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.
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.
There was plenty of comfortable seating in the lobby, including a coffeeshop to the right of reception.
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.
On the 12th floor I exited the elevator and turned left, and then walked all the way to the end of the hall.
I was assigned room 1202.
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.
The room featured a comfortable king size bed, a sitting area with two chairs, and a desk with an office chair.
I appreciated that the desk had a legitimate office chair, and also well placed outlets.
Next to the desk was a flat screen TV, as well as the (well stocked) minibar and coffee setup.
On the coffee table in the sitting area was a fruit plate, a tasty dessert, and a welcome note.
Since I had a corner room, there were panoramic views of the city, including the Khan Shatyr entertainment center.
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.
The shower had excellent water pressure, and both a handheld and rainforest shower head.
Toiletries were provided by Acca Kappa, as is standard for many Marriotts.
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.
Then behind that was a small business center with two computers and a printer.
On the left side of the lounge was more of a living room area, with couches and chairs.
Then on the right was an area with small dining tables.
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.
There were also some beef skewers and lentil soup.
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.
There was yogurt, cold cuts, cheese, fresh fish, fruit, pastries, bread, etc.
Then there were a few hot dishes, including scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, etc.
There was also freshly squeezed juice, an espresso machine, and a selection of tea.
While I didn’t have a chance to use it, the hotel’s spa was on the first floor, and also housed the gym.
The gym looked quite good, despite the rather odd lime-green paint.
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.