I've spent 40-50 nights at the Eastern Hotel over the past 3 years. Unlike many apparently comparable hotels in Yangon, where seemingly sincere attempts at "service" can lead only to frustration/anger, the emphasis here always has been on making things work for the guests.
The rooms are spacious and usually quiet. The mattresses are firmly comfortable. Rarely has cigarette or cigar smoke annoyed, even in the hallways outside the guestrooms in which the Chinese and Europeans were having their nicotine fixes.
Housekeeping is top notch -- virtually everything is spotless and well-maintained. This is a characteristic that's not always found in Yangon hotels where I have seen staff assigned to hours of scrubbing steps while windows, corners of rooms & ceilings showed signs of years without attention. Cleaning corners of rooms (and public areas) can be very important in Yangon hotels where many domestic guests think that 2 walls coming together is meant as a target for spitting ugly red stimulate-filled saliva.
Among the first hotels in Yangon to offer wi-fi, it remains unavailable in most guest rooms. However, its speed has improved significantly in the past 3 months.
Television offerings are adequate for most guests. Although you won't find BBC World or CNN, the superior Al Jazeera English as well as the virtually worthless Murdoch-owned Channel News Asia are present. There are several channels of movies and sports, with many in English. The Myanmar channels can be fun for those curious about the non-touristy aspects of local culture.
Breakfast is basic, but with several choices. Rooms have mini-bars stocked with reasonably-priced beverages.
During 2012 prices have increased dramatically. But so have improvements. It is my understanding that all rooms have been freshly painted (with the same two-toned yellow/gold decor you find in many other basic Yangon hotels). New draperies have been installed. And in the room I've come to consider my "home" in Yangon, there's a new air conditioner, a rain-water shower head, a thoughtfully-installed "disappearing" clothes line & an unobtrusive small glass shelf in a corner of the bathroom that's needed, useful and convenient.
Because I've stayed in the hotel's neighborhood hundreds of nights since 2003, I've come to like the location. You can walk to the city center in 20 minutes; taking a bus or taxi requires 5-10 minutes. Supermarkets, neighborhood open markets, restaurants, street vendors and other retail are nearby.
If you like walking (now much easier and safer than it was 2 years ago because of sidewalk repair that I never believed I would see), 30-45 minutes will get you to China Town, the Zoo, Botanical Gardens or Kandawgi Lake. Sule Pagoda and currency exchange banks are 15 minutes by foot. The fascinating Botataung Pagoda is about 7 minutes. Be sure to check out the hundreds of "advisors" or fortune tellers in shacks along the railroad tracks within a few blocks of the hotel.
This is not a world-class hotel; but it's unlikely you will find anything like that for less than in Yangon. You could find a lot more luxury (at much much higher prices), but not necessarily with the same quality of the basics of cleanliness, customer focus and convenience.
I am giving it 4 stars because it stands very well in its market sector, especially considering the aspects of the Burmese culture that make finding good and affordable lodging there problematic. I also like that few if any of the staff have the disgusting bloody gums that result from Betel addiction.
Having said all of that, I hope that I don't get bitten by even more rapidly increasing room rates during my future visits, as word about this decent place to stay spreads.
- Also Known As:
- Eastern Hotel Yangon, Myanmar
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to our Hotel !Located at the heart of Yangon. Within walking distance from Sule Pagoda. Yangon Port, Botahtaung Pagoda, Bogyoke Aung San Market, Central Railway Station, Offices, Shops, Markets and Restaurants. ... more less
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