This was one of the first proper five-star resort hotels to open on the shores of Inle Lake, and is in one of the best locations for exploring it. The architectural style is more Mediterranean resort than Burmese pagoda but none the worse for that.
The transfer from Heho Airport takes 90 minutes by road. But it is much nicer to arrive by boat, crossing the lake from Nyuang Shwe, which the hotel can organise. Set on a small hill on the eastern shore, its location is particularly peaceful as guests are not woken by the noisy putt-putt of longtailed boats at dawn – a downside of staying in a stilt hotel, however luxurious.
Style & character
The French designer has clearly been inspired by Renaissance monastic architecture. Public areas are set around two arcaded cloisters and the bedrooms, arranged on three floors, fan out across the lawned gardens. Furnishings throughout are of high quality, using local fabrics and softly polished Burmese teak, and clearly designed for the space. There are glorious sunset views across the lake from the convivial bar where you will meet well-heeled independent travellers from all over the world.
Service & facilities
There are plenty of staff on hand to do your bidding and their English is above average for Myanmar. Golf buggies can be summoned to reach your room or the boat dock. A 20-metre infinity pool has been built into the hill to make the most of the lake views and there’s a well-considered spa; its signature tamarind scrub uses pods from trees on the property. The concierge can arrange excursions including private motorised canoes to explore the stilt villages.
- Room service
There are 94 beautifully decorated rooms, all very spacious with comfortable seating areas as standard. Twin rooms have two large beds; all have excellent sprung mattresses. Bathrooms are a delight: light and spacious with both a deep bathtub and a separate shower with rainshower and handheld heads.
Food & drink
The bar mixes a good cocktail and the wine list has a good choice from around the world. The Refectory restaurant serves sophisticated local Shan cuisine and has its own organic vegetable garden. A traditional tomato and fried onion base underscores its superb vegetarian and fish curries. Do try the spring onion fritters dipped in tamarind sauce, and the baked tofu cheesecake with mango and sesame. The kitchen is equally successful in producing Western favourites including a delicious duck ravioli with mushroom glaze.
For breakfast there’s a good spread of fresh fruit juices, freshly-baked pasties, cold cuts and salads. Hot dishes are made-to-order: try the mohinga noodle soup or a herby omelette.
Access for guests with disabilities?
The lobby, main restaurant and bar are wheelchair accessible and Room 101 is designed for people with disabilities and has an accessible bathroom.
Families welcome but no special play areas.
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