotel is David Ben Hayim, a very experienced hotel director a Jewish - French - Canadian who is fluent in Hebrew which he learnt during his 12 years of stay in Israel as a hotel CEO.
The price for double room in May - 137 USD. In high season the price rises up, worth to check it.
Ajara food - in one word - awesome!