Once known as Burma, Myanmar is located in Southeast Asia. It is sovereign state, and bordered by Bangladesh, China, India, Thailand and Laos. Approximately one third of the country is coastline along the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Once a British Colony, it became independent in 1948. Though it has suffered a military coup, and ongoing political and civil wars, the same multiplicity of ethnicity which have made it unstable in terms of human rights, governmental controls and economy, have also made it a country which is rich in culture. In 2010, a civilian government took over the country, followed by the 2015 elections which improved civil and international relationships.
The country is known for its rich natural resources such as oil, minerals, natural, gems and jade. Most tourists arrive by air, as travel into the country by land is difficult. Flights from many countries are available though most direct flights are through Thai and other Asian airlines. Most tourists visit the two largest cities of Yangon and Mandalay. The exquisite tropical beauty and reasonable rates for lodging and meals are enticing for many travelers.
There are many different reasons why people visit Myanmar. It is filled with historical sites that capture the imagination and delight the senses. For example:
- The Shwe Dago Pagoda is the largest golden structure existing on earth, created by tons of donated gold.
- The Buddhist bible is engraved into the 729 square marble stones creating a magnificent structure of temples known as the Kuthodaw Pagoda.
- The Mingun Bell peals with the enormous sounds that only the largest ringing bell on earth can provide.
These are only a few of the cultural and historical curiosities which draw people to visit The Golden Land each year. Scuba divers are drawn to the pristine waters near Victoria Point to explore the undersea beauties there. Fine jewelry collectors travel to purchase jade direct from local manufacturers at reasonable prices. Culinary travelers enjoy the delicacies of Myanmar’s slightly spicy cuisine. Hikers attempt to climb the highest peak in South East Asia, Khakaborazi Peak at an elevation of 19,296 feet above the sea level.
Myanmar is a land of mystery and beauty. For the curious, ecologically astute and historically aware, there are several luxury hotels in the sovereign country offering to pamper and delight travelers who seek to explore its many delights.
Belmond Governor’s Residence
This mansion dates from the days when it was the home of the Governor of the southern states of Myanmar. It features 1920s style colonial architecture with teak armchairs on verandas cooled by fans. It is a delightful step into the past, with completely modern amenities. Guests may enjoy the gardens and lotus pools surrounding the hotel or opt to dine alfresco with lights from lanterns. The evening air is balmy and the breezes catch the tropical scents from the garden flowers.
Hotel amenities include the Governor’s Oasis spa, a travel desk for booking tours and excursions, a boutique and gift shop offering local artisan’s gifts and mementos, essential drugstore supplies and luxury toiletry items, and the hotel swimming pool with its comfortable lounges for sunbathing. Dining opportunities for enjoying local Myanmar cuisine, European specialties and an array of relaxing and refreshing beverages include the elegant Mandalay Restaurant, the Burmese Curry Table, the Mindon Lounge in the garden, or the Kipling Bar.
All of the Deluxe Rooms feature views of the outer courtyard. The rooms are spacious, with furnishings of carved teak and silk fabrics.
- Double or twin beds
- Large terrazzo bath
- Seating area, writing desk and satellite TV
- Size: 420 ft2
- Complimentary bottled water
- Hair dryer
- Slippers and bathrobes
- Welcome fruit basket
- Wireless internet
Rates start at $314.50 per night.
Sule Shangri-La Yangon
This luxury hotel is situated in central Yangon close to popular attractions such as the Sule Pagoda, Bogyoke Market (formerly the Scott Market), the historical colonial buildings and China Town. Within a ten-minute drive are other tourist destinations including the National Museum, Kandawgyi Lake, the People’s Park and the Shwedagon Pagoda.
The décor in Deluxe Rooms is contemporary, with a full array of amenities. Each room, and the entire hotel, include complimentary WiFi Internet access, which is said to be the fastest in the entire country. Rooms include views of the river, pagodas, and tropical trees.
Dining is offered in the Summer Palace with a menu of authentic Cantonese cuisine, dim sum lunches and a la carte menu at tables with elegant linens fine china and beautiful chairs; and Café Sule which offers casual international foods. Several bars and lounges offer a variety of relaxation experiences. These include the Gallery Bar & Restaurant, the Gourmet Shop, Peacock Lounge and the Pool Bar.
The hotel Fitness & Recreation Center has a full range of exercise equipment, reflexology treatments, steam room, sauna, and a swimming pool. The Beauty Center offers facials, manicures and pedicures.
- Each Deluxe Room offers, river, pagoda or city views
- Each room has a bathtub with a fitted shower
- Each room is 365 square feet
- Room service around the clock
- Coffee and tea preparation area
- Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access
- Crispy mints
- Electronic safe
- Executive size writing desk
- Hair dryer
- Direct Dial International phone
- Iron with ironing board
- Cable television with satellite
- Folder of stationery
- Voice mail
Rates for Deluxe Rooms start at $165 per night.
The Kandawgyi Palace Hotel
This hotel is nestled along the shores of the Kandawgyi Lake, or Royal Lake in English. It was once the Rangoon Rowing Club. It is beautifully constructed with locally grown golden teak in traditional Myanmar architectural styling. Surrounded by the original ancient rainforest, gardens and lake, the hotel is a sought after destination for many travelers.
Dining includes Rachel’s Kitchen & Lounge, Taste Paradise, Thiri Café & Terrace and Otake. The hotel has a selective wine cellar with more than 200 wines available. The Nature Spa offers specialty therapies, Thai massage with stretching and deep massage, Japanese Shiatsu, the Palace Massage and Four Hands Massage. The hotel accommodates events and meetings, and a new fitness center is scheduled to open soon.
Superior Rooms are furnished with beautiful linens, handsome wood and natural materials and offer garden views.
- Complimentary WiFi
- Desk and occasional chairs
- Bathroom toiletries and shower room
- Flat screen TV plus satellite channels
- Luggage rack
- Hair dryer
- IDD telephone
Superior Room rates start at $260 per night.
Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel
Mandalay is the former capital for the Myanmar Kingdom, and many travelers visit it to enjoy its historical and cultural treasures. The Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel is nestled at the foot of its namesake hill, offering a panoramic view of the Royal Palace, its strikingly beautiful moat and numerous traditional pagodas. These archeological treasures have existed for almost one thousand years, drawing people to experience their wonders.
The hotel includes 206 guestrooms and suites, with each including differing views of the Irrawaddy River and city sites. The rooms are furnished in muted natural tones, with fine wood furnishings and natural materials. Each is filled with traditional amenities for comfort and enjoyment, and decorated with lovely cultural artwork.
Dining and lounges include the Kinsana Garden Theater offering a cultural show and International BBQ buffet, Kipling’s Lounge offering light snacks, drinks and a tapas menu, with live music in the evenings, Ming’s Asian Kitchen offering Myanmar, Chinese and Thai cuisine in a deluxe intimate setting, the Yadanabon Café offering an international buffet for a la carte fine dining, and the poolside Pavilion with a set menu by reservation only for private parties.
The hotel includes function and conference services and a fitness center.
Room rates for Superior accommodations begin at $240 per night. Discounts are available for rooms during June and July of 2016. Rates include Buffet Breakfast and airport transportation, 35 minutes each way, can be arranged.
Inle Resort and Spa
This fine resort is situated on the shores of Inlay Lake. It is a four-star boutique hotel which opened in 2005. It is an eco-resort built in traditional style, inspired by native architecture. The Inle Resort & Spa offers excellent services within the framework of responsible eco-tourism which seeks to preserve the lake environment. Owned by businessman U. Hla Aung, the resort team follows his goals of providing professional, responsive and warm service for his guests.
The HOM Spa is a focus of the resort. It features a tranquil, back to nature environment, and blends the healing arts from Myanmar, Thailand and Bali blended with modern Western spa services. The approach is holistic and pampering.
The HAW Restaurant offers a selection of Myanmar delicacies and the best of Chinese, European, Thai and Indian flavors. Guests may choose to dine on the outdoor veranda which overlooks the tropical garden. There is an intimate air-conditioned bar and a lake bar outdoors for relaxing.
Guests stay in bungalows or cottages with plenty of open space and views of the pond, gardens or lake. The cottages are 40 square meters, and include beautiful wood furnishings with tropical style in white and subdued colored linens.
Room Features and Amenities:
- Area for preparing Coffee and Tea
- Showers with hot and cold water, or a shower and bathtub, or a rain style shower
- Air-Conditioning or Heating with individual controls
- Safe Deposit Boxes in the rooms
- IDD Telephones
- Personal Toiletries
- Satellite TVs
- Room Service available round the clock
Prices for a Garden Cottage begin at $92.00 per night.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker