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“Good boutique option in Mandalay”

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Hotel by the Red Canal, Mandalay
Ranked #5 of 110 Hotels in Mandalay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 28, 2012

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.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the garden
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank LesleyAnn44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 25, 2012

Stayed here in December 2012 with the family.

The hotel is located in a quaint looking bungalow type building on a side street. It looks strange driving down the street till one gets to the hotel. The hotel is a good surprise...

The lobby and common areas are nice, in a homely sort of manner. The pool also looked inviting but is quite tiny and I didn't get a chance to take a dip.

The room we had was larger than our other group members, who had tiny rooms. The bed was quite hard and was actually 2 beds joined together, so there was a hard edge in the middle, which defeats the purpose of a large double bed. The bathroom was nicely done up but the form exceeded function, as it was hard for the kids to get in and out of the bathtub, with all the other stuff in the way...making for a bit of a slippery/dangerous situation.

Also our room faced the street and the lack of wall insulate made it a but noisy. The nights were ok since the side street had no traffic, but during the day one could hear every conversation on the street.

The food has gotten great reviews here on TripAdvisor but was easily the worst we ate over our Burma trip...the Indian food was mediocre at best, I would say. We were tied in with a full board option as well, so had little other choice...and going out was hard with 3 kids in tow, any way.

The one stand-out point was the service and the staff, who seemed to be working hard to please customers. They may not have understood and delivered everything we asked for but the effort was there, 24x7. If I were to go back to the hotel, it would only be a result of the staff working so hard.

In my book, it's a 3 star. There is a lot of potential right now, but that's it.

Room Tip: Don't get a room overlooking the street...can be noisy. I think we were in 211.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank TooshMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2012

The Hotel by the Red Canal is a lovely small hotel. It feels off the beaten track and it is interesting to walk around the surrounding streets to see "real" life.
The rooms are small but comfortable and the cocktail hour is a nice bonus. Like many other reviewers I feel it a little overpriced.

However, what makes the hotel top the charts are its staff. They were attentive and helpful. I must single out Mr Pyae Phyo who went out of his way to make me welcome and to direct me to various sites in Mandalay and simply to be there to ask about Myanmar and so enhance my enjoyment of such a wonderful country

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank clsiow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2012

we really enjoyed our stay here. The setting out in the suburbs was tranquil but close enough to domestic Burmese life to get a sense of being part of the community. At dusk we loved strolling around the ramshackle neighbourhood trying and usually failing to communicate with the families who were without exception incredibly warm and welcoming.

Our room was a bit small but characterful- get a garden or pool view though. Pool was small but ok. We loved the happy hour cocktails and seemed to be given unlimited top-ups! The Indian food in the hotel restaurant was amazing- the best outside of Rusholme...... Book an out door table in advance- they get taken quick

Room Tip: avoid the street facing ones
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank hobbesmanc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2012

This is a small comfortable hotel. The pool is small but refreshing and clean. The rooms are small but nicely appointed. The breakfast offered one of the smallest selections and seemed to be out of several things (like corn flakes) because I imagine a tour bus wiped them out. One really nice feature was the cocktail hour that was hosted at night - free drinks! And we took advantage of it. The hotel has workable but slow wifi plus they have PCs available for use on the third floor.

One caution the hotel is located in the center of the old town but is way off the main streets on a gravel road that would limit most people from walking around at night.

Room Tip: Be wary of third floor rooms - no elevator and a winding staircase the last floor. First floor room...
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Travel_Pin_Man
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2012

the hotel by the red canal is a very good hotel with really excellent staff, every single person working there is friendly and helpful. a special thank you to mr phyo (HR) for his friendly advise and guidance.

i found the spice garden as well to serve good indian food and the breakfast is very good.

there is not much more to add, everything is perfect (except the internet connection, but that's not the hotel's fault) as it should be for the best hotel in mandalay. however, i find that it is overpriced at 245$ a room per night!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank arianna47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2012

Set on a quiet compact plot down a side road away from passing traffic, this offered an oasis after a days sightseeing and within walking distance of the fort. Yes the rooms are small, yes the pool small but we loved the location, service and food. We stayed in a front facing room overlooking the pool, with a small balcony. We stayed 3 nights and were more than happy with our choice. My only criticism was the beds are very very firm and I felt like I was sleeping on a board! Happy hour was not my thing- offered free drinks by the pool to chat to other guests. The cocktails weren't great and I dislike enforced conviviality. Breakfast was open early for departing guests hence able to avoid the horrible food boxes offered by other hotels.

Room Tip: Choose a front facing room.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank boaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel by the Red Canal, Mandalay

Address: No. 417 Corner of 63 & 22 streets | Aung Myae Tha Zan Township, Mandalay 952, Myanmar
Location: Myanmar > Mandalay Region > Mandalay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 110 Hotels in Mandalay
Price Range: $113 - $258 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel by the Red Canal, Mandalay 3.5*
Number of rooms: 15
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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