Formerly known as Burma, the exotic Asian paradise provides explorers plenty of opportunities. From majestic temples, bustling cities to the serene countryside, this is a fascinating place to visit. Here are the most opulent hotels for your Myanmar adventures.
Belmond Governor’s Residence
Relive a bygone era with a stay in this classy 1920s teak mansion, once home to the governor of Kaya State. The hotel is found in Embassy Quarter and set in lush leafy grounds, with lotus ponds, a fan-shaped swimming pool surrounded by Pathein parasols and upscale sunbeds. Overbed crisp white net canopies, charming colonial architecture and sweeping verandahs help evoke an atmosphere of old-world romance. After dark, guests follow a trail of lanterns to an a la carte dinner at the Mandalay Restaurant, or buffet-style meals at Mindon lounge. Belmond Governor’s Residence has 49 rooms and a spa, The Governor’s Oasis, offering Burmese style treatments.
The Strand Yangon
In 1911 author John Murray named it “the finest hostelry East of Suez” in his ‘Handbook for Travellers in India, Burma and Ceylon’. Carrying historical and cultural significance in the heritage of Yangon, The Strand even has its own elegant cruise boat. The hotel is found in the vibrant downtown area and was refurbished in 2016 for added luxury, but retaining a colonial vibe with wicker chairs, gleaming polished wood and ceiling fans. The 31 suites all come with 24-hour butler service and walk-in dressing areas. There’s a cafe for a sublime afternoon tea, restaurant and Sarkies Bar with renowned cocktails including the Strand Sour, Strand Sling and Bagan Breeze.
Sule Shangri-La Yangon
Those preferring to stay with large well-known brands will find this hotel more than suitable. Sule Shangri-La Yangon is close to shops, attractions and the business district. It has 464 rooms with a choice of views: the city, Shwedagon pagoda or the river. For a little nostalgia, dine or drink at the Gallery Bar and restaurant – its photos and memorabilia dating back to the 1800s is fascinating. There’s also the Peacock Lounge, popular for high tea and a cafe serving fresh cakes and pastries. By day you can swim in the outdoor pool, visit the fitness centre, or explore the sights on the doorstep.
Kempinski Hotel Nay Pyi Taw
Offering exotic and impressive frontage, guests enter Kempinski Hotel Nay Pyi Taw via its Royal Pavilion – in ancient times these structures were used as the welcome areas in palaces. Once in reception, you’ll marvel at the opulent gold leaf ceiling- believed to be one of Myanmar’s most expensive items. These kinds of traditional artworks and architectural elements can be found throughout the property. 106 rooms are spread across three separate villas, with 35 additional suites, including the two-bedroomed Royal Suite, complete with office, meeting room, media space dining area, lounge, fitness centre, and rooms for your nanny and bodyguard. Dine on pan-Asian cuisine at Rangoon Restaurant – the chef grows his own herbs and spices to create his unique and organic food. The Diplomatic bar and pool area become lively nightspots, while the executive lounges are oases of calm and relaxation.
Pristine Lotus Resort, Inle
Beside Inle lake and with the Shan hills in the vicinity, the new Pristine Lotus Resort boasts a peaceful valley setting, high above sea level. Each of the 70 rooms is a boat-shaped floating cottage, the lobby forming the central ‘island’ of the resort. Areas are connected by teak bridges and include two dining areas (Kumudra Restaurant and Lotus Restaurant), a spa villa, pool and natural hot spring jacuzzis. Interiors are designed with handcrafted indigenous fabrics, polished wood floors, mosquito nets and accents of terracotta-coloured textiles. Family rooms are also available.
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Contemporary meets colonial at the Yangon Excelsior, the once headquarters of the Steel Brothers Limited Company, built in the early 19th century. Interior design from Hirsch Bedner Associates Bangkok combines art-deco elegance, high ceilings, parquet floors, plush textiles, all mod-cons and plenty of vintage touches providing a nod to its heritage. Josper Grill serves up lip-smacking delicacies conjured from local, seasonal produce (this establishment is environmentally minded, with solar power heated water and climate-friendly cleaning products in use). Or enjoy a bite at the retro-styled Newsroom. Children are welcome, but this boutique hotel is better suited to adult travellers