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“Some home truths”

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The Hotel at Tharabar Gate
Ranked #5 of 47 Hotels in Bagan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 August 2012

We stayed here four nights and I am going to have to go against the grain here. I cannot agree with the sentiment expressed by my fellow tripadvisees. Let me be blunt, this is an average to below-average hotel, and I think people are being blinded by the fact Bagan is such a cool place. In my evaluation, there are only two things going for this hotel:

(1) Location: It is walking distance to the temples in Old Bagan, and you have access to some great restaurants, most notably Star Beans and The Moon-Be Kind to Animals.

(2) The Spa: The traditional Myanmar massage for USD20 administered by Ms Khaing Khaing is as good as it gets. I went twice!

As for the rest of it? Well, it is what it is -- as one reviewer has put it, and without being unkind -- a 3 star hotel in a third world country. The food was ordinary, the rooms pretty run down and tatty, the shower a bit of lottery in terms of water temperature, and the wifi (in the lobby only) pretty hit-and-miss.

To conclude let me comment on the pool. If swimming is important to you, do NOT come here. I swam once in four days and even then the water was so murky I couldn't see in front of my nose. Indeed, while we were there, the pool was actually closed more than it was open, and guests were offered transport to another hotel for a swim about 15 mins away by horse and cart. This, it appears from other reviewers, is an ongoing problem the hotel does not seem able to resolve. Even if you aren't a hardcore swimmer like me, after a tiring day walking around Bagan, cooling off in the pool is a must!

Thankfully, Bagan is such a great place and the local restaurants so good, our experience at The Hotel at Tharabar Gate did not spoil our time here, but it could have been so much better.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jembwilliams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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658 - 664 of 1,159 reviews

Reviewed 23 August 2012

Like others travellers, we are finding this place really nice, beautiful and tastefully orned bedrooms, in a flowery garden, staff really careful and smiling, and what should be normal but really doesn't happen often in Myanmar, stuff are maintained, taken care of, one can see the details are important here, and what needs to be changed or renewed is. And the wifi (possible, like everywhere in Myanmar only in lobby, not in the rooms) is the best we got in our whole travel. So it could be one of the best places I stayed if...the swimming pool wasn't closed ! The water is green, so indeed, you wouldn't dare swimming there. But when asked when it will open again, the answer seems to be very vague "tomorrow, or the day after" (same answer every day...) That is to say we won't probably be able to use it before we leave. What is really unpleasant is the problem doesn't seem to be new, and we had booked our room since weeks. So they could have warned us, and even, as the hotel doesn't seem to be full, upgraded or offer a discount or anything. But the only thing they propose is taking you to another hotel swimming pool. We gladly accepted to first day, but it is quite far, outside Old Bagan, you need to take a horse-car (that they do pay) and this other swimming pool is far from being very clear either. And as you can guess, when you have to take a 20min drive, you don't use the pool as often as you would like to, not possible to make a quick swim to freshen up...So really disappointing, one would expect better from an hotel not that cheap...We had chosen this hotel for its very good location, the good commentaries on tripadvisor and everywhere else, and for the swimming pool ! Disappointing !
And to notice as well, the bar is not really cheap either, 4$ for a lime juice you get everywhere else around 1 to 2$ maximum...

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank lasa13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2012

From the service to the rooms to the breakfast and location just steps away from Ananda temple this hotel was the perfect place for exploring Bagan. The room was large, clean, tastefully decorated and well placed on absolutely stunning grounds. Everyone with whom we interacted with was incredibly friendly and helpful. There are plenty of nearby restaurants within a short distance, a money changer/souvenir stand nearby, stand that sells drinks, snacks and bottled water as well as ample options for renting a bike or hiring a horse-cart with driver. Plus the city gate, Ananda and a few other temples are all within walking distance. This place made our first visit to Myanmar and Bagan really trouble free. Wifi in the lobby and restaurant only was a little sketchy but not a big deal...extremely quiet too. Our room backed up against a road that led to the nearby village. This represented no problem whatsoever since it was a dirt road and most of the traffic was horse cart. Also, the pool seemed clean when we were there. I think it depends upon the season. It must be really difficult to keep a pool clean in that environment. We ate most meals at the "Be Kind to Animals' vegetarian restaurant which was amazing!!! Absolutely loved this place and will stay here when I return to Bagan in the future!

Room Tip: All of them seemed nice!
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Michael-and-Jose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2012

I loved the location of the Tharabar which is close to the old town and a number of the main temples are in a short walk of here. There are also a few places right outside the hotel to rent bikes to see the other temples and plenty of horse & carts waiting around.

The grounds are lovely, well thought out, designed and maintained. The lobby area is lovely and relaxing with god internet and the breakfast area set around the pool and under trees is very pleasant.

My room was large, high ceilings, comfortable bed and good shower. There was a nice sized area to store cases and hang clothes and a safety deposit box. Each room also has its own little garden area which is a nice touch.

the turn-down service is also quite a treat and the staff make an effort to scatter flowers and leave delicious cake for a pre-sleep snack.

At night there are a few options for dining outside the hotel and always things happening around the temple. It’s also quiet at night so I think a better option than staying in parts of Nyaung-U.

The concierge service is very expensive and best avoided. You'll be able to negotiate better prices for transport and tours outside the hotel

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank talltaff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2012

This hotel is extremely pleasant and good to stay.

The location is central in Old Bagan. Walk out and will see some of the pagodas and ruins lying around. There are several cafes/tea shops nearby. Try the food at Sarabar Gate 1 and 2. The first has very good service and is slight cheapert than the second. The quality and taste of the second one is better.

The staff provides very good service and are extremely responsive and friendly. Unlike other outlets, the staff (even the porter) has a better command of English. The hote, which is very much design like a resort, is welcoming and makes you feel at home. The only drawback is that wifi is only available at the lobby. Nonetheless the lobby is a good place to relax as it is windy and comfortable. The area within the complex is green, quiet and clean.

Spa services are inexpensive. Good buffet spread and good. Like the previous preview, I was slightly hesitant to swim when the pool looked choppy. In the end I still swam and was fine.

The rooms are a plus. High sealing, spacious and well designed. It makes you feel at home and relaxed. The room is clean and everything works.

Overal a very good hotel. It was a pity there were no wifi access in the room.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank ecSoviet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2012

Really great, low key, extremely well-located hotel in Bagan.
Walking distance to many beautiful temples and several local restaurants.
Pool maintanaince was the only issue as has been previously discussed.
The pool was full of yellow pollen from the trees and the water was mirky, at best.
Only drawback for this otherwise fine and well-priced property.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank WLand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2012

We are having a fantastic time here in Bagan and the Hotel is wonderful. everything said in other excellent reviews is true. After staying in other 3 Star Hotels around the Country, this One def. Is the Best. Only two Major drawbacks: i Read about the Pool before and i had hoped they would have improved the water quality. But for the First two days the Water was milky again. Worst though is, that it was not explained and everyone went swimming. Overnight suddenly the water was clean. Now of course i wonder whether it was unheathy before. Second drawback, outside the Hotel the Government is burning leaves or something and everything is covered in smoke which makes it hard to relax in the Heat of the Day. But besides that Great Place with very helpful staff.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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Thank Chinaqueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Hotel at Tharabar Gate

Address: Near Tharabar Gate | Old Bagan Nyaung Oo Township, Bagan, Myanmar
Region: Myanmar > Mandalay Region > Bagan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Bagan
#3 Family Hotel in Bagan
#6 Romantic Hotel in Bagan
Price Range: £68 - £185 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Hotel at Tharabar Gate 3.5*
Number of rooms: 84
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Also Known As:
Hotel Tharabar Gate
Tharabar Gate Bagan

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