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Home Away from Home: Stephen Johnson, Betsy’s Hotel

Well-appointed rooms, a warm, homey atmosphere and a well-trained staff are the reasons for the continuing popularity of Betsy’s Hotel.

Stephen JohnsonStephen Johnson
Betsy’s Hotel
Published: 2010

Originally established as Betsy’s Guesthouse in 1993 by Ms. Betsy Haskell, a former USAID consultant, this hotel was meant for embassy personnel looking for safe and well-run accommodation. The five-room hotel on Gogegashvili Street in the Vera District of Tbilisi soon became popular with diplomats and expats, so much so that Ms. Haskell had to increase its capacity by 10 rooms. It was not just the proximity of the guesthouse to the cultural centre of the city—the Philharmonic Theatre, Freedom Square and the Mtatsminda Mountain (Holy Mountain)—but the comfortable rooms, the intimate atmosphere and the attentive staff that were the reason behind Betsy’s success.

Betsy’s Hotel
Betsy’s Guesthouse was renamed Betsy’s Hotel in 2001, when Stephen Johnson bought the business out from Ms. Haskell, with partner Mark Mullen. The new owners leased a building close to the original guesthouse and increased its capacity by about thirteen rooms. While Betsy’s Hotel retained the charm that had brought its predecessor recognition, it now offered additional comfort and amenities to its customers: street and private parking, a fitness centre, conference room with video and IT connectivity, a bar and a heated swimming pool. Since then,


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