Hidden away in one of Almaty’s secret courtyards, behind old Soviet apartment blocks and new shiny business centres, you will find the Kazzhol Hotel. In between Zhibek Zholy and Gogol and Nauryzbai Batyr and Seifulin, it can be difficult to find, despite the central location. In amongst the trees, however, the entrance is grand and guests are met by an English-speaking staff that leads the way. In 2009, major renovation works took place and now the modernised old building is also accompanied by a brand new extension that brought with it 40-plus new rooms, nine conference halls, a gym and a very nice swimming pool. The décor is modest, but the hotel is spotless and provides all necessary amenities for those travelling for both business and pleasure. Some rooms even have balconies, so be sure to ask for one if you think you’ll have the time to enjoy it.