If you’re looking for that Inle-meets-Maldives style of accommodation but don’t want to be imprisoned on an overpriced trap in some corner of the lake, then this is for you. But it won’t come cheap! Mind you, the rooms are superb and definitely superior to the lake ones we looked at. If you do fancy splashing out, this is one of our top recommendations.
Viewpoint -- the lodge and restaurant -- is the odd-shaped, reddish-orange building you’ll find immediately across the bridge on the right as you leave town on the continuation of Yone Gyi Road. The two-storey section surrounded by balconies you see from the street is the bar and restaurant, while the rooms are secluded around a pretty lily-covered pond out back. There are some 20 cottage suites split between 10 stilt houses over the pond, plus a handful of superior room options at the start of the wooden walkway just past the spa area and reception.
Interiors are as you’d expect: very tastefully decorated in local style. Huge balconies provide great views over the surrounding countryside. (It is situated right on the edge of town.) Suites are so big (more than 50 square metres) that we actually managed to get lost inside one. Facilities include huge TVs, DVD players, small libraries in each room, double-glazed windows, thermal and sound insulated walls and organic vanity sets. They make a big deal out of their eco-credentials and while that’s admirable we did find some aspects gimmicky, such as the Shan style ‘fridge’ – an earthenware pot enclosed with ice – since presumably the ice is sourced from an electric freezer anyway. The restaurant serving Western as well as purported ‘Shan nouvelle cuisine’ is also a bit on the ‘pretentious moi?’ side but more on that in our food section
The quiet location is smartly chosen and manages to combine a short walk up the main street to all the eating and drinking spots and market. The boats and waterfront are directly in front of the main restaurant building too. Plans are afoot to add more chalets (they do have plenty of space) and even a pool. A pool on a lake could be interesting to see and if it doesn’t result in a price rise, it’s good news.
Overall Viewpoint Lodge is a classy spot. If you were going to pick anywhere in Inle for a honeymoon or romantic getaway, this should be it. Inle Lake View is perhaps a better deal money-wise, but this resort is conveniently located in town and it compares well with other top end spots such as Thanaka or La Maison Birmane
Prices quoted below are for low season (May, June and September) and high season, 15 October to 15 March. In between is an in-between "summer" price.
Type of room, low and high season prices
Room: Superior double room, low season: US$75, high season US$130. Notes:
Room: Suite, low season: US$119, high season US$230. Notes: