Billed as one of the top 20 travel destinations in 2017, Myanmar is a kaleidoscope of towering gilded pagodas, spectacular archaeological sites and glorious colonial heritage landmarks. Established in 1901 by the Sarkies brothers, The Strand Yangon is one of the leading luxury hotels in Southeast Asia, embodying the long colonial history of this mysterious country.
One of the most architecturally beautiful landmarks in the region, the hotel has recently unveiled new design details following a six-month renovation project, which preserved the heritage at the heart of the hotel while ushering it into a new era with a contemporary twist.
The Lobby and Arrival Experience
The journey begins as guests walk through a grand wall-sized door painted with local black lacquer into the lobby, where they are greeted with a stunning display of white roses, showcasing a sense of elegance. A crystal chandelier and six electrical fans hang from the high ceiling, and the walls are lined with photos of old Burma, a throwback to colonial-era Yangon, known as ‘the green jade of Southeast Asia.’ The black and white geometrical patterns on carpets and cushions echo the overall colour palette, introducing a modern elegance to the heritage property.
The Strand Yangon has 6 Superior Suites, 10 Deluxe Suites, 14 Executive Suites and one The Strand Suite.
All suites feature traditional décor complemented by vintage inspired textiles and original artwork, framed by a white and silver colour palette. The one-of-a-kind Strand Suite, which remains the largest suite in Yangon after more than a century, is a sprawling 200-square-metre space and features a hand-carved four-poster bed, an intimate study furnished with fine Burmese antiques and a cosy sitting room with lacquered cane chairs. The suite is filled with fragrance from the fresh limes in the private bar area, stored in silver trays and bowls handmade by a local silversmith. The Myanmar traditional lacquerware is sourced from a renowned shop in Yangon, offering a modern glimpse to the luxury noble life in Victoria era, when silverware manufacture reached a climax.
While preserving its colonial-era roots, the 2016 refurbishment project has brought The Strand Hotel into the 21st century complete with modern technology for the millennial traveler. The suites feature high-speed wifi, USB ports, Satellite TV and remote controlled curtains, as well as a new Bluetooth system that allows guests to connect with a butler to order room service.
The casual yet elegant Strand Café is home to the famous Strand High Tea, which has been updated to include traditional Myanmar delicacies. As part of the refurbishment, the café’s traditional rattan furniture and black lacquer ceiling fans have been updated with a new colour scheme, also reflected in the traditional Burmese longyi uniforms worn by the staff. The wall paper is custom-made from antique engraving prints, showing a story of Myanmar from the era the hotel was built – It is printed with elephants and pagodas, both of which are symbols of Myanmar. Fresh plants and floral arrangements brought in daily, introducing outdoor beauty to the interior.
Yangon’s most elegant dining room, The Strand Restaurant, features a high vaulted ceiling, twinkling chandeliers and black and gold lacquer panels from Bagan. Helmed by Executive chef, Christian Martena, The Strand Restaurant serves classic Mediterranean dishes enhanced by locally sourced ingredients.
Sarkies Bar at the Strand Hotel
The Sarkies Bar has been the epicentre of social life in Yangon for over a century. Designed with wine barrels in mind, the space is paneled in teakwood and features a large circular mirror sits in the middle of the bar counter. Complementing the classical glamour is a porcelain lamp decorated with a traditional Myanmar colour painting. The elegant olde-worlde watering hole features an updated list of signature cocktails and adopts a modern, mysterious orange color scheme.
With a combination of modern design accents and traditional artworks, The Strand Yangon presents a unique sense of luxurious glamour, while maintaining its trademark tradition of hospitality.
The Strand Yangon is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and is currently managed by GCP Hospitality www.gcphospitality.com.