Fitness routines are an integral part of many peoples’ lives both at home and while traveling. And Astana offers ample opportunity to keep your regime going while visiting the Kazakh capital. The city also offers a glimpse into Kazakhstan’ and the region’s unique Banya culture.
LifeFitness, FitNation and World Class are among Astana’s most popular and well equipped fitness centers. A number of the city’s fitness facilities require long-term contracts, so you’ll want to call ahead to ensure that daily or weekly passes are available. Often hotels, such as the Duman Hotel, are your best opportunity to find well-equipped centers offering daily rates.
Banya – which is a mix of Russian, Scandinavian and Turkish steam rooms and sauna as well as hot and cold pools – is popular all over Kazakhstan. Residents will spend long afternoons relaxing with friends in the spa-like atmosphere gently slapping each other with birch or oak branches to improve skin health and often sharing cold draft beers. Business is often conducted in these friendly environments.
Astana offers public and more upscale banyas (banya is a Russian word, while Kazakh word for a sauna is monsha) and memberships are not required. The most popular among locals is the large central banya, Keremet. Many Kazakh cities have what is referred to as the central banya and Keremet is Astana’s. Here you’ll not only rejuvenate your body but get a real taste of local Kazakh culture. Many banyas, such as those at the Duman Hotel and the Khan Shatyr, also offer hamam rooms featuring warm marble slabs on which you are scrubbed clean. Private banya rooms can also be rented.
A typical banya visit usually costs between $20 and $30. So a visit to Astana affords not only the opportunity to improve your cultural knowledge and business’ bottom line, but to relax and improve your health in the process.
Apriori Sport Club
The Apriori club is a large, impressively-equipped modern fitness centre.
Huge swimming pool, gym, Jacuzzi, Russian banya and Finnish sauna, Turkish hammam and sun deck. There is a variety of group classes, including various types of dance, yoga and aerobics, pilates – all taught by certified trainers. You can join a group or schedule appointments with a personal trainer. You can also grab a fresh juice or other healthful drink at its well-stocked juice bar. Apriori holds water polo games several times per week. Along with its extensive array of top-brand strength-building and cardio machines, the centre has cardiac monitoring technology so you can keep track of your heart rate and blood pressure, which is very important for maintaining a safe workout that will bring you maximum benefit. You will find the staff to be friendly, and there is plenty of parking. They also have child fitness training services so you can work out without worries, while your child learns about health and fitness from a pro.
The Duman Hotel is conveniently located at 2A Kurgalzhin Highway, on the Left Bank of the Yessil River, very close to the Mega Centre shopping and supermarket complex. It is about a 15-minute drive from the airport.
Beijing Soluxe Hotel Spa and Fitness Center
The pool area at the Beijing Soluxe Hotel Spa and Fitness Centre wraps you in light and luxury as its turquoise waters reflex the light of the large surrounding windows.
But the pool centre is just part of one of the capital’s most well-equipped hotel fitness centres and spas. You can also indulge in a Chinese, European or Swedish massage and then step into the spa’s Finnish and traditional steam saunas. Private saunas and Jacuzzis are also available.
The spa’s fitness centre includes state of the art endurance and strength training equipment and a vitamin bar. But the pool remains the spa’s main attraction. Opened in July 2009, the pool area is large for a hotel at 65 metres and includes two children’s pools. Day and monthly passes are available.
The Dualet center is the premier tennis complex in Kazakhstan. The training complex includes locker rooms, showers and three cafes, as well as a small hotel and sauna facilities. It boasts three stadium courts, which can seat 583, 1201 and 2686 spectators for tournament play. Six training courts, three of clay and three hard, are scheduled to open in December 2011.
This banya is located in the Astana Park hotel. Services include a pool, a Jacuzzi and showers. The facilities
also include a dining-room and a billiards room.
The Fitnation club in Astana includes a gym, swimming pool, sparring room and studios for martial arts and fitness classes. Group classes include dancing, cycling, yoga and aerobics, among others. Finnish, Russian and Turkish saunas are available, and the spa offers massage, a sun deck and the services of a manicurist and cosmetician. Fitness programs for children are also available.
Fitness First Health Club
Whether you’re trying to pack on muscles, increase your endurance or learn to salsa, Fitness First in Astana has what you need.
Fitness First is one of Kazakhstan’s most modern fitness facilities with machines designed to be ergonomically correct and to address problem areas of the body. The facility’s Phyto Bar also allows you to order juice drinks and health foods without leaving the gym.
Fitness First has group activities for those struggling with back pain and other chronic conditions and uses advanced technology to design training programmes for your individual needs. The club also has dance classes, a “Baby Park” to keep kids occupied and a sauna.
The centre is located in the Asia Park shopping complex so you can break up your routine with a little shopping or a movie.
Highville Cultural and Community Centre
The Highvill Cultural and Community Center includes a sports complex with a gym, running track and free weights, as well as a variety of exercise machines. Instructors are available for individual training, and clients can participate in a variety of exercise classes. The Center provides towels and slippers, and there are locker rooms and showers.
This sauna complex offers three styles of saunas: Coral, Egyptian and Japanese. They also offer massage services, a spa and a VIP cottage.
This is the largest banya complex in Astana and in all of Kazakhstan. It has separate areas for men and women with their own pools. The complex includes a Finnish sauna, massage rooms and a hydro-massage area. For those seeking more privacy, there are seven VIP saunas with their own pools. For other types of relaxation, the center also offers a café with European and Asian dishes, a billiards room and a gym.
Life Fitness Astana
Life Fitness offers all the services of a well equipped fitness center, including a gym with a variety of exercise machines, a lap pool, personal trainers, group classes and a children’s program. For post-workout relaxation, the center also offers two Russian baths with bathhouse services and an attendant masseur.
Renaissance Beauty Salon
Kazakhstan is famous for several rejuvenating techniques and for being home to the legendary apples of immortality. And after a couple of saunas and workouts at the Renaissance Salon, it’s easy to see why. Experience your own renewal at the spa that lives up to its name.
World Class is the most prestigious fitness center in Astana. It has a fully equipped gym, swimming pool and spa. It offers group fitness classes, including yoga and pilates, as well as personal training. The center also has a café.
Yessil Fitness Center
Yessil opened in 2002 and offers a wide range of fitness opportunities including yoga and aerobics classes, massage and aqua shaping classes, ping pong tables, a swimming pool and a modern, fully-equipped gym. The club’s internationally trained instructors are also at the ready to assist with workouts or provide recommendations. Yessil’s pool is also unique because it is separated by glass walls that keep in the noise and splash and allow a more serene poolside lounging experience. Yessil also offers a vitamin bar with freshly squeezed juices and two terraces overlooking the Yessil River where guests can tan their newly toned bodies. No membership is required. You can simply pay a small access fee whenever you want to work out.