Apart from hotels and convention centre, MICE organisers can consider other venues for conference and dinner events. Many major restaurants in Tbilisi and its surrounds offer large ballroom space for events. The advantages of holding events in these venues include the opportunity for delegates to immerse in unique environments, savour exquisite Georgian cuisine, tasting local wine and spirits, and experience making some of the local delicacies all within the same compound. Here are some alternative MICE venues for consideration:
Do remember to try out these Georgian food and wine:
Gujari Restaurant-Museum occupies a large compound with a beautiful garden, open spaces for outdoor events and indoor dining halls. The “museum” part is a bit of a misnomer as it refers mainly to some archeological artifacts from Georgia (some dating back to the 6th century) displayed on the restaurant’s interior walls.
Restaurant Ethno Tsiskvili in Tbilisi is purged right on the banks of Mtkvari River. The restaurant consists of various dining halls, so depending on which hall you are in, you could be either be right above the gushing river or looking at the city and street view. Each hall has its own theme but in general, the restaurant’s unique design blends nature with traditional Georgian architecture and modern touches.
The Georgian House in Tbilisi, Georgia, is a restaurant that serves traditional Georgian cuisine. It is a good venue for MICE social events as it has several indoor and outdoor spaces catering to different group sizes. These include:
• Central Prestige Hall with built-in stage and with a capacity of 300 guests
• VIP room with boardroom seating arrangement for 20 pax
• Tiflis Hall with traditional interior decor for 200 guests
• Other private rooms in traditional country-style decor for about 10 guests each
Babilo Music Hall is a premium class restaurant in Georgia that has a music hall with full staging effects. Apart from the regular performance schedule, MICE organisers can arrange customised gala performance or ballroom dancing with live-band and singers.
OTIUM is a modern restaurant located in the Turtle Lake valley of Tbilisi, Georgia. The big, red tunnel entrance makes a statement and attracts diners right away. However, the long staircase down to the dining area may not be very friendly to seniors and the disabled. The restaurant has a modern, minimalist interior decor, and it can accommodate up to 240 guests indoors. The outdoor garden space near the forest is suitable for barbeque sessions or cocktail reception.
The Funicular is the terminal building at the top of Mount Mtatsminda for Tbilisi’s funicular system. At a height of 770 metres, it is the highest point in Tbilisi overlooking the Georgian capital. The Funicular is located within the Mtatsminda Park, which consists of nature and amusement park facilities.
This inconspicuous restaurant located opposite Holiday Inn Tbilisi across Pekini Street is a gem to be discovered. While most of the well-known restaurants in Tbilisi serve traditional Georgian food in generous portions, the chef of Lagaza Wine Bar presents his creations in smaller portions with a modern touch. There is also a certain sense of design in the chef’s food presentation that is pleasing to the eye.
The Caucasus nation of Georgia, not to be confused with the US state of Georgia, is gaining traction as a regional MICE destination. In 2016, within the framework of the National Tourism Administration of Georgia, the Georgian Convention and Exhibition Bureau (GCEB) started operations with the objective to promote the development of business tourism in Georgia. By 2018, Georgia has achieved the first place in the ICCA rankings for the Caucasus and Central Asia regions.
The elegant historic building that had its beginnings as Hotel Majestic has been through two world wars, a civil war and functioned as hotel, hospital and trade union house since 1915. In 2002, Tbilisi Marriott Hotel started operations in this reconstructed and restored building. The hotel is certainly for those who loved history, nostalgia and the old world charm. The lobby is a travel back in time, and the lounge retained the “Majestic” name as a reminder to the property’s heritage.
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