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Ruby True Hotel 2.5

Bagan, Myanmar

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Quiet spot on the edge of New Bagan
  • Walk to restaurants and shops in 15 minutes
  • Cute bamboo bungalows with private verandas overlooking tranquil gardens
  • Great restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating
  • Traditional puppet shows performed on some evenings
  • Scooters available for rent
  • Variable breakfast buffet included in room rate
  • Free Wi-Fi and breakfast

Cons

  • Not close to main temples and Old Bagan's archaeological zone
  • Wi-Fi is slow and spotty

Bottom Line

Ruby True Hotel is a small budget property set in a quiet garden on the edge of New Bagan town. Its 38 cute bungalows feature patterned bamboo walls and charming private verandas. Though fairly basic, they have flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, and free (spotty) Wi-Fi. There's a small restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating, and traditional puppet shows are occasionally performed in the evenings. A varied breakfast buffet is also included in room rates. While not close to the main temples and Old Bagan sites, scooters are available for rent; it's also just a 15-minute walk into New Bagan for restaurants and shops. A pool would be nice given Bagan's heat, and travelers can find one at the Bagan Umbra Hotel, which has higher rates but is closer to Old Bagan's temples.

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Scene

Small budget hotel with quiet gardens and charming bungalows

Ruby True Hotel is all about local crafts and handiwork. The hotel's main low-rise building has a classic triangular roof that emerges out of nowhere along an empty stretch of sandy road. The building features lots of local teak wood, with handcrafted lattices and thick beams. Fronting the main entrance, and found throughout the tranquil garden property, are large umbrellas that are made of cloth and then lacquered -- they are one of Myanmar's most recognizable craft products. The small lobby also has a giant parasol hanging from the ceiling plus bamboo covered walls, teak tables and chairs, and a couple of lacquerware trays. There are large windows letting in plenty of natural light, but most guests don't linger here -- why would they when there's a large back lawn that's dotted with trees and umbrellas that's perfect for relaxing? The lawn is a favorite among those who stay here -- it's particularly nice at breakfast -- and guests are mostly solo travelers, couples, and friends.

Location

On the quiet edge of New Bagan; 15-minute walk to town center

Ruby True Hotel is located on the edge of New Bagan. The town isn't as picturesque as the Irrawady riverside or the Archaeological Temple Zone of Old Bagan, but it does have the most restaurants, shops, and local village life in the region. In contrast to Nyaung U, which is a small backpacker village, New Bagan is more of a real town, with local tea shops, markets, and a great selection of tourist-oriented restaurants, bars, and services. The hotel is located down a dusty sand road and seems rather remote, though the main part of town can be reached within 15 minutes on foot. Old Bagan and the main temples are about a 15-minute drive from here, while the airport can be reached in 20 to 30 minutes.

Rooms

Small, basic bungalows with patterned bamboo walls and private verandas

The hotel offers small bungalows that are fairly basic, but have an undeniable charm as well. The rustic look comes from the patterned bamboo walls and hardwood accents, and lovely private verandas furnished with rattan chairs don't hurt either. There's not much of a difference between the two types of rooms here -- Superior and Deluxe -- though Deluxe Rooms offer a bit more space and an extra laundry basket. Furniture is fairly simple, a mix of hand-crafted wood items and cheaper budget pieces, and we did spot some wear on bed frames and carpets. Modern amenities include flat-screen TVs with some cable TV channels, minibars stocked with beer and bottled water, tea- and coffee-making facilities, air-conditioning, and free Wi-Fi. There are no safes and Wi-Fi can be spotty and slow inside the rooms, though it's better out on the verandas. Bathrooms are small and simple, but clean, with shower/tub combos and a selection of toiletries.

Features

Free breakfast, occasional puppet shows, and scooter rentals

This small hotel does not offer many extra features, but it does have a small, well-liked restaurant with both indoor dining and outdoor seating under umbrellas in the garden. The restaurant serves free breakfast to guests -- it's done buffet-style and includes plenty of options -- as well as Burmese and international dishes for lunch and dinner. The hotel sometimes puts on traditional puppet shows in the evenings if there are enough guests. The hotel grounds include a lovely, large lawn for relaxing. It's dotted by giant traditional Burmese parasols and trees that are atmospherically lit up in the evenings. Electric scooters are available for rent and airport transfers can be arranged. Wi-Fi is free throughout, though it can be slow. Parking is also free on-site.

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Address

Myat Lay Road, New Bagan, Bagan, Mandalay Region, Myanmar