One of South East Asia’s most enduring landmarks will enter a new era, as Myanmar’s grand dame hotel, The Strand Yangon, reopens on 15th November 2016 after a restoration project that has seen this luxury heritage hotel ushered elegantly into the 21st century.
“The Strand Yangon was one of the first luxury colonial outposts to open in South East Asia, founded in 1901 by the famous hoteliers, the Sarkies brothers, and it remains one of the most architecturally beautiful landmarks in the region,” commented Olivier Trinquand, Vice President, The Strand Hotel & Cruise. “This latest project has preserved the heritage at the heart of the hotel and honours the Strand’s part in Myanmar’s history, whilst creating a more relaxed, refined and glamorous setting for 21st century travellers and explorers.
Trinquand continues, “We are delighted to continue our investment in the revival of the Strand name in Myanmar, having successfully launched our 28-cabin ship, The Strand Cruise, on the Ayeyarwady River just over ten months ago.”
As part of the six-month renovation of The Strand Yangon, local artisans have meticulously restored every original architectural detail of The Strand Yangon, from the teak panelling and antique bedsteads, to traditional Myanmar lacquer ware and marble flooring. Meanwhile, the hotel’s 31 light and airy rooms and suites have had their traditional décor complemented with vintage inspired textiles and original artwork, updated with modern air conditioning systems and the latest in-room technology.
The warm welcome and intuitive service of the hotel’s team is at the heart of every Strand experience and is considered its greatest asset. During the hotel’s closure period, the entire team, including the Strand’s famous butlers, have undergone extensive service training led by the hotel’s new Operations Manager, Mark Murraybrown, who has an impressive track record in developing the teams of some of London’s finest restaurants. Mark worked for many years with the Caprice Holdings restaurant group in London and was a key member of the team at the launch of the J. Sheekey’s, Daphne’s and Scott’s of Mayfair, at the latter of which he held the position of Headwaiter for many years.
Yangon’s most elegant dining room, The Strand Restaurant, with its high vaulted ceiling, sparkling chandeliers and museum quality black and gold lacquer panels from Bagan, has welcomed a new Executive chef, Christian Martena. Trained within some of Europe’s most famous Michelin-starred kitchens before running his own acclaimed restaurant in Bangkok, Chef Christian has spent the past few months travelling around Myanmar to visit suppliers and remote farming communities to immerse himself the country’s distinctive regional cuisines and source the best of Myanmar’s produce and spices to create a unique gastronomic experience. The Strand Restaurant will be open from 1st December 2016 for dinner four nights a week and serve a seasonal menu of classic Mediterranean dishes enhanced with locally sourced ingredients.
Chef Christian will oversee the food concept throughout the hotel, including the more casual Strand Café, a warm and welcoming respite from the bustle of the Yangon Road, open all day for coffee, pastries or a light lunch of Western or traditional Myanmar cuisine. The Strand Café is also home to the famous Strand High Tea, which has been preserved and expanded with more traditional and Myanmar delicacies.
The hotel’s bar, for over a century the epicentre of social life in Yangon and gathering place for many adventurers, raconteurs and explorers such as Sir Noël Coward, Orsen Welles and Rudyard Kipling, has been renamed The Sarkies Bar at The Strand Hotel in honour of the hotel’s founders, Aviet and Tigran Sarkies, the brothers responsible for many of the finest colonial hotels in the region, such as Raffles in Singapore and the Eastern & Oriental in Penang. The teakwood-panelled bar has been given a glamorous ‘club’ like atmosphere, with leather seating and an extensive new menu of cocktails and single malt whiskies.
Superior Suites at The Strand Yangon start from US$334 (from AUD$436) per room per night including breakfast and taxes. To celebrate its reopening, The Strand Yangon is offering a special ‘New Era’ package, offering guests booking a Superior Suite for two nights or more for stays* from 15th November 2016 to 30th April 2017 a complimentary upgrade to a Deluxe Suite (subject to availability) along with return airport transfers, High Tea for two, a bottle of wine in room on arrival and a Myanmar degustation menu for two at The Strand Café. *Blackout dates may apply. www.hotelthestrand.com
The Strand Yangon is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and is currently managed by GCP Hospitality www.gcphospitality.com.