I picked this hotel because of its size and the fact it was privately owned and looked like it had more character than the other hotel offerings in Mandalay; I was right. The staff were so nice and friendly, particularly the reception ladies who were very efficient - one even shared some of her Christmas chocolates with me, which a guest had given her.
On arrival we were greeted with a very Xmas sight (we stayed 15-18 December) - the whole place had cotton wool stuck everywhere to look like snow and there were fairy lights, an inflatable Santa and lots of other Christmas decorations - very odd but sweet that the owner had gone to so much trouble! Our room wasn't ready and so we were offered coffee and waited round the pool (which is much smaller than it looks on the website).
We had a Shan Suite (no# 206) which looked out over the back of the hotel. I’m sure I booked it because it was supposed to have some outside space but, it didn’t and over looked the back of the hotel which meant lots of dogs barking at night. The room was really lovely and better than in the photos on the website; lots of teak wood, a huge bed, a teak sofa with lots of cushions. We got a big basket of fruit, free wifi and a complimentary foot massage plus robe and slippers. The only downside to the room (other than the lack of outside seating area) was the shower which you couldn't alter the angle of so if you used it the water poured onto the side of the bath and as there was a ledge which wasn't flat you ended up drenching the bathroom - we had to either have a bath or hold the shower head which wasn't ideal. There was also a small fitness room with weights and a treadmill.
I have to admit that other than the nice espresso coffee and fruit, the breakfast wasn't the best we had on our trip to Burma, although you could have eggs cooked to order. The bread was stale and not very exciting and the cereal selection poor.
The location was good in a residential area, close to the Royal Palace and it was easy to get about - the concierge would arrange transport if you needed it. The restaurant next door (Canal at Mandalay) was very good and so was the curry we had at the hotel - the home-made Indian breads were a nice change to rice and noodles. We also had a lunch at Café City which was on the road facing the Royal Palace entrance - if you need a fix of Western food you can get it here in very kitsch surroundings.
What makes the hotel is the staff who were really excellent and so friendly. Our room was good but the shower dreadful. The food we had was very good and there are a few restaurants within walking distance. Like other reviewers though, I did find it very expensive at $258 per night.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An oasis by the landmark Red Canal in local folklore just minutes from the famed Mandalay Palace and other attractions, The Hotel by the Red Canal is a convenient sanctuary, with its lush tropical greenery and calming water features, amidst the hustle and bustle of Myanmar's cultural city. “By choosing to stay with us, we will provide you with the extra measure of quality, comfort and personal convenience that you are looking for. Being small, we are able to provide personal attention to the needs, wants, and expectations of every guest.” The boutique-style hotel is a celebration of all things Myanmar, featuring teak furniture and fixtures & fittings made from rattan, mother-of-pearl and other local materials as well as Myanmar marble lining the bathroom walls. Each of the 4 types of guestrooms or customized suites, differentiated by individual style, bears the name of the major ethnic groups in multi-cultural Myanmar and is adorned with rich traditional paraphernalia and trappings reflecting their respective cultural heritage. All Chin and Shan suites feature a balcony overlooking the swimming pool and garden green. Ground floor Chin suites enjoy a “water moat”. The Rakhine suites are spacious and ideal for the business traveler. An outdoor shower with a slate wall of cascading water is the highlight of the honeymooner Kachin suites. ... more less
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