Kazakhstan usually offers western- or Russian-style hotels, so it’s refreshing to enter the wonderfully Oriental world within the Chinese-run Beijing Palace – found in the heart of the Left Bank. The hotel can be spotted from a mile off, styled as it is on a Chinese palace, but thankfully what lies within is more Zen-like than the gaudy exterior might suggest. The 151 rooms are understated and stylish and boast all mod-cons. Where this hotel excels is with its numerous suites. If the Presidential Suite that occupies the entire 21st-floor seems excessive, opt for one of the 18th-floor Business Suites serviced by a dedicated VIP concierge. Also included is access to the smart business lounge, offering a buffet and privacy for talking shop. The spa, private karaoke rooms and Revolving Restaurant on the 23rd floor only add to the hotel’s appeal, but we’d advise giving the 25th-floor bar a miss. When we visited it was smoky, grubby and desperate for a revamp to bring it in line with the swish set-up on show elsewhere.