From the moment the antique gong chimes to welcome you through the doors, you can see why the Belmond Governor’s Residence has the reputation of being Yangon’s most charming hotel. Located on a quiet backstreet in the leafy embassy district, this luxury family friendly hotel in Yangon is housed in a 1920s colonial style mansion, where fan-cooled verandahs and hand-carved teak furniture take you back to the bygone era of colonial Burma.
This luxury Yangon hotel boasts 49 spacious bedrooms, lush tropical gardens, two breezy restaurants, a cozy bar and a gorgeous swimming pool, where you can laze around on the sunloungers beneath the shade of a traditional Burmese parasol.
Bedtime at the Belmond Governor’s Residence
The bedrooms at this luxury hotel in Yangon are reached via winding pathways alongside lotus ponds in the tree-filled courtyard. Our home for our two-day stay at the Belmond Governor’s Residence was a Deluxe Garden Room.
The bedroom was a spacious 39 square metres. A four-poster King handcarved teak bed took centre stage and was decked out with billowing mosquito nets during turndown service every evening.
A sizeable lounge area included an L-shaped sofa bedecked with silk cushions, that comfortably accommodated both my children as a bed for the night. An additional bed can also be provided on request.
The room included all the mod-cons you would expect from a luxury hotel – mini bar, safe, TV with satellite channels, hairdryer, tea/coffee making, slippers and bathrobes and a lovely welcome fruit basket with local tropical fruit. The bathroom was also a good size and featured a large stone bath with shower.
Playtime at the Belmond Governor’s Residence
The highlight of this family friendly Yangon hotel is undoubtedly the fan-shaped swimming pool. It is the perfect place to cool off after a hot day of sightseeing on the dusty streets of Yangon, with plenty of sunloungers, shaded by traditional Burmese parasols.
We particularly loved the large shallow area, making it easy for the kids to play by themselves while we lazily watched from our sunloungers. The traditional conical hats and fans on each lounger were also a welcome addition.
There is also a large grassy lawn for the kids to run around on, where they were delighted to find geese and ducks resting under the bushes, and fish in the many lotus ponds surrounding the property. The resident peacocks wandering at will were another source of intrigue for the kids.
Unfortunately I didn’t have time to check out the Governor’s Oasis spa, but I did have a quick peek at the menu, which includes an indulgent collection of facials and body therapies, using traditional organic ingredients.
The Belmond Governor’s Residence runs a complimentary half day cycling tour of Yangon every day, and they can also arrange tours to the nearby pagodas, markets and museums, in addition to a traditional Myanmar cooking class, which includes a market visit to buy the fresh ingredients.
Dinnertime at the Belmond Governor’s Residence
Breakfast at this family friendly Yangon hotel is served on the verandah overlooking the swimming pool – a tranquil way to begin the day before heading into the busy streets of downtown Yangon. Here we enjoyed a generous buffet of local and international treats, including freshly squeezed juices, fresh fruit, cheeses and cold cuts, pastries, egg station, curries, and local favourite Mohinga (rice noodle and fish soup).
For lunch and dinner, there is a choice of two restaurants – the downstairs Mandalay Restaurant and the upstairs Burmese Curry Table. At the Mandalay Restaurant, you can eat inside in air-conditioned comfort, or choose to sit outside on the verandah where the lotus ponds and swimming pool are illuminated with twinkling lanterns.
Here a selection of international specialties are on offer, carefully prepared using local Myanmar ingredients. You can expect dishes such as Brown Butter Glazed Ayeyarwady Delta Prawns, served with asparagus, pumpkin prawn-bisque risotto and parmesan cracker, and Seared Hokkaido Scallops served with red bell pepper puree and Myanmar ginger salad.
The Mandalay restaurant also specializes in US Prime and Wagyu beef steaks, freshly imported from farms in Boise, Idaho. Everything we ate here was excellently executed, and was amongst the best food we enjoyed in Myanmar. It also boasts one of the best wine lists we came across. The kids menu here features all the usual suspects such as fish and chips, pasta and chicken nuggets. Our only disappointment with the restaurants was that there was no a la carte Burmese option, apart from on the room service menu.
Upstairs in a spacious lounge overlooking the gardens you will find the Burmese Curry Table. This buffet style restaurant allows you to sample a wide range of Burmese dishes, including fragrant local curries, fresh and spicy salads, vegetable and rice dishes, and an impressive array of garnishes and chutneys. We particularly liked the live noodle and grill stations – oh, and the fact it came with free-flow Myanmar beer!
For evening cocktails, you can choose to chill out in the upstairs open-air Mindon Lounge with its comfy sofas or head downstairs to the Kipling bar, a cosy watering hole named after Rudyard Kipling, whose famous ‘Mandalay’ poem highlights the romanticism of the colonial Burma of his day.
In the ‘hood
There are plenty of things to do in Yangon with kids. The highlight is definitely the Shwedagon Pagoda – Myanmar’s most sacred pagoda. You can easily spend a few hours exploring the many stupas, pagodas and worship halls here, and it is just a five-minute drive from the hotel.
Downtown Yangon is also just a ten-minute drive from the hotel. Head here to take in all the relics of the colonial district, visit the Sule Pagoda and National Museum, and spend some time browsing for souvenirs amongst the 2,000 stalls of the Bogyoke Aung San Market. Read more about what to do in Yangon in our article One Day in Yangon with Kids.
The Belmond Governor’s Residence is a very special hotel and we loved returning to this little oasis in Yangon after a full day of exhausting sightseeing. The colonial setting is so charming, and we loved all the antique touches scattered around the hotel – from the teak furniture to the amazing antique gramophone in the Kipling bar.
In addition to being comfortable and charming, the Belmond Governor’s Residence also provides all the amenities to ensure you have a hassle-free stay: there is an ATM machine in reception, free WIFI throughout the hotel and even an in-house shop selling a nice collection of treats and wine. If you are heading on elsewhere in Myanmar, you might want to stock up here before you go.
We were so well looked after by the staff – who tirelessly picked up our kids to ring the gong in reception, and happily organized transport, and additional bedding when requested.
If you are looking for a family friendly luxury hotel in Yangon, I would definitely recommend the Belmond Governor’s Residence.
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Mum on the Move received a media rate at the Belmond Governor’s Residence for the purposes of writing this review. This in no way affected my review and all opinions, as always, are honest and my own.