Astana was a transit point to my final destination within Kazakhstan, and upon arrival before leaving for a train the next morning I stayed in a fly-by-night type of place that was lacking in comfort, security, and safety. My intent was to tour Astana for a couple days prior to flying out of the country on my way out, so I chose the King Hotel as my place to stay before departure.
My Kazakhstan native friend and I arrived from a horrible overnight train trip early in the morning and decided that we would take a cab to the hotel first. We arrived sometime after 8am in the morning, and like most of the service I experienced in Kazakhstan, service at this hotel was rude and unaccomodating. We were unable to get an early check-in (a few hours ahead of time) without paying half of a day's rate. Hotel policy, I suppose, but I felt that anywhere else (and with the amount of presumably unoccupied rooms this hotel has), they would have been able to accomodate us.
Even worse, we were not allowed to get some snacks from the breakfast buffet without paying the full rate for it. This bothered me since after my final evening, I was going to be leaving in the middle of the night and would not be able to take advantage of the breakfast on my last morning out. Thank goodness, a nice waitress did find us and was able to take an order to the kitchen that we were able to eat in the lobby while waiting to check in. Not receiving a check for the meal, we eventually made our way up to the room and received a phone call shortly after telling us that we owed our lunch bill. Disorganized.
Speaking of the breakfast, I do recall that I had some trouble figuring out exactly what the policy was (as to whether it was included or not). I ended up sneaking by the hostess up front, not knowing whether giving my room number would result in some large fee.
Once we arrived to the room, it was definitely pleasant compared to my other hotel accomodation in Astana. The room was suite style, with a lovely bathroom, long hallway to the bedroom, ample space, an LCD television, refrigerator, and balcony overlooking some of Astana city. I will agree with other reviewers that the style of the tub, with no stall shower, no curtain, and limited length of the hose made taking adaquate showers very difficult. Overall, I was pleased to have a comfortable accomodation in Astana for my final couple nights.
The lobby is clean, modern, and nice. The rooms are very nice. Construction quality of this hotel is definitely poor. It is only a few years old but the exterior is crumbling and the room furniture, although new and clean, is falling apart. However, our room was very quiet and getting a good night's rest was no problem. Location is not wonderful, and you must get a taxi and cross town to see the limited tourist destinations. Free wireless internet all through the hotel was a great benefit, even if Kazakh Telecom is hit or miss.
We stopped at the lobby bar one night after a long day out and ordered a couple drinks. Two standard drinks were around $18 USD, which I thought was expensive, but expected.
At the approximately $150 USD per night that I paid for this hotel, I expected better and more accomodating service. However, I think that poor service and high hospitality prices are the norm in Astana. The room was large and comfortable, and served as a nice pad for our time there. Compared to the much more expensive options there, this is a good option if you want a nice accomodation but can do without exemplary service.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel’s convenient location in the heart of the city offers great possibility to get acquainted to the capital. After the working day or day spent in the city our hotel invites our guests to spend memorable evenings in our hotel. Comfortable residences, delicious breakfast, fast and quality service, responsive and understanding staff and our expertise are our first priorities in our business. Enjoy staying with us. ... more less
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