Competitive midrange option
No. 11, Kan St, Hlaing Township, Yangon T: (01) 500 822, (01) 503 986
Most would agree that the Royal White Elephant Hotel needs some sprucing up, and their renovations at time of visiting in October 2013 might make it a bit noisy, but what you get in this accommodation that is so close to Inya Lake makes it good value for dollar if you plan on not spending most of your time in downtown Yangon (Rangoon).
It seems like this hotel was in a transition phase at the time we visited. The outside of this tall and gated structure is impressive in size and combination of architecture styles, though a little worn out; the lobby is similarly a bit tired and organised a bit oddly. Staff are cordial and speak adequate English.
We were shown a superior room only, as the standards were all booked out or being renovated; in fact most rooms looked like they were in the process of a complete overhaul and even the superior we saw had a worker pouring concrete on the balcony. Standards are US$55/58 for a single/double; superiors are US$60/68 and the deluxe room is US$67/75. Amenities are the same in each room, but the standards are a bit narrower.
Amenities offer put this hotel in competition with many higher rated hotels; we saw a decent sized flatscreen TV set next to a fully stocked minibar, plus wooden chairs, tables, desk and wardrobe and tea- and coffee-making facilities. A mirror and bathtub in a clean hot water bathroom round out the offerings. There’s free WiFi but it doesn’t always reach the rooms, so check if this is important for you. A free breakfast buffet is offered but doesn’t change.
Do be warned that we have heard they have problems keeping these amenities working. TVs have been reported to be broken in some rooms and a lack of channels seems to be a consistent complaint.
The location is between Yangon International Airport and downtown. Bike World’s mechanic and rental shop is on the same block, so it’s also a great place to pick up a bicycle to ride around and see Inya Lake.
We feel that Royal White Elephant has a lot of potential and works well for the prices it’s charging; most other hotels of this calibre would be priced at twice the rate here, most likely because they’re downtown. If you don’t need to be in the centre, do bring earplugs during their renovations and when they are done – most likely before the SEA games in December 2013 – we expect this to be a good midrange choice.
By Christopher Smith
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.