Getting Away From the Crowds – A Shipping Container Ski Resort in the Caucasus Mountains
A new ski and yoga resort has opened in the Georgian Caucasus Mountains that is built entirely of shipping containers. Tourists from Europe, the US and Antipodes just don’t visit this place, so if you’re thinking of going to one of the most stunning yet unexplored places in the world, this could well be worth a trip.
Where’s this, then?
Georgia lies at the tectonic plates of the geopolitical rivalry between Russia and the West, in the region physically separating Europe and Asia. Being a much bickered over region by those in power, not many people from our neck of the woods have paid it a visit. Famous British adventurer, ex-special forces soldier Levison Wood said that the bickering really shouldn’t deter the traveller as the locals are fantastic.
Speaking to the Guardian newspaper about his latest walk from Russia to Iran through the mountains, Wood said, the “hospitality was what drew me back. Georgians have a saying: “A stranger will never die of hunger.” The food is amazing: my favourite dish was khachapuri, Georgian cheesy bread that’s great with local wine.”
Wood remembers one incident in his 2004 trip: “I was sleeping on a village bench when some men approached. One, Gocha, insisted I stay with him. When we got to his house, out came a bottle of vodka. When it was empty, out came another one. He wouldn’t let me leave for three days! Eventually I climbed out of the window and did a runner. When I went back 13 years later, he immediately said: “Ah, Englishman.” And then, of course, he opened another bottle…”.
So, yes, Georgians are fascinated by foreigners and will treat you so well you might have to jump out of the window to save your liver. The scenery of the mountains is something quite special too, with ordinary peaks so high you’d look at the Blue Mountains as mere hummocks. It being where civilisations meet, there are also a huge variety of ethnicities and cultures. This region of the world will blow your mind if you’re in it for some adventure!
The Quadrum Resort
The Quadrum Resort is located 2200 metres above sea level near Gudari in Georgia. It is a luxurious boutique ski resort just a stone’s throw from a ski lift. The ski hotel is made of shipping containers, with the ground floor a large space including yoga rooms, a swimming pool and a dining and bar area for you to enjoy your ‘apres ski’ socialising and relaxation.
Heading upstairs you will find that the rooms are made of one shipping container each, giving each guest ample space to chill out. This isn’t Soviet era brutalist construction either – each guest space is really well appointed with wood panels and comfortable furniture. If you really want to splash out on your trip then you can have a room with its own Jacuzzi that can pummel and warm your aching legs after a day exploring some of the best slopes in the world.
Being built of shipping containers, the Quadrum Resort has a very small environmental impact. The containers are repurposed from their lives globetrotting with consumer goods, and the main building is supported by recycled steel – this is 30% less carbon hungry than concrete.
As to prices? While the company doesn’t advertise, it might not be a case of ‘if you need look at the price you can’t afford it’. Georgia isn’t a wealthy country and what is expensive for them may just be pocket money for you.
A final point: the mountain biking and walking in the region is very special. You might want to stay in the shipping containers high up in the Caucasus mountains in winter then see the place the following summer. You never know – you might get to see the legendary Georgian welcome and have a story to tell or two like Levison Wood!
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