THE KANDAWGYI PALACE HOTEL, YANGON, MYANMAR.
I stayed in this hotel for three nights 21st to 23rd March 2012 whilst on a business trip to the Far East.
The hotel is beautiful and reminds you of the days of the British Raj. It is made of teakwood. The lobby is spacious and the seating square in the middle is a nice idea. It is just as well that the lobby is spacious, because when large travel groups descend on the hotel, it can get very congested.
I was checked in by Pann Moh Moh Pyu – a charming lady who spoke good English. Payment for my room had to be upfront and in cash US Dollars. That was a first for me. I was allocated Room 415, at the end of one wing of the hotel. It had a nice view as it overlooked the lake. The golden royal palace boat is to the right of the lake as I looked at from my room. The room was a bit bigger than I expected - but the effects of the teak wood make it look a bit dreary and tired.
The Shwedagon Pagoda is within walking distance of the hotel – although in the hot sun, you may think that you have walked for hours. (Once inside you have to remove your socks and shoes, and when you walk on the sun kissed hot tiles, your feet definitely feel th heat.)
The Wi-Fi does not work in the hotel bedroom, although on one occasion, I was surprised that it did work (albeit for about ten minutes). In the lobby, the Wi-Fi works better. But if you want to use your laptop and refer to all your paperwork, it can be difficult. I understand that the government is currently focusing on improving the internet system. Telephone charges are very expensive. You can rent government approved handsets and SIM cards.
Breakfast in the main hotel restaurant is buffet style. There was a very good variety of food on offer and covered everything from local and regional food; fresh fruits; breads and pastries; soups; juices; egg station and western style hot breakfast accompaniments to eggs. Lunch and dinner are also served in this restaurant. The prices of the dishes are on the steep side. For example a simple Myanmar butter fish curry with rice costs USD 12. For prawns – add another USD3. There is also a Chinese restaurant – but more often than not – it looked empty.
All the staff members are extremely polite and helpful. They look smart in their traditional uniforms. Their English is good and understandable.
The hotel’s gardens are full of mature trees, shrubs and flowers. The swimming pool is not very big – but on a hot sunny day – size does not matter. You just want to be in the pool. The pool overlooks the lake and the golden royal palace boat at the end of the lake.
The Management has maintained the hotel very well.
I think that the lifts are on the small side. I very much doubt whether eight people can really fit in it as per the manufacturer’s plate on the lift wall. If you wish to go to the city centre (say Scott Market),you should ask the concierge to arrange this for you. They will negotiate the fare on your behalf – but expect to pay 1,500 Kyats (just under USD2 at March 2012) for a one way ride. If you tried to negotiate a price yourself, you would end up losing – as the taxi drivers would start at USD5 one way which upon haggling would be “discounted” to USD4.
This was my first visit to Myanmar, but hopefully not the last. I would definitely come back to this hotel – but it would depend on the company budget.
MAZ MANNAN 24th March 2012.
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- Also Known As:
- Kandawgyi Palace Hotel
- Hotel Kandawgyi Palace
- The Kandawgyi Palace Hotel Yangon, Myanmar