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The Hotel at Tharabar Gate 3.0

Bagan, Myanmar

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • In the Bagan Archaeological Zone, close to main temples and restaurants
  • Rooms have high ceilings, carved furniture, murals, and polished wood floors
  • Suites have marble-floored bathrooms with bathtubs and separate showers
  • All rooms have flat-screen TVs, minibars, and electric kettles
  • Lovely outdoor swimming pool and hot tub
  • Indoor-outdoor restaurant with a wood-fired pizza oven
  • Free breakfast includes made-to-order eggs and pancakes
  • Small spa plus foot massage cabana
  • Bicycle and horse rentals available, plus car services can be booked
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Traditional look in rooms verges on dated
  • Temple next door is can be noisy during festivals
  • Terraces in Deluxe Rooms are unfurnished

Bottom Line

The 84-room Hotel at Tharabar Gate is a mid-range property tucked into beautiful garden grounds. It's conveniently located in the Bagan Archaeological Zone, near several of Old Bagan's main temples and close to a couple of restaurants. Rooms here have high ceilings, polished wood floors, handcrafted wooden furniture, and modern amenities like flat-screen TVs, minibars, and free Wi-Fi. The style is a bit dated, though more polished and with more local character when compared to its competition. The resort has a lovely outdoor pool, a small spa, and an atmospheric restaurant and bar with a wood-fired pizza oven. The Thande Hotel Bagan, which has a more scenic location with gorgeous Irrawaddy River views, is a comparable pick, but it's not within walking distance of local dining.

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Scene

Charming, simple hotel on lovely grounds

The Hotel at Tharabar Gate is hidden from the street outside, situated up a small gravel driveway. Guests are greeted by an enormous hand-carved wooden elephant statue set on a grassy lawn and pointing the way to the finely crafted teak pavilion ahead. Several large ceramic vases lead into the elegant and airy lobby, which is fronted by immense teak columns and has a sleek marble floor. The open-air structure overlooks the gardens outside. Rattan sofas and chairs with red cushions are interspersed throughout, while leafy palms in planters add a tropical touch. Glass cabinets display silks, ornate jewelry, and other Myanmar souvenirs and art pieces. The hotel's restaurant has a similar bright and breezy vibe, housed in an open-air structure that overlooks the gardens and pool. Wooden furniture and floors are paired with exposed brick walls, and the tables and chairs spill outside onto a poolside patio. All around, stone paths meander through grassy lawns, lush trees, tall palms, and flowering plants. Couples make up the bulk of guests here, though the hotel also draws groups of friends and families.

Location

Located right in the heart of the temple zone and close to several restaurants

The Hotel at Tharabar Gate is located right in the heart of the Bagan Archaeological Zone, which is full of the jaw-dropping ancient temples for which the area is famous. The large Ananda Patho Temple -- from which the hotel's restaurant takes its name -- is right next door, while the sunrise temple of Shwe San Daw is just five minutes away by car. The hotel makes a great base for visiting the temples, although festival times can be noisy, with loud music and loudspeakers blaring much of the day and night (it's atmospheric and authentic, but not all guests will be as enthusiastic as others). The hotel sits right next to a collection of small restaurants, including the renowned Be Kind To Animals vegetarian restaurant that's popular with tourists. New Bagan, which has more restaurants and tourist services, takes about 10 minutes to reach by car, while the airport is about a 20-minute drive from here.

Rooms

Elegant, high-ceilinged rooms with large stone terraces; suites have temple views

The hotel's 84 rooms consist of Deluxe Rooms and Suites, all of which have a traditional style that's well kept and clean. Decor includes polished wood floors and handcrafted teak tables and cabinets. High ceilings are ringed by murals of idyllic Burmese scenes. The rooms have large stone terraces out back -- although terraces in Deluxe Rooms are unfurnished -- while suites' terraces have day beds, tables and chairs, and large umbrellas, as well as lovely temple views. When it comes to interiors, suites also offer more space and have separate living rooms. 

Modern amenities in all rooms include air-conditioning, flat-screen televisions with cable TV channels, electric kettles for coffee or tea, electronic safes, minibars, umbrellas, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also supplies free bottled water and a welcome fruit basket, plus suites get a bottle of local wine upon arrival. Bathrooms are large, stocked with full toiletries, and Deluxe Room bathrooms have shower/tub combos. Suite bathrooms are a bit more upscale, with marble floors as well as separate bathtubs and walk-in showers.

Features

Restaurant and free breakfast, outdoor pool and hot tub, and small spa

The hotel's lush garden grounds include a lovely outdoor swimming pool with a hot tub. There are padded loungers all around the pool, but much of the space is shaded -- there is a large open lawn next to the pool that offers more lounging space in the sun. The hotel also has a small spa offering facials and aromatherapy treatments, and there's a foot massage cabana right next to the pool.

For dining and drinking, the Ananda restaurant, named after the adjacent temple, serves a free buffet breakfast as well as lunch and dinner in a covered open-air dining room. There are also tables set up under the trees by the pool. Breakfast includes an array of Western and local options, with made-to-order items like eggs and pancakes. Ananda is the only restaurant in Bagan to have a wood-fired pizza oven, with pizza specials every afternoon. The menu also features Burmese and Asian cuisine, along with international specialties. There's a decent wine list, and the circular bar under parasols by the pool whips up cocktails in the hotel's most popular hangout.

Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel and parking is free for those with their own transport. The hotel can provide a variety of tourist services, including bicycle and horse rentals, car services, and laundry.

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Address

Near Tharabar Gate, Old Bagan Nyaung Oo Township, Bagan, Mandalay Region, Myanmar