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Early in the 20th Century The Strand Hotel Yangon was declared by John Murray in his Handbook for Travellers as ‘the finest hostelry East of Suez.’ Conceived by Aviet and Tigran Sarkies (two of the four entrepreneurial Sarkies brothers of Armenian descent) The Strand Yangon opened in 1901. Much of its glamour and elegance remains. The menu here is excellent, primarily based upon classic French cuisine. The rooms come with hand-crafted wooden beds and high ceilings and large windows allow natural light to flood in during the daytime.
The Strand Hotel Yangon also offers an especially good high tea, both a classic (British) and a Myanmar version. Both are exquisite and come with an excellent choice of black and herbal teas. The Strand Bar is the architecturally the finest in any Yangon hotel. It is said to have once been a hub of intrigue and oriental skulduggery; today it is mostly a place for a quiet and heavily air-conditioned drink, but it can fill up with tourists, expats and locals alike, milling about the billiards table and sipping Strand Sours during Friday’s Happy Hour. Coupled with the colonial ambience and top-notch cuisine, The Strand has a feeling of understated gravitas about it.