Address:     171 Upper Pansodan Road
Year built:   1995-2015
Architect:    Unknown

Parts of the hotel still remain under construction at the time of writing and only two floors are being rented out in what the management calls a “soft opening”. Work on this site began as early as the mid-1990s, but was delayed by the Asian financial crisis, suffering similar struggles to the Centrepoint Towers. Once finished, the five-star hotel (financed by a Hong Kong-based investor) will have more than 300 rooms, adding much-needed capacity to Yangon’s market.

The building features minimalistic interpretations of pagoda architecture

Although it gives the impression of belonging to an international chain, this is an independently operated hotel. The rooms on offer are more spacious than those of competitors in the same price range, and tastefully furnished. But—for the time being, at least—you may be unsettled by the hotel’s “construction site” feel: for example, the current entrance leads through a tunnel to the makeshift reception area. The architects deserve credit for their ambition. This is a fearless and exuberant take on Myanmar architecture, differing from the all-too-common faceless tower blocks. Unfortunately, stone-made pyatthat roofs do not convey the same lightness and elegance as traditional temple designs.

Ornamental roof decorations imitating temple architecture

On Upper Pansodan Road and only a short walk from Kandawgyi Lake, the hotel is set against the greens of the adjacent Zoological Garden, apart from the hustle and bustle of downtown Yangon. An open sewer in front of the hotel illustrates that infrastructure remains a big challenge in the city.