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By the way, we would recommend you to combine your visit to Gagra with other popular and interesting places of Abkhazia, for example: New Athos, Lake Ritsa, Sukhumi, Tsandryphsh, Gudauta, Gagra, Pitsunda, etc.
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Hotels of Gagra
A hotel in Gagra is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Gagra hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Gagra are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Gagra hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Gagra hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Gagra have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Gagra
An upscale full service hotel facility in Gagra that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Gagra hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Gagra
Full service Gagra hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Gagra
Boutique hotels of Gagra are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Gagra boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Gagra may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Gagra
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Gagra travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Gagra focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Gagra
Small to medium-sized Gagra hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Gagra traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Gagra hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Gagra
A bed and breakfast in Gagra is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Gagra bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Gagra B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Gagra
Gagra hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Gagra hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Gagra
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Gagra hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Gagra lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Gagra
Gagra timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Gagra often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Gagra on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Gagra
A Gagra motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Gagra for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Gagra motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Gagra (Georgian: გაგრა; Abkhaz and Russian: Гагра) is a town in Abkhazia, sprawling for 5 km on the northeast coast of the Black Sea, at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains. Its subtropical climate made Gagra a popular health resort in Imperial Russian and Soviet times.
It had a population of 26,636 in 1989, but this has fallen considerably due to the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia and other demographic shifts during and after the War in Abkhazia (1992–93).
Gagra is the centre of the district of the same name. It is located in the western part of Region of Abkhazia, and river Psou serves as a border with Krasnodar Kray of Russia.
According to the Georgian scholars, Gagra is derived from Gakra meaning walnut in the Svan language. According to the Soviet sports tourism master Bondaryev, the name of the city originates from the local Gagaa clan. According to Professor V. Kvarchija, Gagra (< *ga-kʼə-ra) means ‘the holder of the coast’ in Abkhaz (Gagra was mentioned as Kakara, Kakkari on old maps).
The town was established as a Greek colony in the kingdom of Colchis, called Triglite, inhabited by Greeks and Colchians. Colchis came under the control of the kingdom of Pontus in the 1st century BC before being absorbed by the Roman Empire, which renamed the town as Nitica. Its geographical position led the Romans to fortify the town, which was repeatedly attacked by Goths and other invaders. After the fall of Rome, its successor, the Byzantine Empire, took control of the town and whole Colchis. It became a major trading settlement in which Genoan and Venetian merchants were prominent, trading in the town's main exports - wood, honey, wax and slaves. The name "Gagra" appeared for the first time on a map in 1308, on a map of the caucasus made by the Italian Pietro Visconti, which is now in the Library of Saint Mark in Venice.
Gagra: Gagra within the Russian Empire
Palace of the Prince of Oldenburg
In the 16th century, Gagra and the rest of western Georgia was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. The western merchants were expelled and the town entered a prolonged period of decline, with much of the local population fleeing into the mountains. By the 18th century the town had been reduced to little more than a village surrounded by forests and disease-ridden swamps. Its fortunes were restored in the 19th century when the Russian Empire expanded into the region, annexing whole Georgia. The swamps were drained and the town was rebuilt around a new military hospital. Its population, however, was still small: in 1866, a census recorded that 336 men and 280 women, mostly local families or army officers and their dependents, lived in Gagra. The town suffered badly in the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-1878, when Turkish troops invaded, destroyed the town and expelled the local population. Russia won the war, however, and rebuilt Gagra again.
View of Gagra's wharf sometime between 1905 and 1915.
After the war, the town was "discovered" by Duke Alexander Petrovich of Oldenburg, a member of the Russian royalty. He saw the potential of the region's subtropical climate and decided to build a high-class resort there. Having raised a large sum of money from the government, he built himself a palace there and constructed a number of other buildings in an eclectic variety of styles from around Europe. A park was laid out with tropical trees and even parrots and monkeys imported to give it an exotic feel. Despite the expensive work, the resort was not initially a success, although it did later attract a growing number of foreign tourists visiting on cruises of the Black Sea.
Gagra: Gagra under the Soviet Union
In the Russian Revolution of 1905, a local uprising produced a revolutionary government in the town, which founded a short-lived Republic of Gagra. This was soon defeated and the revolutionaries arrested en masse. The First World War a few years later was a disaster for Gagra, destroying the tourist trade on which it depended. The Russian Revolution shortly afterwards saw the Bolsheviks take over the town; despite a brief French attempt to repel them during the Russian Civil War, the town was firmly incorporated into the new Soviet Union within Georgian SSR.
The Bolshevik leader, Vladimir Lenin, issued a decree in 1919 establishing a "worker's resort" in Gagra, nationalising the resort that had been built by Oldenburg. It became a popular holiday resort for Soviet citizens and during World War II gained a new role as a site for the rehabilitation of wounded soldiers. After the war, various state-run sanatoriums were built there. The resort grew and was developed intensively as part of the "Soviet Riviera".
Gagra: Gagra in post-soviet Abkhazia
In the late 1980s, tensions grew between the Georgian and Abkhazian communities in the region. All-out war erupted between 1992-1993 which ended in a defeat of the Georgian government's forces. Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Georgians were expelled from their homes in Abkhazia in an outbreak of mass ethnic cleansing in which thousands of Georgian civilians were massacred. Gagra and the Abkhazian capital Sukhumi were at the centre of the fighting and suffered heavy damage.
See also: Battle of Gagra
An early medieval church of the Protection of the Virgin
The chief landmarks of Gagra are:
Ruins of the Abaata Fortress (4th-5th century AD;
A 6th-century Church of Gagra, said to be the oldest in Abkhazia;
Marlinsky defensive tower (1841);
19th-century palace of the Prince of Oldenburg.
Gagra: International relations
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Georgia
Gagra: Twin towns - Sister cities
Gagra is twinned with the following city:
Gagra: See also
Abkhazia's status is disputed. It considers itself to be an independent state, but this is recognised by only a few other countries. The Georgian government and most of the world's other states consider Abkhazia de jure a part of Georgia's territory. In Georgia's official subdivision it is an autonomous republic, whose government sits in exile in Tbilisi.
The Governor of Gagra District is at the same time Mayor of the Gagra municipality.
Topchishvili, Roland (2005), History of Georgian Mountain Regions: Svaneti and Its Inhabitants (Ethno-historical Studies). National Parliamentary Library of Georgia
БОНДАРЕВ, Н.Д. (1981). В ГОРАХ АБХАЗИИ (In Abkhazian mountains) (in Russian). Moscow: Физкультура и спорт.
Кәарҷиа В. Е. Аҧсны атопонимика - Аҟәа. 2002. P. 92