We stayed at the Amara in the end of January and we can highly recommend the hotel. We heard it is the best in Kalaw and we were very satisfied with it. The hotel was nice, the food was good (we especially liked the avocado juice, the homemade bread and the vegetarian pizza) and it was a wonderful place to return to after a day of hiking in the mountains. The room was spacious with a charming fireplace which was also convenient at nights when it got chilly. The hotel is about 20 minutes walking to the center, so at night it's worth taking a taxi (costs 2-3000 kyat) because the way up the hill is not lit.
The highlight of the hotel was the staff. Everyone was extremely helpful and friendly. We especially recommend to go hiking with the guide Yar Zar Moe who is a law student originally from Kalaw. He is a very friendly, cheerful guy, speaks very good English (he also speaks Japanese) and knows everything about the town and the surrounding villages. It's good to ask for him in advance, as he has only a few days when he takes tourists on treks.
We went with Yar Zar Moe on the hike to the two Palaung villages, the Viewpoint and the water tank, and he also took us to the cave with the Buddha statues and the Kalaw market.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kalaw is a small town in Shan State, formerly created by the British government during colonial times as a summer resort in the highlands. The Amara Mountain Resort itself consists of two buildings, both colonial style and one built as early as 1909. It is surrounded by a cottage garden with ancient trees, brightly colored flowers and a bio garden, whose products are served fresh in our restaurant. ... more less
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