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“Like being on top of the world” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Popa Mountain Resort

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Popa Mountain Resort
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Mt. Popa, Kyaukpadaung Township, Bagan, Myanmar   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #12 of 31 Hotels in Bagan
Yorkshire
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Like being on top of the world”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

Based here for one night before our stay in Bagan itself. There are beautiful views from the gardens and it was very relaxing. Lovely big room with every amenity and a huge decked terrace that gave a teriffic view of the monastery and from where we took some memorable sunset photographs . It was very peaceful during the day, but night time noises on the roof (assume monkeys) was a disturbance. We had a lovely room but it was at the very end of a long series of staged timber decked steps. Not so much of an issue in the daylight but at night, they were difficult to walk along as the decking was dark wood and the side lighting wasn't that good. On an evening, it is definitely advisable to use a torch.
Our restaurant experience wasn't brilliant. Mid afternoon we reserved a table for dinner that evening and and advised kitchen staff of my husband's food allergy. Told not a problem with what he had chosen - yet when we went to eat, after confirming our pre ordered food the waiter returned and apologised and said all they could offer my husband was a bowl of soup and a cold chicken sandwich as his allergy ingredient was included in every other food item. Breakfast was okay with a decent buffet selection.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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146 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
227 reviews 227 reviews
99 hotel reviews
Reviews in 135 cities Reviews in 135 cities
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

We stayed here one night as we wanted to visit the Taung Kalat monastry on the volcano core. From afar the rock perched monastry is a spectacular sight, also in the evening and morning, visible from the hotel restaurant and terasses. So it is not really necessary to get the mount Taung Kalat rock view rooms.
We had a valley view room, well, actually tree view, but with a very large balcony terras around the room. Room size 25m2 and bathroom 6.5m2 with separate toilet. The former outside shower has been closed, but inside shower is spacious.
However, the room was pitch dark and for every thing we needed our headlamp to see anything. The light switch was low under the table (needed to move the table) but that 'light' did not help very much to illuminate the cave. The curtain could not close.
On top of that we could hear the neighbours walk, talk and snore. The upper half of the dividing wall apparently are simple (black) planks.
This is the only hotel I would not recommend from the 15 hotels we stayed in during our trip.
When we arrived for dining in an almost empty restaurant, the waiter asked "if we had a reservation", like if the rather empty hotel (top season) was fully booked.
The dinner was rather expensive as well as the beer and local wine (5x the purchase price), but I could actually see the fish on my plate; being in contrast with the former meals in chineese type budget restaurants.
The nightly view of the illuminated monastry was interesting.
We woke rudely up at 6:00 because of motor cycles being started and raced just behind our bungalow at the parking lot (hotel personnel arriving, departing?).
The breakfast was plentyful but not special and the view on the Taung Kalat rock very nice.

We checked out and proceeded to climb the monastry rock with its many monkeys, on our bare feet avoiding stepping in their droppings or on step on cleaners begging all foreigners for money. The old storey that for the Nats (spirits) you should not wear black or red apparently was not practised by the locals. The climb up, some 750 steps was not very hard, but once on the top we were a bit disappointed. Especially so because we had seen already some other spectacular monastries and temples.
Afterwards we though that we could have skipped the whole Popa-Taung rock, comparing it with other sites in Myanmar, and staying in the Popa mountain resort did not add too much. With limeted time in Bagan one can skip this outing.

Room Tip: I do not think there are soundproof or well illuminated rooms.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

location...fantastic
low breakfast
lobby.. ...awful
restaurant rather medium but very helpful staff
when going to watch the monastery flocks of aggressive and dirty monkeys damaging everything
jumping everywhere

Room Tip: try not to have an early flight ...not to have a so cheap breakfast stingy people at the recepti...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
680 reviews 680 reviews
129 hotel reviews
Reviews in 185 cities Reviews in 185 cities
1,724 helpful votes 1,724 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

Popa Mountain Resort is located on the slopes of Mt. Popa, in the park boundaries, overlooking the very picturesque Popa Taungkalat monastery which is perched atop the Taung Kalat volcanic cone nearby. The view of the monastery is really the only reason to come to Popa Mountain Resort. Other than that, it's just another 2-3 star hotel that happens to be far away from everything else (49 km from Bagan) really in the middle of nowhere.

If you're going to stay here, make sure you have one of the 8 Taungkalat view rooms. If you don't there is really no reason to stay here at all. If you do get these rooms, you'll have a big balcony with a table and chairs where you can sit and have a drink and look at the magnificent view of the monastery. When we were there, the monks were chanting for 7 days, so it was a 24 hour chant-fest - great for atmosphere, bad for sleeping. You can visit the monastery, climbing up 777 dirty stairs, dodging monkey poo and beggars to reach the top, but it's pretty disappointing really - ok to visit if you're bored and have read up on the nats and the significance, but otherwise not really worth the effort - better to watch it from your room or the restaurant.

Our room was filthy - the toilet was caked in brown and looked like it had never been cleaned. We called and insisted housekeeping come clean it right away. The shower was covered in mildew, and the shower head was completely broken and half hanging off. They did replace the shower head when we asked, but asking to clean the brown dirt and mildew spots in the shower, or the layers of soap scum off the doors proved futile. The interior of the room was much cleaner thankfully. The Taungkalat view room was surprisingly small and dark. The woodwork was pretty nice, the balcony was the highlight, and the bed was actually pretty decent. They have mosquito netting but no turndown service so you have to do it yourself or call them to come do it for you.

There is bell service, and the small swimming pool has a great view of the monastery. During the day the place is overrun with tour buses - some of whom use the swimming pool, so enjoy your hours of peace and quiet in between. There is a small souvenir shop, a restaurant and bar, and a spa.

The food at the restaurant was mostly pretty bad - the breakfast was an awful buffet with no cooking station, only Western with some mealy Chinese style noodles. Toast that turned to dust when you ate it, mushy fruit, cold scrambled eggs, and some fried rice. Lunch we went elsewhere - too many tour bus groups. Dinner also tour bus groups but ambience good with a harpist playing and views of the monastery. No indoor seating, and it was cold at 5000 feet, so everyone sat and ate in their coats - bring a warm jacket! Dinner was poor quality for the most part, and out of the entire wine list (about 30 kinds of bottles) we were informed the only thing they had was a bottle of local Myanmar wine. Decent prices though compared to some of the other hotels we encountered in Myanmar.

There is wi-fi in the lobby and pool area. if you get the room closest to the pool, you can pick up the wi-fi from your room. It's REALLY slow and frustrating, as everywhere in Myanmar, but at least it exists. There is a small desk in the room and a small table on the balcony you can put one laptop each on.

Overall a pretty poor excuse for a resort with small, dirty rooms and poor food, but the view was really nice and so was the ambience. I'm not sorry we stayed there, but they really need to kick it up a notch to justify their prices.

Room Tip: The only room worth getting is the Taung Kalat view. Get the one close to the swimming pool and you...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

If it wasn't for its location nothing great with this hotel : Below average rooms (our door didn't even close proerly), a management that does nothing to help when something is wrong (wanted to charge again an extra bed for the kids that had been paid for at the agency, didn't make any effort to check and finaly refused to bring it), overal not a good souvenir. To be avoided.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mannheim, Germany
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
144 helpful votes 144 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2012

The glance at first: Location and view are stunning and spectacular. Somewhere deep in the woods halfway to Mount Popa’s peak you’re overlooking beautiful scenery, ca. 800 meters above sea level the huge valley and of course the famous golden Taungkalat, as the resort is isolated located slightly above that golden miracle. But: Standard rooms, strung side by side, are scruffy and run down, ‘view’ straight into thick bushes growing into the balcony. After effective bargaining we’d decided to rent the Deluxe Taungkalat view. Taking into account that this category is normally not a snap. These great Bungalows are made of dark tropical woods, have an extensive deck and a nice, large room itself. Huge canopy bed covered accuratly with flowers, broad windows on two sides, old fashioned semi open bathroom and open air bath. However, outside ‘spa’ is just an overgrown box without any fittings, indoor shower is old and run down. Room appears clean at first, but tops of the closets and in room walls are covered with bird’s dirt. First, you wish to swap the unnecessary Bravia Flat for a renovated bathroom or better maintenance at all, later the view from your bed and balcony compensate all, when golden lights above golden land meets Taungkalat. The small, refreshing cold Pool is just great: Fantastic quiet in the mornings and afternoons, unfortunately many coach parties visit the Restaurant during the day and all of them take dozens of photos from and at pool, so relaxing is impossible for Resorts Guests there. Simple Breakfast is more palatable with recommended hot chili-garlic sauce, beyond that bring some food, drinks as nothing is around. Ca. 20 Minutes downhill walk (and double opposite direction) through the spider jungle is a little village where stairs to Taungkalats monastery starts. Uphil some hiking tracks, GPS recommended. Resort itself can be reached within 1-2 hours from Bagan by car. At all, one more great, but expensive experience in Myanmar. More privacy and cleanness, maintenanceand it would be a fantastic place in a fantastic environment.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2012

the resort has amazing views of the mount popa, right in front, the rooms are clean, with air con and the staff is extremelly helpful, me and my wife got a full body oil massage which was grand, well recommended place, it rained a lot so we could not do the trekking, but there are many walks you can take, they have a map, the staff also helped us check our flights out of bagan with the airline and informed us of some changes, there is internet but is very slow, but who needs it, the place is quiet and very peaceful, which is what i was looking for, we had lunch on the deck at our villa, with a great view of the mount popa.

Room Tip: pick the villas at the front of the mountain, they have amazing views.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Popa Mountain Resort

Address: Mt. Popa, Kyaukpadaung Township, Bagan, Myanmar
Location: Myanmar > Mandalay Region > Bagan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Bagan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Popa Mountain Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 50
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Also Known As:
Popa Mountain Hotel Bagan

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