Last week the Destination Asia Myanmar team set out to inspect three hotels in the downtown area of Yangon, bringing a fresh perspective on traditional 4 or 5 star luxury properties usually found in the city center. This was followed by a walking tour in the charming Chinatown area.
We started with the Pacific Hotel, a great budget to midrange option boasting Shwedagon pagoda views from the 5th floor and above with a soon to be ready Skybar on the 12th floor.
Our journey continued on foot, passing in front of the Central Railway Station and local schools to reach G Hotel in the cool Yawmingyi neighborhood. Boasting the same comfortable bedding as The Strand, this is a more economical alternative within the GCP Hospitality group, a true city hotel with small rooms, chic amenities and smart design. Babett, their bistro outlet on the ground floor comes alive every night with local and expat crowds alike.
Then we reached the Excelsior hotel on Bo Soon Pat Road, driving past the iconic Sule Pagoda which marks the center of Yangon downtown area. This hotel is the first 4 star colonial era building revived from the Steel Brothers headquarters in the past century. With a touch of grandeur, a retro feel is brought to the mix. The entry level Superior room over 30m2 has a modern color palette but kept the original high ceilings, a welcome letter propped against a vintage typewriter.
Finally we walked through several blocks and after visiting one of the most iconic Chinese temples near 19th Street, sat down together for snacks and refreshments on Shwe Taung Tarn Street. The final adventure was finding our way home and pairing up to share taxis under the rain.
Yangon is truly diversifying its offer and there is something for everyone in the bustling city center. It is not a stretch to say after trendy Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh, Yangon is the next destination for the discerning traveler looking for a city with an edge and unique flair.