Governors residence is a stunning old colonial-feel hotel with teak wooden flooring, walls, panels and old pandas fans above you. Sitting having a cocktail you feel transported back to a different era.
All public areas are visually beautiful and the staff are amazingly helpful and chatty. Nothing was too much trouble and it was a genuine helpfulness rather than an expectation of a tip at the end of the stay. Hnin Nwe was particularly helpful.
We did a lot of sightseeing but still managed to squeeze in an hour by the glorious pool which complete with an array of gorgeous bar food and cocktails you are hard pushed to remember you are supposed to be in a country that's only just waking up to tourism.
The main building has a bar, breakfast room and a few small shops plus a beautiful veranda that overlooks the pool and gardens. At breakfast they had an egg station, dim sum and juice bar plus an impressive selection of cereals, cheese, cooked and cold breakfasts inside. At night the veranda turned into a magical, cool high end dining experience with a great chef at the helm (from Mexico which the menu gives more than a nod to). This was THE place to come for an evening so all the nicer to know we were staying here.
Upstairs is reached by a huge winding staircase with massive windows overlooking the back part of the hotel and rooms. The space is huge but actually feels less cosy at night - still great but not quite as perfect. This is where the nightly curry buffet is served ($42 pp) but we opted for the a la carte menu downstairs.
The rooms are behind what was the original 'Governors Residence' in newer two storey buildings. The room was large and spacious, beautiful teak floors, huge recently renovated bathroom with massive black granite bath/shower. We didn't spend long in the room but slept brilliantly with super cool AC and gorgeous soft bed linen and pillows.
There isn't a thing I can fault about the hotel and would return immediately. As a comparison we stopped in for a quick drink at its main competitor in Yangon "The Strand". Other than those wanting to stay there because of its history, there is a massive gap between the two. The Strand felt dated, stuffy, tired and somewhere my grandparents might have liked. The bar is supposed to be a hotspot but we went and it was so soulless and empty we didn't even stay for the drink.
The hotel also helped us arrange any tours of Yangon. We opted for the elephant coach which whilst pricey at $150 each we had the old thing to ourselves which felt totally decadent and fitting. That came with a driver, a drivers assistant who gave us drinks and freshly squeezed pineapple juice from the back area if the bus, a guide from 2-7pm and looks and stares and waves that were befitting of a celebrity. These buses are everywhere in the city and were used in the war a lot to transport troops around apparently but it was one of just three that had been decked out in cream fabrics and teak. It was deserving of the waves.
The guide we had - by sheer chance - was a young lady called Suzie who if you can you must ask for. Her English was perfect, she was funny, interesting and interested. She wasn't in a rush to show you anything she felt you should see, she worked through the list we gave her in time-efficient order making sure she added in a few of her own suggestions "shall we walk down this street - it's a really lively area and full,of gorgeous old buildings" and "oh how lovely, the market boat on the river is only here once a month - it's your lucky day. Do you want to jump on it to have a look". There was no parading us before her cousins' friends' aunt who made silk ensuring she'd get a little extra commission.
Lovely hotel, lovely tour and a lovely city that was supposed to be the quick stop of Myanmar.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Part of Belmond's international collection of iconic luxury hotels, trains and river cruises, Belmond Governor's Residence is a 1920's teak mansion and hotel situated in the heart of Yangon, Myanmar. Surrounded by lush gardens and lotus ponds, and home to two resident peacocks, the property is a peaceful oasis and retreat from the bustle of downtown. The hotel features the Kipling Bar and two restaurants, including the renowned Burmese Table, a gourmet introduction to the cuisine of Myanmar. The Mandalay Restaurant on the lower level of the mansion serves international fine dining al fresco on the terrace overlooking the lotus ponds. Guests can enjoy swimming in the fan-shaped pool in the gardens or indulge in treatments at the Governor's Oasis Spa. Complimentary daily guest activities and complimentary guest bicycles are provided. The hotel is located near the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda and a short taxi ride to the city center. The People's Park is located within two blocks. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Governor`s Residence By Orient-Express Hotel Yangon (Rangoon)
- Governors Residence Yangon Rangoon
- Governors Residence Hotel Yangon Rangoon
- Belmond Governor's Residence Yangon, Myanmar