First Look: Ritz-Carlton, Almaty Opens in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan's tourism scene got a big boost recently when the country's first Ritz-Carlton hotel opened in Almaty. 

What makes the hotel special? It's right at the top of the 37-story Esentai Tower, one of the tallest buildings in Central Asia, and is part of the Capital Partners’ Esentai Park development, which also includes an extensive shopping mall and residential complexes.

VIPs will want to book the Ritz-Carlton Suite, which has panoramic views over the Alatau Mountains from the top floor of the hotel. (Tip: This suite, with a proper dining area and an office, is a good pick for busy CEOs on the go.) 

Be sure to swing by the 30th floor, where the Sky Lobby Bar serves afternoon tea and signature cocktails...along with top views of the mountains.

Almaty, formerly the capital city of Kazakhstan, is the Republic’s largest city and an important cultural and commercial center. Right in between the Bolshaya and Malaya rivers, Almaty used to be one of the transit stations on the Silk Road and is now a strong business destination. (It's also a prime shopping destination, we hear, with stores like Gucci and Fendi opening nearby.)

Those more inclined toward nature will be able to walk through the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau and Charyn Canyon or unwind by  Big Almaty Lake. The Ile-Alatau National Park – a natural area with 300 species of animals and birds, including the snow leopard, Central-Asian lynx and the Tean-Shan brown bear