Top of the range in Mawlamyine
It's got nothing to do with Rangoon's famous Strand Hotel but Mawlamyine's Strand does possess a prime spot on the road of the same name and is both the town's largest and most upmarket accommodation option at present.
The Mawlamyaing Strand, with yet another interesting town spelling variation, is located at the northern end of the riverfront road north of the central market and adjacent to Attran, so it also has some great views across the estuary. This relatively new five-storey construction is indeed probably the most imposing building in the downtown area and at least has the advantage of plenty of rooms, so you'll have a good chance of some availability in high season, though it's very popular with Thai tour groups.
Rooms are excellent and while price-wise it's firmly in the midrange category, it's definitely way more than twice as good as some of the rundown guesthouses offering shabby rooms at half this price. Rooms are spic and span with all mod cons, there's a spacious lobby with very helpful and friendly staff (Westerners are still something of a novelty), a bar and restaurant and a rather good buffet breakfast is included in the room rate. They also offer free WiFi, though not unusually for Burma, it didn't work when we visited. Superior rooms are really a good deal for Mawlamyine and the more expensive deluxe choice has larger rooms on higher floors, so better views. They also have large family rooms, called royal deluxe, which would be suitable for a couple with two or three kids.
By Mark Ord
Last updated on 5th October, 2013.