Overview of places where you can spend a night in Mestia. Mostly budget guesthouses since that's where I usually sleep but included also a couple of more expensive hotels.
Traveller coming to Mestia surely cannot complain about the lack of choices. Number of guesthouses is mindblowing - it seems that enterprising Svans converted every building into a hotel and then built another hotel in the adjacent garden. For this reason, it feels almost unfair to try to narrow them into 10-15 places, due to how many terrific places will be necessarily overlooked - it might be easier just to add link to Booking.com.
Still, I will give it a try. Will split these accommodations into two categories - cheaper family guesthouses and more expensive hotels. And and also one camping option for a good measure :)
For a long time, Mestia hotels had rather mediocre reputation, mainly due to underpaid, disinterested staff and bland meals. However, over past years appeared several new ones, maintaining pretty high standard, so there is no reason to avoid them if you can afford it - typically, they cost from 25 to 50 EUR per night per person. Some of the best are:
Modern, beautiful hotel situated at the eastern part of the city, along the road to the airport. Opened only in 2020, it managed its high standard - rooms are spacious and clean, food tasty and plentiful. All that wouldn't be possible without one of its greatest assets - friendly, hard-working and English-speaking staff. A welcome bonus is a rooftop terrace with 360° views of surrounding mountains.
This 4-star hotel might be the most luxurious place to stay at Mestia. Modern and stylish both from inside and the outside. It's no need to repeat that they cook well and the staff is professional, should be obvious at the place of this category, so I will instead mention amenities such as nice bar, wellness with sauna and massages and the swimming pool.
The hotel is situated right in the town center, which has undeniable advantages, but also means that some rooms might be a bit noisy till late evening. Ask for rooms not facing the main square.
An established, popular guesthouse situated at a quite location in the hillside above the main road, some 5 minutes walk from the main square. It is owned by a German - Georgian couple and it´s also somewhat reflected in the design of the rooms - while minimalistic, everything is modern, cozy and spotlessly clean. Also, the beds are very comfortable which is unfortunately not the case in many Georgian guesthouses.
This place is, while more expensive than budget guesthouses, still considerably cheaper than hotels. Kind of a place where I will stay with my family when I finally take them to Svaneti.
Budget guesthouses in Mestia
When hiking, I stay at various guesthouses. They offer several advantages. First of all, it's the price - you can spend a night here for about 25-30 GEL (about 10 EUR).
At portals such as Booking.com, guesthouses advertise only cost of a bed to limit the commissions they have to pay, but once you arrive, they often offer you also a half-board. It became quite common to advertise very low price per night to lure tourists and then compensate it with overpriced meals. The dinner usually still provides a good value for money compared to the meal at the restaurant, but if you are on tight budget, you might want to skip 20-30 GEL breakfast and satisfy yourself with a tea and local bread or pastry from the shop.
A solid guesthouse, while not offering luxury, shall provide all that a hiker needs - comfortable bed and a working shower with hot water. Landlords also tend to be much more flexible compared to hotel staff when it comes to various "off the book" requests such as "can I leave some luggage here while I do Mestia-Ushguli trek?".
Another advantage of the good guesthouse is more "authenticity" since you often get as chance to interact with a local family. And not only with a family - budget guesthouses are great to meet fellow hikers, since this is where most of them tend to stay. This is a list of my staples, where I either stay or send my friends without any worries.
This pleasant little guesthouse is one of the first places I call when heading to Mestia. Irma and Aleko are great hosts who love what they do and it shows. Irma also speaks very good English and since she works at the tourist information office, know a lot about Svaneti. Aleko is a clever woodcrafter - most of the furniture in the guesthouse was made by him which is a pleasant change from the usual mass-produced stuff used elsewhere. Another advantage is the quality of food - both dinner and breakfast were great! The amount of food was adequate and after we finished most of it, Irma offered us to bring a repeat to make sure nobody is hungry.
The guesthouse lies at the eastern side of the river, behind the bridge. It takes some 10 minutes to walk there from the city center which could be inconvenient, but the location is very quiet.
Being one of the oldest guesthouses in Mestia, Nino Ratiani´s guesthouse keeps its high level of service and provides a great value for money. It´s quite large - in the past year, two new buildings and sauna were built close to the original guesthouse as well as a sauna (for extra 20 GEL). The food is great, place clean and the staff headed by Nino herself very friendly and helpful. Also, it´s very popular among hikers so it is a good pick if you want to meet some new people.
The only reason why I don´t stay there more often is that while the place is managed very well, it kinda misses that "homely feeling" and rather reminds a hostel (but that´s not a problem, just a matter of my personal preference).
Another famous Mestia guesthouse, lying in the hillside south of the main square. Because of the elevated position, it offers great views, but some people might be deterred by a climb on the rocky road (if you read this, you probably don´t travel with a roller bag, but if you do, this is not a place for you :)).
This is a place I used to visit in the past few years. I loved the house with an adjacent tower, nice terrace and evenings spent with other guests by the kitchen table. Unfortunately, some of this charm was lost when Roza opened a new hotel nearby. The place is new, modern and has nice garden with hammocks, but doesn´t "tick" with me, feels a bit sterile. And since most of the guests are placed in this new building, the old one was empty during our last stay. Also, the food was only mediocre (at least by Svaneti standards). I am not happy to write it because Roza and Vitia are genuinely very nice and welcoming people and I wish them only the best (Roza also speaks good English), but their guesthouse simply doesn´t suit me since they expanded. But that´s just me - I know many other people who love them because their new hotel offers great value for money - nice, new rooms for a very friendly price.
Pardon a cliché, but this is a hidden gem. The house is inconspicuous and unsigned so, during our first visit, we expected just some old, dusty rooms, but in the end, were pleasantly surprised - the rooms were clean and bathrooms renovated. But the greatest asset of this guesthouse is its owner Meri - kind, hard-working woman with infectious laughter. Also, she is a terrific cook - the dinners are a bit more pricey than usual (30 GEL) but beat all others we had in Svaneti (and the competition was really strong).
The guesthouse itself is located in the eastern part of Mestia, in a quiet location some 10 minutes away from a city center. It has no online presence, but you can contact them through an email.
Popular Marina guesthouse got rebranded, built more rooms and adopted a not too modest name "Hotel Elite House" :). Luckily, everything else stayed the same, or even got better.
It is a pretty nice guesthouse, conveniently located only some 50 meters away from the main square (making it the most accessible guesthouse from this list). Considering the location, it´s surprisingly quiet at night. Its another advantages are spacious and clean rooms, fabulous food and a very helpful, friendly and English-speaking staff.
And now something completely different. This homestay is not situated in the city itself but in Lakhushdi, a small village several miles west of Mestia. The location is completely "off the beaten track" which has some advantages and some disadvantages. The moving around is obviously more complicated, even though the hosts do their best to assist you. On the other hand, you can enjoy the atmosphere of the real Svan village, unspoiled by tourism. The place has a very homely atmosphere - family is friendly (older members speak Russian, younger also English) and the beds are comfortable. The food is abundant, very tasty and mostly homegrown - it comes from a large garden and the farm with chicken, cows and pigs which also belong to the family running the guesthouse.
Camping in Mestia
If you are on a low budget, you can spend nights in a tent. While I am aware of only one large designated campsite (Svanland), you can also build your own tent in many gardens for as little as 5 GEL. However, I see nothing attractive about camping in the middle of the city. While in more expensive countries can be camping a great way to save money, in Georgia, the price difference is not large enough to outweight a reduced comfort. Still, it could be a good option if you are on a really tight budget or plan to spend in Mestia prolonged period of time.
Disclaimer: This article contains links. Pointing to hotels and guesthouses. Most of them are them are Booking.com affiliate links - that means that if you click on them and book something, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you.