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“Clean, but poor service & food”
Review of Otrar

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Otrar
Ranked #27 of 75 Hotels in Almaty
Reviewed June 19, 2011

I stayed there only two days but it was enough to feel how poor the service is there. It looks like they get many customers who leave without paying because they made me pay for all my stay during check in. Since the moment I checked in and until my check out all reception talked to me about was "Are you really checking out by 12 o'clock on 16 June?" In fact, it was the only thing I heard from reception during all 2 days of my stay. I haven't been offered anything or asked how I liked the hotel, etc.

The food at Otrar is bad as well. Everything I tried there (breakfasts and a very strange "burger") was either too deeply fried, too salty or otherwise ruined. I would recommend to eat there.

There must be a good part in everything. For this hotel it's cleanliness. Everything in the rooms is clean. Cleaning is regular and of high quality.

The condition of rooms is ok. The location is not bad - it's in the city's old downtown area surrounded by many offices, shops, restaurants. Wifi Internet is not free and is rather expensive.

That's pretty much all I can say about the place.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled on business
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4  Thank Tatar_KZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 - 51 of 102 reviews

Reviewed June 4, 2010

The Hotel Otrar isn't fancy and it certainly isn't well set up to support business travelers; however, I think it is a great choice for tourists who want a local experience and easy access to tourist sights.

The property is right next to Panfilov Park and is in easy walking distance of Almaty's major tourist sights and restaurants. The external facade is very Soviet but the interior has a somewhat charming Russian feel to it (e.g., marble, dark red fabrics, and chandeliers). Beds are reasonably comfortable and showers are hot. The property serves primarily Russian and Kazakh food. Front desk staff are helpful but English skills are somewhat limited. Internet service is painfully slow but very cheap.

I'm sure the Hyatt, Marriott and Intercontinental are nicer; however, they are US chains and are inconvenient for tourists given their location in the business district. That said, given the slow internet access at the Hotel Otrar, it would be almost impossible to work here.

  • Stayed: April 2010
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2  Thank Japan_Gaijin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2009

I have stayed at numerous hotels in Almaty, all of which have been around half the price of this one, but I decided to treat myself. I was extremely disappointed.

Whilst the room was clean, it was of a lesser standard than the hotels that were actually cheaper. The hotel is greatly overpriced for what they offer. A taxi costs 5000 tenge to the airport as opposed to the usual 2000 standard fair and I was charged twice, once by the hotel and once by the taxi driver, so a total of 10000 tenge for a 2000 tenge journey.

To add insult to injury, my credit card has been cloned and there have been numerous transactions since my stay there. It is the only place I have used my card here so I am pretty sure that this is where it occured.

The rooms are very basic and desperately need updating and renovating. The rate of $180 per night (for a single bed that left both my legs and arms falling out either side of the bed) is extremely high. They offer 1 hour free internt in the business centre, which still does not justify the price, as cleaner / higher specification hotels are available at around $90 per night.

In short, there are far better hotels to stay at in Almaty at a better prices, where you can be sure of your credit cards integrity!

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled on business
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5  Thank hypancistus046
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2009

Otrar hotel has a really good location – in a very central zone in front of a beautiful park, near the central shops and everything. It is positioned as a 4 star, but as it happens sometimes in post soviet countries it will not meet your usual expectations of a 4 star level. However if you are not a very sophisticated customer, you will feel pretty comfortable with the accommodation. I agree with a reviewer below saying that the outside of the building is not at all impressive, but the rooms are all right. The standard of cleanness is pretty high (and that’s the number one thing that matters for me), the furniture is a bit outdated, but of a good quality, the bathroom could have been more modern, but the accessorizes such as toothbrush, toiletries, slippers and bathrobe make you forget about little outdated details.

I had a business room with a gorgeous view of the park and mountains. Actually the view – is the best thing about the hotel, of course if you’re staying on the right side of the building (as someone already said, the other side is a mess). The breakfast was included; the choice of food was all right. Be prepared for the strange tea taste, that’s the peculiarity of tea they use in Kazakhstan. The breakfast room is the room for the dinner as well (I tried it, since it was raining heavily that day and there were no chance to go out), wouldn’t recommend having dinner in the hotel. Buffet style, all wrapped in pellicle, so little, that if the other person wanted to have dinner we both would stay hungry. Soup, two variants of hot dishes and side meals. No dessert. If you are staying in a business room, you have a right for one hour of internet use for day (not wifi though) and two dress cleanings.

All and all, my experience was all right. In my own raiting I’d put Otrar hotel 3 and a half. The hotel was clean; the bed was comfortable, the breakfast kept me going for the day. However if you are looking for a European type of a 4 star hotel, this is definitely not you choice

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank venefica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2008

Stayed for over a week as most hotels fully booked. Lovely view from top floor across park to mountains. Rooms very basic, but clean and adequate room for business traveller. Food options are limited, but fortunately several restaurants in walking distance. Limited direct internet access without purchasing expensive wireless card. Minibar never restocked without asking, especially just for water.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled on business
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Thank CamEvans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2007

The outside of this hotel is exceedingly drab and ugly. The reception area is spacious, marble covered but souless.

The bedroom creates an altogether better impression, recently painted in white with good condition, heavily lacquered dark wood furniture. This was the only hotel we found of eight in Central Asia where the curtains fully drew across the windows. The bedroom was well equipped with minibar, hairdrier, phone and satellite tv albeit mostly Russian stations but with BBC World. The beds were comfortable and the airconditioning quiet and good. The pleasant view from our miniscule 'balcony' was of the park and the mountains. The advertised rack rate was £80 for a standard double.

The breakfast buffet had a wide choice of food you probably wouldn't want to eat. The least appetising items included stewed tea, cold tinned peas, oily reheated fried eggs and meatballs presumably from the previous evening's buffet. We didn't try supper!

Finally, the hotel room information pack contains extensive instructions about earthquakes. Listen out for 'dogs howling one week before, and whimpering 4-6 hours prior to, the quake'. Be warned!

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank afcok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Aberdeen
113
Reviewed April 2, 2006

It's easy to knock these places but I will try and be as subjective as possible

The hotel was clean and the room comfortable. The staff will provide assistance without pushing themselves but I found their English to be very limited.

The hotel has a list of amenties but do not expect to be kept amused. The pool is tiny, smallest I have seen in fact and did not look too clean. They have two bars, one in reception and one on the staircase on the second floor, I was there a week and did not see more than two people at either. There is a billiard room, when the staff eventually found it I was given a box of balls which did not fit down the holes on the table. They have a casino but there are about 20 others to choose from within walking distance, it seems to be the national pastime.

I would avoid the resteraunt with the possible exception of breakfast, the meals are all buffet and very similar each day. The hotel has a small Chech resteraunt out back called Brino, it is far better but you will have to pay cash.

There was only one English speaking TV channel, CNN.

All that said, the hotel is central and convenient, with a reasonable view from the front, horrible from the back. The Silk Way shopping mall is round the corner and the business district is close by. In all not too bad for the money.

  • Stayed: March 2006, traveled on business
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13  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Otrar

Address: Gogolya St., 73 | corner of Kunaeva St., Almaty 50004, Kazakhstan
Phone Number:
Location: Kazakhstan > Almaty
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #27 of 75 Hotels in Almaty
Price Range: $44 - $55 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Otrar 4*
Number of rooms: 161
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel is located in the downtown Almaty, near to a park zone, business and shopping centers, at a distance of 5 minutes from "Акбота"-entertainment park & city zoo, 20 minutes from the airport and 5 minutes from railway station. From windows of hotel you may enjoy the perfect panorama of Zailijski Alatau mountains in combination of the Museum of musical instruments and golden domes of Zenkov Cathedral. ... more   less 
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