Built in the midst of lush tropical gardens, in the traditional style of old Bagan’s temples, this is a distinctive and elegant hotel that offers airy suites in a perfect location, some 3 minutes drive from the airport and a 10 minute bike ride from the historical site.

Its impressive structure springs just off the main road to Bagan. 

A courtyard leads towards a massive teak stairway, a vast open air reception featuring traditional wood carvings, and twelve buildings, each named after a Myanmar dynasty.  

Between the lobby and the suites is an Olympic size outdoor swimming pool with a Jacuzzi, and further along guests will find a spa and a gym, as well as well-appointed bars and a restaurant, offering both local and international cuisine. This is where the buffet breakfast is served. We tried the Burmese noodles, the home-made sausages, the stewed banana with coconut and the sweet grain (literally, boiled grain in sweet broth), all of which were delicious. You can order organic eggs any style prepared in front of you. Fresh fruit platters and Western style fare are varied as is the bread selection (we were intrigued with the dragon shaped breads).

Beyond the factual description above, we were delighted with the ever-smiling and solicitous service by every single member of staff.

We loved our teak balcony from which we could watch the hot monsoon rain drench the gardens before giving way to the sun. 

We hugely enjoyed the bike ride through both old and new Bagan (e-bikes can be hired directly from the hotel for a small fee).

Most of all, we enjoyed the focal point of this delightful hotel, which is undoubtedly the pool and the immediate area around it. Large that it is, it accommodates various groups of guests without seeming crowded and it remains open well into the evening. The beautifully lit gardens add to the festive atmosphere and dinner takes place at tables agreeably positioned around the pool.  We opted for a drink and a snack before heading for town where vendors stay open late into the evening. 

A wood carver and a fabric weaver were demonstrating their skills at a joint stall; tourists and locals were drinking in cafes and bars festooned with multi-coloured lights; there was a buzz about the place without the constant haranguing to buy, buy, buy…

Back at the Heritage Hotel, swimmers had swapped the pool for the dinner tables alongside it and were having a jolly good time.

The ever-obliging staff asked us what time we wanted our luggage taken out in the morning and we crashed out for a peaceful night, punctuated only by the tropical rain outside. 

If visiting Bagan area you can’t do better than Heritage Hotel in terms of comfort, location and experience.