With a recent increase in visitors to Hpa-an, the accommodation has improved enormously. Popular Soe Brothers’ Guesthouse is the top backpacker choice in town, though Parami and Galaxy are good alternatives. All are located in the town centre on or near Thit Sar Street. Thidar has a couple of grungier guesthouse options we'd only suggest as last resorts. Some very good new spots up around the lake include Hotel Glory and the Gabbana Hotel, while longer standing Royal Lake Inn has some cheap though basic options too. Other midrange options slightly out of the centre are Hotel United and Grand Hill, though they are past their primes.
Our slightly out of town choice would be Than Lwin Paradise, which is the only hotel to have a riverbank location. Further out again is flashy Zwegabin Resort and further again is upmarket Hpa-an Lodge. This new French-run resort is Hpa-an’s most upscale option but at around $200, we feel is overpriced. If you want to splash out maybe do it elsewhere as lodging in the middle of nowhere and missing out on the town’s gritty charm seems to be missing the point.
We’d expect more alternatives to open soon, so keep your eyes peeled.
It doesn’t look much from the outside, but little Galaxy Motel is a delight. The air-con, comfortable rooms are all one simple price and nothing fancy, but what makes Galaxy is the super friendly, helpful and fun owner. Her manner is infectious and all the staff – mainly extended family – can’t do enough to help. At $22 for a single or double, it’s not the cheapest choice in town,... Read our full review of Galaxy Motel.
A good location, great views, excellent rooms and friendly, helpful staff make 2015-built Gabbana our clear midrange pick in town. Furthermore their rates, for Burma at least, represent fine value for money. Set in a lower rise building, it's not as characterless as some of Hpa-an’s other new establishments. It has a small pond and garden out front, so some aesthetic efforts have been made,... Read our full review of Gabbana Hotel.
Ignore Hotel Glory's awful exterior because inside you'll find comfortable, tasteful rooms at good rates plus an enticing rooftop restaurant. Hotel Glory is a tall, thin concrete block painted an earth brown. The front gives directly onto the street and the reception area is decidedly unimpressive too. But get past this and the 2015-opened hotel offers spotless, well-appointed, tasteful and... Read our full review of Hotel Glory.
Despite Hpa-an being right on the Than Lwin River, Hotel Than Lwin Paradise is the only hotel we could find with a riverside location. Despite its name, Paradise is nothing flashy but rather a solid midrange resort (rather than hotel) with rows of individual chalets running perpendicular to the river. None of the chalets look directly onto the river, so there’s no squabbling over who gets... Read our full review of Hotel Than Lwin Paradise.
Once Hpa-an’s prime location for midrange and tour group accommodation Grand Hill is in need of a makeover or it risks being left behind by the town’s recent new additions, though its rooms do remain perfectly adequate. The location is a drawback too, as it isn’t really walking distance from the centre. Most rooms are individual concrete bungalows that are clean and comfortable enough... Read our full review of Grand Hill Hotel.
Soe Brothers is Hpa-an's most popular backpacker pick. It has a pleasantly turned out interior, with clean and well maintained rooms and communal bathrooms. The set up of Soe Brothers begins with a cramped reception run by a helpful old Burmese gentleman and where every inch of wall space is coated with maps, bus timetables and print-outs of day-tour itineraries. It bears more than a passing... Read our full review of Soe Brothers Guesthouse.
There’s not too much choice in the centre of town but Parami Motel, with its cheap fan and shared bathroom deals plus some air-con options, does makes for a good back up if either of the better options -- Galaxy and Soe Brothers -- should be full. Although it looks relatively small from the outside, the hotel’s interior is ramshackle and sprawling. Room sizes and layouts vary considerably.... Read our full review of Parami Motel.
While Royal Lake Inn looks okay from the outside and has a great location amid trees overlooking the western end of Khan Thar Yar Lake, its room are only just at best adequate, and at worst seriously tatty. It's a shame really as some rooms do have views over the lake, and the surrounding gardens may have been at one time well-tended. We can imagine that when it first opened, however many... Read our full review of Royal Lake Inn (Kan Thar Yar Guesthouse).
Resort-style Zwegabin Hotel looks great from the outside, with spacious chalets set in a park-like garden, and this carries through inside to the clean, well-appointed and airy rooms. Our main gripe is its location. While it does have a splendid view of its namesake mountain, there does happen to be the main Hpa-An–Mawlamyine highway right in front of the resort, plus it's around four... Read our full review of Zwegabin Hotel.
The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.