Rupar Mandalar

Well-heeled Globetrotters, Sophisticrats and Romantics

PRICE: Punchy but doesn’t blow the budget

RATING: Wow factor

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.

Yonder Insight

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.

Thoughts on a postcard

One evening, a traditional Mandalay marionette puppet show is staged whilst we enjoy a barbecue on the hotel deck. The puppet masters twirl, contort and manoeuvre in a performance that is enchanting.

Thoughts on a postcard

One evening, a traditional Mandalay marionette puppet show is staged whilst we enjoy a barbecue on the hotel deck. The puppet masters twirl, contort and manoeuvre in a performance that is enchanting.

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Rupar Mandalar: the map

Alternative accommodation in Mandalay

Red Canal

The Red Canal in Mandalay, Myanmar, conjures visions of an extraordinary waterway threading its wondrous crimson hue through the heart of this fabled city. In reality, the Red Canal is unremarkable. But the same cannot be said of the little hotel that borrows its name, which is simple, yes, but also extremely charming and friendly.

Mandalay Hill Resort

The Mandalay Hill Resort in Myanmar is big, brash and very reliable. Whilst we generally avoid referring to the defunct hotel star rating system, the Mandalay Hill Resort would sit very solidly on four-star ground.