Ah, Interhouse Almaty. You are such a peculiar one, and not peculiar in a ‘wow they’re so quirky and peculiar, I want to get to know them’, more in the way of ‘omg what is that peculiar person doing, someone should help them’. More of a house that’s swallowed a hostel along with some halloumi fries and ketchup, Interhouse Almaty will have you scratching your head at times.
Based in the Almagul Micro District of Almaty, Interhouse is a little out of the way but not too far out the way. A reasonable location where you can take a short walk to get to some supermarkets for supplies and a medium walk to get some food, but in terms of the touristy locations and things you want to see it’s rather far out. There are plenty of bus stops you can walk to and Yandex will become your best friend which doesn’t make getting around hard or you can walk 500 miles if you’re a walking queen.
From the second you enter the fabled gates into the complex of Interhouse Almaty, you instantly are confused as the building is just a house, like an everyday upper-middle class persons’ gaff. After taking your shoes off upon entry you still have your confused face on with to your right there being a lounge. By lounge we mean a genuine large lounge you’d once again see in an upper-middle-class person gaff, filled with couches, chairs and a Roman statue with C cup Jigglypuffs. It’s only when you head upstairs you get introduced to the actual hostel part. The hostel rooms are split based upon your sex with there being a couple of rooms on the 2nd floor and a couple on the 3rd floor mixed amongst the large double bed private rooms.
The rooms themselves are of reasonable size and space, the lockers in the room are big enough to fit large backpacks and smaller suitcases which optimises room space with fewer bags being stuffed in corners. However, the rooms are a little poor. They do have some good points such as the mattress being rather comfy, despite the noise mirroring a Slipknot concert every time you move, plug sockets at each bed and there’s air conditioning. Yet it’s the things they advertise and market out to get travellers to stay they don’t fulfil on. They advertise curtains around the beds when in one of the rooms there’s one bed out of 6 with curtains and in another room, there are only 3 out 8 beds with curtains around them. Lights are attached to the wall of the bed but most of them don’t work or have bulbs in them. Pillows can be hit or miss and are luck of the draw if you get a comfy one or you get one thinner than the pillow case itself.
The best way to describe your stay at Interhouse Almaty is inconvenient. There’s one toilet plus shower for males, and one toilet plus shower for females in the whole hostel. Literally just one, both are on the second floor unless you decide to trek to the ground floor where there’s a shared bathroom with a broken toilet seat and never has toilet roll. Hugely inconvenient. To enter the hostel compound you have to press a button and wait until one of the staff buzzes you in which a lot of the time takes forever as they’re rarely around the buzzer. If you want to come into the hostel at 2 am after a night out boogying you’re going to spend a while standing at the gates like a massive lemon waiting for someone to get up from their room and let you in. It’s really frustrating, especially the noise of someone pressing the button echoing around the hostel. A new system is needed in place pronto.
More inconvenience comes from the staff. Well by staff we mean one member of staff who is one of the rudest hostel workers you will ever encounter. She is the combination of a dragon and a cow, Cowgon for short. All she does is huff, puff, and moan all the time whilst also just being a cow in general. Genuinely awfully rude human despite not speaking English and brings the already poor atmosphere down every time she strolls around. The owner on the other hand, who cooks you a lovely breakfast consisting of toast, porridge, an omelette and pancakes, is incredibly lovely and a worldie of a human!
A massive inconvenience which irritated us occurred on our final night there when we were forced to move rooms so they could free up the room for a family of 6 with children to move into it. First of all was annoying to be told by a person in my room and not by the staff themselves. Second of all to be moved so children can move in there was fucking annoying. Hostels are adult environments and should always be strictly 18+, to move a bunch of travellers for a family of 6 with children is absolute shite patter from Interhouse Almaty. If you want to take children with you somewhere you stay in hotels, not hostels!
Despite a lot of these inconveniences that bring the score of the hostel down there are some good things. The hostels’ aesthetics are really nice and the kitchen is pristine with plenty of space to cook and eat at tables next to it. It’s a bit annoying it closes at 11 pm and gets locked but you can live with it. The wifi is alright and works well when outside your room. Overall the hostel is really clean and there are plenty of common areas for you to relax in and meet other people.
Interhouse Almaty is a heavily inconvenient stay and for the most part not the most enjoyable. Some good parts to it save the hostel going down to being placed in our lowest grade bracket, but these good parts usually are tied in with something annoying. The wifi is alright but not great in your rooms. The mattresses are comfy but are loud as fuck at the slightest movement. There are curtains by the bed but only a few beds in the room. The owner is such a lovely person who you’d love to have as your grandma, but one of her staff is so rude you’d love to have a whack-a-mole game with her face on it. For this, it gets a Better Than A Park Bench.
Overall Score: Better Than A Park Bench
. Plug sockets by the bed
. Comfy mattresses
. Reasonable location
. Good room space
. The kitchen and common areas are great
. Pain in the arse to get into the complex, spend ages waiting to get in – needs changing pronto!
. One very rude staff member
. Pillows can be shit
. One toilet and bathroom per sex
. Allows children to stay with parents
. Curtains aren’t around all beds – luck of the draw if you get a bed with them
. Lights by beds don’t work for the most part – again luck of the draw
. Mattresses are loud when you move around
. Have to sit outside if you want to drink alcohol
. The kitchen gets physically locked at 11 pm
. Claims to have a bar. Does not have a bar.