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“Oh dear - all the ingredients for a good place, but so much wrong”

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The Emerald Sea Resort
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Ngwe Saung
Certificate of Excellence
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Oh dear - all the ingredients for a good place, but so much wrong”
Reviewed 9 April 2013

My wife and I booked ourselves in for 3 nights and left after 2 nights, despite having paid up-front and having no chance of a refund. It was really that bad.

The electricity is off from 6am to 6pm, with only a 2 hour respite at lunch. (Other hotels in Ngwe Saung keep it on for much longer.) This means waking up in a puddle of sweat every morning by 7am. The breakfast was utterly inedible. The room was tatty. There was no way to close the window properly, which meant listening to the rattle of the old aircon all night. There was no hot water, despite it being advertised. And the pool was brown - it looked as though it was flooded with sewerage.

The positives. There were nice loungers on the beach. The staff seemed friendly. The bungalows looked a little better than what we had (a "superior" room, in some horrid block back near the road - the "garden view" was over a small stagnant pond, a building site, and a truly enormous satellite dish.)

Don't stay here. Spend a little more and find somewhere nicer - there are loads of places along the beach. Oh, and don't be idiots like us and "pay up front"!

Room Tip: Don't book "superior garden view" room. Just don't.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank cheltenhamaverage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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139 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
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melbourne
Level 6 Contributor
325 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2013

Stayed in the Deluxe seaview bungalows, paid US$120.00pn on Agoda, same as the walk up price.Wanted a place to relax after 3 weeks of travelling, & it measured up in spades. Weather was perfect, pool was good for the first 4 days, then turned green, but the Bay of Bengal is warm, & i wouldn't go in the sea if it wasn't. Power is on 6.00pm to 7.00 am & 1.00pm to 3pm.Breakfast is from 7.00am & they use a generator, now i'm not sure in our first 2 days if the generator wasn't working or there weren't enough guests but we couldn't even have toast. The staff are learning & are lovely, but need to understand that hot food needs to have the lid left on otherwise it is cold food. there is a choice of juice, fresh fruit, eggs as you like them, some local fare & very delish beans & potatoes.Fresh coffee. The WiFi is available in the dining room till around 9.30am. Dinner depended on your choice, if you chose local dishes or seafood, very good, my friend tried a variety of western food & it was not. Our bungalow was superb, separate shower to the bathroom, plenty of hot water, anytime of the day. Room is a good size with 2 chairs & a little coffee table. 2 things let it down, only one sachet each of coffee per day, & the aircon was not working to full effect. The room is cleaned in the morning, then in the evening they come & check the room, fold down the bed & leave a plate of sweet food or fruit. We paid US$150.00 & 4hours to get there from Yangon airport & 9,000kyats return by bus, & it only took 5 hours with 2 stops. You can pay an extra, sorry can't remember how much, to get WiFi everywhere, when the power is on, just make sure you follow them up, once you are connected it is easy.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank foreverdreamin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandefjord, Norway
Level 6 Contributor
374 reviews
131 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 226 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2013

Bigger and fancier places to choose from at this beach, but Emerald Sea has just the right size, small, friendly, peaceful

Some of the rooms are bungalows, others in a two storey building in the back ground. The seafront bungalows are literally at the beach, and I would have loved to stay there. Also the other garden view bungalows had places to sit outside, whereas the rooms just had a small bench at the back side. So if this is improtant for you, choose a bungalow.

The staff are learning hospitality, and they were very eager to please the customers However only few of them knows English

The highlight of breakfast was the fantastic fresh juices, and nice muffines. Of course also the normal selection of Asisan and "western touristic" food. Avoid going to breakfast just around 7 - this is the time they switch from electricty to generator, and nothing works!

Restaurant was also good for dinner. Seafood in every version, some burmese dishes very nice vegetable tempura. However the attempts to cook western food like spaghetti did not come that well out. Many other restaurants near by, mainly fish and seafood

They did not have any wine when we were there, but offered to get some for the next days - and then kept it at the right temperatures. So if you like wine for a sundowner or with your meal, ask in advance and they will fix it

Wifi in the lobby area

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank abcnord
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moscow
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 21 February 2013

feels like living in the garden of eden. this hotel has it all i've been missing for so long. beautiful sea, silk sand beach, best breakfast i had in Myanmar on this trip. very helpful stuff. just 15 min. cycling to the village. bicycle rent, cheaper restaurant and souvenir shop right over the road.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Latrell15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2013 via mobile

Nice place to really chill after weeks on the road. Location is perfect with pristine breach and not so much to do beyond finishing your piles of books, walking to the island at low tide and watch life on the beach at dusk. Swimming pool wasn t the best. If you are expecting big chain resort service go somewhere else for everybody s sake. This is about taking time. Food is good, breakfast average but they will cook something else on demand with no extra charge. Above all service is charming.
Tip: 5h private taxi ride one way to Yagoon is 160 dollars.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BrusselsBubble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bognor Regis
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2013

Supposedly a "superior" Room, we were shown to a shabby and tired room at the rear of the resort. The "tropical garden view" room did consist of 2 palm trees flanked by a pile of bricks and a stagnant pool. A tacky karaoke bar entertained us until10pm.
The beachfront bungalows looked Ok but there were insufficient sun beds on the beach and the pool area was paved with rough brickwork interspersed with weeds. The electricity was off from 6am until 1pm and from 3pm to 6pm. It was actually quite depressing.
The one positive were the staff, as always in Burma, they cannot do enough to help you. But this hotel looked and sounded quite idyllic on the website, it didn't live up to this in reality but if like us, you are wondering whether to pay a little more you may get a lot more as we did when we moved to the Palm Beach Resort 2 doors up

Room Tip: Beachfront bungalows may be passable, hotel still quite basic compared to others
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Lesley Caroline... G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2012

I have stayed at dozens of beach resorts across the border in Thailand and while most of them provide friendly service, the tourist infrastructure is so well developed that you get the impression that the friendly service is simply part of a well-oiled, assembly-line system. Staff may smile but behind that smile they are undoubtedly tourist weary and would probably rather be doing something else than serving you.

Enter The Emerald Sea Resort at Ngwesaung Beach. Quite frankly, the service here blew me away. Here you get the impression that the staff really cares about you and truly wants you to have a good time.They are all quite young and would probably be studying in university in different circumstances. For many of them, you get the impression that this is their first real job and that they are genuinely happy to have such work. Like all of us who have had first jobs, they approach it with the requisite enthusiasm and gusto that you would expect. Rooms are cleaned and prepared TWICE per day. In the morning, they not only greet you but actually ask how you are doing. In the evening, they deliver free homemade Burmese desserts to your room. Throughout the day, everybody waves to you, greets you and smiles no matter how far away from you they are. If you need a bus ticket, somebody will bike the 2km. into town and buy it for you at no extra charge. Restaurant staff are always attentive and will actually unfold the napkin and place it on your lap before you start eating. If you have an early bus to catch, they will prepare, without asking, a breakfast box for you to take with you and most of the staff will wake up and come out in their pajamas to bid you adieu.

Besides the top-notch service, the rest of the resort also exceeded expecations. Rooms were clean, spacious and comfortable. Water was piping hot during the electricity hours (6pm to 7am and noon-4pm). The landscaping was beautiful with all of the palm trees. The pool was clean and there is no shortage of comfortable beach chairs. Wifi was slow but functional. There were plenty of Burmese and Western choices for breakfast and the food at the restaurant was amazing (make sure you try the Myanmar Prawn curry, seafood vermicelli soup and vegetable tempura). Yes, its true (as a previous reviewer stated) that the food takes a long time to come out (>30 minutes after ordering) but that is only because its all being prepared fresh just like it would take over 30 minutes for you to prepare a nice meal at home. So sit back, relax and enjoy a long dinner at the end of each day.

To reach the resort from Yangon, make sure you take the early direct bus. Yes it leaves at 630am from a bus station located way on the outskirts of the city (meaning you'd probably have to leave your hotel in Yangon no later than 530). If you don't take this bus, you'd have to take a bus to Pathein (4 hrs, they leave throughout the day) which will drop you off in the outskirts of Pathein, from where you'd have to then take a motorbike taxi to the bus station for Ngwesaung-bound bus (15 min). The Ngwesaung bound bus is a rickety old, 1970s-era minibus that also doubles as a freight transporter for the rural economy. It only has room for about 10 seats and your luggage will have to travel on the roof along with construction materials, boxes of food and anything and everything else you can imagine. The bus cabin itself gets filled with bags of rice and many passengers end up sitting on top of the rice. The whole ride takes 3 hours (making to the total Yangon>Ngwesaung journey take at least 8 hours) and is an interesting way to see the Burmese countryside. Its a neat experience no doubt, but if you are not up for the adventure or are traveling with kids, make sure you grab the air conditioned direct bus in the early morning.

All in all, I would gladly visit Ngwesaung again and stay at the Emerald Sea Resort

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Eric T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Emerald Sea Resort

Property: The Emerald Sea Resort
Address: #19, Ngwe Saung- Sin Ma Road | Ngwe Saung Beach, Ngwe Saung 11062, Myanmar
Region: Myanmar > Ayeyarwady Region > Ngwe Saung
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Ngwe Saung
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Emerald Sea Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set among five acres of palm grove and tropical gardens, in Ngwe Saung Beach of the Union of Myanmar. Our resort blends in with its surrounding as if it had evolved naturally, absorbing the landscape and Myanmar's rich culture. It reflects local tradition through its architecture and use of local materials.Our Resort is facing the Bay of Bangal, making it one of the best places to watch the sunset in Myanmar. ... more   less 
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