Help with selecting independent hotels?
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Feb 22, 2013 9:08 PM Last Post By: skidrowe
Feb 16, 2013 3:50 AM
Help with selecting independent hotels?We have requested independent hotels without strong ties to the government and have received some suggestions from Myanmar travel agencies. However, the NYT article "Visiting Myanmar: It’s Complicated" captures some of the complexity in selection of hotels. We would prefer to avoid places that are owned by folks who are on the US Treasury’s blacklist.
Any thoughts about the following hotels or locations? Have looked at the reviews on Tripadvisor but travel agencies seem to have specific hotels that they work with, and some of the below suggestions aren't on Tripadvisor.
Prefer private room with in-suite bath with hot/cold running water and A/C so not backpacker. Budget to mid-range? Clean, and quiet are important. We know that prices are rapidly climbing so ultimately price may be the deciding factor.
Clover City Hotel (smells?)
Inya Lake Hotel (poor value?)
Summit Park View Hotel (possible view of pagoda)
Green Hill Hotel (possible view of pagoda)
Sky Palace hotel
Bagan Thande Hotel
Tharabar Gate Bagan
Nature Land hotel
Hill Top Hotel
Khaung Daing Hotel Inle Lake
Royal Inle Lake Hotel
Pleasant View resort
Bay View Resort
Lin Thiar Oo
Feb 16, 2013 5:50 AM
1My reply to your identical thread on TA.
I would add that the only way you can avoid hotels linked to the previous Government and their friends is to stay in basic accommodation as they are unlikely to have links.
+"You did not state your travel levels-backpacker,budget,mid range etc.I say this because quite a few of these hotels vary in standard from 2* to 4*.
Inya lake is Government (and many of the others have strong links) but I wonder why you still have a strong desire to avoid Government hotels.
Years ago I would agree but now as Daw Su Kyi and 40+ of her party have been elected to Parliament and democracy and free speech are now dominating Myanmar perhaps avoiding hotels with Government connections is a tad outdated.
No hotel could have built in the time of the Generals without their involvement,either through a partnership,a shell company,a licence (backhander) or by having a relative/friend in the local military.
The "Top" hotel in Yangon, The Strand, is Government owned,but not publicised and when Obama visited his entourage stayed at Chatrium,which has links to the Generals.
Just my two pence (cents) worth.
Feb 16, 2013 12:07 PM
2I would tend to agree with silverswimmer.
Changes have been made-to a certain extent.
So there is some logic to the assumption that a continued boycott would send a message that perhaps it was better to go back to the old ways.
Also keep in mind the US is in many cases only to happy to support those that are in their interests,whether it be a democracy,or dictatorship.
Feb 16, 2013 6:56 PM
3Not sure why so heavy handed responses? I am indeed asking a similar question as did in another forum--but the audience of the forums are different, and I am unaware of a prohibition against posting similar questions in a different travel forum. And I DID include description of our budget in the above posting (as well as in a reply to your Tripadvisor posting silverswimmer).
Concerns about making travel decisions carefully during this transitional period in Myanmar are not restricted to US travelers--others have raised similar concerns. For example...Besides the tips given ON THIS WEBSITE as well as the Lonelyplanet guidebook for Myanmar, the CANADIAN newspaper The Star states in a January 14 article on Myanmar travel "Learn about the military’s role in siphoning off the country’s wealth. Ask tour companies which hotels and airlines are owned by the government or by cronies of the military." The UK travel agency Audley Travel says on their website "We can tell you which hotels and services are owned by government officials if you wish to avoid them. We prefer not to use hotels and services that have connections with the government" And the New York Times article on August 3 ("It's Complicated") echoes the same issues.
We are looking forward to our trip--have had Myanmar on our list of places to visit for many years--just want to make sure that our travel dollars are used to promote positive change. We welcome your comments regarding the above hotels.
Feb 16, 2013 8:26 PM
4Hi Kool: I agree in a lot of ways with your concerns about supporting the military regime and I personally did not visit until this year in deference to all that. However, in my opinion however large the tourist industry seems to be it seems very small in contrast to industries that you will see while in Myanmar itself...mining, lumber, gems, drugs, etc...all huge industries which are funnelled through non-pariah countries like Thailand and China. (I know I'm being totally simplistic but you will see for yourself)
Also, the generals most certainly have investments in other countries that are probably untraceable.
That said, in Yangon I liked the East Hotel over Panorama, even though it's owned by the same group of people. In Inle area do look at Pyi II guesthouse which is owned by a charming couple...I did spend a couple nights staying on the lake in a different hotel, as well, but it was more a "romantic" experience. There is also Maison Birman which I did not stay at but looked at and it's very stylish and similarly priced..owned by a French Burmese designer.
In Mandalay I stayed at the Ayerwaddy View and it has a tremendous view of the river from the top floor breakfast room. When I was booking my trip with a small local travel agent, I also asked about avoiding military-linked providers and he said that was not a concern anymore...take what he says with a grain of salt but if local Burmese are not too worried about it then I didn't feel I would know more than them about their current politics and economics.
Have a wonderful trip!
Feb 16, 2013 8:42 PM
5From what I am experiencing the new Gov't hasn't changed anything for the ordinary people - there are still slaughters and bombings occurring. They have forced hotels n guesthouses to raise prices and have imposed additional taxes - the business people are better off !! I am currently in Lake Inle and had no choice of where to stay - over explosion of tour groups n travellers - my room is super basic - dirty wall, tatty curtains, stained sheets ( washed ) broken toilet etc and this is cheap at $19 p/n!!
Feb 17, 2013 2:15 AM
6Re #5 Yes, accommodation costs have skyrocketed in Myanmar, but I don't think it's a case of the Gov't forcing them to raise their prices. It is mostly a case of limited supply and huge demand. I think if I owned a low class establishment with stained sheets and broken toilet and I had many people banging at my door each night, I'd think I'd raise my rates from $5 to $19.
Feb 17, 2013 6:21 AM
7putriduyung --can you share where you stayed at Inle Lake? You said "I did spend a couple nights staying on the lake in a different hotel, as well, but it was more a "romantic" experience"
Feb 17, 2013 6:21 AM
8Apart from the posher ones, it is hard for a visitor to make this kind of call. Any accommodation accepting foreigners needs a state licence with all this implies. It will be paying a proportion over in tax and possibly more!
Anecdotal evidence has built up over the years about individual establishments (pace Mr Charles in Hsipaw on this site), but most places don't have "Generals' Pension Fund" on a sign in reception.
Some places on the other hand get a free ride. No one ever seems to remark that the rather large Beach Bar at Bagan is the only bar or restaurant on the river in Nyaung U. This is not something you would normally expect to see in what is the prime destination in a country.
Feb 17, 2013 7:17 PM
9On the lake itself I spent 2 nights at Inle Lake Resort and then moved to 3 nights at Pyi II at Nyaung
Shwe...The lake hotels are all right on the waterfront but a little isolated.. It's about a 30 minute or so boat ride from there to the boat dock in town. Hotels in Nyaung Shwe are in the town itself and easy to do other sightseeing on short boat trips.
The big lake hotels are most likely very similar..I did like Inle Lake Resort. We had a deluxe villa (our big splurge for the trip)
Feb 21, 2013 2:40 AM
10I ran across this website which may be helpful to others: http://www.tourismtransparency.org/
Feb 22, 2013 3:31 AM
11I make no apology in reposting my reply
I think you ought to travel by bus and sleep in monasteries.(-:
Do stop worrying, you ought to rename yourself the "Myanmar Tourism Prevention Officer"
Get your visit booked and look forward to a great time in a wonderful county with the most charming of people and a bl&&dy site safer than the good old US of A.
Feb 22, 2013 9:08 PM
12Gotta say,you do seem stuck on this US Treasury blacklist thing, koolhartan.
First its hotels and then airlines.
The US Treasury is probably on more peoples ''blacklist'' than the Burmese cronies.
You would probably get much better feedback by giving the UST a rest.
Sometimes you just have to let go-and go.
Many times you not only get a better understanding of the country you are visiting-but a better understanding of yourself and the country you have come from. Enjoy
(3 star Hotel)
From US$57.24 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$112.12 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$57.21 per night