InterContinental Almaty, Kazakhstan Review
The InterContinental Almaty is located in a good spot near the Independence Monument in Almaty. While it is a bit of a distance from the best downtown eateries, it benefits from a huge nearby park and the more upscale eateries that the town offers. The building is clearly quite old, which you will notice more as you near it. It looks a bit similar to the 'fake InterContinental' in Addis Ababa (which just carries the name without being an InterContinental authorized by IHG). Check-in was quick and super-friendly, in fluent English. There was no drama from the agent, who simply looked up the reservation and gave me keys. Awesome! The (now somewhat cheesy) glass elevators got me to my room on the 6th floor. The room itself wasn't the newest either, but it was in great shape. The AC would not work initially, but the front desk sent the maintenance team, who fixed it, so cold air came out aplenty. However, I had no idea if the AC panel did anything useful, as whatever button I pressed it just worked exactly the same - maybe it guessed my preferences somehow? The internet was fast but not at all times. It would suddenly break connection, so I'd call down and the speed would come back up only to repeat losing connection later. The two beds were both equipped with firm mattresses (my favorite!) and fantastic duvets. I could sleep extremely well, even though the curtains still let some light in. The hotel (as with many other luxury hotels in the region) features a huge gym and spa in the basement. I loved the fitness equipment and the super-hot sauna when I used it. I was amazed by how many guests actually used it, as it's usually the part of a hotel that is the least crowded. I did not have a chance (or any willingness) to try the food at the hotel and the coffee shop in the lobby did not look that great. The super-delicious Sumo San and the Nedelka coffee shop (two of My Favorite Things to do in Almaty) are just 15 minutes' walking distance away. In general, I liked this hotel (I usually do like InterContinental Hotels). It provides understated luxury and everything works (or at least the staff really KNOW how to make things work). The hotel charges ~$200 or just 25,000 points per night, which is decent value in IHG Rewards Club points. You can book the InterContinental Almaty here.