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“Very disappointing”
Review of Ak Keme Hotel

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Ak Keme Hotel
Ranked #35 of 45 Hotels in Bishkek
California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Very disappointing”
Reviewed October 29, 2013

As someone previously mentioned - A Soviet hangover conveys the essence of this hotel. It lacks character, is dingy and dark, is poorly maintained and the room furniture is soiled and dated with hot pink accents!!!
I am shocked that it is in a four **** category. If amenities define the category, then let's re-define what 4 **** actually means for the traveler.
I was so disappointed with my stay that I even spoke to the receptionist and requested for a better room on our return from Issyk Kul but there was no difference except for being on a higher floor.
The hallways are huge and spacious (dark and sparse) but the rooms are small and compact. The mattress was hard and the thin comforter just barely fit the double bed. At least the second room we got on our return, had a bigger blanket. The linen was clean but the towels were terribly thread bare and the floor mat torn and frayed. It amazes me that a country with so much cotton and cotton fields has such thread bare towels in all their hotels. The bathroom, although stocked with shampoo/soap/toothbrushes etc, lacks basic maintenance. The shower head had so much mineral deposit and was spraying water from a patched up side opening as well. The base of the shower curtain had a stain along the length of it and certainly had seen better days.
The breakfast was very standard and even though there were several choices of pastries and cakes, all baked goods were dry.
Tripadvisor reviewers list the Holiday Hotel as #1 and although the reviews are great, it is on a main street and sandwiched between two buildings. The Hyatt is not affordable and I don't think there is another hotel in this 4**** category which is a shame for such a vibrant city like Bishkek.
I would definitely NOT recommend the Ak Keme. It lacks basic maintenance, is characterless and soulless!!!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank kayshu01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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55 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
445 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 228 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2013

During my time in Central Asia following the Silk Route through the 'Stans' I stayed in some horrid hotels. When I arrived at the Ak Keme I was prepared to hate it, but the hotel and staff offered a marvelous break from the disappointments and bad attitudes rife elsewhere. Ak Keme means White Boat, though I was hard-pressed to find the eponymous allusion in the the structure of the hotel. It's not attractive at all; the lobby is a touch forlorn; the gym downstairs is actually dangerous because the equipment is is such bad shape; the rooms are cookie-cutter and the beds not terribly comfortable; my shower head spewed water everywhere but downward.

And yet, and yet, I really enjoyed my stay in this hotel. Why? The people who worked there. From check-in at the front desk, to the nice woman in the business who hands out the user name and password for the dappertutto wifi (even in the room - the first hotel of our trip in which that was the case), to the cute lady who cleaned the rooms on my floor, to the nice people at the bar, and finally the wonderfully accommodating and caring staff in the breakfast room.

So many fancy hotels pile on the luxuries and amenities and forget that very often the tired traveler is just looking for a friendly face or voice - and wifi throughout the hotel - and genuine help when he or she needs something. And that you have in spades with the staff of the Ak Keme.

And you have real cappuccino when you want it at breakfast, at ten, at lunch, at three, whenever, also a treat when traveling in Central Asia. And a pleasant bar in which to sit with friends and enjoy wine (drinkable) or vodka (Russian mineral water they call it).

The rooms are nothing to write home about, though mine was comfortable, with a small balcony (a clean one - did you hear that King Hotel in Astana - a clean balcony) with a stunning view of the snow covered and sometimes fog enshrouded mountains.

I comfortably recommend this hotel - is the best? Is it luxurious? Is it all you need? Probably not any of those, but it is friendly, warm, charming, with good libations, and good food, and most of all, truly good people.

Room Tip: Given the layout of the hotel, most of the rooms appeared to be similar. i would, however, go for a...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank William B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
110 reviews
109 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 260 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2013

This hotel is nothing special, but it is quite adequate for a short stay. It is on the outskirts of the town, and although you can walk easily to a nearby boulevard lined with trees and shops, you will need a cab to get to the main downtown area. It is located on quite high ground, so from higher floors you get an excellent view in all directions. There is huge swimming pool in the grounds.

The rooms a are a decent size and all have a terrace. Theres a mini bar with a small selection of items. The TV is pre-flat screen, but it does provide several foreign language channels including BBC. There's a useful desk with two outlets for charging laptops, phones, etc. The bathroom is quite good, with a bidet, a tub with overhead shower, and a good supply of toiletries including comb, toothbrush with a little tube of toothpaste, and razor with a little tube of shaving cream.

A welcome feature -- a real rarity in this part of the world -- is free wifi in the rooms. The connection was generally quite fast and reliable. There is also a business center, apparently open 24 hours a day, although it was unattended at night. Several computers are available there free of charge.

The breakfast buffet offers a reasonable choice and is quite comparable with most good hotels in Central Asia. Other meals were bland and uninspired and I would recommend that you try dining in one of the many other restaurants in the city.

The hotel staff are very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank IanWriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
422 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 209 helpful votes
Reviewed May 25, 2013

When a guest arrives in this hotel, which is located approximately 8 km from the center, that is if you are not arriving early in the morning, you will be met by a tall building with the name of the hotel prominently displayed at the tip of the facade and on top of the name, 4 stars. After a 4 night stay, my general evaluation is that the hotel does not live up to the 4 stars - the third star, the hotel deserves only because of the facilities in the lobby, such as an excellent lounge bar with live music in the evening - not disco music but, nice relaxing music from a pianist and the last day, a duo playing violin and piano; a good business centre, good hotel receptionists and free wifi, but was not working on the first day, which was slow at times, but this is forgivable considering that this is Central Asia.

Trip Advisor rates this hotel as no. 9 out of 15 in Bishkek and I agree. The first time, I traveled on business to Bishkek in 2012, I stayed at the Hotel Holiday, which is no. 1 according to Trip Advisor, and it was also my first choice during this visit. However, this hotel was fully booked, so I had to take Ak Keme Hotel, mainly because, my company will be attending a conference here in October, and I wanted to check whether it is good enough.

As my husband was accompanying me on this trip, I had to order a double room. The price is quite high and definitely not worth it. A double room costs 200 USD, which I managed to negotiate down to 180 USD. What do you get for this price? You get the same room as a single room, except that you get additional towels and toiletries for the additional person and breakfast, which is a chapter in itself. The room is basic - no safety deposit, no coffee/tea making facilities, the bed linens consist of a thin white bed sheet with a woolen/or probably synthetic cover on top for greater warmth - which I think has not been washed for some time, that I had to take an anti-histaminic pill on the first night. There is a terrace with a view of the mountains, which was beautiful, that is, if you can distract yourself from the skeleton of a building being constructed on the foreground. There is a busy highway, the noise of which can prevent you from getting some sleep, if you choose to sleep with the terrace door open. The bathroom, however, is alright. There is a bathtub, a bidet, which I greatly appreciated, a pair of slippers and a bathrobe (not two considering that it is a double room with two occupants. I also had to ask for extra towels etc.) The toiletries are adequate: lotion, shower gel, shampoo, comb, toothbrush, and other items.

The breakfast is a mixture of continental and Asian. The pastries were dry and inedible, so I kept myself to the Asian part, which was adequate, with rice, fish, meat, pancakes, boiled eggs. The cornflakes looked old, so I did not touch them. There were three kinds of tea, and for coffee lovers, only instant coffee served in a bowl. The staff were inattentive and at one point, no cutleries were provided, so we had to ask for knives and forks. Two dinners, we ate at the restaurant, which looked as if it had been newly renovated. The service is as scarce as the number of guests eating there. The menu is impressive - a thick book with different dishes. We had dinner in the restaurant twice, only because, I was so tired after a long day of meetings, that I did not wish to go out and find a restaurant. The hotel is far from the city center, so the choices are limited. The food was edible, but the service is terrible. The waiters did not speak a word of English. The menu is an English and the dishes have numbers, despite this, communication was very difficult. Two of our colleagues had dinner here on the same night, but they had to give up waiting for their main dish. We ordered a bottle of Moldovan red wine, and the waiter came with a glass of white wine, so we repeated our order, and she came back with a bottle of white wine, only when with sign language, I pointed out the color red and a bottle, did she manage to get it right.


If this hotel has to live up to international standards and to the advertised 4 stars, a lot of shaping up has to be done. The old carpets have to be changed, rooms have to be modernized and the restaurant staff have to be trained to provide service. The cook is doing a good job, but if the people serving them cannot communicate with the guests, then they will not come back. I have stayed in worse hotels, but in some of these hotels, it is always the excellent service of the staff, which prevented me from giving them a bad rating.

Room Tip: Choose a room on the higher floors with a view of the mountains and far from the highway.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Exelcis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2013 via mobile

It is easy to realise. When you see the lobby, the entrance, the reception. This definitely was once a great place. But am afraid cant say the same about it anymore. The phones in the room don't work, the buffet breakfast is just about there. The cornflakes were old and the list continues

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chandanbshetty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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South Africa
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2012

I attended a conference recently at this hotel and while the rooms are clean and functional (although the cleaning staff really piled into my new Estee Lauder cream) and there are large, spacious entertainment spaces, the food (for conference delegates) left much to be desired. We had the same meal (limp salad for starters, inedible meat patty and rice for mains) over and over again. I know this country is emerging from under the Soviet boot, but this seems to be unacceptable service. So, if you really need to stay in Bishkek, this hotel is OK. But if you are having a conference there, eat from the restaurants.

Room Tip: The rooms on the highest floor get good views of the nearby mountain range.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank HawkSouthAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terre Haute, Indiana
Level Contributor
376 reviews
116 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 228 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Only because of the public areas, would I highly recommend this hotel. As in most countries in this area of the world, there are no coffee/tea-making facilities, no iron/ironing board and a very small room. The television is old style and takes up a great deal of a cabinet top. In addition, there is no safe in the room. Wi-fi in the room costs $10 US a day.

On the positive side, there are nice bathroom amenities including tissues. A bidet was in my room as well - 607. Each room has a balcony...mine was a view of the mountains with snow caps still in September. The business center has free internet including Skype. It is posted as being open from 8:00 a.m.until midnight; however, I used it at 6:30 a.m.

Breakfast was very nice albeit Nescafe. There were many choices and contrary to what an earlier post stated, there were only two people eating breakfast at 6:15 a.m. And no one came in before I left. Breakfast is served from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. I know this is weekdays, not sure about weekends.

And now for the public areas. There is a very large outdoor pool with a bridge over it. There is a children's pool and a staffed bar on the patio as well as lounge chairs and tables/chairs with umbrellas. There are two tennis courts as well as a basketall coart. Inside the hotel is a smaller swimming pool and sauna; massages are available. A ping pong table is also in that area. The lobby is quite large and there is a bar and live music at times...at least that is what was posted. There is a room for you to store your valuables since there is no safe in the room. There are gift shops as well. Even though this hotel might be considered more of a resort since it is a little far out from the city and offers all of these amentities for the vacationer, I do recommend staying here.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank jwjwjwjw1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ak Keme Hotel

Property: Ak Keme Hotel
Address: 93 Mira Prospect, Bishkek 720000, Kyrgyzstan
Location: Kyrgyzstan > Bishkek
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#19 Luxury Hotel in Bishkek
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Ak Keme Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 170
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Also Known As:
Ak Keme Hotel Bishkek, Asia

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