Sitting on the amazing Royal Lake of Yangon, with the shimmering gold of the sacred Shwedagon pagoda in the distance the Kandawgyi Palace hotel offers an unbeatable location, history and class. The most luxurious residence in the city and indeed the country this 5* retreat has 5 restaurants, a lake side pool and the most comfortable beds I have ever laid in. After an amazing 3 weeks in Myanmar and 7 tiring months in Asia we couldn’t believe our luck staying in such an impressive and prestigious place, now it was time to spend a few days relaxing and soaking it all in!
A piece of Myanmar history
The Kandawgyi Palace isn’t just a hotel but a Myanmar institution that has been part of the fabric of Yangon through the many eras of this changing country. The location even before the original building was built is one of Burmese legend, said to be the place their famous Mon Queen Shin Saw Bu took her last breath whilst looking over to the sacred pagoda. Later on the oldest parts of the building were built during the era of British Burma and became the exclusive “Boat Club” in 1934.
A sign of the times and a real step into the history this region and a testament to how far Myanmar has come. Over the years of the Japanese occupation the buildings were used for various purposes such a military and hospital quarters. Most interestingly there stands a huge dinosaur sculpture in the dense jungle area of the landscaped gardens. Initially this seems a rather random decoration for such a place, but here lies another side to the history of these buildings as they were once the home of the National Biological Museum!
A perfect location on the Royal Lake of Yangon
Yangon is a great city to explore and offers a completely different atmosphere to anywhere else we had explored within Myanmar. The mixture of cultures here, from the bustling China Town to the grace of the crumbling colonial architecture and then the passion of the sacred Shwedagon Pagoda.
However it also can be an exhausting and overwhelming city to explore. Retreating back to the serenity of the Royal Lake provides an escape from the heat and chaos to recharge before heading out to explore once again! The landscaped rainforest that the teak hotel is build within offers a naturally cool area to unwind in and the amazing pool just by the lakeside allows you to get lost in the majesty of your surroundings.
A stunning hotel with 5* facilities
The purpose built extension to the original pre-war buildings offers a beautiful combination of traditional golden teak construction materials and techniques with the unique blend of colonial aesthetics. Stepping into the huge reception area you really feel like you are stepping back into a bygone era, to the early romance of travel and the discovery of new and exciting cultures and traditions.
However they have combined this unique atmosphere with a plethora of modern facilities and conveniences to make your stay that of perfection. From the 5 restaurants offering high class dining from around the world to the spa retreat and private bungalows in their own jungle, expect those 5 stars to be obvious from the moment you arrive!
Getting the royal treatment in this relaxing paradise in the former capital
For us staying in a 5* hotel is a big deal, we are backpackers after all, so it’s not exactly our usual abode! However who are we to complain! After sleeping on the floors of bamboo huts in the most wonderful homestays and far to many hostel dorm rooms we welcomed a chance to see how the other side live! However, before you consider this luxury to be out of your price range consider the unique and perplexing accommodation situation in Myanmar. Real budget options here are few and far between as the country is still very much developing its tourism.
However at the other end of the scale the country offers some of the most affordable luxury hotels you are ever likely to find, for example a dorm room in Paris is likely to cost you the same as a 4* property with a pool in Myanmar! So why not choose Myanmar as the location to rest those road worn legs and aching shoulders, or, if you are on the hunt for a reasonably priced holiday which combines unspoilt culture with luxurious surroundings then this is the place!
Have you ever stayed somewhere so historic?
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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Kandawgyi Palace Hotel. As always, all opinions are our own!
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