Originally built in 1901 and acquired by the legendary Sarkies brothers, the hotel has had a chequered history, with spectacular ups and downs, with its famous bar housing at one time the stables of the Japanese army. 

Today, it is considered one of the most iconic hotels in South-East Asia and proudly boasts a roll call of famous visitors, but its real call to fame is perfecting and fine-tuning the art of hospitality. 

BBeyond has travelled around the globe and praised a number of distinguished and iconic establishments. It is hard to impress us. 

We know that, when it comes to hotels, the Italians do it better, the Swiss arguably do it best and the Asians do it with the most deference. 

The Strand Hotel in Yangon is run by a French general director, the restaurant by a French chef, and the rest of the staff are primarily Burmese. 

This is an architecturally significant building with interiors fully restored to match its historical site status. 

A joint venture by a HK hospitality group and the Burmese government, the iconic hotel has seen no expense spared in the course of its renovation.

When you enter that unforgettable lobby, you enter a different world, quite literally: a world of colonial era service that is unmatched by any era’s exacting standards.

As our belongings were whisked away and check-in process undertaken discreetly and without any input from us, we were ushered into the still empty restaurant (the local time being 7 am) for a spot of breakfast.

The menu is relatively small and the buffet, so beloved of modern travellers, absent altogether. 

Instead, you get a superlative version of every breakfast option you could ever wish for, and as many portions as you hunger for. 

From delicate egg white only omelettes and the chef’s own shakshouka, to fricasseed mushrooms, to truffled everything, to signature fresh fruit smoothies and juices of any and every kind, this is a meal to savour rather than wolf down.

On that first morning, we got a sense of how things function at The Strand…

The hotel supplies a printed news digest with a focus on your country of origin or a worldwide one and staff are pretty quick at ascertaining which you prefer. 

A dedicated flower changer changes the rose on your table to a fresh bud as soon as the flower shows signs of wilting.

The Strand doesn’t have rooms, rather it has just 32 suites, each of them quite palatial.

Address: Right Side Lobby level, The Strand 92 ကမ်းနားလမ်း, Kyauktada Tsp, ရန်ကုန်, Myanmar (Burma)