Backpackers should plan on spending around $15 per night for a simple room in one of the town's older and dirtier hotels. The rooms in the $25-$30 range are generally cleaner but mostly no-frills. Spending $50 to $60 will get you a room at one the nice boutique hotels, such as our favourite, La Maison Birmane Inn. Additionally, honeymooners and big spenders have a handful of options.
The most expensive resorts in the area are found directly on Inle Lake and they go for up to several hundred dollars per night. Currently 14 resorts are located on the lake, with developers pushing to add more while lake inhabitants protest. We did not visit or review any of the resorts located on Inle Lake.
In general, all hotels in Nyaung Shwe offer free WiFi in the rooms; exceptions are The Gypsy Inn (where it's only available in the lobby) and May Guesthouse (two of the rooms aren't within the WiFi signal).
Hotels we visited offered breakfast included in room rates; the meal generally consists of eggs, choice of coffee or tea, toast, fruit and juice. Most are happy to provide a local-style dish if you let them know in advance.
La Maison Birmane is a boutique hotel consisting of bungalows of two sizes, with the larger referred to as chalets. We rate this joint as the best hotel in town: very well designed, cosy and charming. It sits in a very quiet and clean Burmese neighbourhood that consists mostly of large bamboo huts. A small restaurant is at the hotel's entrance and offers traditional Burmese and Thai-influenced... Read our full review of La Maison Birmane Inn.
The Golden Empress Hotel is in a quiet part of town, about a 10-minute walk to Yone Gyi Street, where most foreign travellers can be found. The hotel, only about a year old, consists of a mostly pine wood interior and is airy, making for a very pleasant atmosphere. Rooms are simple but comfortable, and include hot water, fan, mosquito net and large beds. There's no air-con, but this isn't a... Read our full review of Golden Empress Hotel.
The Inle Star Motel is located on the canal and offers some of the best views in town. It's in a bustling area, near where boats depart for a trip out to the lake. The building appears to be brand new and features 13 rooms, all spotless, and equipped with WiFi, hot water and wall mounted flat-panel TV. Bathrooms are fully stocked with quality toiletries. Some rooms have air-con, with the best... Read our full review of Inle Star Motel.
The charming Teakwood Hotel, located on a quiet street near the centre of town, is set in a lovely garden. The hotel is run by a friendly English-speaking family who've been in business for 18 years. All rooms are cosy, with shiny hardwood floors and large clean bathrooms. Rooms have no TV and are all equipped with WiFi. The common room, on the hotel's second floor, serves as an excellent area to... Read our full review of Teakwood Hotel.
The Viewpoint Lodge, under Western management, is the most expensive and luxurious accommodation option in Nyung Shwe. A series of cottages are built over the water and offer lovely views, especially during sunset. Rooms are large, offer a separate living room area and large private balcony. The minibar is electricity-free, cooled by ice only, with a separate compartment stocked with liquor and... Read our full review of Viewpoint Lodge and Fine Cuisines.
Hotel Amazing is a two-storey strip of 16 rooms that overlook a stream on the eastern part of town. An upscale restaurant is built over the stream with water flowing down the side. Rooms are clean and spacious and include a daybed, soft mattresses, TV, phone, hot and cold shower, minibar and WiFi. The televisions are small screen and bulky; it's surprising that a hotel in this price range hasn't... Read our full review of Hotel Amazing.
The May Guesthouse is on a quiet street that's easy walking distance to several of the town's most popular restaurants as well as the night market. Rooms are clean but simple, contain very narrow bathrooms and have beds that are quite firm. We dealt with a friendly staff member who spoke English fluently and was knowledgable about the area. All rooms contain an outdoor seating area, great for... Read our full review of May Guesthouse.
Nan Da Wunn is a good choice for budget conscious backpackers in Nyaung Shwe who aren't too fussed about cleanliness. The cheaper rooms, while in need of a thorough scrubbing (especially the bathrooms), are tolerable considering the price. Our bathtub was unusable and TV didn't work but the private outdoor seating area, strong WiFi and excellent breakfast made up for the hotel's flaws. For $10... Read our full review of Nan Da Wunn Hotel.
The Lucky Bright Hotel is an ageing building that appears to be run by a group of teens glued to a television. It's in a quiet area, across the street from a large and abandoned 'sports field' and a five-minute walk from several restaurants and the canal. Photos of the rooms on the hotel's website didn't quite resemble what we were shown: cruddy bathrooms and cheap/bubbling vinyl flooring. The... Read our full review of Lucky Bright Hotel.
The Gypsy Inn is one of the first hotels seen by travellers who reach Nyaung Shwe via Inle Lake and its location is the only positive feature we could find -- the aloof and unconcerned manager certainly isn't one. Perhaps they feel that their location will sell the rooms so there's no need to be friendly. The room we were shown had gaudy pink walls and a musty odour, but in fairness was kept... Read our full review of Gypsy Inn.