Following an extensive six-month renovation, Myanmar’s iconic hotel The Strand finally reopened its doors on 15th November 2016.
It may not be its original ink in entirety, but the grand dame institution that was built in 1901 will still retain much of its architectural detail – made perfect by local artisans, who meticulously restored its teak paneling, antique bedsteads, traditional Myanmar lacquer, marble floorings and more.
In its glorious past, the hotel was the preferred choice of famous 19th and 20th century literary figures such as Rudyard Kipling, Somerset Maugham and many more during their journeys to then-Rangoon. Paying homage to that heritage, the hotel’s 31 rooms and suites have had their traditional décor complemented with vintage-inspired textiles and original artwork, but updated with the latest technology.
“It is true that competition is getting tougher in Yangon with many new high-end hotels opening; however we have our advantages for being a heritage hotel and one the finest hotel East of Suez for over 100 years. We have our butler service, which you can’t find in Yangon anymore, and we’ve made some strategic upgrades including advanced air- conditioning and in-room technologies, as well as in the extensive staff training to ensure flawless personalised service which lives up to this grand and glamorous setting,” says Olivier Trinquand, Vice President of The Strand Hotel & Cruise.
Just as exciting are the changes in the hotel’s dining services – a longtime strength of the institution.
“Guests should enjoy the comfort, elegance and sense of history long associated with The Strand, and at the same time enjoy a new dining experience with attention to detail and personal service at the heart of everything we do,” says Mark Murraybrown, Operations Manager of The Strand.
With a new executive chef in tow, expect a new, unique and refreshing gastronomic experience. Trained within some of Europe’s most famous Michelin-starred kitchens before running his own acclaimed restaurant in Bangkok, Chef Christian Martena is finding himself right home here in Myanmar. Over the past few months he’s hit the ground running, traveling around the country to visit suppliers and remote farming communities, in order to immerse himself in the country’s distinctive regional cuisines.
Chef Martena and team will start welcoming guests at The Strand Restaurant beginning 1st December for dinner four nights a week, where they will be serving Mediterranean cuisine with modern twist.
Some other changes are also taking place at The Strand Café, home to the famous Strand High Tea, where customers can expect an a la carte menu with selection of Asian and international cuisines, signature Burmese dishes. The Afternoon Tea itself is available daily until 5:30 pm.
As for the hotel’s famous bar, it shall now be called The Sarkies Bar, in honour of the hotel’s founders, Aviet and Tigran Sarkies – the Armenian brothers behind many of the finest colonial hotels in the region, such as Raffles in Singapore and the Eastern & Oriental in Penang. The teakwood-paneled bar has been given a glamorous club-like atmosphere, with leather seating and an extensive menu of light comfort food, burger and salads for lunch; light bites and tapas for dinner; cigar menu; Strand Signature cocktails and list of 40+ single malt Whiskey labels.