A few years ago, it would have been hard to imagine an international brand opening a hotel in the heart of Kakheti. Yet, with the support of the European Union, a historical hotel in Telavi from the 1930s, transformed into a multifunctional accommodation facility operating under the Holiday Inn brand, and complying with modern European standards.
Restoring the almost completely demolished building and opening a hotel there not an easy task, and Holiday Inn Telavi management faced many challenges in the process. Yet, they never changed their goal of hosting guests in Telavi in the same fashion that Holiday Inn guests are treated in Europe.
The company prepared an investment project and received support through the EU4Business EBRD Credit line, and the soft loan was used to renovate the building, to purchase and install fire and electrical safety and security systems, and replace the piping, electricity, heating and air-conditioning systems. Apart from the financial support, the company also received technical assistance. After successful completion of the rehabilitation works, the EU proposed using 15% of the loan as a grant to reinvest into the project.
Holiday Inn’s focus was on energy efficiency. As a result, the 85-room hotel that has been operating only for two years can already see some significant benefits: introduction of energy-efficient systems helped the company decrease energy costs by about 30%.
“We had to complete several stages to become eligible for this great program. In addition to getting a 15% cashback and a low-interest loan, we also received essential technical assistance throughout the project. Of course, we had to meet all the criteria, and it was not easy, but we could find partners who had the capacity to supply necessary products according to the schedule. With the support from the EU and EBRD, we could approximate European standards and make the building much more energy efficient. “This approach helped us decrease the environmental impact,” says Levan Eristavi, Director General of Holiday Inn Telavi.
Thanks to EU and EBRD support, today “Holiday Inn Telavi” is in line with European standards. The hotel offers conference rooms and entertainment areas, two restaurants and a spa centre, and employs about 60 people, mostly residents of Kakheti.
Thus, an old building from the previous century has become an energy efficient hospitality centre. The company owners believe that it would have been impossible to implement the project without the support from the European Union. Today, Holiday Inn Telavi, which is the first international brand hotel in the city, has development plans and is going to contribute to strengthening Kakheti’s tourism potential in the future.