musings on music, travel, books, and life from Southeast Asia

During my many visits to Mandalay I’ve stayed at four different hotels, always searching for the “perfect fit”. Except for the first dump, which will remain nameless, they’ve all been pretty good, but the best of the lot, or at least the one that I’m most satisfied with, is the Hotel Queen.


Located on 81st Street, it’s just down the road from my favorite restaurant in town, Aye Myit Tar, adding to the convenience factor, at least for me. It’s a longer walk to the place where I rent my bicycle, but at least the Hotel Queen’s location is a whole lot quieter than the chaotic area on 27th Street, near the Zeigyo Market, where I used to stay. I don’t miss the noise on that street at all.


The rooms at the Queen are more than adequate (the usual hot water, AC, cable TV), but it’s the friendliness and attentive service of the staff that really makes the place shine. Ma Khin Thida and her crew do a great job of making you feel welcome, and the head of housekeeping, Kyaw Zay Htun, is a heads up fellow who always takes care of any special requests. These people are gold.


Another bonus is the free breakfast. At many hotels and guesthouses in Myanmar this free meal usually consists of some bland “American Breakfast” offering such as eggs and toast, maybe some fresh fruit if you’re lucky. But the Queen offers a very ample breakfast buffet of Western and Asian dishes, with treats such as the Burmese monhinga noodles, and a good selection of fruit and juices. The monhinga, in fact, is so good that I’ll often have a second bowl. No wonder I can never lose weight on these trips, no matter how much I cycle around town.


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