PRICE: Punchy but doesn’t blow the budget
The hotel jewel in Mandalay’s dazzling crown, the Rupar Mandalar Hotel is by far and away the best in Mandalay, Myanmar. Not only is it conceptually the most carefully considered, but the detail with which it operates is unsurpassed in the city.
Rupar Mandalar is located just a 15-minute outing for your driver from the centre of town. And owing to its marginal location, it has the luxury of space. On entry, you’ll immediately see a beautiful collection of low-rise teak buildings, interspersed by green lawns offering elegant and tranquil surroundings. In comparison to the frenetic energy and traffic in Mandalay, this is an oasis of calm.
Upon arrival, you’ll immediately notice the staff who glide around serenely dressed in beautiful Burmese silks, on hand to attend to your needs. The reception and lobby areas are tastefully decorated with screen prints and classic Myanmar chaises with their supportive scroll cushions.
The rooms come in varying shapes and sizes but are unified by all being spacious and well-appointed with a range of amenities, excellent linen and exquisite raw silk throws on the beds. The rooms in the teak buildings are traditionally Burmese, with beautifully crafted heavy wood furniture and traditional art on the walls.
A recent addition to the accommodation is a two-storey building adjacent to the pool and deck area. In contrast to their heavy teak cousins, these rooms are light, airy and contemporary in style. They have walk-in rain showers, stone floors and a light palette throughout.
As you might expect of a hotel of this calibre, the pool is big and inviting. The sunloungers around its edge are amongst the finest we have seen in Burma. A little further behind the pool is a large outside deck that fronts onto the restaurant. This is used for outdoor dining both for breakfast and for evening dinners, when barbecues and other speciality nights are served with flair.
But just to set expectations: we love the Rupar Mandalar Hotel for what it is and for its character. Within the Burmese hotel scene it is superb, but viewed on an international level it probably wouldn’t attract so many superlatives. Nevertheless, when we’re texting friends, the RP gets a big thumbs-up emoji.
Our favourite Rupar Mandalar Hotel rooms are those on the ground floor in the new wing. The first two rooms are just metres from the central pool area.
On your doorstep
Rupar Mandalar has an out-of-town location with not a lot within walking distance. But your driver is at your beck and call, so there’s no risk of missing out.