Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace
Set in the historic heart of the city, Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace offers stunning views of old Tbilisi and boasts 220 well-appointed rooms featuring artwork by a Georgian photographer and suites with soft-pastel colours that are pleasing to the eye. The hotel has a large ballroom, meeting facilities and everything in-between, readily available to host business meetings or social gatherings.
Guests are invited to settle in for a meal or to enjoy a cocktail at the hotels dining outlets and after a full day of work or exploration, they can treat themselves to views of the city and delicious cuisine from the hotels roof top restaurant.
The interior design for the renovation was undertaken by studio wrightassociates. Keith Wright of wrightassociates told PREMIER HOPSITALITY INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE: “The project was a refurbishment of the hotel, which was built in the 1980s, and at that time was the first 5-star chain hotel in the region. As far as our involvement was concerned, it was full design services including design narrative and design concept through to assistance with the execution for the complete extension and upgrading of the hotel. This included the lobby, the Atrium, 220-guest rooms and suites, executive club lounge, restaurant, al fresco dining terrace, Link Café, sports bar, wine library, ballroom, conference facilities, outdoor pool with pool bar, spa with indoor pool and fitness facilities.
“In terms of the brief, most operators issue a briefing box, outlining their intentional standards and what they anticipate in terms of brand differentiators to set them apart from other hotels in the market. In addition to that, a Property Improvement Plan (PIP) summarised their priorities and expectationsfor the final result. These requirements were then translated by wrightassociates into a design story taking into account the local culture and periphery, driving the final executed design.”
In the lobby guests are welcomed by an over-dimensioned sofa element canopied with enormous lanterns. This modern vision of a Caravanserai Courtyard as a social meeting point is underscored by a filigree lighting installation, shaping the lobby airspace and giving perspective. Decorative fins in timber and metal, reflecting the ‘Caucasus’ mountain motif, enclose the atrium and give privacy and structure to the guest corridor levels.
Keith added: “In the atrium we wanted to include some sort of enclosure to give that better feeling of space. The fin detail is therefore dual purpose as it provides privacy for the guests when they enter their rooms. In addition using different materials, we created a profile symbolic of the surrounding Caucuses Mountains, which can be appreciated by the guest standing in the lobby.”
Leading from the atrium are the hotels ten floors of guest rooms. A very large conference facility and ballroom together with the hospitality areas of the hotel are located on the ground floor with spa and fitness centre one floor below.
“There are a number of different rooms and room categories within the hotel,” said Keith. “There are two levels of club rooms which are elevated with a different colour scheme and differentiators. At the beginning of the project, as part of the brief, we were asked to design the room footprint to increase the size of the rooms by taking the old three-room module and creating two rooms out of them.
“The interiors set the stage to appreciate the multifaceted Georgian tradition with the introduction and recurrence of decorative Georgian elements. Historic weaving patterns and graphic abstractions of the Caucasus Mountains were reinterpreted into modern carpet design and screen print glass features to provide subtle and constant references to the locality.”
The Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace has been transformed with a fresh and innovative design into a modern 5-star hotel which helps to showcase Georgia as one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in Europe.
Keith added: “All of the projects we do are monitored directly by the partners and consequently are all very important. Given the length of time this project ran, this was particularly so in this case. The city of Tbilisi and Georgia are extremely interesting demographically and culturally, which has lead to a very personal relationship with the city. We will return….”