We spent 4 nights (2 rooms) here. We were looking forward to this hotel after reading some positive reviews.
Central, but off a very busy road - noisy, dirty, gritty and stinking with vehicular exhaust
Well separated from the main road by a wall of buildings, shutting out the noise, stench and dirt
Pleasant entrance with fish pond and calm lobby
Small but nice pool, own pagoda
Most of reception staff were helpful - reconfirming flights etc
Rooms very small - constantly tripping over oneself, rearranging things
Limited storage space - small cupboard is an afterthought.
L shape of room limits its functionality
Bathroom - no hooks to hang clothes, no clothes line
Hand washed clothes took ages to dry (we tried to make an arrangement to use the hotel's washing machine to do a load of clothes rather than pay $2.50 per piece, having a suitcase full of dusty clothes from Bagan. We went around in circles for one hour. After having made an acceptable arrangement with Housekeeping, the duty manager had to wade in and wanted to charge us by the piece, which is where we started the discussion an hour ago. Considering that we were staying for a total of 8 nights, to use the washing machine was not an unreasonable request. In the end the hotel lost out on $20 of income).
The duty manager was useless; in addition to the above about the washing machine, we had not even sat down and washed the dust off after a two-hour trip from the airport and he was waving the Christmas menu in our faces. Then he asked us how we were going to pay, as if we had a choice - it is only cash in crisp US dollars)
The breakfast was poor and the waiters/service were useless.
We had lunch on arrival (after the trip from the airport) - the food was okay; the coffee machine was broken.
This was the only hotel we stayed at that did not change money, we went to Seven Diamond around the corner. There we had to haggle the price and is was not as good as Yangon.
There is no lift.
Avoid the back rooms - view onto the back of a grotty-looking building
Wifi is poor and limited to the lobby
The aircon cut out in the night - do not know if this is policy or related to the city's power supply (cool your room in the evening as a precaution).
I am not sure where else to stay:
We went to the Mandalay Hill Resort for an afternoon drink before tackling the Hill - drinks were expensive (US$20 for four people; the building is bland with a run-down look.
We had lunch at the Sedona - nice lobby, cannot comment on the rooms, we could not get near the pool as they were setting up for a function/promotion in the evening (see comment by other reviewers below).
The Swan is next to the Sedona - rooms straight off an open corridor.
We took a taxi to the brand new hotel by the river (Ayarwaddy River View) - the price for a suite was reasonable, however, the hotel is far from the city, no restaurants nearby and the surroundings are awful (looks like a shanty town)
Taxis are expensive in Mandalay and hard to get.
It takes a good hour to get to the airport (12,000 chats) - we took a new by-pass highway with no traffic. On the way into the city we went via the industrial area - a gridlock of trucks, buses, cars, motorcycles etc - it took 2 hours plus the fumes.
Unique Quality: Pleasant entrance, quiet lobby
In centre of city (pro and con)
Quiet and isolated relative to surroundings
I reserved the rooms directly with the hotel after the hotel booking services I employed had failed
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