I searched TripAdvisor and Hotel booking sites for months before settling for the Yadanarbon Hotel in Mandalay. It's location close to the Railway Station allowed me to stay flexible in terms of transportation to and from Mandalay. In the end I flew in, so it did not really matter. However, I was initially planning to walk around the city a lot. Though once seeing how dusty Mandalay was, I did not really walk anywhere and took motorcycle taxis.
The Yadanarbon Hotel is located between 76th and 77th Street on 31st Street, pretty central. The area is not a pretty one with a view onto a river or anything. It is rather located right in the heart of a local community, with markets and living areas right behind the hotel. It is not a thru street, so traffic was light at night.
The room was relatively quiet, at the end of a floor and away from the elevator. The only un-nerving noise came from tourists slamming their doors at any time of the day and night! Internet was free but not really good. I relied mostly on my own local SIM card for service. However they do have a personalized password, which changes every 3 days.
The roof top restaurant was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I used it every night for dinner, which had plenty of vegetarian options. Every night there is a music/dance performance, followed by a puppet show. I literally saw it too many times, since I ate there every night. The view from the roof top restaurant is good, however with nothing spectacular to see.
What really stands out at the Yadanarbon is their service. From the lobby to the restaurant everyone was extremely helpful and very willing to make sure you have a great stay there! The bellboy at the door kept organizing motorcycle taxis for me at all times. I have also used the Hotel's limo and driver service for my visit to the 3 ancient cities. Initially I was planning to use OK Bus for the trip from Mandalay to Bagan and the Hotel's staff booked the ticket for me. When it turned out that I wasn't willing to take the ride in an overloaded van, the Hotel organized their own driver and car within minutes at an acceptable price. Really outstanding service!
The room itself was a bit dark, but comfortable with all the amenities I needed. I would rate the Yadanarbon Hotel in my own rating system as follows:
Location 5 of 5 (as a conscious decision)
Room Size 4 of 5
WiFi free and working 3 of 5
Breakfast included and yummy 5 of 5
Staff competency and friendliness 5 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 5 of 5
I would most definitely go back to the Yadanarbon on another visit!