This 1901 icon from the heyday of stylish travel was refurbished in 2016, the same year The Strand launched its cruise ship on the Ayeyarwady river. Both pander, with elegancy and essential 21st-century comforts, to a colonial dream of glamour in the tropics.
Right in the heart of downtown Yangon. This has its disadvantages – traffic can be terrible and it’s further from the airport – but the area is fascinating and you can easily (and safely) explore it early in the morning before breakfast and at night. Churches, mosques, pagodas, amazing architecture and a vivid street culture are all on the doorstep.
Address: The Strand Yangon, 92 Strand Road, Yangon, Myanmar.
Style & character
Unashamedly evocative of a bygone era. The refurbishment has been exceptionally well-done – there’s no bling, no kitsch, no vulgar sense of a stage-set. That Burmese music in the air is human, not piped. The rattan chairs, the lacquerware, the ceiling fans and the polished wood are extremely pleasing to the eye.
Service & facilities
The warmth and grace of the staff are second-to-none. You need never use your key: someone will leap forward and do it for you (“too heavy to carry”, they say gallantly). However, there is no swimming-pool, spa or fitness centre. These are being planned but if you fancy a massage at the moment, the hotel has converted a room into a ‘spa suite’ with proper massage beds.
The 31 suites are huge with beautifully tiled bathrooms, walk-in dressing-rooms, supremely comfortable beds and loll-worthy sofas where your 24-hour butler can serve you complimentary tea and coffee all day (and night).
Food & drink
The hotel has three outlets: The Strand Café (with all-day dining, most famous for its afternoon tea, US$20/£16), The Strand Restaurant (dinner only, from about US$75/£61, modern Mediterranean food) and Sarkies Bar at The Strand which, glossily redesigned, still serves the wide selection of alcoholic beverages for which it’s historically renowned, including the Strand Sour, Strand Sling and Bagan Breeze.
At breakfast, the Café offers (amongst plenty of the usual Western offerings) two of the most delicious, and popular, dishes you can eat to begin your day in Myanmar: mohinga, a fish noodle soup, and ohn no khao swe, a coconut-flavoured soup with chopped-up chicken on the side. Highly recommended.
Access for guests with disabilities?
There are no specific disabled facilities (although the hotel has a lift, and bathrooms and suites are certainly large enough to accommodate a wheelchair).
Yes, baby cots, extra beds and child minders can be provided.
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