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“Great hotel, excellent guide”

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Amara Mountain Resort
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Kalaw
Certificate of Excellence
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great hotel, excellent guide”
Reviewed February 25, 2008

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.

  • Liked — staff, guide
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2 Thank Domotor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Newport Beach, California
Level Contributor
263 reviews
218 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 755 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2008

MY TRAVEL STYLE: I hate business hotels and strongly prefer resorts that resemble the Four Seasons, Aman, and Oberoi but try to find similar properties at lower cost. I seek out the “wow” experiences and I encourage you to view hotels I have stayed at and their respective reviews (by clicking on my name).

LOCATION: Great! 20 minute walk to main Kalaw town with all of the local restaurants. Nice that it’s not in town since the town of Kalaw is nothing special and the location of this resort is on a secluded hilltop. The view from the hill is only noticeable from the hotels’ restaurant.

BEST WAY TO GET THERE: We paid US$25 for a 1 hour taxi from Heho Airport. Taxi to Inle from Kalaw should cost around $30.

TYPE OF ROOM: New building, King room.

BED/SHEETS/PILLOW: Bed is a little on the hard side with very nice (but not over the top luxurious) linens. Pillows are way to thick and a request for a thinner pillow was granted but ended up being a huge oversized square pillow that is thinner.

LIGHTING: Ok light in bedroom, just a tad dark in the bathroom, but sufficient overall.

BATHROOM/SHOWER: Beautiful wood floors in bathroom and marble shower. Very cozy and comfortable. Water pressure is strong and hot water lasts about 25 minutes.

TOILETRIES: Very nice, but would prefer disposable bottles to their refillable ones.

CLEANLINESS: The entire resort, room, and bathroom is spotless.

A/C: No A/C or heat in the room. Room gets very warm when using the fireplace.

CLOSET SPACE: Standard space but a little bit too small for 2 people to unpack all items.

STYLE OF ROOM: Charming. Wood floors, fresh fruit, wood burning fireplace, had a country upscale cabin ambience. Rooms look much nicer in person that on their website.

QUIET/MORNING LIGHT: Our upper floor room was exceptionally quiet at night. There are no major roads nearby. Too much morning sunlight would come through the closed curtains but not too much to wake us up.

FOOD: Breakfast is simple with made to order eggs, corn flakes, breads, and jams. O.J. and coffee is also provided. Had dinner twice and it was very good and way better than the other restaurants in town.

TV/INTERNET: There is no TV in the room and the hotel has a computer in which we were very politely discouraged from using (since the internet rarely works and is very slow).

SERVICE: Staff is absolutely some of the best in the business. Their English is good enough and they are very personable, friendly, and professional.

COMMON AREA: Gorgeous outdoor landscaping. Flowers everywhere. Lobby is charming.

ROOM & CITY TIPS: In town, we only found 2 places that had internet (winner hotel & Golden Hotel) and I tried one and it barely worked and was too slow. Get emails done prior to coming to Kalaw. Easy to find someone to take you from town to the hotel (we generously? Paid about 2,000 khat one way). There are 2 buildings, one new and the other restored. I saw rooms in both and anyone would be happy with either. I prefer the new building since the bathrooms have a shower (and no bathtub) versus the older building that has a handheld shower that must be used from inside the bathtub. Kalaw is a good break from the other parts of Myanmar but there isn’t much to do here but trek. The hills and trees are nice but don’t come close to the beauty of similar type places back home. If it wasn’t for the Amara Resort, I wouldn’t have wanted to stay even one night. The Amara made our Kalaw trip memorable and as a result I highly recommend this hotel when visiting Kalaw.

  • Liked — Charming rooms and scenic location
  • Disliked — 15 minute (safe) walk to main part of town
  • Stayed January 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank TravelSnob1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Amara Mountain Resort

Property: Amara Mountain Resort
Address: 10/182 Thida Road Quarter 10 | Western Bogone, Kalaw, Myanmar
Location: Myanmar > Shan State > Kalaw
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Kalaw
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Amara Mountain Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 11
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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