One of the purposes, when I started the section Best Green Hostel in the blog, was to look for alternatives and revolutionary hostels that would change the travel experience of each one of the travellers and that will help them to feel at home keeping an eye on the sustainability and on the impact on the environment. After almost two years of researches of many kinds of hostels around Europe and Asia, last month I visited for the first time Tbilisi, Georgia and here I found the hostel that could redefine the standards of this category. Here it goes to Best Green Hostel Tbilisi: Frabrika Hostel Review.
Best Green Hostel Tbilisi: Frabrika Hostel Review
A huge industrial Soviet building located 10 minutes away from the Marjanishvili metro station, what can be so special about it? Until the fall of the Soviet Union, in fact, this building has been used as a sewing factory and after the fall of the union, the following years it has been abandoned. So far nothing special, but back in 2014 some locals designers and entrepreneurs joined their forces to build what now become the principal melting-pot and the dynamic heart of the city. The Fabrika Hostel opened in 2016 and since then it became a destination not only for tourists but also for the locals. A masterpiece example on how to recover a dismissed building and transform it into the biggest multifunctional space of Georgia. Why Multifunctional? Because Fabrika is not only a hostel. Inside you will be able to find a coworking space, a creative hub and restaurants with local cuisine but also international one (burgers, Japanese, noodles etc..). Moreover, you can find design furniture and clothing shops, bars and even a barber. You will most likely be able to sleep, have a coffee, do some shopping, work and go out for dinner or a beer in different places and moods without having to go outside this incredible building.
If you will find the strength to leave the hostel you should know that is not located in the city centre but you can easily reach it with the metro or a bit of walk or even by one of the “green” taxies of Tbilisi (a ride to Liberty/Freedom Square costs about 1-1,50€). The main train station is just 20 minutes of walk away. Nearby the hostel there is also a big supermarket and a great variety of small local shops.
Fabrika is totally fitting the category of the big hostel. In fact, it hosts about 98 rooms. There are various typologies of rooms 12-10-6-4-3 shared bunk-beds rooms but also private twins or double room. Thanks to this huge variety of rooms, Fabrika is suitable for all the typologies of travellers and backpackers. The rooms are designed and characterised by a researched industrial style. In the shared rooms, each bed is provided of a personal reading lamp and plus, but also a small personal shelf. Inside the rooms, there are lockable lockers and several common chairs and a table/desk. The beds are new, fluffy and comfortable and finally, I found a Hostel that is offering big pillows. A small negative point is the lack of hooks for clothes and organizers for the guest objects because of this, the room may become a little too cosy when completely full of people. Regarding the private rooms, you will find here the privacy and the comfort of a hotel but with the mood and the atmosphere of a hostel.
The internal design of common areas and of the hostel, in general, is the other great key factor of the Fabrika. They re-used a huge part of the machinery and of the elements of the original sewing factory to create an environment minimal, full of light but with a strong identity that perfectly represents the one of this hostel. A perfect mix between eclectic and vintage.
One of the great problems of the big hostels, usually, is the lack of enough toilets for the guest. Fabrika does not have this kind of problem, in fact, there are plenty of toilets and showers for each floor and during my stay, I found them always quiteclean but also to some extent free, never too crowded.
Not only beds and rooms, but the Fabrika Hostel is also offering different services such as:
- Laundry Services (washing machine + dryer ) for 10 lari
- 24 hours reception
- Optional Breakfast (you should really try it!) for about 6-7€
- Free walking tour + Tour in Georgia
- Guest Kitchen
All the services and their quality are perfectly lining up with the overall quality of the Fabrika Hostel. Plus, you should also consider the services that are offered in the yard of the Fabrika that are somehow linked to the hostel this brings a plus to the hostel and makes it even more unique. Breakfast for example, even if it is expensive compared to the city standards, has the same level and quality of a breakfast that you would find in a 4-star hotel having also the possibility to ask some on-request dishes to the chef. This is another proof that Fabrika is not only a hostel. Meanwhile, if I must find a weak element, for such a big hostel the common/guest kitchen is pretty small. It doesn’t fit more than 2-3 guests cooking at the same time.
Fabrika standards are relatively high also for what concerns cleanness both in the common spaces and also in the rooms. Nothing to comment here. I had the unpleasant situation to find one day the toilets in a not so clean state but this is due to the “lack of common sense” of some of the guests more than to the hostel.
Atmosphere & Mood 5++/5
It would deserve more than 5. As I said in the intro it is harder than it seems to find a hostel with the right mood and atmosphere. During my trips (49 countries so far n.d.r) I only found a couple of hostels that really had the atmosphere and mood that I am looking for to feature on this blog and Fabrika Hostel is one of those. Reading online comments before booking the hostel many times the Fabrika has been defined as the “hipster mecca” but is more than just a place for hipsters. Fabrika Hostel is an incredible melting pot of travellers from all over the world that are sharing the same open-minded mentality and are ready to share their stories, ideas and adventures altogether with other travellers. The garden at night is populated by travellers that are staying at Fabrika and not only, but I’ve also met people coming there from all the other hostels in the city. What surprised me the most is that the garden is plenty of locals that are heading to Fabrika to spend a different night in a more multicultural and global contest and mood. This is the key to have an incredible atmosphere. When you can build bridges between locals and travellers you are really making the difference.
All those services have a cost, but not too high. Yes, if compared to the other hostels in the city the prices at Fabrika Hostel are higher in general but they are at the level of some European Capitals, nothing impossible. In this case, the rule that you pay for the quality you get is true. The dorms are starting at 10$ per night.
Sustainable Score 5-/5
A clear example of sustainability at 360° environmental, economic and social. The transformation of an old dismissed sewing factory into one of the most attractive destinations of the city has been an incredible work. The concept is really like the one of the Overstay Hostel in Tel Aviv but the outcomes are totally different. At Fabrika they have been able to build something more than a hostel. The building can generate benefits for the whole city and even for the country. Becoming, at the same time, a clear example of urban requalification. Something could be improved for what concerns waste management and the energy/water consumption but the concept of Sustainability has been expressed at 100%.
To conclude the Fabrika hostel review I can say without second thoughts that Fabrika is clearly the best green hostel in Tbilisi and one of the best hostels in Europe/Asia.
Have you been at Fabrika? Leave a comment down below, I am really curious about your opinion!