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Best hotels in the mountains of Almaty
The main natural attraction of Almaty are the Tian Shan mountains. Tall, majestic, with sharp snow-capped peaks - they are breathtaking and attract tourists from all over the country. In clear sunny weather and with no smog, they are visible from most of the city.
Residents and guests of the city love to visit a variety of spots in the mountains, so now their slopes are strewn with various establishments - houses, dachas, yurts, cottages, and, of course, hotels. The latter are ideal for lovers of comfort who plan to stay in the mountains for a couple of days. Especially for them, we have prepared a selection of the most popular hotels in the Almaty mountains. The rating is based on statistical data from Google, the most popular search engine in Kazakhstan. From these, we have chosen the most popular hotels. They may not be perfect, but they clearly attract many customers. Some people argue with statistics, but most people trust them. We also took into account the price-quality ratio.
1. Shymbulak Resort Hotel and Spa 3*
Our list opens with the Shymbulak Hotel (formerly Chimbulak), a popular holiday destination and a favorite base for winter athletes. It is located in the Little Almaty valley, at an altitude of 2260 m above sea level. It is only 25 km from downtown Almaty, 100 meters away from the ski lifts (we are talking about the Combi 1 cable car and the Medeu-Shymbulak gondola). Thanks to this location, the hotel is in demand among ski lovers and professional athletes. By the way, the entire infrastructure is made just for them.
Guests of the hotel complex can take advantage of free Internet access, a ski depot, equipment storage rooms, and a conference room. The rooms are bright and comfortable and have satellite TV. Breakfast is included in the room rate. In addition to private rooms, there are good hostels. If the prices are too steep, visit on a weekday.
2. Oi-Qaragai (Lesnaya Skazka) 4*
Mountain Resort Hotel, which used to be called “Lesnaya Skazka of Almaty" and now “Oy Karagay”. Located in a quiet location on the territory of the Ile-Alatau National Park (7 km from Besqaynar and half an hour by car from the city),. It has everything for a pleasant and active holiday:
- Rope park;
- Spa with sauna and hot tub;
- Health Center;
- Ski and sleigh tracks;
- Massages and therapeutic procedures upon individual request are carried out in yurts.
The rooms and chalets have an original design. Each has a balcony with mountain views, a minibar, satellite TV, and free Wi-Fi. Bathrooms are equipped with hygiene products and a hairdryer. Horse riding is available on-site. The restaurant serves European and Georgian dishes. Room delivery is available for a fee. But parking is free. The main feature of the resort is considered to be the “Spirit of the Tien Shan” trolley park, the largest in all of Asia and the third largest in the world. The hotel is open all year round. On weekdays the cost is cheaper.
On the territory of the Lesnaya Skazka resort - SPA hotel Umai
A hotel with an original ethno-spa, the procedures of which are carried out in traditional Kazakh yurts. Here you can get a huge range of services: body wraps, revitalizing baths, outdoor jacuzzis, facial care and masks, scrubs, peelings, regular and fire massages, as well as a SPA for two. There are baths, saunas, aqua zones, and other amenities on site. The baths have everything you need - brooms, oils, hats, bathrobes, sheets, towels, shower gels, hair dryers, etc.
You can eat delicious food in cafes and restaurants. There are several of them on the territory: “Mountain pub Aport-Alatau," “Chashnagiri”, “Storia Trattoria”, “Ak-aul”, “Vesely Burger”. Free secure parking is available for guests with their transport.
3. Ak Bulak
A ski resort in the suburbs of Almaty a little further than the town of Talgar (30 minutes by car). Open all year round. In winter, it offers simply ideal conditions - a lift, a smooth slope for beginner skiers, and steeper for professionals. During the warm season, when there are no skiers, you can climb to the top and enjoy the panorama, breathe in the clean mountain air, and then take a walk through a birch grove or coniferous forest. Also, the hotel offers classes in Nordic walking, yoga, breathing exercises, and exercise therapy.
The hotel is very clean, and tourists note the high quality of service and friendly staff. The place is suitable for both family holidays and various events: corporate events, team building, sports training. The huge territory of the resort hotel includes a cable car, a SPA center with a salt mine, a swimming pool and relaxation programs, conference rooms, and sports grounds. An equestrian center is located a 5-minute drive from the resort. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the Alatau restaurant. Prices are quite high, weekday stay is usually less expensive.
A high-mountain hotel with unique infrastructure, a mini-zoo, and trout fishing. And all this is within the city—literally 15 minutes from Al-Farabi Street. This complex is located in the Big Almaty valley not far from the Alma-Arasan valley - an ecologically clean area and a very beautiful place. Vacationers are provided with:
- 8 swimming pools - ideal for relaxing with the whole family;
- 11 Baths and 7 Jacuzzis - after a real Russian steam room, baths and a relaxation room await you.
Being an international-class hotel, Tau-Spa offers 7 types of rooms for accommodation, from Standard to Diplomat Duplex. Meals for guests are provided in restaurants serving Kazakh, European, Alpine and Georgian cuisine. In winter, the skating rink is filled. There is an opportunity to catch and cook fish right on the premises. A children's playground is open for the youngest guests.
5. Reykjavik Besqainar 4*
A beautiful mountain cottage, formerly known as Gornyi Sadovod. It features comfortable living conditions. Guests can enjoy luxurious rooms with mountain views, free Wi-Fi and parking, a sauna with a summer pool and karaoke, a park with a river, gazebos, and tents. VIP rooms have a safe, jacuzzi, TV, and refrigerator.
Due to the large selection of services, Reykjavik often hosts banquets, weddings and other events. Another feature of this hotel is the outdoor restaurant, offering delicious local cuisine - including tandoor shish kebab. You can also rent a barbecue, a large koktal pot and a specially-shaped tandoor. Among the entertainments, it is worth highlighting horseback riding, rope park, and programs for the whole family.
A well-known country complex located in the village of Besqaynar (18 km from Almaty). Guests are accommodated in rooms with air conditioning and panoramic windows, which offer a beautiful view of the Tian Shan mountains. Everywhere is clean and cozy, the rooms are in perfect order, and guests praise the work of the staff. Active recreation includes horseback riding, mountain hiking, paintball, ATV rallies, fishing, skiing and snowboarding. Guests also have access to a huge indoor swimming pool.
A unique recreation center in an ecologically clean area. It has several detached houses with a large selection of amenities: hot and cold water, heating, snow-white linen, restaurant food, etc. Nowadays, such places are usually called glamping. It is located in the Big Almaty Valley not far from the Ayusai visitor center. Here you can go hiking in the mountains (there are 3 different routes), visit a waterfall, and have evening gatherings around the fire.
The complex is open year-round. The following types of accommodation are available to guests:
- Camps – cozy safari tents that will definitely be appreciated by true connoisseurs of mountain holidays;
- Cabins – home-like comfortable modular houses;
- Lodges – mountain barnhouses with a unique interior.
On-site, there is a restaurant with ethnic cuisine, a sauna, equipment rental, etc. Educational excursions are available for those interested.
This mountain hotel located in the Small Almaty Valley (near the Shymbulak resort and the road to the Medeo skating rink). It boasts 21 rooms with mountain views. Guests note perfect service, friendliness of the staff, and delicious dishes. There is perfect order in every corner. Thanks to its convenient location and excellent conditions, not only tourists but also business people stay here.
Guests can choose between relaxation or active recreation. In any case, clean air and incredibly beautiful nature will make your stay at Edelweiss unforgettable. Among other things, the hotel has several saunas, thanks to which you can cure a cold, start your metabolism, cleanse your body of toxins, improve your well-being, and strengthen your nervous system.
9. SNEG hotel & restaurant 4*
A famous boutique hotel built at an altitude of 2850 m (Shymbulak resort next to the funicular). During its short existence, S.N.e.G (named after the sun, sky and the mountains, is also a word for snow in Russian) managed to gain worldwide popularity and earn a number of awards, including the British World Boutique Hotel Award. The place is perfect not only for an active ski holiday but also for romantic dates or special events.
The rooms at the hotel are decorated in the same style - thoughtful interior, comfortable bed, cable TV, table, spacious closet. More expensive rooms have a living area. The private bathroom has a walk-in shower, toiletries, slippers, and bathrobes. Wi-Fi is available throughout the entire territory.
Among the available entertainment are darts, the Xbox 360 game console, mountain hiking, and skiing. Ski storage is available for guests' convenience. In good weather, you can sit and have tea on the open veranda. There is also a tour desk and a restaurant with stunning views of the mountains and city.
10. Eco-hotel Tenir
It is one of the highest-altitude hotels in the world, surrounded by the mountains of Tian Shan at an altitude of 3200 m above sea level. This is an excellent option for those who want to be in silence and enjoy pristine nature in comfortable conditions. You can get to the hotel by gondola ride (it is located on the final stop), on foot or by jeep.
Ski-in hotel guests are accommodated in separate houses with panoramic windows, furniture, free Wi-Fi, TV, minibar, sound system, tea set, etc. In the shower room, you will find a hairdryer, bathrobe, slippers, and hygiene products. And most importantly, each cottage is equipped with a Finnish sauna and secure equipment storage devices. Room rates start at $250 per night; it's not cheap, but worth it.
You can bring your ski equipment and special suits or rent them. This also applies to snowboards. The eco-hotel is open year-round. In winter, people go skiing and snowboarding here; in warm weather, they go horseback riding, paragliding, and riding ATVs. The Medeu high-mountain skating rink is also available. Trekking—hiking in the mountains—is no less in demand.