John Wurdeman: Tips for Your Hotel Search in Georgia

John Wurdeman

Director of Pheasant’s Tears

I have had the joy of living in Georgia since 1996.  Over the years as an expat I was asked many times to show guests real authentic Georgia, the real songs, cuisine, wine, people and living history.  I am by profession an artist from the US, who came to Georgia because of polyphonic folk music and later embraced natural wine growing and restaurants into my life.

Gomi 19 & Vinotel

Over 21 years of experience has helped me find the wine growers, cheese makers, chefs, and singers and dancers that have kept Georgia’s ancient roots alive through respect to tradition and constant creativity. I highly recommend, if you are staying in Tbilisi, to either stay at the warm and hospitable value option of Gomi 19, or splurge on an aesthetic journey with Vinotel. 

For food, don’t miss the restaurants on the front of the culinary scene all celebrating natural wine, gvino Underground, Poliphonia, and Azarphesha. 

Living Roots

Over time, the number of guests seeking the real Georgian experience became overwhelming and I and my teams at the restaurants and winery couldn’t look after them so we created Living Roots for custom tailored culinary, wine and tourism. 

Kabadoni & Dzveli Ubani

While in Kakheti, our very own Pheasant’s Tears Restaurant in Sighnaghi will offer fresh seasonal dishes paired with our own natural wines, while, for staying overnight, the hands down best place is Kabadoni, while a more modest and affordable option equally delightful is Dzveli Ubani. 

If you have the fortune to be able to travel west of the capital, don’t miss IagoBitarishvili’s wine cellar in Chardakhi, Kartli, for fantastic wine, food and hospitality, and just over the pass into Imereti hit the Zghapari riverside restaurant which often has seasonal wild mushrooms and fish. 

Jenari Kvitsiani’s Bed and Breakfast & Grand Hotel Ushba

One of the most unique highland regions in the world is Svaneti, which also offers wonderful options for room and board. 

Jenari Kvitsiani’s Bed and Breakfast in Becho gorge is not just hospitable but a gastronomical paradise, while further down the gorge we have Grand Hotel Ushba, blending rustic architecture with very comfortable beds and a view like no other on earth. 

Laerti Charkviani’s Guest House

if you make it as far as Ushguli, check out Laerti Charkviani’s guest house, to have a rare authentic Svanetian host that knows the mountains like the back of his hand! Georgia is a country full of wonder and opportunity for discovery!