Political reforms, relaxation in visa rules and a drive to attract foreign investment 300,000 visitors it received in 2010. The forecast is for 7,000,000 international tourists to has seen Myanmar welcoming travellers with open arms. Myanmar is taking every possible step to ensure it can accommodate all who want to explore its stunning land, while preserving its fragile and mesmerizing heritage. During the last two years Myanmar has welcomed about a million tourists which is a massive increase from the enter Myanmar by 2020 and make it the travel industry’s sparkling gem. Myanmar’s unique culture, beauty of its pristine beaches, and its many attractions across the country has ap- pealed to both western and eastern tourists. There has been a robust demand in the high-end hospitality sector in Myanmar’s all regions. $2 billion worth of investment has been made in hotels and tourism-related businesses. More than 150 new hotels opened in Myanmar in 2013 alone which included budget and boutique hotels also. Discerning travellers looking to indulge themselves in luxury, elegance and sophistication in Myanmar can find a large number of staying options but they do need to be booked well in advance. Myanmar Insider chooses some of the best, most comfortable and the stylish for you.
The Belmond Governor’s Residence
This Victorian-style hotel is operated under the prestigious Orient Express brand. It was built in 1920 as a teak mansion for the official residence of the British governors when Burma was a British Crown Colony. The two-storey mansion was converted into a hotel and in 2006 it came under the banner of Orient Express Hotels Ltd. In 2014 the name was changed to present Belmond Governor’s Resi- dence. Located in Yangon’s Dagon Township, the elegant hotel is surrounded by a lotus garden. The iconic hotel offers an outstanding site for travellers who wish to have a deeper insight into local customs, culture and life-styles. Some of the local cultural sites like the Golden Shwedagon Pagoda or the vibrant Bogyoke Market are very near to the hotel which is also the USP of the hotel.
A glimpse of grand colonial splendor is clearly visible in The Strand which is declared “the finest hostelry East of Suez” by John Murray in his ‘Handbook for Travellers’. Located on the banks of Yangon River, the three storey 5 star hotel was built in 1901 by the ambitious Sarkies Brothers at a time when the country was ruled by the British. More than a century old The Strand remains one of Southeast Asia’s few hotels which transports its guests to the bygone era when Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham also stayed here. Even today it exudes history. It also hosted celebrity guests such as Prince Edward, George Orwell and Noël Coward. The legendary hotelier Adrian Zecha cast his gaze on the historic property, which had fallen into disrepair, and set out to restore its legacy. Today the awe-inspiring hotel has white-washed façade, teak-framed windows and elegant interiors. Guests in this iconic hotel are staying in the heart of Yangon. A 20-minute walk will take them to places like Chinatown, Sule Pagoda and Aung Sang Market. It is a 20-minute drive from the National Museum and a 30-minute drive from Yangon International Airport.
Kandawgyi Palace Hotel
Yet another one of the most sought after ho- tels in the capital city of Yangon is Kanawgyi Palace Hotel which in 1934 was Rangoon Rowing Club. Located on the shores of the tranquil Kandawgyi Lake, this heritage ho- tel retains the traditions of Myanmar archi- tecture. It’s a beautiful blend of local golden teak and modern amenities and convenienc- es. The hotel’s is surrounded by serene envi- rons of the lake and the old rain forests. The real highlight is the hotel’s extensive gar- dens which are laden with shrines, memori- al courtyards and community meeting spac- es. Kandawgyi Palace is also a short distance away from the famed Shwedagan Pagoda and the floating Karaweik Restaurant. It is preferred choice of both discerning business travellers and the tourists.
Mandalay Hill Resort
Mandalay Hill Resort took its name from the hill which is known for its many pago- das and monasteries. Mandalay was the former capital city of Myanmar Kingdom. Mandalay Hill is thronged by Burmese Buddhists and has been a major pilgrimage site for over two centuries. Tourists and business visitors alike find Mandalay Hill Resort worth the splurge for its location and the panoramic view that it offers from the hill. The resort also faces the distinctive Royal Palace. The resort’s gold-tinged Burmese décor, intricate temple-inspired pavilion and vibrant garden theatre spec- tacles have made it a big hit with the guests, particularly who have deep pockets. The property’s signature spa treatments are preferred by almost all the guests that stay here as they rejuvenate the body and the mind.
Aureum Palace Bagan
This sprawling property in Bagan can truly be called a sanctuary of calmness for the tired and the stressed. Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay region that is north of Yangon. From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, the first kingdom to unify the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar. Nam- ing Aureum Palace as the best resort hotel in Myanmar may not be an exaggeration. All 114 rooms equipped with state-of-the-art amenities overlook a beautiful scenery of Bagan’s pagoda- studded landscape (Bagan has more than 2,200 temples to explore) across a lotus filled lake. The hotel’s spa is truly a nature’s abode. The resort features an art gallery full of local artifacts and artwork. It also offers nightly cultural entertainment, 27 acres of tropical landscaped gardens to wander through and private plunge pools for villa guests.
Villa Inle Resort and Spa
Lakeside villas with canopied beds and unforgettable balcony views await the guests in the Villa Inle Reso rt and Spa which is located in the southern mountain region of Myanmar. Inle Lake is a freshwater lake located in the Nyaungshwe Township of Shan State. It is the second largest lake in Myanmar. Situated at 1,000 meters above sea level, staying in the Villa Inle Resort and Spa the guests can watch local fishermen glide around the tranquil lake and also watch many rare birds that fall in ‘endangered’ categories. What makes this property differ- ent from others is its eco-friendly