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Thande Hotel Bagan 2.5

Bagan, Myanmar

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Scenic location overlooking the Irrawaddy River and close to temples
  • Lush property with 100-year-old acacia trees and resident owls
  • All rooms have TVs, safes, and air-conditioning, plus some have great river views
  • Some rooms have lovely furnished terraces
  • Two restaurants and an open-air bar with large lawn
  • Free breakfast includes mix of local and Western items
  • Lovely outdoor pool and kids' pool
  • Spa offers massage treatments
  • Bicycles and scooters available for rent
  • Traditional puppet shows in the evening
  • Free Wi-Fi 

Cons

  • Rooms are a bit dated, including tube TVs in some
  • No restaurants require a 15-minute walk to reach

Bottom Line

The 92-room Thande Hotel Bagan is a two-and-a-half-pearl property that sits scenically along the banks of the Irrawaddy River in Old Bagan. Set amid 100-year-old acacia trees, the hotel is within walking distance of many temples. This is an older hotel and some of the rooms are a bit worn, though they're clean and pleasant, with amenities like free Wi-Fi and air-conditioning. Two atmospheric restaurants provide both indoor and alfresco dining (including free breakfast), and there's a lovely outdoor pool with a kids' pool as well as a spa. Electric scooters and bicycles are available for rent, but there aren't many restaurants nearby. Travelers should also consider the nearby Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort, which offers similar amenities and beautiful grounds -- rates there can be cheaper.

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Scene

Modest resort amid beautiful acacia trees with river views throughout

While the neighboring resorts style themselves like ornate temples, with plenty of gold accents and stupa roofs, Thande Hotel is a back-to-nature spot, with a relaxed and unpretentious feel. Though the modest lobby building is built in local temple style as well, it is rather humble, with furnishings that include heavy wood chairs, carved tables, and cushioned couches. Golden ceiling lights, red brick walls, and a beige tile floor are accompanied by a long wooden reception desk and plenty of large windows with views of the lovely grounds outside. 

This is an older property that shows its age a bit, and some spaces are due for a refresh, but the beautiful grounds take center stage. Walkways wind past green lawns and gorgeous wide-branched acacia trees that tower overhead. A group of resident owls are often seen, and friendly squirrels dart around. The trees here are almost a century old and so massive that they ensure a canopy of shade to sit under and enjoy the tranquil views of the Irrawaddy River. Most guests here are couples, as there's an undeniable romance to the peaceful setting, but some families and small groups of friends also pass through.

Location

Right in Old Bagan's Archaeological Zone next to the Irrawaddy River

The hotel is located in the Bagan Archaeological Zone and close to all of the area's top temples, including Shwe San Daw, the best temple for sunrise visits, which is a five-minute drive away. Down a long driveway and set in lush gardens that overlook the Irrawaddy River; the scenic setting is well suited for taking in the sunset over the river and mountains. The Bagan Archaeological Museum is just next to the hotel, and there are many temples within a five- to 10-minute walk from here. There are no restaurants, bars, or shops in the immediate area, however, and the nearest ones are about a 15-minute walk by the Tharabar Gate. Bikes and scooters are available for rent, or guests can catch a taxi. New Bagan, which has more shops and services, including tourist services, is a 10-minute drive to the south. Expect a 20-minute drive to the airport.

Rooms

Pleasant, dated rooms with simple decor; some with lovely river views and terraces

There are 92 rooms to choose from at Thande Hotel Bagan, including Economy, Superior, and Deluxe Rooms, as well as a few suites. Some have beautiful views of the Irrawaddy River as well as furnished terraces, while others overlook the gardens. Decor is simple, but clean and pleasant, with lots of light wood and wood veneer surfaces, including polished wooden floors, simple furniture with clean lines, and even wooden wall paneling in some rooms that give them a cottage-like feel. The rooms are a bit dated and worn, however, and some have old tube-style TVs. A few framed pieces of local art hang on the walls, and Superior Rooms are a bit brighter -- with white walls and vibrantly colored bed runners. Standard amenities include minibars, air-conditioning, safes, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and free Wi-Fi. Bathrooms are fairly simple -- some are due for a refresh -- and outfitted with either shower/tub combos or both bathtubs and separate rainfall showers.

The Prince of Wales Suite features lots of art pieces, fine teak and rattan accents, an elegant bathroom with a large tub, and plenty of privacy, as it sits alone on top of the wooden house built just for the Prince, who visited in 1922. The Ayeyarwaddy (Irrawaddy) River Suite is another spacious option with a separate sitting area and panoramic windows with gorgeous vistas of the river. The hotel's Economy Rooms are the cheapest option here, but they no longer advertise these online, and they are only available for walk-ins. Most of them are occupied these days by long-stay workers.

Features

Two resturants and bar, small outdoor pool and kids' pool, spa, and bicycles and scooters for rent

Thande Hotel Bagan has a lovely outdoor swimming pool surrounded by a sundeck lined with loungers, though it isn't heated and can be quite cold in the cool season. There is also a small kids' pool. Thande Spa has a few treatment rooms and offers a range of massages.

The hotel has two on-site dining options. In the rainy season, the top choice is Prince restaurant, named after the Prince of Wales and built in his honor. In the dry season, most guests prefer to dine alfresco at the Acacia Shade restaurant, which is scenically set overlooking the Irrawaddy River. Named after the 100-year old acacia tree that towers over the tables and chairs, it offers a wonderful spot to relax, with squirrels coming down to eat from the chefs' hands and even a resident owl population. The hotel puts on traditional puppet shows in the evenings. Breakfast is included in room rates, and includes a decent selection of local and Western options. The Panorama bar can also be found here, with seats lined up facing the large lawn and river; magnificent sunset views are a big draw. 

Other features at the hotel include a few free computers for guests to use in the lobby, as well as a fleet of electric scooters and bicycles that are available for rent. The resort also has an elegant meeting room in the Prince of Wales building that's used to host conferences or group events. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property.

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Address

Old Bagan, Bagan, Mandalay Region, Myanmar

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