Hotel David L

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Armazi Street 15, Tbilisi, Georgia
http://www.davidl.ge - +(995 32) 475717

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Hotel David L Tbilisi Reviews

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111 reviews
Mid-range family-run hotel in Avlabari. Feb 05, 2017
My girlfriend and I stayed at Hotel David L for 5 nights during our visit to Tbilisi in February 2013.

We booked our stay through www.booking.com and paid 93 GEL (£37) per night for a double room with private bathroom and breakfast included. We paid our bill in total (in Georgian Lari cash) on the second day of our stay, but could have paid by card if we had so wished.

While researching places to stay in Tbilisi, we found that there was a reasonable selection of high end hotels (with prices higher than I'd expect to pay in many western European cities) and a large choice of budget homestays and hostels with shared bathrooms and very basic rooms. We struggled, however, to find many mid-range hotels in central locations (there were a few suitable looking places further out of the centre, for example around the Isani metro station area), but Hotel David L looked as though it would meet our needs perfectly and the reviews on booking.com (incidentally there were none on TripAdvisor) were generally favourable.

Location

Hotel David L is located on Armazi Street, a small side street in the Avlabari area of the city, north-east of the Mtkvari River and the Old Town area.

The hotel is conveniently located just a couple of minutes walk from Avlabari metro station. From here, it is just 1 stop (2 minutes) to Freedom Square, 2 stops (4 minutes) to Rustaveli Avenue and 7 stops (15 minutes) to Didube (where many marshrutky/minibuses depart for other towns and cities throughout Georgia).

We arrived at the hotel on bus number 37 from the airport (cost 0.5 GEL / £0.20 per person). The journey from the airport to Avlabari metro station took around 30 minutes; we then walked the couple of hundred metres to the hotel. At the end of our stay, we booked a transfer through the hotel. A family member drove us to the airport for 50 GEL (£20). The journey at 3:30am took only 12 minutes. Had the journey not been at such an ungodly hour, we would undoubtedly have taken a taxi to the airport for less than half of that price.

The area immediately around the hotel is a little ramshackle, with potholed roads and buildings in various states of disrepair. In fact, the building right next door to the hotel was practically derelict. We knew to expect this from our pre-trip research, but it was still a little disconcerting when we arrived on a cold, dark February morning, just as daylight was breaking. After nearly 40 sleepless hours, I just wanted to get into bed. A few hours sleep and the area didn't seem nearly as bad. There are mini-markets, bakeries and restaurants within a couple of minutes walk of the hotel. There are also two other hotels on the same small street; Hotel Qeroli and Hotel Armazi Palace.

There are lots of taxis parked up outside Avlabari metro station, and various city buses stop there as well. However, we preferred to explore the city mainly on foot:

The walk from the hotel to Rike Park (where you will find the ultra-modern Peace Bridge and a newly opened cable car system that connects the park with Nariqala Fortress) was downhill all the way and took a little under 10 minutes. It would have taken even less time, but the heavy traffic on Ketevan Tsamebuli Avenue for much of the day meant that we had to take a detour of a few minutes to cross the road via an underpass. We could usually cross the road ok late at night, cutting a few minutes off the return journey.

Next to Rike Park is Europe Square, and from there we could cross the bridge over the Mtkvari River to Meidan (a square full of restaurants), the Old Town area and the sulphur baths in Abanotubani. Overall, the walk between our hotel and Meidan/the sulphur baths (which we made several times during our stay) took between 10 and 15 minutes.

Overall, the location turned out to be perfect for our needs. The main sights around the Old Town area were easily accessible on foot, while we could jump on the metro and be on bustling Rustaveli Avenue in a matter of minutes.

Bedroom

We arrived at the hotel at 7:30am, having spent a day in transit in Istanbul, over 3 hours sitting in Tbilisi airport waiting for the city buses to start and then an uncomfortable 30 minute bus ride into the city. We were tired, grumpy and not in the best frame of mind. We were keeping our fingers crossed that the hotel wouldn't be full and that they would let us check in at this early hour so that we could catch up on much needed sleep. Thankfully, the door was answered when we rang the doorbell and a room was available for us to check in immediately, so we didn't have to wait for the standard 2pm check in time. We will be eternally grateful for that!

We knew from the reviews on booking.com that there was a room with no window. We added a note to our booking requesting that we have a room with a window if available. The message must not have reached the hotel, as we found ourselves in a room with no window. However, we resolved to sleep first and then consider asking for a change of room if needs be. After a few hours sleep, we were feeling much better and the lack of a window didn't really bother us enough to request a change. A change might have been possible if we'd asked; the hotel has 8 or 9 rooms and we only saw one other guest during our 5 day stay. There was a small window in the top of our door, so we got a stream of light into our room from the hallway light, and the spotlights on the ceiling of our room lit the room very well when needed.

The room contained a double bed (which was a little hard, but had very comfortable pillows, and we always slept well), a sofa, an ornate, gold-framed wall mirror, a wardrobe (which was a little rickety and just about big enough for our needs) and one bedside cabinet. There was no in-room safe as the hotel's brochure suggested.

Our room also contained a fridge (with small freezer compartment), a flat screen TV (dozens of satellite channels from Turkey, the Gulf States, Russia, Europe and North America) and a telephone.

Free wi-fi was available within the room and throughout the whole hotel. The password was provided in the room's information booklet and I was able to connect simply at the first attempt. For most of our stay, the connection was reliable and reasonably fast. It was a little sluggish at times, but no big deal for us.

There were ample electrical sockets (European style, 2 round holes) in both the bedroom and the bathroom for recharging camera batteries and mobile phones overnight.

The room had a remote controlled aircon/heating unit. The temperature in the room was fine most of the time, but did sometimes get a little warm and stuffy overnight (especially with no window to open).

There was a short power cut on our first night, but it only lasted for around 10 minutes and there were no recurrences during our stay.

The en-suite shower room was very clean, bright and modern. It was also relatively spacious, with a large shower cubicle containing a power shower. The main head of the shower leaked a bit, but the other attachment worked fine. There was always plenty of hot water when we needed it.

A selection of complimentary toiletries were provided (soap, shower gel, shampoo, toothbrushes, mini toothpaste tubes, combs and a tin of shoe polish) and were replenished throughout our stay. We each received a medium sized towel. Fresh towels and slippers were provided each day and some days we got two towels each. No hairdryer was provided, but the hotel brochure suggested one could be obtained on request.

According to the reviews we read before our visit, one of the rooms doesn't contain a shower cubicle, just a drainage hole in the floor.

Breakfast

Breakfast was served in the underground dining room each morning from 10am.

There were only 3 tables set up in the breakfast room (and not much room for additional tables). This was fine during our stay, as there was only one other guest, but I'm not sure whether breakfast would be served in separate sittings at busier times.

10am is also fairly late for breakfast. This was fine with us (we tended to go to bed late and have a lie in each morning; getting up early wasn't too appealing on the cold February mornings), but might be problematic for those wishing to make an earlier start. Indeed, when we undertook a day trip to Armenia which started at 9am we had to forego breakfast that morning.

Each morning we would sit at one of the tables that was set with plates of crusty bread, slices of salami, pieces of salty white cheese, tomato and cucumber, pots of yoghurt and chocolate bars filled with vanilla, chocolate or caramel flavoured cream. One of the staff would then bring us freshly cooked omelettes, four slices of khachapuri (flaky pastry filled with cheese, which we think was purchased from the bakery on the corner of the street) and a pot of tea. On the first morning, we also received croissants filled with custard cream and a bottle of the hotel's homemade brandy, but both of these proved to be one-offs.

General

We were very impressed (and grateful!) that the hotel allowed us to check in early at 7:30am. We'd have struggled to stay awake until the 2pm check in time otherwise. At busier times, this flexibility might not be possible.

The hotel has rooms on 4 floors; a mixture of singles, twins and standard and comfort doubles. Our room was a standard double, significantly cheaper than the comfort doubles, and perfectly adequate for our fairly limited needs. I can't think of anything lacking in the room that I would have wanted to pay the comfort double price for.

There is an outdoor terrace with sofas, chairs and tables on the top floor. We went up for a look, but there was no demand for it in the quiet and cold month of February. It is perhaps more commonly frequented in the warmer summer evenings.

There are no lifts in the hotel. The first flight of stairs, from reception to the 2nd floor, are steep and wooden. Above that level, the staircases are less steep and are tiled concrete. Our room (#201) was on the 2nd floor; it wasn't too much trouble for us to carry our suitcases up to that level, but less able-bodied people (or people with heavier/bulkier luggage) might struggle.

The in-room information booklet lists the various foods and drinks that can be purchased from the hotel. For example, bottles of mineral water (1 litre for 2 GEL / £0.80), bottles of Coke and Fanta (500ml for 1.5 GEL / £0.60), local beers (500ml for 2-3 GEL / £0.80-£1.20), crisps (3 GEL / £1.20) and khachapuris (6 GEL / £2.40). We never purchased anything from the hotel, but tended to purchase supplies (mainly water) from nearby shops at less than half the hotel's prices. We enquired about purchasing a bottle of the hotel's homemade brandy as a souvenir, but were put off by the price of 33 GEL (approx. £13).

The same booklet lists a variety of tours that the hotel offers, including day trips to Mtskheta, Kakheti, Kutaisi, Telavi and Davit Gareja and wine-tasting tours to the hotel's own vineyards. No prices were listed and we organised our own excursions independently or through another company (Envoy Tours who took us into Armenia for a day).

We had to leave our room key on reception each day when we went out. During the day time, the main door was kept unlocked, but after dark it was locked and we had to ring the doorbell to get back into the hotel. At busier times, the sound of ringing doorbells whenever guests return at night might be a problem.

Most of the family spoke some English, with the younger members being more fluent. It was difficult to converse much beyond the basics, but everybody was friendly and welcoming.

Summary:

Overall, we enjoyed our stay at Hotel David L and would recommend it to others. Don't be put off by the external appearance or the general condition of the surrounding area streets. The location is convenient, the bedrooms are comfortable and the breakfast is pretty good (and filling!) for the price.

A good value, mid-range hotel close to Avlabari metro station. Clean, comfortable bedrooms, modern en-suite facilities, friendly hosts and a tasty Georgian breakfast. Recommended...especially for budget travellers!
Hotel David L, Tbilisi.
Hotel David L, Tbilisi.
Hotel David L, Tbilisi.
Hotel David L, Tbilisi.
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