Since the country’s military rule ended in 2011, Myanmar has seen an unprecedented boom in tourism. Places like Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay are now popular tourist hotspots, and businesses – whether high-end restaurants or luxury hotels – are following suit.
The latest addition to the landscape is Rosewood Yangon, which opened its doors recently in the bustling city of Yangon. Showcasing a fusion of contemporary Burmese style and old-world grandeur, it is housed in one of the grandest and most expansive buildings from the colonial era: the former New Law Courts that were built in 1927. The hotel’s location in the heart of the historic district by the banks of the Irrawaddy River make it the perfect base for traveller’s looking to explore the heritage side of things that the city has to offer.
Guests arrive at the hotel’s majestic portico, lit by three immense 1920s chandeliers, before stepping through two sets of grand iron-framed doors into the lobby. Above the reception desk, a stunning mural by famed local artist Than Kyaw Htay immediately evokes the charm of Myanmar with sunset-bathed pagodas atop peaks floating over a rugged landscape. Every step throughout the hotel showcases the hotel’s transformation – one that preserves the architectural past while offering the ultimate in contemporary comfort.
A wide range of facilities available under one roof includes five distinctive dining venues; recreational options including a spa, a rooftop infinity pool and a fitness studio; extensive meeting facilities featuring a grand ballroom, bridal suite, event studio, Heritage Salon and three meeting rooms; and a sophisticated retail gallery and barber shop.
The hotel’s 205 stylishly designed rooms and suites are carefully crafted to highlight the architectural beauty of the building. Along with high ceilings and abundant natural light, most guest rooms feature patios and balconies with view overlooking the city or beautifully landscaped internal courtyards.
The refined Executive Rooms, starting at 45 square meters, are thoughtfully conceived to create comfortable, residential-style living spaces that are equally suited to business and leisure stays. The property’s suite collection boasts the 90-square-meter Rosewood Suite, which includes a separate enclosed bedroom and a spacious terrace that is ideal for afternoon tea or in-room dining experiences.
The Suites have been tastefully decorated using a combination of the old world and the new. Dazzling lacquerware and papier-mâché objets d’art from upcountry Bagan, along with handwoven bed-throws and cushions created by artisans from non-profit Turquoise Mountain, evoke a sense of place. Paintings by Nyein Chan Su lend a contemporary ambience to the elegant guest suites with his bold use of color in semi-abstract compositions. Meanwhile, Pyayt Phyo Aung’s stylized portraits of young Myanmar women wearing traditional thanaka paste on their faces, displayed at guestroom entryways, create a warm and welcoming touch.
High-Concept Dining and Entertainment Experiences
Each of Rosewood Yangon’s five dining venues possesses a distinctive character, with an accent on local producers and seasonality.
Vibrant and fast-paced NOVA European Brasserie features an open kitchen and a huge skylight for natural daylight dining. Seasonal vegetables and herbs are sourced directly from farms in the Shan State of northern Myanmar and fresh seafood comes from the Andaman Sea: at least 70 percent of all ingredients are the bounty from Myanmar’s land and waters.
The menu boasts European dishes such as Salmon Pastrami and Roasted Porchetta, along with contemporary Burmese fare. A well-balanced wine list with an excellent mix of international labels complements the menu. Conveniently located near the entrance of the restaurant, a crudo bar serves the freshest oysters, seafood and more.
Destined to become a popular Yangon gathering place, Living Room & Patisserie is the perfect venue for a cup of local artisan coffee or premium quality tea paired with chocolates and homemade French desserts, while at CourtRoom Bar, an impressive heritage décor featuring restored dark teak wall paneling creates a luxurious, intimate experience. Here the city’s best whiskey selection takes centre stage, along with bespoke cocktails, a curated selection of fine wines and sophisticated bite-size snacks. The Judge’s Chamber, a separate lounge in CourtRoom Bar, offers a world-class variety of premium cigars amidst faithfully restored wood parquet in a space where the New Law Courts’ judges once deliberated. A large-scale portrait of a cheroot-smoking Pa-O grandmother, painted with acrylic on canvas by Zay Zay Htut, presides over the lounge.
When it opens later this year, the rooftop Y Bar will be the jewel in the crown of the heritage building. The only luxury bar in the city offering a panoramic view over Yangon River, it will undoubtedly become a prestigious evening gathering place for Yangonites, expatriates and international guests – with a live DJ at night and a selection of cocktails inspired by Yangon’s eclectic streets.A Chinese restaurant is also set to open late 2020.
Rich Cultural Experience
To showcase the richness and dynamism of Myanmar culture, Rosewood Yangon has created a suite of bespoke experiences to provide guests with an insider perspective including its “Rosewood Limited Edition” package, available from April 2020.
It consists of a one-of-a-kind arts and history experience in which visitors both preserve and help make history at this turning point of Myanmar opening up to the world. Guests have the exciting opportunity to discuss the Yangon’s preservation efforts with Dr. Thant Myint-U, Myanmar’s leading historian and writer, and founder of the Yangon Heritage Trust, in a rare private audience.
Guests also get a hands-on experience with Delphine de Lorme, artist and co-founder of Yangon Walls, and see how the city’s burgeoning creative community is responding to its modernisation. Together with de Lorne, guests will get the opportunity to rejuvenate Yangon’s back alleys with colourful murals. These and more rich experiences, plus three nights accommodation, are also included.
Relaxation & Recreation
The Fitness Studio offers a complete line of state-of-the-art fitness equipment, available 24 hours a day. The resident fitness trainer is available for assistance on request. An infinity swimming pool is also located at the rooftop level.
Additional facilities will be opening later this year, including a sophisticated retail gallery offering gifts and collectible souvenir items inspired by the hotel’s rich heritage and the local Burmese culture, while a classic barber shop will offer a premium grooming experience.
When it opens in late 2020, Sense, A Rosewood Spa, Rosewood’s award-wining, signature spa brand, will offer guests a sanctuary of simplicity and purity. Time-honoured Burmese practices will be perceptively customised to guests’ needs, and paired with natural ingredients that are sustainable, carefully cultivated and thoughtfully sourced.
For Special Occasions
Rosewood Yangon boasts prestigious event spaces, including the Grand Ballroom, the Heritage Salon and the Terrace Suite for hosting exclusive private celebrations. The hotel’s majestic and capacious Grand Ballroom offers one of the most distinguished and elegant event venues in Yangon with its lofty, coffered ceilings and custom-designed crystal chandeliers. A movable partition allows the 1,400-sq.m. ballroom to be divided into two spaces. Meanwhile the Heritage Salon, formerly Parliament’s Chamber of Nationalities (1948-1962), has been meticulously restored and modernized to become, in late 2020, one of the city’s most impressive and unique venues with its double-height ceiling and decorative frieze, renovated to all its past glory.
Introductory offers are available from now until 30 June 2020 and include personal butler services throughout the stay, roundtrip airport transfers and breakfast at NOVA European Brasserie. “Heritage Discovery” with rates starting from USD320, and “Enchanting Yangon” from USD350 for a minimum two-night stay, include selections of hotel signature experiences.