Review: Marriott Astana

Introduction: Journey To Kazakhstan
Review: Korean Air First Class 747-8 Vancouver To Incheon
Review: Nest Hotel Incheon Airport
Review: Asiana Business Class Lounge Incheon Airport
Review: Air Astana Business Class 767 Incheon To Almaty
Review: Ritz-Carlton Almaty
Review: Air Astana Lounge Almaty Airport
Review: Air Astana Business Class A321 Almaty To Astana
Review: Marriott Astana
Review: Air Astana Lounge Astana Airport
Review: Air Astana Business Class 757 Astana To London
Review: Sofitel London Heathrow Terminal 5
Review: United Lounge London Heathrow Airport
Review: Singapore Airlines Lounge London Heathrow Airport
Review: United First Class 777 London To Los Angeles


The Marriott Astana is just a Category 2 Marriott Rewards property, meaning a free night redemption cost just 10,000 Marriott Rewards points. I value those points at ~0.8 cents each, so that’s a heck of a deal compared to the paid rate of ~$150. The timing of this stay was ideal, given that I status matched my SPG Platinum status to Marriott Platinum just days prior to my stay, meaning I’d receive a room upgrade, lounge access, etc.

I arranged a transfer from the airport to the Marriott, as I typically do when visiting a city for the first time. The transfer was easy to arrange in advance, and cost ~$20. The drive from the airport took just 15 minutes, and was basically a drive down a single road without traffic. The infrastructure in Astana is excellent.

The Marriott has a modern exterior, though that’s not really surprising, given that the entire Astana skyline consists of cool-looking buildings.

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Marriott Astana exterior

Upon entering the hotel I had to go through a metal detector. While this is common in quite a few countries, it’s interesting that they had this here, but not at the Ritz-Carlton Almaty.

Once through “security,” the reception desk was located straight ahead.

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Marriott Astana lobby

There was plenty of comfortable seating in the lobby, including a coffeeshop to the right of reception.

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Marriott Astana lobby

The check-in process was quick, and within a couple of minutes I had a key to my upgraded 12th floor corner room. As a Marriott Platinum member I was also informed that I’d receive access to the club lounge.

I walked down a long hallway towards the elevators, and then headed up to the 12th floor.

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Marriott Astana lobby

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Marriott Astana elevators

On the 12th floor I exited the elevator and turned left, and then walked all the way to the end of the hall.

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Marriott Astana elevators

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Marriott Astana hallway

I was assigned room 1202.

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Marriott Astana room entrance

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Marriott Astana floorplan

This corner room was a great size, with a large entryway that had the bathroom to the left and the rest of the room straight ahead.

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Marriott Astana corner room entryway

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Marriott Astana corner room entryway

The room featured a comfortable king size bed, a sitting area with two chairs, and a desk with an office chair.

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Marriott Astana corner room

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Marriott Astana corner room

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Marriott Astana corner room king bed

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Marriott Astana corner room sitting area

I appreciated that the desk had a legitimate office chair, and also well placed outlets.

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Marriott Astana corner room desk and office chair

Next to the desk was a flat screen TV, as well as the (well stocked) minibar and coffee setup.

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Marriott Astana corner room TV

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Marriott Astana minibar

On the coffee table in the sitting area was a fruit plate, a tasty dessert, and a welcome note.

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Marriott Astana Platinum welcome gift

Since I had a corner room, there were panoramic views of the city, including the Khan Shatyr entertainment center.

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Marriott Astana corner room view

Fun fact: Astana is the second coldest capital city in the world (after Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia), but inside that building is an artificial indoor beach.

The bathroom was back near the entrance to the room, and featured double sinks, a toilet and bidet, a walk-in shower, and a bathtub.

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Marriott Astana corner room bathroom

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Marriott Astana corner room bathtub

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Marriott Astana corner room toilet & bidet

The shower had excellent water pressure, and both a handheld and rainforest shower head.

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Marriott Astana corner room walk-in shower

Toiletries were provided by Acca Kappa, as is standard for many Marriotts.

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Marriott Astana Acca Kappa toiletries

Wifi in the room was usable though not exactly high speed, though it did the trick for my quick stay.

The hotel’s club lounge was located on the 15th floor, and was a good size. There was a small reception area with lots of books, chess games, etc.

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Marriott Astana executive lounge

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Marriott Astana executive lounge

Then behind that was a small business center with two computers and a printer.

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Marriott Astana executive lounge

On the left side of the lounge was more of a living room area, with couches and chairs.

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Marriott Astana executive lounge

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Marriott Astana executive lounge

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Marriott Astana executive lounge

Then on the right was an area with small dining tables.

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Marriott Astana executive lounge

The lounge’s evening drink & snack selection was available from 5:30PM until 9:30PM, which is a very long window for a lounge (usually it’s just two hours, in my experience). The selection was alright, with several types of cheese, salad, sweets, bread, and assorted small appetizers.

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Marriott Astana club lounge evening selection

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Marriott Astana club lounge evening selection

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Marriott Astana club lounge evening selection

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Marriott Astana club lounge evening selection

There were also some beef skewers and lentil soup.

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Marriott Astana club lounge evening selection

There were servers offering alcoholic drinks as well.

I was amazed by how crowded the lounge was. While I felt like the only non-Kazakh person at the Ritz-Carlton Almaty, the Marriott Astana was buzzing with people from Western Europe, in particular Brits. There were huge groups of them in the lounge.

I also had breakfast in the lounge, served from 6AM until 10AM. The selection was pretty good as well.

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Marriott Astana club lounge breakfast spread

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Marriott Astana club lounge breakfast spread

There was yogurt, cold cuts, cheese, fresh fish, fruit, pastries, bread, etc.

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Marriott Astana club lounge breakfast spread

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Marriott Astana club lounge breakfast spread

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Marriott Astana club lounge breakfast spread

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Marriott Astana club lounge breakfast spread

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Marriott Astana club lounge breakfast spread

Then there were a few hot dishes, including scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, etc.

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Marriott Astana club lounge breakfast spread

There was also freshly squeezed juice, an espresso machine, and a selection of tea.

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Marriott Astana club lounge breakfast spread

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Marriott Astana club lounge espresso machine

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Marriott Astana club lounge tea selection

While I didn’t have a chance to use it, the hotel’s spa was on the first floor, and also housed the gym.

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Marriott Astana spa reception

The gym looked quite good, despite the rather odd lime-green paint.

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Marriott Astana gym

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Marriott Astana gym

Marriott Astana bottom line

Overall I was impressed by the Marriott, especially when you consider that it cost me just 10,000 points for the one night stay. As a Platinum member I got a great upgrade to a corner room, and the club lounge was nice as well. Everyone at the hotel was friendly and helpful, especially in the club lounge.

I really enjoyed my time in Astana, and would like to return at some point. For what it’s worth, Ritz-Carlton is in the process of opening a hotel in Astana, so I might check that out if it’s open when I return.

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About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Since the SPG-Marriott merger why is it all I hear of is SPG people going to Marriott’s and not the other way around ?

  2. Hi Ben ! Brilliant article yet again. Unfortunately your photos in this article are all jumbled up. I can send screenshots if you wish. For example, under toiletries it shows food spread, under food spread it shows the room, under the gym it shows the food spread, etc.

    Hopefully you can fix it 🙂

  3. Whoa there – that ‘indoor beach’ looks like the lady in the first frame is treating it like a clothing optional beach!

  4. At first I read the name of the entertainment centre as “Khan Shatner”. Too many Star Trek 50th anniversary stories in the media, methinks.

    @Hasan Ahmed – I’ve had that problem a few times recently on this site too. Closing the browser and starting over again cleared it up. Pics are coming up in the right order for me.

  5. did you venture outside of the hotel and do some sightseeing or just stay in the hotel and take photos ?

  6. Two points:
    1. Acca Kappa is not brand standard for Marriott. That’s an upgrade from the Marriott brand standard.
    2. The selection on the buffet in the concierge lounge looks incredible–much, much better than a US-located Marriott. Is that brie cheese or cake? If it’s cheese–wow!

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