What I love most about traveling to foreign lands is that I get to experience different cultures and traditions. That, indeed, was the highlight of my travel in Yangon. Myanmar’s largest city is quickly becoming Southeast Asia’s latest boomtown, and I must say that it is quite astonishing since it’s only been a few years since the dark days of military rule in the country.
Upon arrival, my younger sister and I were welcomed by an impressive scenery of stunning lakes, parks and verdant tropical trees – the reason why it’s known as “The Garden City of the East”. Our trip was also in perfect timing as we were able to experience their water festival, called “Thingyan Festival”, which gave us a different kind of summer experience – something that didn’t require us to hit the beach to beat the summer heat.
The friendly culture of the people, delicious variety of food, and some truly beautiful attractions are just a few of the many reasons why you should visit the nation. And the icing on top is our wonderful stay in the newly-opened luxury hotel, Meliá Yangon, which is the new and fashionable HAGL Myanmar complex, situated in the Bahan district, just 20 minutes away from the Yangon International Airport. This modern 5-star hotel is a perfect choice for both business travelers and tourists not only because of its comprehensive and up-to-date features and facilities, but also because of its proximity to office towers and the new Myanmar Plaza shopping mall, and when I say proximity, I mean it is strategically connected to those establishments – yes, convenience at its finest!
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Reasons why you should stay at Meliá Yangon
I loved how we were welcomed by the warm and friendly staff of the hotel with chocolates, macaroons, and fruits, but aside from their hospitable treatment to us, the list just goes on and on for the reasons why you should stay at Meliá Yangon.
This modern 5-star hotel is a perfect choice for both business travelers and tourists not only because of its comprehensive and up-to-date features and facilities but also because of its proximity to office towers and the new Myanmar Plaza shopping mall. Did I also mention that this property is just opposite the distinctive Inya Lake? Which means, most rooms may have a fantastic view from the moment you wake up until the time you give into a deep slumber. To give you a better picture, let me walk you through what you can expect from the hotel.
With 430 spacious, inviting and contemporary rooms, Meliá Yangon is truly a lavish home away from home. We were assigned in the Premium room with a king-size bed and a fantastic view of the lake – a wonderful bonus indeed!
We definitely fell in love with the view, especially when it’s early in the morning, and as the day slowly turns into evening, it offered a perfect view of the sunset, which made me miss Jon even more. I loved that it was so spacious, with a size of 57 sqm, that I even had to literally walk around the room while giving a quick tour to everyone online.
I also liked how bright it looked, not only because of its huge windows but also because of its white and clean interior. It has an LCD TV, a large desk with executive chair, Wi-Fi connection, minibar and tea and coffee making facilities. The bathroom I must say is also our favorite – my sister even started her day with relaxing bath – as it’s really inviting with the bathtub and a separate toilet and bath with a rainfall showerhead, complete with robes (missing Jon again), slippers, and complimentary toiletries.
What kind of trip will be complete without great food? Good thing, Meliá Yangon has different restaurants and bars to choose from and they all offer a wide variety of mouthwatering international dishes to satisfy our cravings.
- The Lantern – This restaurant is sure to serve lunch and dinner to guests with an elegant Vietnamese dining experience. It has this intimate yet cozy atmosphere and even features private dining rooms.
- Olea – This modern restaurant will definitely give you an exquisite experience with its Mediterranean dishes with an exotic twist.
- The Market – With its theatrical concept, this restaurant offers a wide range of international cuisines, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets.
- Garbo Bar – This is the best place in the hotel to combine drinking and eating as it allows guests to enjoy a casual gourmet experience with their favorite drink.
- Outdoor swimming pool – Guest may enjoy dipping in Meliá Yangon’s 2 outdoor swimming pools with fantastic views of the lake, and there’s even a poolside bar where drinks and quick snacks are served.
- Conference Rooms – Those on business travel may hold corporate meetings on the property as there are 7 halls to choose from.
- Business Center – The hotel has a 24-hour business center to cater to computer rental, printing and faxing needs of guests, which makes it not only a home but also an office away from home.
- Shwedagon Pagoda – Just 10 minutes away from Meliá Yangon, this well-preserved massive, gold-plated sprawl of stunning temples is the most religious site in all of Myanmar. I had a chance to tour around the place, and it was such an overwhelming experience. It’s like a Buddhist version of Las Vegas, with golden Buddhas, bright marble floors, and light shows. A special feature of the pagoda is its little golden umbrella-looking thing called “hti”, which is covered in gold, jewels, and thousands of diamonds, although it’s still hard to see the beauty of it despite having numerous binoculars on one side of the pagoda.
Here’s a tip: try to visit the place an hour before the sunset. Aside from it being the perfect time when crowds have thinned and the day’s heat is about to be gone, it is the best time to take photos because the evening colors transform into amber and orange hues. Also, it is not the government who pays to maintain the upkeep at the pagoda, so don’t forget to drop a token of appreciation before you leave.
- Sule Pagoda – This place is not only recognized for its long history, but also for it has served as a space for political rallies and protests. It seems all roads in downtown Yangon eventually lead to the pagoda, so you really cannot miss it.
- Bogyoke Aung San Market – Commonly known as the Scott Market, it is a good place to go to if you’re looking for jewelry, Burmese dresses, and fabric, souvenirs, artwork, and handicrafts. There’s a wide selection of things to purchase all in one area, and the good thing about it is that it’s a nice and clean around.
- Kandawgyi Park – One of the lush green Lake parks in Yangon, it is definitely a place where you can walk around, relax, and get away from the chaotic and hectic area of downtown Yangon. One side has a number of restaurants facing the lake, while the other has the lake boardwalk, where you can find a platform where you can walk or exercise, with the Karawiek Palace and the Shwedagon Pagoda in the background.
- Chaukhtatgyi Paya (Chak Htat Gyi Buddha) – Also referred to as the Reclining Buddha, it is a 65-meter long reclining Buddha housed in a giant metal shed, similar to that or an airplane hangar (yes, that big). Its crown is decorated with diamonds and other gems, which are really lovely, and its feet are carved with inscriptions showing characters and symbols of the Buddha.
- Yangon Circular Railroad Ride – Built by the British in 1954, the circular railroad runs for just under 50 kilometers, stops at 39 stations, and takes about 3 hours to complete. Taking the train ride may not give you a traditional feel at all, but it’s definitely a great way to experience and observe the life and culture around the outskirts of the town, and also gives you a brief glimpse of the countryside. My sister and I experienced it ourselves and we found it fascinating and relaxing at the same time
Factsheet: Frequently Asked Questions about Meliá Yangon
1. Where can you find the best rates for Meliá Yangon?
2. What credit cards are accepted in Meliá Yangon?
You may use Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
3. What is the check – in and check – out time in Meliá Yangon?
The check – in time is 2:00 pm, while the check – out time is 12:00 pm.
4. Can you smoke in Meliá Yangon?
There is a designated area on the property where you can smoke. However, all rooms are non-smoking.
5. Are children allowed to stay at Meliá Yangon?
All children are welcome to stay in the hotel. All further children and adults are charged USD 100 per night for extra beds.
6. What are the standard room amenities in Meliá Yangon?
Room amenities include mini bar, cable TV, international direct dialing, telephone, toilet& bath, hairdryer, and coffee/tea service. They also offer daily housekeeping service and 24-hour room service.
7. Is Wi-Fi connection available in Meliá Yangon?
Yes, it is available in all public areas and rooms, and it’s free of charge.
8. Which currencies are accepted in Meliá Yangon?
US dollars and kyats are accepted in the hotel.
9. What are the languages spoken in Meliá Yangon?
The staff is fluent in English, Burmese, Mandarin, Filipino, French, German, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
10. Are pets allowed on the property?
Pets are not allowed in Meliá Yangon.
I stayed as a guest in Meliá Yangon, Brunei. However, all opinions are based on my personal experience. We also partnered with AirAsia to make this hotel review and trip possible.
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