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Do you see yourself as a sea-faring explorer, clutching the teak rail of your balcony looking over the Irrawaddy? Or perhaps you’re more of a tour the temples before a spa treatment type? We’ve narrowed down some of the best places to stay in Burma by region, to make planning your holiday to Myanmar a little bit easier.
1. Yangon – Belmond Governor’s Residence
Step away from the hustle and bustle of Yangon, and weave through the leafy backstreets of the Diplomatic Quarter. One of the most special places to stay in Burma awaits: The Belmond Governor’s Residence.
This grand colonial mansion was built in the 1920s and, with meticulous upkeep and a dedicated team, it has retained the charm of this bygone era. Take a rather romantic walkway over lotus-filled ponds to reach your bedroom. Inside, elegant suites are simple, with four-poster teak beds and the occasional elaborately carved piece of furniture. This airy oasis brings the outside in with great pots filled with botanicals; in fact the whole place is equal parts grand traditional furnishings, and tropical plants.
For a lovely respite from the city’s humidity, cool down in the fan-shaped pool, treat yourself to a spa treatment, or take a rattan seat under the veranda and order a cocktail. Treat yourself.
Stay here on our Luxury Burma fully tailored journey.
2. Mandalay – Hotel by the Red Canal
While Hotel by the Red Canal isn’t quite as grand as Yangon’s Belmond, it more than makes up for it in charm and location. This boutique retreat is just minutes from Mandalay Palace, and with only 25 rooms, it feels more exclusive than some other options.
Every room has been crafted with local culture in mind; teak and rattan prevail, and simple bedrooms represent four major ethnic groups: Chin, Kachin, Rakhine and Shan, each with regional furnishings to match. Elsewhere, the spa has been constructed in a similar way to rural village huts – keeping the air the perfect temperature.
After exploring this much-fabled city, return to swish up a wooden spiral staircase for aperitifs under the veranda, or take to the restaurant for dinner with views over the candlelit pool below.
Stay here on our Luxury Burma fully-tailored journey.
3. Ngapali – Ngapali Bay Villas & Spa
Ngapali, home of soft sandy beaches, clear sunny days, healthy forested plains… and this architectural treat. Feel your shoulders relax as you enter this tranquil resort. With its cavernous thatched ceiling (seemingly perched on enormous teak pillars), white walls dotted with local art, and lush gardens beyond, everything feels calm.
Private villas here sit under palm trees in shady gardens, each offering something a little bit special. Beach views from the bed, his and hers sinks, a private plunge pool or – perhaps best of all – a handmade double-ended teak bath.
There are no end of activities and adventures in this area, with options to take excursions to local villages, or get up close and personal with marine life.
But going from swimming pool to beach-restaurant, and back again is also completely fine.
Stay here on our Luxury Burma fully-tailored journey.
4. Irrawaddy River – Sanctuary Ananda Cruise
The Sanctuary Ananda is the perfect way to travel from Bhamo in the far north, down to the city of Yangon – with lots of temples, pagodas, palaces and monasteries along the way.
They haven’t left anything to chance here. Each of the 20 suites come decked out (pun unintended) with floor-to-ceiling windows, authentic lacquerware, and balconies with the suitest (get it?!) sea views. The largest has a huge veranda, and a free-standing bath, as well as a monsoon shower. Take your pick.
The staff are always happy to help, but there’s a butler on hand, should you require (this is a list of luxury dwellings, after all). With a dining room offering all manner of delights, and an award-winning chef behind the scenes, you certainly won’t go hungry. Were it not for those sea views, you might forget this was a boat at all.
Stay here on our Irrawaddy Luxury Explorer fully tailored journey.
5. Myeik Archipelago – Private Andaman Sea yacht charter with Burma Boating
After touching on this incredible journey last week, it seems only right to include it in our luxury list. For those who missed it, this private charter on the Andaman Sea explores some of Burma’s most untouched landscapes. Step off your boat to make the first footprints on stretches of white sand, dip a toe in crystal waters, or explore the local area.
Back on the boat, you’ll tuck into fine-quality food, and socialise in the large saloon before retiring to an elegant cabin. Go island-hopping with a difference, and let someone else take care of the logistics.
Stay here on our Sailing the Andaman Sea fully-tailored journey, or let us tailor a self-guided itinerary for you.
6. Inle Lake – Pristine Lotus Spa Resort
This resort is in an idyllic location. “Floating” boat-shaped rooms have aspect views of a calm creek that leads to Inle Lake; take a pew in the bow and watch the water, or spot the Shan Mountains beyond. The airy villas sit against a backdrop of rolling green hills; each with a private terrace, and a mezzanine level with the best views.
The incredibly peaceful setting lends itself to the spa; enjoy nature’s hot tub (courtesy of hot springs), or arrange a treatment. Massage, anyone? Take to your terrace as the sun goes down (icy drink in hand), and order dinner at the canopied restaurant.
7. Bagan – Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort
Expect acres and acres of landscaped gardens with parading peacocks and tropical trees that burst with colour. Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort is one of the loveliest places to explore the pagodas of Bagan from.
Bedrooms here range from the simple Deluxe rooms, up to stylish River View Suites. All 8 of the latter have four-poster beds, private terraces, spacious lounge areas and a terrazzo bathtub with views of the Irrawaddy.
Make the most of Bagan (a hot air balloon over the plains is a great idea), before returning to the resort. Take a dip in the huge pool, and watch the sun set over the Irrawaddy.
Stay here on our Burma Honeymoon fully tailored journey.
If any of these luxury places to stay (or all of them, let’s be honest) take your fancy, drop us a line. We’d be happy to help tailor your perfect trip.