Header image courtesy of Villa Inle Boutique Resort
Myanmar is a culturally diverse country in Southeast Asia that has enjoyed less attention than its more glamorous neighbours but is slowly beginning to draw the spotlight in its own right. Known for gilded pagodas, lush forests, and a reputation for being an undiscovered paradise, Myanmar is one of the fastest-growing destinations in Asia.
Increased eligibility for visa-free entry and the trend of off-the-grid travel has spurred visitor numbers, as has a growing interest in culturally-immersive experiences. Luxury and design-led accommodations have been taking root as well, responding to the demand for unique but conscious hospitality concepts by an increasingly discerning group of jet-setters.
Here are the top five boutique hotels in Myanmar, from Yangon to Inle Lake.
Ask anyone what their favourite boutique property in Burma is and they’ll invariably say it’s the Belmond Governor’s Residence. This glorious property is a little oasis within Burma’s cultural capital, Yangon, with beautiful gardens, enormous baths, and a chic disposition. Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast overlooking one of the many lotus-filled pools on the property.
This is a hidden gem, located off the beaten track. Head south of Yangon to Karen State and enjoy stunning scenery with lots of monoliths and caves. The villages surrounding Keinnara Lodge Hpa-An are known for their weaving industry; be sure to take something back with you. The food is delicious and the hotel itself is made up of just 18 cottages, making it a wonderfully peaceful and rural experience.
Located halfway between Mandalay and Bagan, Yandabo Home is a great way of breaking up the journey without doing an actual cruise. All staff are employed from the local pottery village, and they’ll take you around, introducing you to their family and friends.
It’s also historically significant, as it’s where the peace treaty that ended the first Anglo-Burmese war was signed. One point to note: this property embodies the spirit of being at one with nature wholeheartedly—no TV, internet connection, or telephone services are available.
On the shores of peaceful Inle Lake lies Villa Inle Resort & Spa. With 27 villas, all incredibly spacious with wonderfully high ceilings, it’s also one of the few hotels at Inle that actually has a pool. Opulent interiors and a restaurant with a great atmosphere in the evening ensure guests can relax in style. The teakwood interiors are adorned with artwork by the Myanmar, Inle, and Shan ethnic peoples, blending old and new seamlessly.
Located in central Mandalay, The Hotel by the Red Canal really is a true boutique hotel. The rooms are quite small but more than make up for it with charm and character. They are named after the four major ethnic groups in Myanmar—Shan, Rakhine, Chin, and Kachin—allowing guests to immerse themselves in the cultural diversity of the country. The hotel is set in the midst of a lush, tropical garden, and is also home to the only Indian-Myanmar fine dining restaurant in Mandalay.
Want to explore Myanmar? Scott Dunn offers tailor-made luxury holiday packages for the perfect, stress-free holiday.