Attention to detail is evident the moment you step into the Jannat Regency Hotel, 21/2 Aaly Tokombaev Street, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. From the flowers in the lobby to the art galleries in every hallway, there’s a delight everywhere you look.
It’s a favorite wedding venue – you can see a bride arriving in the photograph, above — as well as for meetings and conferences. There are eight different conference halls with seating ranging from 20 to 400.
The five-star Jannat has 96 rooms in eight different categories, from standard single rooms to the Presidential Suite — that’s what you book if you’re traveling with a bodyguard. The two-story, 1150-square-foot accommodation has adjoining rooms for this personal assistant. (Needless to say, I was not in the Presidential Suite, but my room had two beds — one full size and the other a twin.)
Bishkek is the capital and largest city in Kyrgyzstan, a Central Asian republic that was once part of the Soviet Union. It’s on the ancient Silk Road from China to Europe, and the paintings on the ground floor (such as this one, right) show this heritage.
The room included a coffee maker, robes, ironing board and iron, television and a full range of amenities in the bathroom (including a loofah mitt and toothbrush). Alas! I didn’t have time for the swimming pool, sauna or spa.
Russian is the second language for these native Kyrgyz speakers, with English a distant fourth after Uzbek so be prepared for pantomime. For example, a wooden tray in my closet promised, in English and in Cyrillic script, a free shoe shine. Earlier that day I’d tramped through a cotton field taking photos of the pickers, and my footwear definitely needed a cleanup. A call to housekeeping about the service couldn’t break through the language barrier, so I carried the tray and my shoes to the front desk. After much gesturing (and pointing to the presumably Kyrgyz language version of the offer), the clerk took my shoes. They were returned the next day spotlessly clean.
I wasn’t able to find out anything about the dozens of oil paintings throughout the hotel. I spent two nights there, and the collection of florals was different on each of the two floors. Here are some of the beautiful blooms in the hallways:
The Jannat Regency offers free WiFi and a breakfast buffet. My room cost about $150 per night. You can book directly with the hotel or via several of the usual booking sites such as Expedia or Hotelopia.
These fragrant white lilies were in the lobby:
(Photos courtesy of the Jannat Regency Hotel and by Susan McKee)