Georgia hotel’s mountain view

By Jim Delmonte
This item appears on page 16 of the February 2020 issue.

On a wonderful group tour that my wife, Sandy, and I took through the South Caucasus mountains with MIR Corp. (Seattle, WA; 800/424-7289, www.mircorp.com), Sept. 16-30, 2019, the hotels were superior.

“Treasures of the South Caucasus” ($7,795 each, double occupancy) was led by a bilingual Russian woman, and we visited three countries — Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia — getting to see people and sights that many don’t get to see.

My favorite hotel was Rooms Hotel Kazbegi (1 V.gorgasali St., Stepantsminda, 4700, Georgia; roomshotels.com/kazbegi), where we stayed two nights. Located in Stepantsminda (formerly Kazbegi), in northeastern Georgia near the Russian border, the hotel was nestled in an area offering fantastic views of high mountains still covered in snow.

The drive up to the hotel was wild and very pretty. Cut out of the mountain, the winding road was safe but with almost cliffs, and we could look into deep valleys with a stream at the bottom.

The hotel’s setting reminded me of a town I once visited in the Alps before the hotels facing the Swiss side of the Matterhorn had their super views blocked by condos. Our room in Stepan­tsminda was very nice, with a 20-foot-high ceiling, and it faced west toward the mountain. I was thrilled looking out the huge windows. The ice glittered as the sun rose in the sky.

This hotel is spectacular so long as you get a mountain-facing room. Meals were good there, too.

The area is great for hiking, with lots of pictures waiting to be taken. Anyone visiting the area of Georgia we saw would probably say “Wow!” It really was that nice.

Every day on this tour was an adventure, not a shopping trip.

JIM DELMONTE

Honolulu, HI