is the best hotel in Mandalay, in Bagan, in, in, in???"
I so often get to be asked. "Hum, uh...oh well" - how to
In fact, there is no 'best' hotel here! BUT we have a lot of GOOD
hotels, and some of them can easily compete with top hotels in
So why not to write about the most popular hotels in Myanmar and
telling you all the positive reasons to book there and to OVERLOOK
some of the whims, which, alas, unfortunately do not make them THE
And of course the SERIVCE! It is always in the hands of the
GMs (General Manager) - and some of them, after having been here for
a couple of years, act meanwhile as if they were the owner of the
hotel and we tour operators should be glad and humble (!) and, above
all, treat them with velvet gloves touching a raw egg...They really
sometimes forget that at the end of the day they get their cheque
signed by someone else...
We are still collecting from our clients the "the real critical
comments" and in future we will publish some of them as well -
as long as we consider them as reasonable.
OK! Let's start in alphabetical order WITH B
We do only offer here the Deluxe
Rooms with river view - I must admit - they have
the best view ever! Right from your bed you watch the life
on the Ayeyarwaddy River!
buffet and dinner
are at the river side terrace. It is managed by locals
and they try their best - we can recommend it. Not
recommendable are the rooms in the two-storey building
(which was built in 1922 for the Prince of Wales when he
visited Bagan). What our clients also do
appreciate is that it is not so crowded with big traveller
You can relax at the new kidney-shaped pool and dine at
the river side terrace! What more do you need?
"Located right in front of the legendary gate of this 10th
century city, the hotel overlooks and is wihtin 3 minutes' walking
distance to the spectacular Anandar Temple.... is just a 10 minutes'
drive from Nyaung Oo Airport ... 86 superior and deluxe guestrooms
including 4 deluxe suites, all with ensuite bathrooms ...
tastefullly decorated with teak wood fittings and traditional
Rooms - that's what I liked best - every room
had its own mural painting!!! It's just a newly opened hotel
(Dec. 2002). Christian, the French GM, always with a smile,
is very service-minded and VERY much focused on Food and
There is no garden, but the outdoor setting and the
beautiful swimming pool invites for relaxing and a
refreshing jump into the pool!
As already said, the rooms are really very tastefully
decorated, BUT watch out in case you have a room near the
"wall"!!! Behind the wall a street leads to
the jetty and trucks loaded with people heading to and from
the jetty wave you a friendly "HI" into your
All in all it's still a new hotel, but I truly can recommend
it without so many hums...
It's located in New Bagan amidst a beautiful tropical
garden and also offering a nice swimming pool - with a
view to a little pagoda. The spacious deluxe rooms are
very stylish and lots of little details give the final
touch. On request you can have dinner at the swimming pool
side or opposite of the pagoda - quite romantic...
A hotel with twenty
one air-conditioned rooms with bathrooms attached (hot
& cold shower) and minibars.
It's a simple and nice little
hotel in Old Bagan. The owner,
a charming Myanma lady, trained her staff very well!
are clean and simple furnished - just some rooms are a bit
too small and not much place left for 2 people with
No garden BUT a big
terrace with a spectacular
view of old Bagan and its temples. Perfect for dinner
during hot season time, as there mostly is a welcoming
And enjoy the Myanma cuisine -
just ask your guide and tell her/him to order for you!
"Nestled on the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy River, the
Thiripitsaya Hotel reposes serenely amidst the myriad
centuries-old pagodas of historic Bagan... A dip into the pool or
sunbathing on a deck chaiselounge.... a realxing massage at the
Spa... a satisfying meal..."
Yes!Yes!Yes! BUT - ... again, all is so Japanese-perfect that
it lacks a "warm ambience" - not much to say, it's very
neat and tidy, a four star hotel, service ok, managament under
control (!), chef very ok, breakfast really nice with a view to the
Well, the garden looks a bit "naked" - just plain grass,
with orderly planted trees, and quite boring for me; anyhow, until
now there is no better hotel in Bagan!
MANDALAY HILL RESORT
An international hotel - don't
get confused that it once was the Novotel - it was always
far better than most of the Novotels in Europe! Australian
Manager Richard Mayhew brought back the service we had in
pool has a superb view to the Mandalay Hills.
The rooms are ok - the
breakfast was mediocre - last time I had it was February
Has all facilities which
a standard hotel can offer. It's nice and clean; well, the furnishing
is not exactly our Western taste and sometimes it is just
a pity - local people spend so much money for their
hotels, even get from Western tour operators advice how to
do - and at the end of the day we get a nice hotel, but
unfortunately no atmosphere!
International is a Singapore based hotel management
arm of Kepel Land Limited, a premier property developer in
Singapore and the region..."
at the moment (April 2003) I
would give 3 and half smileys as it is not so well
managed. It is just the best located hotel in Mandalay:
Everything could be perfect
if the owners would decide to send somebody there and take
more care of it - as they did in recent years but
then sent the GM to Yangon. That's why we have now a
much, much better service at the Sedona Hotel in
It's a nice Superior hotel in
Mandalay, just next to the Sedona Hotel. The
Deluxe rooms are recommendable - the ones facing
the swimming pool area, which
is quite nice! They even have a gym there!
Meanwhile we HAVE choices in NGAPALI
BEACH! Let's start here with the
Well, here we got luckily a
new hotel at one of the most beautiful beaches in Myanmar!
It's the Amata, which stretches for 500 feet along the white
beach of Ngapali, covering an area of 5.2 acres.
It can provide luxurious accomodation in 85 rooms. Most of
their rooms are in bungalow type, secluded in its own
compound, each containing a soak tub and an outdoor shower.
The Hotel is professionally designed and supervised by
Spine, an architectural firm based in New York, U.S.A.
However, the style is a blend of traditional Asian and
exquisite modern, applying locally produced teak and cane
generously in a contemporary way of furnishing.
It is the first season of their opening, so let's see how
service is. When we were there for the soft opening, all was
MOST tasteful hotel at the beach! Last time when I was there
(March 2003) we found it all a bit "pompous" -
they redocareted it, respectively enlarged the restaurant
terrace. For such a kind of beach resort it was a bit
"too much". But to be fair: I was told that the
big restaurant was built because there will be 15 new
bungalows for coming high season. How wonderful!
The Italian food is superb, the wine also - unless
they are able to offer you what they have on the wine
list! (by the end of the season there is not much
Hotel at the beach - for people who just want the beach
atmosphere it is the perfect little Bungalow Hotel. The
rooms are poorly furnished, but have
aircon which is very important during the summer
season - no breeze at night... As already told, the food is
excellent, especially considering the price:value relation!
Meanwhile the Silver Beach started to build 8 Deluxe
Bungalows with seaview... Bungalows are supposed to be 3
1/2 * accommodation. They are nicely decorated - we only
do not understand why the 'living area' is in the back of
the bedroom: and thus no sea view! We are still
waiting for the bungalow price.
Also a new restaurant is under
construction. The owner told me that all we be completed
by the end of this year.
A beautiful resort on the
lake. The only problem is that during high season it is
mostly fully booked and not easy to get rooms. They only
have 28 beautiful chalets and 24 superior Rooms.
Also here you have a huge
dining hall, the food is ok but by far overpriced! You pay
for decoration and the charming owner!
From Kaung Dine or Nyaung Shwe
it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to get there. If you
arrive in the evening it is not advisable to take a boat
when it is dark - although you can reach this resort by
car, but only by pick up!
HUPIN HOTEL, KAUNG DINE
It's a kind of a village
resort and is located on the west bank of Inle Lake and
near the Kaung Dine Village. We like it, especially the
"floating huts" which are made of Padauk or
Teak Wood and Bamboo. Not only do you have a
nice verandah but also your own jetty (!) and a just
marvellous view to the lake!
The bathroom is simple and I
always wonder who is using the little cute wooden bathtub!
The huge dining room does not
have a personal touch BUT the left side of the dining hall
is reserved for individual travelleres, on request you
have candle light dinner and the Shan cuisine is superb!
This is the place to taste this delicious cuisine - but
order it the moment you check in, as it is not ' a la
"Round the corner"
live some villagers from the Padaung tribe (long neck
ladies) - for some of you who have not taken enough exotic
pictures it might be an interesting visit!
PARADISE INLE RESORT
This resort is located in the
middle of the Inle Lake - 50 bungalows on stilts built in
traditional Shan style. Also, here every bungalow has its
own (but small) little private balcony. The bungalows are
connected by wooden wlaways to the reception, restaurant
As long as I can remember -
food was always good here!
Please note that all of the hotels in Shan State mentioned
here have no aircon but are equipped with a fan.
REGAL HOTEL - SUITES
Yes, Yes, yes! Finally we are
getting more and more hotels which are up to our standard.
This little hotel sits on stilts on the lake and I have
been staying in the suites which just had a wonderful view
to the lake. The Shan Cuisine is delicious - you just have
to know what to order!
I recommend the suites! As in most of the wooden/bamboo
bungalows on the lake, they all are not that soundproof
and you might hear your neighbour watching CNN. Luckily
they ony offer one programme!
At the moment it is the best
hotel available. The chalets are clean, nicely decorated,
every room has a private fire place - and yes (!) you can
use it ! - a spacious bathroom and a little verandah. It
is located on the top of Kalaw Hill and in the morning you
have a beautiful panoramic view. I love this hotel!
We are still waiting that ONCE,
only once we do get a real, real colonial-style hotel.
Here we are, Kalaw Hotel, once a beautiful colonial hotel
and now renovated - nothing cozy left, at least the
outside façade has still a 'colonial touch'. The rooms
are spacious and clean, but alas without any atmosphere.
The bathrooms, well clean but not nicely renovated. Let's
say the rooms are BASIC, service so 'la la' and table
cloths not acceptable. For our clients we supply our own
table cloth! It seems the manager does not really know
what his job is... at least our guides do know.
Well, well, well! We have plenty of hotels here in
the green city and again, we are still looking
forward to getting the 'best" hotel one day...
THE DUSIT INYA LAKE RESORT
I admit, we have been using
this property very seldom. Of course we had our reasons!
Meanwhile it is managed by the Dusit Group (Dusit Hotels
& Resorts) and we are quite pleased with its changes.
From outside this neo-colonial style resort might remind
you of a submarine! It is nestled among over 28
acres of tropical landscape gardens. About 15 minutes
drive from YGN International Airport as well as from the
famous Shwedagon Pagoda. If you have time enough, you can
enjoy two professional tennis courts, the swimming pool, -
with the BEST view, especially for the sunset - use the
jogging track or just go to the gym.
A first class hotel right in
the centre of Yangon - opposite of the Railway Station.
Rooms and suites are elegantly designed - furnished with
teakwood, fine fabrics and traditional handicrafts and of
course equiped with modern amenities.
Swimming pool, tennis court, gym - it's all available. New
there: the Zen foot Spa. What a treat after a long day of
walking and sightseeing!
NIKKO ROYAL LAKE HOTEL
It's a perfect First Class Hotel
for travelers. The spacious rooms either enjoy a spectacular
view of the Shwedagon or the magical Kandawgyi Lake. And
what we really like: Every bathroom has a separate shower.
This hotel has the most beautiful swimming
pool which is located amidst plush greenery and tropical
The Pansea Yangon is located
in the Embassy Quarter of Yangon. An imposing teak mansion
restored to its pristine glory! Clustered around the
restored colonial residence lie the spacious rooms and
grand suites. Spacious fitted bathrooms with their
free-form bathing areas emphasize the garden resort's
It's an elegant Boutique Hotel where you get the feeling
of old colonial times...
Do you want to discover the
exotic delicacies of Myanmar? Why don't you try it there?!
Or relax after your exciting sightseeing day at the
Within a 15-minutes drive from
the international airport AND to the city centre, the Sedona
Hotel Yangon impresses with its Myanmar-inspired decor and
architecture. For travelers or business people - it's just
what you need after a full day of sightseeing or business
meetings. The spacious rooms are tastefully decorated. Swim
in the beautiful free-form pool, work out at the gym or play
tennis on the lighted tennis court.
be THE Best Hotel in Town as1901
this used to be one of the best hotels in the Far East.
The hotel's 32 spacious suites are located on the
hotel's two upper floors and serviced by a team of butlers,
24-hours a day.
The Strand Cafe with its big, teak-framed windows and the
the elegant Strand Grill offer the best cuisine in
Yangon - but alas, no atmosphere
and comparable with a morgue.
Since years we have been
pondering why in such a small hotel it is not possible to
give this charming hotel more atmosphere.
Indeed The Strand still
takes advantage of its reputation awarded during colonial
times and we are expecting its new manager to bring
back the charming atmosphere it once had a century ago!
To be frank: Although it
might claim to be a 6 star hotel - but for this it
still has a way to go...
© 1999 Myriam