Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Well, actually my room did not have much of a view. I saw the back side of the hotel and if I leaned out I would have seen a bit of the street below. But the roof top had a great view. And the roof top was the reason for me to change reservations and stay here, at the Grand United Hotel chain. There were three branches and I chose the one called "21 street", which is almost next to the "Chinatown" one. 

It's not that easy to find. Even my taxi driver missed it and we had to back up (in a one way street). But for my purposes it was a great location to walk everywhere in Yangon. And since I wanted to see plenty of sunrises and sunsets, the rooftop restaurant was the best option. I enjoyed my views every day!

The rooms seemed to depend on the floor and the room number. Mine was great and had everything I needed. With a few exceptions it was actually better than what I had expected from Yangon, but given the high prices of Yangon hotels it was in line what what can be expected. 

In my own rating the Grand United 21st branch would look like this: 

Location 5 of 5 (as a conscious decision) 
Room Size 4 of 5 
WiFi free and working 1 of 5 (but OK at the rooftop)
Breakfast included and yummy 5 of 5 
Staff competency and friendliness 4 of 5 
Safety box in the room and adequate size 5 of 5 
Bathroom functionality 5 of 5
Room design and functionality 5 of 5 
Sounds 3 of 5

The WiFi connection was really bad for me. Probably the location of my room within the building, but I finally gave up. It was OK at the roof top level and to be fair, the hotel offers two PC stations in the lobby. 

The staff was mostly untrained in my opinion. Some were really friendly, but spoke almost no English and misunderstood some of the orders in the restaurant. Others were so neutral that you felt invisible, but in general they were all nice and tried to help. 

On a really positive note, the room had plenty of electric outlets, so charging batteries, phones, laptops etc was no problem at all. As expected we had many power outages, but the hotels generator would come on immediately. I also had hot water from the moment I turned on the shower. 

A word to the sounds though. Night times were great. Besides other customers throwing their doors into the lock or being too dumb to open it properly,  I was mostly undisturbed during the nights. During the daytime though the Hotel re-built the ground floor, broke down walls and the hammering went on all day long. I sometimes just left the hotel to get away from the noise during daytime. But that should be a temporary problem. 

All in all a better stay than I had anticipated, at a high price compared to other cities. There are cheaper Hotels and Hostels but not as nice as this one was. And of course there are many hotels at a much higher price. However seeing the Swedagon Pagoda every night from the dinner table has something that money can't buy. 

Shwedagon view (with zoom)



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