Simple accommodation in the Georgian mountains

1047 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


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Date of travel

June, 2023

Product name

Hotel-Café Koshki.

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Ushguli is a community of five villages in northern Georgia, only 10km from the Russian border. As one of the highest continuously inhabited settlements in Europe, the journey mainly on unpaved roads from Mestia takes around three hours and whilst it’s feasible to do it as a day trip, we stayed overnight at the Hotel-Café Koshki.

Our simple room had a double and single bed with one bedside table between the two and although there were no bedside lights, there were plug points. The only other furniture was a small wardrobe with hanging space on one side and shelving on the other. Although we were on the first floor, there was no lift, or offer of help with our bags and no fripperies like bottled water, hairdryer, safes etc. Credit cards were not accepted but Wi-Fi was surprisingly good.

The bathroom was simple, but the curtainless shower flooded the floor, so towels were used to dry us and the floor.

For some unknown reason, the restaurant in the main building was closed, and our meals were taken in the café across the yard. There were simple wooden tables and cushion-less wooden benches which were a little hard on the rear. There were several stray dogs outside, and each time the door opened, one managed to get in despite attempts to block them.

The outdoor terrace had a gate in the shape of a Svanetian tower, and during our dinner, cows passed on their way to milking and peered over the gate, although at one point, when it had been left open, a cow ventured onto the terrace.

During the day, the café sold a wide variety of drinks and the inevitable Georgian wine, with tasty looking home-made cakes on the counter.

Our no-choice dinner, arranged for 7pm, consisted of a procession of dishes beginning with soup and a huge basket of bread, followed by ajapsandali (similar to ratatouille), tomato, cucumber and onion salad, grated carrot and cheese salad, nigvziani badrijani (eggplant rolls stuffed with walnuts), cheese slices, two segments of kudbari (a regional dish of bread stuffed with chopped meat), and two of Khachapuri (a cheesy bread). The finale was described by the young girl as ‘meat in meat sauce’. This was all delicious, but far too much and although we finished our bottle of red Saperavi, lots of food was left.

Breakfast was similar to dinner: no choice and at a specified time. Unfortunately, the fried egg had a lacy edge and hard yolk, but it had been seasoned with Svanetian salt, made from various spices including saffron, chilli, coriander, blue fenugreek, garlic and a Svan spice known as gitsruli which grows exclusively in the region. There was also a tomato, cucumber and onion salad, cheese slices and huge hunks of bread with butter, jam and honey. Two huge chocolate muffins, with a delicious gooey center went well with a second cup of coffee.

Bearing in mind the remote location, the hotel and food were fine for our one-night stay, and we were glad we’d not done a day trip as the area is so beautiful and needs to be savored not rushed.

Helen Jackson

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