Tuesday, July 27, 2010

TOURISM: Places to stay in Tusheti in the Georgian Mountains. By Chris Wills (tushetilife.blogspot.com)

When I was last in Tusheti in the summer of 2008 eco- tourism was just taking off and there were just a few Guesthouses and a small number of welcoming Homestays. Since then new Guesthouses appear to be popping up all over Tusheti . With interest from travelers rapidly growing in Tusheti I thought it would be useful to list some of the places I've encountered and others I've recently discovered during conversations with fellow travelers and hard to find information from the web.

The following list is a simple introduction to Homestays in Tusheti plus a basic list of Guesthouses I understand can now be found around Tusheti . Please don't take this list as a recommendation but it might help fellow travelers when attempting to find somewhere to stay and possibly provide a little insight into what we have expewrience as a family. I should add you can read between the lines the places I prefer.

What is the difference between a Guesthouse and a Homestay?

Tusheti now has a number of Guesthouses, these have either been built with government aid ( partially a rumour but I believe this to be the case) such as the Guesthouses in Upper Omalo, Dochu ,Verkhovani and Chesho or built independently as have the Guesthouses in Omalo ,Dartlo , Gogulta and Verkhovani .

Guesthouses are purpose built for tourists and managed by a family or dedicated staff. Rooms are often basic but clean and a shower is invariably provided . In my experience you will not stay directly with the family directly but I'm sure there are exceptions .

A Homestay is very different . One stays directly in your hosts home, a spare room is made up ,you may eat with the family and share their lives directly. The Mother of the household cooks and prepares all your food and you share all the families washing and toilet facilities. I have never experienced a shower in such situations, just a bucket of warm water heated over the fire or Calor gas stove.
On occasions there are blends between a Guesthouse and Homestay such as Lilies house in Gogurlta and possibly Patties house in Verkhovani ,both of which my family thought were excellent. However as time passes I suspect the more casual arrangements at some of the old Gueshouses will have become more professional ...

1 comment:

Chris said...

Thanks Ralph for the plug and I hope travelers find this information useful.

Cheers Chris