Arguably one of the most famous landmarks and hotels in Myanmar is The Strand Hotel in Yangon. A 20-minute walk from Chinatown, Sule Pagoda and Aung Sang Market, it is located in the heart of the city and the perfect location to do all your sightseeing in the city. The hotel is a 3-storey Victorian build which provides plenty of history and character with marble flooring and rattan furnishings. It is loaded with classic cream interiors and parquet rooms with spacious suites that come with high ceilings. It offers plenty of services such as traditional Myanmar massages and floral baths complete with a tour desk, Wi-Fi. There is also live music and all-day dining and light snacks provided by the hotels bar and restaurant.
The Strand Hotel was built by John Darwood, a British entrepreneur, and then bought by the Sarkies brothers who already had a collection of luxury hotels in the Far East which included the famous Raffles Hotel in Singapore. During British Rule it was one of the most luxurious hotels of the the British Empire and hosted a number of upper class clientele.
The Sarkies brothers sold the Hotel to restaurateur Peter Bugalar Aratoon and Ae Amovsie in 1925, and in 1935 it underwent major renovations. Then during World War II the hotel was taken over by Japanese troops, during their occupation in the country . This lead to the ownership of the hotel being transferred to Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. In 1948 when Burma achieved independence, the hotel was neglected by the government and became run down for many years and in 1963 it was bought by the Burma Economic Development Corporation, but they didn’t fare any better and continued to neglect the upkeep and maintenance of the Hotel.
When the 1988 coup d’état took place in the country The Strand was sold a year later 1989 to a local Burmese businessman, Bernard Pe-Win who joined into a partnership with Adrian Zecha and a group of investors who created The Strand Hotel International and gave it a total renovation and reopened it in 1993 into a majestic, bold and high end boutique hotel.
The renovations gave it a period style look which has gave it the timeless charm which is has to this date with high ceilings and vast spaces among the now rare luxuries in each of the thirty-one Suites that still remind guests of times gone by. Teakwood floors, hand carved wood frame beds and ceiling fans round out the colonial charms, tastefully balanced by Burmese lacquerware and antiquities in the bedroom and separate sitting areas. Near floor to ceiling windows let in Yangon’s abundance of natural light.
Famous guests which have stayed at The Strand Hotel include Mick Jagger, David Rockefeller, Rudyard Kipling and Oliver Stone and the hotel is listed on the Yangon City Heritage List. Since the beginning, it was regarded as “the finest hostelry east of the Suez” and “patronised by royalty, nobility and distinguished personages”. In 1993, the hotel was for the first time listed among the Select Members of The Most Famous Hotels in the World.