Kandawgyi Palace: The grand old hotel on the Royal lake of Yangon. 5* paradise in this crazy city!

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!

Careful where you wander!

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?

Not the worst way to celebrate 50 countries, although, I did wonder what to do with it afterwards!!

More about Kandawgyi Palace Hotel


Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

See more from this country:


See more from our backpacking adventures:



Pin for later:

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Kandawgyi Palace Hotel. As always, all opinions are our own!

Leave a Reply

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lara Dunning
5 years ago

I really like staying in historic hotels. They have such charm, and if they are luxury, they are usually top notch. This hotel sounds like a great retreat from the hectic city, and who doesn’t like elephant shaped towels on their bed? I recently stated at the five star hotel The Jefferson in Richmond and loved its grandness.

5 years ago
Reply to  Lara Dunning

Ha ha, the towel elephants are the best bit really aren’t they!! lol. Wow, that sounds like a lovely place, yes, can’t beat that feeling!

5 years ago

Is that a glass walkway? So cool! Your pictures are fabulous. This place has my name written all over it, thanks for sharing 🙂

5 years ago
Reply to  Carmen Edelson

Thanks, oh you would love it!

Corinne Vail
5 years ago

Impressive – 50 countries! I have stayed in some amazing places, so there’s always room for another on my list. That hotel is gorgeous.

5 years ago
Reply to  Corinne Vail

Thank you! Yes, you should head over here for sure! Amazing place!

Vyjay Rao
5 years ago

Wow this is an awesome place! It is a mix of both old tradition and modern amenities. It is very serene and peaceful. That is what we always look for – a mix of luxury, tradition and serenity.

5 years ago
Reply to  Vyjay Rao

Thanks, we absolutely loved it here, a great escape from the busy city but so close to the most beautiful areas too!

Two Tall Travellers
5 years ago

looks amazing! i’ve seen swan towels before but the elephant one is so cute!

5 years ago

Thanks! The elephant was the best!! ha ha

Elena Melamory
5 years ago

Looks absolutely stunning!

5 years ago
Reply to  Elena Melamory

Thank you, it was!

5 years ago

So great to read more about this hotel. I was looking at it a while back as the only real 5* in Yangon so it’s great to know you enjoyed your style and read more about the amenities.

5 years ago
Reply to  Skye

Thanks, yes it really is the top option in Yangon and it really lives up to that reputation.

5 years ago

Beautiful hotel – I love the flower writing on the bed. Rest, relaxation, great food, a bit of a pamper – just what everyone needs!

5 years ago
Reply to  wherejogoes

Yes, it really was a perfect haven to finish our time in this lovely country.