In Myanmar, where the luxury travel industry has yet to catch up with some of its neighbouring countries, Accor Hotels gets it right with the opening of the Sofitel Inle Lake Myat Min resort.
Does a minimalist design fit the romance of old Burma? And how should a contemporary resort reflect the stylistic traditions of its location? These were the questions we pondered when arriving at the Inle Lake Myat Min. As it turned out, Sofitel had it all figured out.
A quiet place
Sofitel Inle Lake Myat Min brings to Myanmar the latest in cosmopolitan luxury — but its design also manages to channel the styles and traditions of the old Burma. Incorporated into the resort’s interiors are historical accents and Burmese patterns, while authentic local art is featured throughout the property. Dark wood, bamboo, rattan and silk soften the minimalistic architecture. The elegant rooms and suites are built literally on the lake, in a concept that mirrors the traditional villages built on stilts, strung along the shores.
This sophisticated stylistic mix complements the serene location. The resort is flanked by picturesque floating gardens, with the backdrop of the dramatic Shan Mountains. The clean shapes of the architecture find perfect reflections in the tranquil waters of the lake. Our guest suite was well positioned to take the full advantage of the beautiful surroundings. Raised above the lake’s surface and looking out to its vast waters from a lovely terrace, it had sunset light shining straight to our bedroom. But the resort has much more to offer than the well-located guest accommodation.
The Inle Lake experience
The two swimming pools offer the most opportunities to relax and lounge. Both are beautifully set up, though we preferred the waterfront infinity pool, overlooking the small hotel jetty. It felt like a natural extension of an open-air, over-water lounge. Right next to it was one of the restaurants (we came here for dinner — and it was one of the best culinary experiences we had in Myanmar).
The staff was always ready to advise on activities and get them organised for us. One of the things we did more than once was to take the traditional long boat and explore the Inle Lake, which is the second largest in Myanmar and one of the highest (at an elevation of 880m). Local people live on the lake and depend on its waterways for transportation. It was a nice adventure to explore the settlements and the temples in the area. We even did some silver jewellery shopping, in a local factory built in a large house on stilts — they made a unique piece especially for us.
There is so much to see, but the Sofitel Inle Lake Myat Min itself deserved more of our time — and in hindsight, we should have planned to stay here for more than three days. It is one of those places which we would happily come back to.
Adventure, Culture, Luxury, Modern Design, Private Villa, Quiet, Relaxing, Secluded, Sightseeing, Spa,
Number of rooms & suites: 101
Rate per night: From $94
*The rate is only approximate and is based on our own independent research, at the time of writing. We cannot guarantee the rate in any way.
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