Best Eastern Otrar Hotel
73 Gogolya Ulitsa, Almaty, Kazakhstan
A 3-star hotel in a good location
The Best Eastern Otrar Hotel was, at best, a 3-star hotel but it is suitable for western European or American travelers. It was comfortable and the staff was accommodating, but the room was just average. Luckily, about 1/2 of the desk staff spoke English so I was able to communicate with them as required. I did have to get my Kazakhstan visa registered at the hotel even though I had also registered my visa while I was in Astana. I don't know if this was a requirement or if the hotel in Astana did it wrong or if it was just a little rip-off that this hotel does.
The hotel is located about a 25 minute taxi ride from the airport - without a lot of traffic of course! The hotel area is also host to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Uzbekistan Air National Bank of Pakistan, Tequila Sunrise nightclub and the Mirage Casino. It also maintains a Sauna and Pool complex, beauty salon, souvenir shop and vendors of books and pharmacy.
They provide an internet card for wireless internet as long as you have your own PC with you. I do think they provided a little business center but I never used it if they do have it.
I am only 5'8" tall and I thought that the bed was small - but it was a small room so I guess that was OK. This hotel does not provide coffee in the room.
I did find the location of the hotel to be very good. For example it is only a few blocks from the Almaty pedestrian shopping street. Zhybek-Zholy Street (Kazakh for Silk Road and formerly Gorky Str.) is a miniature Moscow "Arbat" street. It is the meet and greet place for locals, artists and musicians. There are lots of food and drink kiosks located along this way. At one end there is an enclosed shopping mall with many small but interesting shops.
There were also restaurants and cafes that were located within easy walking distance to this hotel. And there is a nice little sitting park located right next to the hotel.
Unique Quality: They have a little gift and card shop which is where I wound up buying post cards and stamps.
Nice Hotel in Almaty
The Hotel Otrar is nothing spectacular. But is nice, good location and has very friendly staff. The rooms are a bit dark but clean and all with private bathroom.
Unique Quality: The hotel has everything you need for a nice and pleasant stay. Souvenir Shop, Business Center.
The most spectacular thing, the hotel offers, is its really nice restaurant, where you also find the breakfast buffet. It is a round hall with a cupula, which is decorated with big murals. It resembles a big jurt. The breakfast buffet is very recommendable.
Directions: Opposite to Panfilov Park
This was my second hotel .Its well located just in front of Pamfilova parc and very near to almost everywhere.The restaurant also is well known by the local people.
It becomes a little old fashioned after the buildings of the new shiny hotels
The Otrar Hotel
Unique Quality: One of the best in the former Kazakh capital. The Otrar Hotel (now a 4-star one and called after an ancient ruined city Iýve actually been to), built in 1981 (itýs actually the same age as I am) and renovated in 1994, is located in the city center, close to the park area, within walking distance of the trade, business centers. Itýs main attraction to tourists comes in the form of its being close to the Orthodox Zenkov Wooden Cathedral. There is a restaurant with Mexican cuisine in the hotel, a casino, karaoke bar, billiards, currency exchange, beauty parlour and all the rest of it. Rooms come with everything a good four-star hotel ought to have. Does not look flashy on the outside, but a good place to stay.
Directions: Any taxi driver knows it!!
More about Best Eastern Otrar Hotel
If you are walking past Otrar Hotel, just continue walking... In the basement you find the nightclub/bar Tequila Sunrise. The drinks are expensive, the staff are hopeless, and allways saying they dont have change...hoping you will let them keep the money. (I dont tip unattentive and grumpy staff $10 each drink!). The guests are a mixture of asian businessmen, expats, working-girls and even some old trannys! Its supposed to be a western-theme I think, but it is far from charming. Give it a miss, or forget you have ever been there! I think you could walk around wearing anything here, as long as you have your wallet with you...