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“Swiss style and prices . . . but it's not in Switzerland”

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Amara Mountain Resort
Ranked #5 of 14 Hotels in Kalaw
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 January 2014

Lovely grounds, well cared for, in an inconvenient location too far from downtown Kalaw to walk. As noted by other reviewers, the atmosphere is Swiss-chalet-like, with lots of wood and downy covers and a cleanliness not found everywhere in Myanmar. The staff creates towel animals on the bed each night, a warm and whimsical touch. However, the rooms are freezing in the winter (we were there in December) and there is no heating. So we didn't use the shower; the bathrooms were too cold. When we asked for more wood for our fireplace. we were told we would have to pay $2.00 for every additional basket of wood. Since a basket lasts only about an hour, we went ballistic and the management backed down. But that left a very sour taste in our mouths about the place. As did the $3.00 per can charge for soft drinks -- just as expensive as a top hotel in Yangon. The spa and restaurant prices also seemed inordinately high for the location. so we didn't try the spa and we ate at a nearby restaurant (Home Again --see separate review). Breakfast, as noted by others, is in a freezing room. The omelets are made to order and decent, but it's hard to enjoy breakfast when you are bundled in coats, scarves, and gloves.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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7  Thank ParoleAnima
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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122 - 128 of 277 reviews

Reviewed 21 January 2014

Loved this quaint and pretty colonial hotel in the mountains. Enjoyed the fireplace in the room because it is cold at night. The ground were beautiful as well.
We celebrated New Year's Eve there and the staff went above and beyond to make it a special event. A party was arranged in the garden and each table had it's own fire to keep warm. The food was delicious and the staff not only decorated the area to perfection, they even entertained us throughout the evening. Fireworks, lights, bouquets and candles on the tables, nothing was too much trouble.
Food was good in the dining room with a nice fire at night. Would have been nice if they had lit the fire in the morning for breakfast because it was still cold.
A delightful place to stay, one of our favourites.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank lindakreaden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2014

This is a restored and expanded colonial retreat built for the Brits in the 19C. The new building has been tastefully built to match the original building and the rest of the property and has fairly extensive veg gardens and landscaping. In January it was cool but the staff were happy to light a vigorous fire,creating a beautiful atmosphere in the room but with the heat going mostly up the chimney. I felt sorry to be burning wood when the hills all around are being logged and even small branches put into the fire. Dinner and breakfast were good and fairly standard for a Myanmar restaurant. Our room was large and comfortable. Unfortunately we only stayed one night here and then we were on a trek, so we enjoyed the hotel but did not see much of Kalaw. The resort is at the top of a hill and a long walk to other parts of Kalaw. They appeared to have mountain bikes.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Khopp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2014

Wonderful spot and location from which to explore the Kalaw environs. Beautiful grounds, with two colonial style building which housing the rooms. Unfortunately for us, the weather turned cold, particularly at night, and we did not anticipate this drop in temperature. While the rooms have fireplaces, and the staff was wonderful with lighting the fire, the flue drew all the heat. We had three very cold nights - and then when we went for breakfast or dinner, to our amazement, the dining room exterior doors were left open. The staff was bundled up, and the dining room had a fireplace, but you'd never know it, since you could not feel any heat from it, unless you stood next to it. Don't mean to sound too negative, but the weather did detract from our time here. Otherwise, we enjoyed the surrounding town and trekked through the nearby hills.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Bob92110
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2014

High in the mountains, only 2 hours by road from Inle and less from Heyhoe airport, a clutch of English Tudor style houses in a lovely fragrant garden, part English Cottage, part tropical; the renovated remains of an old colonial hill station. Beautifully restored and presented it is hard to imagine a bigger contrast to what lies down the hill. The staff were attentive and obliging, the meals excellent and the beds comfortable. At the height of winter log fires are lit. This place is a special experience for those with a sense of history. Look at their website to see what I mean.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Nathaniel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2014

This hotel has had some bad reviews in the past but we found it great, old colonial style with nice staff. Four seperate buildings, two having the bedrooms, one for the restaurant and the other reception/ administration. They are all set in beautiful gardens with fragant smelling shrubs and flowers. There is a $5 charge for wifi. The rooms are fine, although they do suffer from squeeky floorboards. There is no TV, no fridge or air coditioning, hey you are 1000 metres above sea level (cool) and unless trecking most people are there for one night. One minor point we didn't like was that there were no bedside tables in our room. Expect a tap on the door at around 6 pm, the waiter is there with the restaurant menu and if you are 'eating in' he returns in 10 minutes to get your order and time you wish to eat. Breakfast is served to your table, continental style with an egg choice. We found the food very good. Our expectations were low but we thought the place quite quaint and enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Antony B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2013

Hotel is in a beautiful locaton just outside of town. Original building is an original old house and they replicated it for more rooms. Staff is excellent rooms are spacious and clean. We ate dinner there one night and enjoyed the meal, though in town there are less expensive places. Would highly recommend staing here if in Kalaw

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank howard0928
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

Address: 10/182 Thida Road Quarter 10 | Western Bogone, Kalaw 06021, Myanmar
Region: Myanmar > Shan State > Kalaw
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 14 Hotels in Kalaw
Price Range: £108 - £133 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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. Step back in time when staying at the Amara Mountain Resort. A former British guest house, now an exclusive hotel with just eleven rooms with an open fireplace. 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. Enjoy yet another aspect of Myanmar when visiting Kalaw! How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains! (John Muir) ... more   less 
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