After a delicious buffet breakfast at the hotel, take a gentle stroll over to the Central State Museum of Kazakhstan. Collections of jewellery, carpets and ancient archaeological artefacts trace the history and culture of Kazakhstan, both before and after independence. Step outside to admire the Independence Monument and former presidential palace at Republic Square, before stopping for a break to try local delicacies like traditional fried baursaki dough at the nearby Gakku restaurant.
In the afternoon, take a 25-minute drive from the hotel up to the picturesque valley where the outdoor Medeo Skating rink sits 1,600 metres above sea level. It's a dramatic setting to take a turn on the ice and breathe in some clean mountain air. You can explore the surrounding hills on foot or by mountain bike. In winter you can even strap on your skis or ride the cable car at the nearby Shymbulak Ski Resort. On your way back, stop at Alasha restaurant to sample local pahlava pastries.
Before dinner we suggest a five-minute ride up in the cable car to watch the sunset from the Kok-Tobe observation deck. You can browse the boutiques to pick up some souvenirs or dine with panoramic city views. Alternatively, book a relaxing session in the hotel spa, then settle in with your friends and family to savour a gourmet meal at the rooftop Belvedere Grill Room. Afterwards, wander down to the J Bar to enjoy a drink and some live music, or sip a cocktail in the Efes Beer Garden.
The name Almaty comes from Alma-Ata, and literally means father apple.
The Green Bazaar is one of the most famous and oldest bazaars in the city. The experience of buying fragrant fresh fruit and vegetables, spices and dried fruit has hardly changed over the centuries.
Medeo is an area of outstanding natural beauty and home to the world's highest mountain speed skating rink. Only 30 minutes away from the hotel.
Almaty is the former capital city of Kazakhstan and is the country's largest city. It is also the cultural and financial centre of the country. The variety of entertainment available here attracts people from throughout Kazakhstan and reinforces the city's multi-cultural population.