In Georgia, The House Hotel Old Tbilisi has just opened. I do not usually write about hotel openings. However, this one is different and interesting. Interesting because of the way it has been conceived. The House Hotel Old Tbilisi is more than a hotel.
First, the history. The three-storey house was built by Nikolozishvili, a Georgian merchant in the heart of Old Tbilisi, surrounded by medieval churches and the houses of the wealthy. Nikolozishvili’s grandson, the soloist of the Georgian National Ballet ‘The Sukhishvilis’. The rooms each have a hand-painted character by Georgian artist Musya Qeburia, designed to make the guest feel like a local.
Like the House Hotel Old Tbilisi, its sister hotel, The House Hotel Kakheti, opening next year in the wine region, is also a contemporary art museum; “part of the Kvareli Estate resort, [it] is a unique lifestyle destination that aims to attract and up skill the local, regional and national creative community, to inspire creative collaborations and to encourage repeated visits to the destination where the transformative power of arts is cultivated.”
The House Hotel group has taken the temporary resident concept found in Responsible Tourism and created hotels in Egypt, Georgia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which enable the guest to live like a local. These are hotels with a broader ambition to create luxury boutique hotels “where customers would dream to stay, while submersing themselves in the local neighbourhood ambience.”
The owner of the House Hotel group, Kerten Hospitality, based in Ireland but with five offices around the world, manages hotels, residences, serviced or home offices and dining outlets either in separate projects or in a single mixed-use development. Their concept of community build brings a new competitive edge and resonates with the Responsible Tourism agenda. They describe it thus: “Human-centric destination build is at the heart of our DNA. We curate spaces, plugging-in concepts that serve as a catalyst to a new ecosystem, support the local community and bring local and international travellers to connect.
Bricks and mortar alone no longer create the value, the soul, the offering and curation of concepts; experience is what the consumers are looking for.Kerten Hospitality
Kerten is building more than hotels. They describe their approach as driven by purpose with social impact at the heart of their business. They declare their values as “locality, sustainability, innovation, impactful collaborations and ecosystem build with a focus on empowering the community.” Contributing to a “cleaner planet” and creating well-being for communities.
Antony Doucet, Kerten’s Chief Experience Officer (CxO), realises “Bleisure”, “creating environments where Business and Leisure meet, get motivated, can be productive, and never want to leave.” Kerten integrates the local culture, businesses, artists, and entrepreneurs to create experiences that contribute to the community in the neighbourhood.
Kerten has recognised that the experiential travel trend complements the demands of Responsible Tourism and contributes to their ESG performance.