Looking for some ideas on where to stay in Myanmar? Here’s a guide to the best hotels in Myanmar:
This 1901 icon from the heyday of stylish travel was refurbished in 2016, the same year The Strand launched its cruise ship on the Ayeyarwady river. Unashamedly evocative of a bygone era. The refurbishment has been exceptionally well-done. The rattan chairs, the lacquerware, the ceiling fans and the polished wood are extremely pleasing to the eye and the warmth and grace of the staff are second-to-none. The 31 suites are huge with beautifully tiled bathrooms, walk-in dressing-rooms, supremely comfortable beds and loll-worthy sofas.
The hotel has three F&B outlets: The Strand Café with all-day dining, most famous for its afternoon tea; The Strand Restaurant serving modern Mediterranean food in the evenings only; and Sarkies Bar at The Strand, which serves the wide selection of cocktails for which it is historically renowned, including the Strand Sour, Strand Sling and Bagan Breeze.
Located in the beautiful Yangon Colonial Quarter, overlooking Mahabandoola Park and the Sule Pagoda, with wide views over the Yangon River, the 22-story-high Pullman Yangon Centrepoint offers 290 contemporary rooms, each with signature bedding, IPTV, separate shower and bathtub, work desk with connectivity panel, and free WIFI. A range of cuisines and signature beverages is offered in “The Merchant” All Day Dining, “The Junction” Lobby Lounge, “Gustave” Bar, “E’ Cucina” Italian restaurant, “@The Deck” outdoor pool bar.
There is also a well-equipped fitness lounge and an indulgent spa for a cocoon retreat. The nearby Bogyoke Market and Myanmar Plaza are worth checking out if shopping is on your agenda, while the area’s natural beauty can be explored at Inya Lake.
The Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort is a luxurious five-star hotel located about 40 minutes’ drive from the main city. There are more than two hundred rooms here, in five categories, each is equipped with an international-channel TV, a minibar, free Wi-Fi, a safe, air conditioning and 24-hour room service. The Deluxe Room is ideal for a small family, while the Junior Suite sleeps three adults and up to two children. The Executive Suite offers separate sleeping, living and leisure areas and the Suite Spa Villa provides an immaculate bungalow-style holiday setting, with access to all amenities including a lavish bathtub.
The spa at the hotel is one of the highlights, presenting an array of different treatments. The swimming pool is majestic, facing a large shrine and surrounded by lush foliage. Dining options range from Yadanabon Café’s a la carte fine dining to Ming’s Asian Kitchen’s Myanmar, Thai and Chinese culinary delicacies. Kipling’s Lounge serves some fancy cocktails, and a light snack or tapas can accompany the sound of the live band on any given night.
Slap bang in the center of Old Bagan, beside the old city walls and a five-minute walk from the Ananda Temple, this long-established four-star favorite is characterized by handsome villa-style rooms spread around a large and mature sub-tropical garden. There are 80 rooms hidden among the fragrant frangipani plantings, and apart from four one-bedroom suites with private terraces, all are similar with polished teak floors and furnishings. There’s a choice of super-king or twin beds, and seating in the window alcove can double as a bed for a child.
The pool and outdoor dining area are shaded by a canopy of spreading tamarinds and beautifully lit at night. The lobby occupies a pillared pavilion with comfortable sofas. Bicycle rental is free. The concierge desk can arrange horse-cart rides, dawn balloon rides over the temple plain as well as sunset boat trips on the Ayeyarwady River. The large pool is a highlight. Spa treatment rooms focus on massages using local products. Meals are served on the terrace and in the dining room, which is open on one side to the terrace. The extensive menu offers a good mix of local and international dishes.
The Bagan Lodge is an upscale 85-room resort set at the edge of this dusty ancient capital city famed for its temples and pagodas. The property blends a combination of traditional Burmese architecture and modern décor. At the center is a large pool surrounded by lounge chairs and overlooked by an open-air lobby, a full bar and the Tiffin Box restaurant, which serves both Western and Asian cuisine. Accommodations are housed within small, standalone redbrick lodges scattered around the grounds and connected by stone paths.
Exteriors feature wood and brick in shades of brown and deep red, the bricks come from local kilns and are in keeping with the character of the nearby temples. Topped with white tarps that shield them from the intense sun, rooms are mostly in the deluxe category, with just three larger suites. Beds are comfortable, and large windows let in plenty of sunlight. The en suite bathrooms are spacious, with bathtubs and stone-walled showers, while outdoors is a huge front balcony with chairs for lounging. Old Bagan, where the majority of Bagan’s temples lie, is a 20-minute bicycle ride or a five-minute drive away. Bagan Lodge is a five-to-10-minute drive from Nyaung U airport, and about an equal distance from the Bagan train station.
This was one of the first proper five-star resort hotels to open on the shores of Inle Lake, and is in one of the best locations for exploring it. Public areas are set around two arcaded cloisters and the bedrooms, arranged on three floors, fan out across the lawned gardens. Furnishings throughout are of high quality, using local fabrics and softly polished Burmese teak. There are glorious sunset views across the lake from the bar and an enticing infinity pool has been built into the hill to make the most of the lake views. There’s also a spa offering a signature tamarind scrub using pods from trees on the property.
The concierge can arrange excursions including private motorized canoes to explore the stilt villages. There are 94 beautifully decorated rooms, all very spacious with comfortable seating areas as standard. Twin rooms have two large and comfortable beds; while bathrooms are a delight: light and spacious with both a deep bathtub and a separate shower. The Refectory restaurant serves sophisticated local Shan cuisine and has its own organic vegetable garden. The kitchen is equally successful in producing Western favorites. The hotel can arrange for you to arrive by boat, crossing the lake from Nyaung Shwe.
This stilt hotel presents six stylish teak villas built over the water in the quieter southern end of the lake. The only way to get here is by boat from Nyaung Shwe. The hotel stands at the entrance to Inpawkhon water village, famous for its silk-weaving workshops. Boardwalks connect the well-spaced villas to the reception and dining pavilions, built in the style of traditional wooden Inle houses using features salvaged from historic properties.
The villas are large and light with teak floors and murals of native plants. Slatted blinds screen the windows and glass doors open onto a deck with loungers overlooking the water. All rooms have en suite bathrooms with walk-in showers. The dining room is on the upper floor and has a wrap-around terrace, giving magnificent views across the lake and the hills beyond. It specializes in the food of the Inthar community who live around the lake. Vegetables are from the lodge’s own floating gardens. The site contains a breeding center for Burmese cats − pure-bred ones are nearly extinct – you can visit the cattery and play with the cats. There is also a tastefully-curated shop showcasing skillful work by disadvantaged groups.
Situated in the far north of Myanmar, and only accessible by air, Putao is a small and picturesque border town in the Himalayan foothills, with a mostly ethnic Kachin and Lisu population. During the late British colonial era, there was a military outpost called Fort Hertz here. Serious trekkers rave about this region, home to some of the last great tracts of subtropical and mountain rainforests in the Himalayas and reachable only by internal flight between October and April.
Designed by Jean-Michel Gathy, the architect behind some of the finest Amanresorts, this wilderness lodge looks down upon the Nam Lang River and takes rustic-luxe to a new level. The main lodge, where meals are taken, has a private house-party feel. Guests stay in thatched bungalows with cathedral ceilings, enormous teak tubs and working fireplaces, overlooking rice terraces and the snow-capped Himalayas beyond. This is definitely the option for the seriously adventurous, or those who have been to Burma before and want to explore even deeper in, offering excellent trekking, rafting and mountain biking.
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