If you're looking to stay cheap, stick with downtown. Aside from those listed here, there are many other Chinese-type hotels in the blocks south of 27th St that offer predictable rooms without much style.
From April to October it's likely that all places will have empty rooms waiting for you.
All room rates include breakfast and have private bathrooms with hot water unless oth erwise stated.
Don't be surprised if your air-con or hot water's not working. Several guesthouses tout it, but have it linked with the government-provided power source, not their humming generators.
Royal Guest House :Putting a lot of effort into little space, the Royal is the cheapie that fills first. The clean rooms ooze character, with endearing details like raised hallways going to bathrooms and Mondrian-style tile jobs. The cheapest rooms have shared bathroom. Room 202 (single/double $8/12) has a balcony with some sunset potential. Everything's quite compact though, including the miniscule 'can I join you?' dining room.
Nylon Hotel :A modern building above a generator shop, the Nylon's rooms tend to get better the higher up the five floors you go. Room 401 is a good cheapie up top. Free breakfast is served in the upstairs dining area. Some visitors have-complained about over-charging on taxis.
Sabai Phyu Hotel :This 20 room back-up to the others has slightly musty rooms in a four-floor walk-up. Free breakfast's served on the top floor (good views), rooms have putt-putt green carpets and ceiling-less bathroom cubes in the corner. Air-con, supposedly, is on 5pm lo Sam.
ET Hotel : The only thing extra-terrestrial in the 27-room FT is the glow of the lone fluorescent bulb against the mint green walls in the compact and clean but dated rooms. An extra S2 gets you air-con and satellite TV. There's a roof deck and lobby internet.
Classic Hotel :Mear the Shan restaurants, the six-floor Classic's 34 rooms have just enough space to fit a bed or two, an old TV with satellite access and a small attached bath room. Higher floors get a peek of Mandalay Hill from out the pea-green curtains. It you left your suitcase in Pyin U I.win, no worries: there's a small longyi (sarong) and pyjama store on the 1st floor.
Mother's World Hotel :The street's a little trashy and the hotel feels a little sad. It's certainly overpriced for what you get (dated pieces, rulfled spreads), but the single rooms -particularly 506 - get some nice views of Mandalay Hill.
Many of Mandalay's midrange hotels don't reward Hit extra dollars and seem to run off the same template: a 10-storey Chinese-style building with doorperson, elevator and rather unloved clean rooms. Here are some that rise above the norm.
Royal City Hotel : Owned by the Royal Guest House folks, the Royal City is a block south of the palace between downtown's frantic energy and Mandalay Hill's pagodas. Its 19 big, rather long rooms are nice enough, with satellite TV, phone and some serious views to the east, but not all nicks are being tended to. Breakfast's served in the mezzanine dining area ot the super outdoor/indoor root garden.
Peacock Lodge : One of Myanmar's greal home slay-style inns, the Peacock hosts will treat you like part of Ihe family, beginning by showing you. old family photos and phonebooks from ihe British era. Rooms are in the family's l%0s-built home, or in bungalow-style rooms off the garden, where you find tables for nicely prepared breakfasts. It's comfy if not posh, and well worth the extra hike from the centre if you don't mind a few minutes' extra commute.
Silver Swan Hotel :One of a few midrange choices freckling the streets south ol downtown that justify the dollars or distance, the eight-storey Swan has wood-floor rooms with wood chairs that look out over Mandalay. Perhaps the modern razz-amatazv. recenlly done in the cool lobby, where cheery staff greet you, will move up to the rather dated rooms.
Silver Star Hotel : This perfectly comfortable 48-room high-rise hotel downtown is perfectly forgettable too. Everything's sit-on-the-floor spotless. The corner rooms, with two windows, are higher priced. There's a lift and a headachey white Ist-floor dining room for breakfast. Some group tours check in.
Myit Phyar Ayer Hotel : One of many Chinese-style hotels looming in the blocks south and southeast of downtown, this friendly 40 room job may put a bit more care into its lobby and soft-lit hallways (filled with giant wood sculptures) than its more ordinary rooms, with wood floors and old air-con units. Roomier 'superior' rooms are worth the extra $5. It has a lift.
Mandalay View : I hi nigh near the palace moat, the view from the small front garden or a couple ot ihe rooms balconies is limited to Ihe Sedona Motel Mandalay across the street, but this nicely kept up, modern hotel keeps its do/en compact rooms clean and inviting. All have air con, satellite TV and a bit of woodwork for flair. The extra $5 gets you more bathroom elbow space (and a tub). Best, you can pay by credit card (for a 10% commission).
Mandalay's high end hotels can't compare with the standards ot Yangon's.
Hotel Mandalay : Done up like a big business hotel on a busy street, with elaborate lobby pillars and hell-loads of woodwork in the rooms, the relatively new, seven-floor Hotel Mandalay (run by a local entrepreneur) tends not lo make use of its higher-priced rooms' space: $65 suites have room dividers, but hardwood chairs will mean you lune into the satellite TV from the bed anyway. There's a gym.
Mandalay City Hotel : The poshest spot downtown must have tickled rival hoteliers as construction got under way in 2004. Set at the old bus station (in a lot walled by dreary downtown buildings - listen for bus ghosts moaning at night), the hotel (run by local entrepreneurs) somehow works. Lush, view-blocking landscaping, an entry pond, a pool and private di (stupa) do wonders to distracl from Ihe locale. And il gets you downtown, with 24-hour electricity. Comfortable L-shaped rooms in mint/chocolate colours and wood floors envelope rather small bathrooms. Stick with the cheaper rooms, the others essentially only add a tiny for-two dining table.
Hotel by the Red Canal : An intriguing new high-end deal in the backroads east of Ihe palace, the 25-roorh faux palace-style hotel - built near the namesake canal - offers more intimacy than ' other high-end hotels. Rooms aren't particularly big, but local flourishes play off lour themes: some Shan villas have small balconies overlooking the small pool (others in back are roomy, good-value choices for $66); Chin villas have private decks alongside a 'waterfall'. It's run by the same local family who run the Mandalay View Inn. Credit cards accepted with 10% commission.
Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel : This former French-run Novotel (now a Thai joint venture) sits impressively between the north end of the Palace and Mandalay Hill. Up from the bejewelled lobby pillars, the 207 rooms run the modern resort template -comfy, with disappointingly fake wood tloors, embroidered bed throws and rather tight bathrooms. Bonus points come for the back garden, with a lovely pool, the town's only disco (Gem Club), a couple of tennis courts and an outdoor restaurant with nightly puppet-show meals ($20 per person). Plus that mountain. Sedona Hotel Mandalay .This palatial Singaporean joint venture laces the southeastern corner to the palace. Rooms are a bit standard for the price and the tennis court needs a makeover, but the pool sprawls and the deluxe views ol the Palace moat and far off Mandalay Hill can't be beat. The Sedona accepts credit cards at 4.5% commission.
Rupar Mandalar :A stunning new complex, almost lost in the fringes of Mandalay's eastern outskirts, this hotel is done up in a self-described Burmese/Indoiiesian/Thai style - but thoroughly modern. Its luxurious teak-wood rooms are easily Mandalay's swankest. There are thoughtful gardens leading back to a pool, tennis court and spa. The local owners made their millions from jade.
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