In Kazbegi, Stepantsminda township, a newly opened Step Inn hotel has made its debut with a 2 million euro foreign investment. The hotel, spanning 5 floors, boasts 19 rooms of various types, a conference space for 30 individuals, and a spa center complete with a pool and sauna. Within its premises, guests can dine at the restaurant helmed by Georgian chef Keti Bakradze, savoring a fusion of Georgian and European cuisine. With a current staff count of 20, the hotel plans to gradually increase employment to accommodate 40 individuals.
Ani Alibegashvili, the founder of Step Inn Hotel, along with a partner, decided to expand their family accommodation facility after a decade of management. They envisioned offering guests a high-quality, comprehensive service, prompting them to embark on a fundraising journey a few years ago. Alibegashvili spoke to BM.GE, revealing more details about the project.
“We built the hotel with direct foreign investment of up to 2 million euros, which we worked to find in Germany and Poland.”
Kazbegi draws numerous visitors, with a burgeoning demand for accommodation. It is estimated that approximately 90% of Georgia’s visitors arrive in Kazbegi. While the market has a limited number of players in the sector providing comprehensive placement services, the Hotel “Rooms” has played a pivotal role. However, the local population predominantly offers budget-friendly services. Recognizing the desire of vacationers to have a comfortable haven, Alibegashvili and the team aimed to create an alternative establishment that offers all the necessary services for a delightful vacation in one place. The hotel’s facilities are not limited to accommodation alone but also include spaces for business meetings, as well as the hosting of birthday parties or weddings.
The construction of Step Inn took four years due to the challenging climatic conditions in Stepantsminda. Today, the hotel, designed in the shape of mountains and harmoniously integrated with nature, caters to both local and foreign vacationers, offering not only accommodation but also a range of activities.
“Our hotel is designed to cater to customers of all types and income levels. We strive to adapt to the Georgian market and provide a distinct service. Visitors from foreign countries can not only enjoy their vacation but also gain comprehensive information about Georgia. In the evenings, we arrange introductory meetings where we offer presentations about Georgia, act as guides, and provide information on various attractions and activities. Initially, we will assist in tour planning and recommend certified guides,” noted one of the hotel’s founders. The hotel’s managers anticipate guests from both European and Eastern countries. Regarding the accommodation costs, Ani Alibegashvili shared with BM.GE that the room prices would vary based on their size and the number of occupants.
“During the summer, as we are new to the market, we aim to offer relatively low prices. The accommodation cost ranges from 300 GEL for 2 people and can go up to 600 GEL, depending on the number of guests. This price includes accommodation and breakfast.”
Predicting the exact countries from which tourists will arrive proves challenging. Although the founders hope to attract European vacationers and have curated a menu that caters to their tastes, they also consider the hotel’s proximity to Russia, which may entice Russian vacationers and visitors from Eastern countries, diversifying their guest profile.
By Mariam Gorkhelashvili