We are staying at the Alatau Sanatorium, a sanatorium/health resort which boasts to be a four-star health resort/spa – more stories about that when we return. The building was originally built for the Soviet leaders and Polit Bureau and it now feels like a tribute to a great clash between the grandiose glory of all things beautiful and regal crossed with a throwback to the early-mid sixties Communist-style construction. (Virtual tour to follow sometime this week.)
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are each served for one hour and there is a system. When Tim and I first went down for breakfast at 8am on Sunday, we didn’t know if it was included with our stay or how everything worked. After some effort, we showed the hostess our room key, she wrote our number down, we were written down on a schedule (apparently this is a leftover Soviet system too) and we were directed to a table. Thankfully by the end of breakfast, we heard one table of English speakers who turned out to be the other presenters and Piotr from the East West Institute. We learned that we will sit at the same table each meal (Piotr got our table switched so we’re able to sit with our new friends), and meals are served 3 times/day for an hour each time and tea is in the afternoons between lunch and dinner.