Hello from the youngest capital in the world– Nursultan, Kazakhstan! Here is my Experience Staying at The Ritz Carlton Astana.
The capital city was previously named as Astana until March 2019 when a unanimous vote from the parliament opted to name the city after its former President Nursultan Nazarvayeb. Unlike what you might perceived, this city in Kazakhstan is very modern. Imagine having a 5 star hotel like the Ritz Carlton? Check my photos below and some things to do in Nursultan/ Astana!
I’ve traveled for 2 months in Central Asia and living like a nomad in its neighboring countries such as Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Mongolia, etc.. It’s great because one of my stops is a luxury city break in Nursultan! While I’m a nomad by heart, I also love having these luxuries once in a while. Especially now that I’m getting older where I find peace and quiet very valuable.
MY LUXURIOUS STAY AT THE RITZ CARLTON ASTANA
I like a hot bath, nice views, comfortable and king size bed, massive toilet, and bath. Also a proper working space, and a huge TV where I can just watch Netflix. Who doesn’t?! I’m overwhelmed because this is exactly what I got (and so much more) in this luxurious staycation at nowhere less than The Ritz Carlton, Astana.
From sleeping in yurts and living like a nomad (which I absolutely enjoyed), here I am now staying in a Junior Suite Room for 3 nights in this luxurious hotel. The room is a 75 square meter space filled with nothing less than lavish furnishings and equipment. A king-size bed, full marble bathroom equipped with a rain shower head, a bathtub overlooking the city, heated floors, an expansive work desk, a lighted make-up/shaving mirror, LED TV, and a Bluetooth sound system. It also features a climate control system, coffee, and tea making facilities, ample walk-in closet, fully stocked mini-bar, 24-hour in-room dining services.
My room has a gorgeous view of the city and the Baiterek Tower. I can see it right from the bathtub! It is so glorious seeing how beautiful the city is right from my room. I don’t remember how long I just stayed in the tub admiring all the beauty in front of me.
Not only that. They also have The Ritz Carlton Astana Spa with an indoor pool, hot pool, sauna, steam room, and state of the art gym. For all the foodies out there, they have 3 restaurants on-site and each of them offers a unique culinary experience from local to international cuisine and you know what? The Ritz Carlton Astana does not disappoint.
THINGS TO DO IN NURSULTAN (ASTANA), KAZAKHSTAN
1. Go around the city center
As I expected from an oil-rich country, this capital is indeed very modern and most of its structures were built only after 1997. It’s clean and they have a lot of high-rise buildings with marvelous architecture! In fact, they even hired the famous British architect Norman Foster to design a shopping mall called Khan Shatyr (yes, he is the same Norman Foster who designed the Gherkins in London!).
Other attractions within the city include the Energy of the Future Museum (Expo 2017), Baiterek Tower, Ishym River, Hazrat Sultan Mosque, Shabyt Art Palace, Independence Palace, Khan Shatyr Mall, Park of Lovers, and House of Ministries.
2. Visit the Nur Astana Mosque
Being the 3rd largest mosque in Central Asia, this is one of the things you couldn’t miss. You will be fascinated by its size, its white and gold exterior. It certainly glisten against the blue sky as you walk or pass by.
3. Go swimming at the Khan Shatyr Mall
Yes, you read that right! You can certainly go swimming in this mall’s indoor pool. It has temperature-controlled and the sand is even imported from the Maldives! If you’re desperate for a “beach resort” vibes then it’s a good place to relax and just chill.
4. Learn about the Kazakh’s way of life in the Ethno Cultural Tour
Being in the city doesn’t mean you’d forget about learning their culture. This tour taught me how they make their local food, their music and the instruments they use, their traditional dance. I even tried the horse milk which happens to be their traditional drink!
5. Go up the Baiterek Tower
Being almost 100 meters above sea level, going up promises a panoramic view of the city. They said putting your hand inside the golden handprint of former President Nazarbayev will grant your wish!
WHERE TO BOOK TOURS TO GO OUTSIDE THE CAPITAL CITY OF NURSULTAN
If you want to go outside the city, I highly recommend the travel platform Indy Guide. You can get connected to different travel agencies in Kazakhstan.
Tours you can do: you can also go on an Excursion in Almaty, Homestay and Camping at the Aral Sea, Gorelnik Gorge Trekking, Daytrip to Tamagly Tas Buddha, Daytrip to Big Almaty Lake or Visit the Issyk Lake and Tourgen Waterfalls among many others. They have tons of positive feedback from real customers and the tours are very affordable too!
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT NURSULTAN, KAZAKHSTAN
Avoid the winter at all costs and visit from June-September. This is the second coldest capital in the world so you wouldn’t want to be here at that time!
VISA REQUIREMENT FOR PHILIPPINES PASSPORT HOLDERS TO KAZAKHSTAN
From the 1st of January 2019, the Kazakhstan Online Visa Application Portal had been made available to citizens of 117 Countries, and the good news is– the Philippines is one of them! See our guide on how Filipinos can apply for a Kazakhstan E Visa.
Update: Starting September 30, 2019, announced on Decree 693, Philippines passport holders (together with 11 other countries) are now VISA-FREE to Kazakhstan.
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