The Holiday Inn is slightly unique in Almaty in that it’s the only western hotel that hasn’t got five shiny gold stars affixed to its name. This makes it a good bet for those looking for western comforts without the hefty price tag, but don’t expect all-out luxury. When it comes to its clientele, the hotel is located perfectly for those here on business – Nurly Tau is within walking distance, with the rest of Al-Farabi and its offices just a short taxi ride away – while the hotel itself comes with clean, well-equipped rooms that have excellent views of the mountains. Of the 242 rooms available, some are smoking and 17 are suites. There is no spa, but the recent addition of a gym means guests can work off their frustrations. The hotel has a strong corporate identity and is popular for conferences and meetings, which means the Glasshouse Restaurant is always busy (though this may also have something to do with the excellent French chef). And attached to it is the 24-hour Tipsy Bar – always useful for those arriving at ungodly hours of the night.