- Bangkok Layover
- Hong Kong Layover (Novotel Nathan Road & Bo Innovation)
- HKG - ICN on Asiana Business Class with visits to Krisflyer and CNAC Lounges
- Seoul Layover (Grand Ambassador Hotel)
- ICN-FRA on Asiana First Class
- Frankfurt Layover(Ibis Frankfurt Centrum)
- FRA - ALA on Lufthansa First Class
- Destination Almaty - Impressions
- Destination Almaty - The Attractions
- Destination Almaty - The Food
- Destination Almaty - The Hotels
- Destination Almaty - The Surprise
- ALA - FRA on Lufthansa First Class
- 2nd Frankfurt Layover
- FRA - BKK on Thai First Class with Lufthansa First Class Lounge visit
- BKK - HKG on Thai First Class
- 2nd Hong Kong Layover with review of Novotel Citygate Hotel
We stayed for 4 days and nights in Almaty. Instead of just staying in one hotel, we ended up splitting the stays to 2 hotels - Astra Hotel for the first 3 nights and World Hotel Saltanet for a splurge and to take advantage of the hotels.com free night offer.
Hotels (as with most things) in Almaty are extremely expensive! Astra Hotel which was a mediocre 3 star hotel costs about ~$100 USD a night. On the high end of things, we paid ~$200 USD a night for World Hotel Saltanet which was a 4.5-5 star business hotels. Other hotels that we researched like the Holiday Inn and Intercontinental costs between $250 to $400 USD a night.
The room itself was the size of a typical Ibis/budget hotel and seemed pretty new. The carpets were slightly stained and dirty but other than that, the room was pretty clean. The bed however was too soft and it was hard to sleep when one of us was tossing around in bed. There was a flat screen TV in the room but there was only one English channel. It was a "unique" experience watching shows like CSI which were dubbed over in Russian.
There was also a gym and small pool in the basement but it was pretty grungy so we didn't use it the whole time we were there. The good thing about the hotel was that there was free internet (which was pretty fast) and the breakfast was decent. Would recommend the hotel to those on a budget if you can take the soft beds.
After 3 nights at the Astra, it was definitely another world when we moved to the Saltanat hotel. We were greeted by a modern looking lobby. We had booked a standard room but got upgraded to suite thanks to the surprise by Lydia. We were "wow-ed" the moment we stepped into the room - will let the pictures do the talking. Internet was included in the rate and best of all, there was English channels on the TV!