Short-term apartment rentals are becoming more and more popular in Tbilisi – especially with long-stay visitors, but also for travellers who are looking for a more local accommodation experience.
Cibola Boutique is a collection of three self-contained apartments set on one of Tbilisi’s most popular pedestrian streets in the historic New Tiflis neighbourhood. The location, the amenities and the elegant design make it one of the top accommodation choices in this part of the city.
I was lucky enough to try one of the apartments out for myself when I spent three nights at Cibola Boutique. My stay was hosted by Cibola Boutique, but all opinions and recommendations expressed here are 100% my own.
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Cibola Boutique is located on the pedestrianised section of Davit Aghmashenebeli Avenue, close to the east bank of the river and footsteps from the Dry Bridge Market.
The neighbourhood, Neu Tiflis (New Tiflis) is a very interesting part of the city to base your stay. The area was first established as a German settlement back in 1818 before being incorporated into Tbilisi. As a result, the streets are characterised by dozens of unusual heritage buildings, churches, and other edifices. If you want to learn more about the history (and peek inside some of the buildings), the Alternative Tbilisi free walking tour visits New Tiflis and the surrounding area.
Davit Aghmashenebeli Avenue is the main street that runs through New Tiflis, extending all the way from Marjanishvili Metro Station to Saarbrücken Square and the Dry Bridge.
A few years back, shortly before our first visit to Tbilisi, a large number of heritage facades on the avenue were restored under the Cultural Historical Heritage initiative. The pastel-coloured end of the street near the Square was pedestrianised and dozens of cafes, bars, restaurants and ice cream parlors installed. Strung with oversized fairy lights and crowded with outdoor seating, it has a very distinct vibe.
At each end of the street, marble plaques inscribed with ‘Salve’ (Latin for ‘Good health’) have been embedded in the pavement. Such plaques were often used to mark the entryways of old mansion houses in Tbilisi, and you can still spot the inlays outside apartment buildings in Sololaki and beyond.
Now, I’d be lying if I said this was my favourite part of Tbilisi – I actually find this area pretty touristy. This is one of the rare places where restaurateurs will approach you as you walk by and try to encourage you to go inside their establishment. Combined with the crowded hookah bars, I find it a bit full-on.
Moreover, most locals agree that the cafes on the pedestrian street aren’t exactly the best quality. However, there are a few restaurants in the vicinity that I recommend – MartoKhinkali and Cheveni – plus two of my favourite places to eat breakfast in Tbilisi, Puri Guliani and SOSA Artisanal Bakery, are also close by.
Another thing to keep in mind is that this area is quite lively at night. It can be great fun if you want to go out for a glass of wine, but it could be quite noisy. (I can’t report on the noise levels from the apartment because all venues were shut during my stay.)
Davit Aghmashenebeli Avenue is certainly touristy – but that doesn’t mean it’s not a nice place to stay. One of the major advantages of this area is that many of the buildings are new, so you can find some really beautiful contemporary accommodations, including Apartment Cibola.
The three flats that make up the Apartment Cibola complex are housed behind a pastel blue facade close to Saarbrücken Square. The apartments are located on the first (top) level and overlook the street (really great for people-watching).
I stayed in Apartment C, a roomy 70m² space with two sleeping areas spread over two levels. Like the other two Cibola apartments, it’s architect-designed and flawless in terms of fit-out and furnishings. Hardwood floors throughout, Scandinavian-style decorations and a lovely spiral staircase are just some of my favourite features.
I also appreciated the large number of windows that you can open up for fresh air. These help to give the whole place an airy feel – a rare sensation in the old part of Tbilisi.
Upstairs in Apartment C, the cosy loft space has a pitched ceiling, gorgeous wooden beams and exposed brick walls. As well as a double bed, it also features a reading nook and a small patio area with a view of the rooftops.
Apartment Cibola includes a small kitchen with electric hotplates, a kettle, a full-sized refrigerator, and all the cooking equipment you need to prepare your own meals. There’s lots and lots of storage space so you can unpack your suitcase and really settle in.
In the downstairs room, there’s a flat screen TV and a comfy sofa. Gas heating/AC is fitted throughout.
Apartment C features a huge modern bathroom with an enclosed shower and plenty of counter space. Towels (and bed linens) are all provided.
The only thing I was really missing was a washing machine – this would be a great addition for long-stays. Other than that, I felt right at home.
Apartment Cibola is located at 18 Davit Aghmashenebeli Avenue, Tbilisi.
Prices start from 210 GEL/night for two guests.
More Tbilisi travel resources
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- Top rated Tbilisi walking tours
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- The best Tbilisi souvenirs and gift shops
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