Our hotel review of the Smart Hotel in Mandalay Myanmar.
Name: Smart Hotel, Mandalay, Myanmar.
Address: No 167 28th Street, Chan Aye Tharzan Township, Mandalay
Contact Details: Telephone: (95) 2 32 682
Email: not available
Date of Stay: 28th November – 3rd December, 2013 5 nights
Booked through: Agoda
Why we went there?
Mandalay was our halfway point from Bagan to Inle Lake. We also wanted to be able to sail down the Mekong to Mandalay on a traditional steamer from Bagan. Mandalay also offered sights such as Mandalay Hill, U Bein Bridge and the Royal Palace to visit.
Why we chose it?
We were looking for a Hotel or Hostel that was near Mandalay Hill and the Royal Palace. These two attractions were close by. We chose the Smart Hotel because of good reviews in Agoda and Tripadvisor. It was centrally located, had a double room with ensuite, fridge and TV and included breakfast and free Wi-Fi.
What was it like?
After a relaxing, sunrise and sunset 12 hour boat ride down the Mekong from Bagan we arrived into Mandalay late evening. Fortunately, there were many eager hands to take the bags up the steep bank of the river. There were many offers of transport, we took the first which was a taxi and happily climbed into the back of a utility. The ride to the hotel was exciting, busy and lots of smiling faces looking at these two folded into the back of the utility with the bags. We arrived safely at the Smart Hotel one road back from the Palace and we were greeted warmly by the staff and the Manager. The bedroom was on the 3rd floor, a little on the dark side and a prison feel as there were no windows that could be opened. The only window looked straight into a brick wall. All areas of the hotel were clean and well maintained. Breakfast was Buffet style each morning in the restaurant on the 1st floor. We had dinner and drinks that night in the Sky Bar on the 7th floor which had great views over the city and a great spot to view the sunset over Mandalay Hill. The staff are available to book any ongoing transport and local tours.
What was around it?
The hotel is well located for restaurants and bars, our favourites were Marie Min and Rainforest two restaurants owned by the same family located opposite one another about 3 blocks from the hotel. There is a bank and ATM two blocks away and mini markets scattered around the area. The hotel was available to organize any transport that was required. A local market is a ten minute walk away. The Royal Palace is a good 45 minute walk from the hotel and Mandalay Hill a great setting in the evening for sunset viewing is a 20 minute taxi ride. We hired a car and a driver for the day and visited a gold leaf workshop, silk weaving factory Mahagandayon Monastery, U Bein Bridge and Sagaing Hill and Markets.
Would we return?
No. If we were to return we would probably choose a hotel with a swimming pool as Mandalay is a very hot and dusty city. That is not to say that we had any complaints with the hotel.
Cost? AUD 68 per night
How was the Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi was stronger in the breakfast restaurant and in reception.
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