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“The best hotel in Ngapali”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Sandoway Resort

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Sandoway Resort
Ranked #4 of 17 Hotels in Ngapali
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“The best hotel in Ngapali”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2013

Huge and gorgeous beachfront villas.
Excellent service !

The Sandoway is a wonderful place to stay, Ngapali is a heaven compared to the over crowed beaches in Thailand 300 miles south on the Andaman coast.

It is very expensive especially by Myanmar standards, it make you feel bad to stay in such an expensive place.
Don't hesitate to try the small local restaurants that serve delicious foods at much more affordable prices.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Didier V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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493 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (104)
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English first
Ascot, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2013

We stayed at the Sandoway for 15 nights before we did our sightseeing in Yangon etc. and were completely relaxed by the time we left. The beach postion was perfect for the Sandoway and the hotels either side (Amata and Bay) as our daily walks along the rest of the beach took us past poorer quality beach. Each room had an allocated spot on the beach with a bamboo/palm leaf sunshade and sunbeds or you could just laze by the pool if you wanted to. The only beach sellers were locals selling beautiful fresh fruit and as they were not allowed to approach guests you went to them if you wanted some fruit. As we bought fruit from them every day we enjoyed talking to them and amused them by trying to learn & speak some of their language and find out more about their culture.

The rooms were extremely spacious with the bedroom on the 1st floor and a living area, dressing area, bathroom, shower area and toilet on the ground floor. The rooms were kept spotlessly clean and fresh towels appeared daily.

Breakfast was an a la carte affair which we got used to after a few days but it is probably one area that could be improved as everybody is different and particularly where eggs are concerned it is better to have a chef preparing eggs in front of you as then you have a chance of getting them cooked the way you like them. The breakfast staff were always smiling and the service was excellent, constantly topping up the coffee and offering more pastries.... a great way to start the day!

As we prefer to eat local fresh food in the evenings on our holidays we ate out at the restaurants outside our hotel and Amata. If you are the kind of traveller that prefers a selection of cheap, excellent restaurants on your doorstep then the Sandoway is ideally located. There are 12 restaurants within 300 yards of the Sandoway entrance, four to the left and eight to the right. We tried them all and went back to our favourites towards the end of the holiday although all were excellent in their different ways. We both agreed that the fresh seafood dishes and seafood curries were some of the best food we have eaten in the many far east countries we have visited. The prices for a more than adequate meal for 2 plus beers and water ranged from 8000 kyat (£6.60) to 17000 (£14) with the average cost being around £10 a night. If you wanted lobster (around £10 each) the restaurants would show you the live lobster before it was cooked - you can't get fresher than that!

Our overall opinion is that although expensive, the Sandoway is one of the better quality hotels to stay in but I would suggest that you go to Ngapali soon before it becomes too popular. A beautiful beach in a lovely part of the world.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Jolleys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
101 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2013

Although the Sandoway Resort is a decent hotel located a stones throw from the pristine beach, we felt it was a bit overpriced (room rates, restaurant and boat tour). Compared to other 5* hotels we have stayed in Myanmar (The Strand Yangon, Amazing Bagan, Inle Princess Resort), it was also lacking in areas of service. During our one day stay on 14 April:

- Inefficiency - Hotel staff sent our suitcase to the wrong room
- Poor advice - Through poor advice from one staff member, we were told it was fine to go snorkeling on the hotel boat during the afternoon when in fact, it was not. The open sea was very rough and visibility was severely limited (we are both scuba divers). When the boat reached its destination out in the open sea, the boatmen gave us faulty life vests to wear (ie. straps couldn't clasp properly), and told us it was fine to go into the water. After ten minutes, I knew that the currents were way too strong for snorkeling, and we were in danger of drifting far away from the boat. Without hesitation, my husband and I told the skipper that we wanted to return to the hotel. As the general manager was in Indonesia, we politely filed a complaint with the acting person in charge that day. (I say 'politely' because it could have been an honest mistake, so we didn't want to make a big fuss) I wasn't however, pleased with the hotel's initial response. The staff member (who had given us the go ahead for the boat trip), basically told us that we must pay the full charge of the boat (which was not cheap). If we didn't, then she would have to pay and it was too much for her. I was actually surprised at her response, and at how the matter was handled. I asked to speak with the person in charge again. We never did speak. When we checked out of the hotel the next day, we weren't charged for the boat trip at all. I'm not sure how the matter was handled internally in the end. It wasn't so much about the money, as we were happy to pay a contribution, but our key message was: it is dangerous, and next time the right advice (as well as safer life jackets/equipment) should be given.

- Tipping? - When we left the resort, we were accompanied to the airport and by a receptionist (I think) from Sandoway. When we reached the airport, the lady pulled my husband and i to one side and whispered that we should pay the Porters 5000 kyats per piece of luggage they carried. Having been in Myanmar for one week already, We knew this was more than the average tipping. We don't mind being generous with tips, but it was the first time for us in Myanmar to be pulled aside and told how much to pay.

This was our experience at the Sandoway. Lovely hotel, beautiful beach, but maybe we will stay somewhere else next time.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Judy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bucks
Level Contributor
41 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2013

Such a lovely place! The hotel just oozes something special as soon as you get picked up at the airport in the old bus, your lougage already having been moved for you. We stayed in a beach front cottage, and found this to be spacious, although a few interior design 'features' seemed to be wasted on us like trouser 'presses' in the bedroom and the bedside lamps that took up the whole of the bedside tables? But lovel to just look out and see the sea and only be a few feet from the sand. Breakfast was a'lcart which was nice but a little frustrating at times as you just want to get on with it so to speak. We liked the pool and the cinema which we went to a couple of times and the fact that everyone had a designated beach umbrella and chairs so no need to go early to reserve your pitch! We had lunch once at the hotel and this was very expensive 36$ for 2 salads and 2 drinks but we had wanted a change from local food. The rest of the time we had luch at a small restaurant (RHS of the hotel looking out to sea),on the beach near the mermaid = 8,000 Kats 9$ for 2 including 2 drinks. In the evening there are several restaurants just outside the hotel, we liked Enjoy which was 200 meters to the right as you come out of the hotel, the fish was cooked to perfection and 14 - 16,000 Kats = 16 - 18$ for 2 set meals and 2 beers! Just to note the Beach front villas are seperated from the main hotel by a 'beach road' so everything seems a bit issolated yet they don't have their own facilities - pool etc which we were surprised at?

Room Tip: Excellant for relaxing after a tour of Myanmar
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank BucksKeentraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow
Level Contributor
64 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2013

the beach is quite beautiful , the hotel has probably been decorated by its owner, who has been there a long time, and you see the italian touch and sense of humor. The restaurant is Ok, funny Mouton Rothschild on the wine list with a good price, but obviously when you order it, is out of stock. Do not go there if you want to work on internet, such thing does not exist, and a bad signal is available in the lobby.

Room Tip: Ask for a duvet when you stay in the sea-view bungalows as it can be freezing at night, difficult t...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank polyakov123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
72 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2013

The manager was 'on leave' when we arrived - and it showed! The arrival at the airport was chaotic, because the Sandoways reps couldn't answer simple questions in English (like "where is my luggage?") nor explain the procedure for immigrating (yes, off an internal flight) and then finding luggage and then the hotel bus in the heat of the day. At the hotel we twenty passengers were left on the sun-deck like a package tour, wondering among ourselves why 'check-in' was so inefficient.

The woman who showed us to our room, did just that: showed us to the door and then left us. She didn't stay to familiarise us with the room, to explain where the safe was or the fact that rooms are allocated numbered umbrellas on the beach or the fact that it seems you're meant to keep your beach towels for the duration of your stay or what time breakfast was or where anything else in the resort was. You get the picture.

We've travelled around Myanmar twice (Yangon, Bagan, Inlay Lake, Irrawaddy cruise, Mandalay), and have always been met with warmth, smiles and an apparent genuine pleasure from staff that we are staying at their hotel (even at a one star guest house in Loikaw) - except at Sandoway. The waitresses in the dining room have a world-weary air and cannot muster a smile between them. In addition, the breakfast is not a sumptuous buffet as in other Asian hotels of this calibre but a la carte, which is too formal, too much about portion-control to be enjoyable (see Govenor's Residence in Yangon for how delicious a small hotel's buffet table can be...)

Sure, the setting is fabulous - our Beach Front Cottage was literally 8 steps from the sand - but then it is for all the hotels on the strip. Our room was spacious, the pool and sea were warm, the beach stunning, and the hotel has a library well-stocked with paperbacks discarded by previous guests which is always fun to browse. There are also several clean and tasty restaurants just outside the hotel, so no need to spend $9 on tomato soup in the hotel - although the food is very upscale, which is maybe what some guests want.

And when my wife got sick, the staff at reception performed our requests efficiently to phone to look into changing flights and accomodation in Yangon - although we were saddened, if not surprised, that they charged us $3 for the privilege.

As Myanmar opens up to the world in terms of tourism, Sandoways needs to up its game to offer a genuine Burmese welcome - and at these prices it certainly should.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Londona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake District
Level Contributor
110 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2013

Wonderful staff, food, beach and rooms. Absolutely unbelievable quality across the board. This is the premium destination for the whole of Thandwe. Beach bar and service most excellent.
Take a garden room rather than a beachfront, much better value.

Room Tip: Garden rooms are the best value, beachfront are overpriced.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank chutneymonster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandoway Resort

Property: Sandoway Resort
Address: Mya Pyin Village | Ngapali Beach, Rakhine State, Ngapali, Myanmar
Location: Myanmar > Rakhine State > Ngapali
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ngapali
#3 Spa Hotel in Ngapali
#4 Romantic Hotel in Ngapali
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Ngapali
#5 Family Hotel in Ngapali
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sandoway Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 59
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Also Known As:
Sandoway Hotel Ngapali

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