YANGON – Hilton Mandalay sits in four acres of beautifully landscaped gardens with views of both the stunningly picturesque Mandalay Hill and the Mandalay Royal Palace. This hotel is located in the center of the heart of Myanmar’s second largest city.
Formerly Sedona Hotel Mandalay, the hotel underwent a rebrand and was re-launched in March this year, now operating as Hilton Mandalay with a full renovation and added luxurious flair in the decoration.
“Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar and is an exciting travel destination with a growing quickly economy. The view from the hotel is beautiful and that was the perfect reason to take over this place as a Hilton hotel,” said Mr. Ashok Kapur, Cluster Commercial Director of Hilton Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay and Ngapali.
The hotel has just finished renovations in the public areas including the lobby and swimming pool where major style changes have been introduced.
“We finished the renovation process in a lot of public areas and extensive renovations are still ongoing. We are adding a spa and tennis court and will renovate the rooms as well so this is a long-term process but, we promise guests will be satisfied,” he said.
Though Mandalay has a lot of hotels, this one has a location which offers probably the most stunning views from its rooms. There are 231 guest rooms of different room types including the deluxe room with garden view option, a prime hill view suite and an executive lounge. It can be found at the intersection of 26th and 66th streets in Mandalay.
Nearby are a number of attractions for travelers including a historical monastery called Shwe Kyaung as well as pagodas like Kuthodaw Pagoda, Sandamuni Pagoda, Eindawya Pagoda, Mahamuni Pagoda. U Bein Bridge and the Chinatown area are not far either.
The hotel’s design is stylish and modern and the redecorated lobby has a gorgeous elegance to it. When I arrived early in the morning, the staff members were warm and welcoming offering me fresh juice with a friendly smile. I was relaxed and ready to start my weekend exploring Mandalay.
The hotel offers upscale accommodation and the room I stayed in was a twin deluxe room with a garden view which costs $105 per night. The room was really spacious and clean with top class furnishings. All the necessary hotel amenities were provided.
My room looked directly on to the entrance of the hotel but I still had a stunning view of the moats around Mandalay Palace and Mandalay Hill. The large window flooded my room with plenty of natural light.
The room had a mini bar and flat screen television and I could order food any time from the 24-hour room service. The bathroom featured an oversized soaking bathtub. There was no standing shower area. Though wireless internet was said to be available throughout the hotel, the signal was quite weak in my room so when I had to do something important online, I went to the nearby lobby area.
After the nine-hour trip from Yangon to Mandalay, I was so tired and couldn’t wait to collapse onto the fluffy, comfortable bed of soft sheets and pillows.
Though Yangon is awash in rainy downpours, the weather in Mandalay is hot. However, the air-conditioning in my room was cool and I even needed to wrap myself in a blanket.
The hotel had a huge outdoor swimming pool in a garden setting and there are plenty of cabanas for you to laze on. A bonus of this swimming pool is its cleanliness and that is has no strong chlorine smell. The lifeguard was always near the pool for the safety of the swimmers.
When I went to the swimming pool in the evenings it was busy with a lot of kids and other guests. In fact, over my whole two-day stay at the Hilton the pool was always busy. Despite this, it was a really pretty area and one of the best places in the hotel for taking photos.
The 24-hour fitness center located near the swimming pool was quite small and was lacking much training equipment due to the ongoing renovations. The spa was also under renovation as was the tennis court. I noted that after the renovation process, the hotel is bound to be even more inviting.
Guests can be picked up from the bus station or airport by hotel transport airport for a fee and it is advised to book in advance. With complimentary bicycle rental, I could explore the numerous sights of the city conveniently.
Though the breakfast had an international buffet with a huge variety, I didn’t see a traditional food counter when I was there. The pastries were really fresh and their croissants, chocolate filling cake and brown bread were perfect. I also enjoyed the wide range of fresh juices and different types of cheese. Outside diners can have the buffet breakfast for $10. I had my meals at Café Mandalay which is near the lobby and stylishly designed with a live open kitchen and impressive wine wall.
The hotel has a Sunday Family Lunch Buffet plan for $22 per person and this includes the swimming pool access. I enjoyed the vast selection of authentic South East Asian, Western, European and local cuisines so I think it’s worth paying that price for the luxury food offerings, especially with swimming pool access.
Overall, my two-day stay at the Hilton Mandalay was full of luxurious comforts and memorable moments in a beautiful location despite the ongoing renovation process.