Fresh fruit and Colonial Charm at the Strand
If comfort food has an equivalent in hotel form, it would be The Strand Hotel in Yangon, Myanmar. From the so-colonial-it’s-fresh-design aesthetic to the colorful and interesting guests the property attracts, The Strand manages to be both “of the moment” and a classic luxury experience at the same time.
The Strand Hotel is an authentic colonial classic. While I usually gravitate towards edgier properties, when visiting the rapidly changing country of Myanmar, there is something to be said for kicking it old school. Especially when that means staying some place like The Strand, located in a national landmark three story Victorian property, which was built in 1901. Everyone from Rudyard Kipling to Sir Noel Coward has bunked in these 32 rooms and suites– and for good reason.
The smoking lounge in the lobby area of the 1st floor was a refreshing throwback
High ceiling fans and Southeast Asia Artwork adds to the property’s charm
The lobby of the Strand is a popular meeting place
The luxury hotel offerings in Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon) haven’t been able to kept pace with rapid influx of business travelers, and for over a century, the Strand has been the top address. It’s in a great location- walking distance to Sule Pagoda and a short drive to Shwedagon Pagoda.
The Strand’s 31 rooms and suites (even the smallest oness) are all extremely spacious and thoughtful. And while the strand might not be the newest property in Yangon, but all the creature comforts are there. WiFi is free on the property, and I found it to be the best connection I had during my trip to Yangon. Each floor on the hotel is staffed with a butler and the rooms have large closets, and luxury bathrooms featuring exceptional water pressure in the showers. There is daily laundry service which works great if your appropriate for temple-hopping clothes get a bit soiled throughout the day, as mine did.
The comfy king-sized bed had a wonderful dragon detail
Mini-bar goodness and a comfy seating area are just some of the touches at The Strand
The desk had a wifi connection that worked great. The minibar options weren’t overly exciting but they hit the spot.
Fresh water arrived with turndown service every night.
his & her sinks and bathroom amenities in a large bathroom
Beauty is in the details at the Strand. I particularly liked the painting of the building hanging in the lobby.
The afternoon sun fills the old school bathroom. That showerhead packs a lot of power.
Because Myanmar has been so remote for so long, the Strand has held fast and hasn’t succumbed to renovations catering to the latest taste in decorating and renovation every decade or so (the property was last renovated in 1993). The result is that Strand feels like a perfectly timed throwback to a more elegant and refined time, and it’s a great and welcoming spot to have as a home base in Yangon.
The Bar at the Strand has been ground zero for ex-pat life in Yangon and continues to be. The place gets backed during happy hour on Friday, where English speakers flock to the place for 2-for-1 drinks and conversation.
The staff is very well trained and personable, and friendly from the second you arrive. While the building is old, the service is up to International standards and thoughtful. Wifi required a new code every 12 hours, but otherwise worked well for this previously off-the-grid location. My welcome amenity was a lovely Strand leather luggage tag. Daily laundry and turndown service are both excellent. The Strand Cafe, the more casual restaurant on the property is excellent and the food is both delicious and appropriate to the environment.
Most important, really, is the vibe. From the so-colonial-it’s-fresh-design aesthetic to the colorful and interesting guests the property attracts, The Strand manages to be both “of the moment” and a classic luxury experience at the same time. The guests who stay here a rather interesting and friendly bunch ranging from BBC presenters to adventurous Americans. The hotel concierge was able to arrange a great driver and guide for trips to local sights. GMH Hotels runs the property and they do it well. I very much enjoyed chatting with the hotel’s General Manager and staff about the growing pains Yangon is experiencing. Fortunately The Strand has aged gracefully and still plays an important role to travelers and ex-pats in the area. If you can’t stay at the Strand, it’s worth popping by for a meal in the cafe or round of drinks in the bar.
The Strand Hotel
92 Strand Road
T (95) 1 243 377
F (95) 1 243 393