For the last stop in Mandalay on our Myanmar adventures, we really wanted to find somewhere tranquil and relaxing. Though, this is obviously not easy in a large, bustling, busy city. Luckily enough I came across Hotel By The Red Canal. In this review I cover everything from how to get to Hotel By The Red Canal, staying in the Rakhine Room, what facilities are available and dining onsite at the Spice Garden Restaurant at Hotel By The Red Canal.
This is Mandalay’s only boutique hotel and from the second you step inside the grounds it is obvious you have found a slice of paradise. It feels a world away with tranquil ponds and lush gardens.
Where Is Hotel By The Red Canal?
No. 417 corner of 63 and, 22nd St, Mandalay 00952
Getting to Hotel By The Red Canal From Mandalay Airport
Unfortunately, Mandalay Airport is quite far outside of the city center itself so if you are wanting to stay central it is going to be a bit of a commute. The drive will take at least 1 hour. Traffic here is notorious and the closer you get into the city the more congested the roads. We decided the best option for us would be to take a grab taxi using the app. No doubt this is one of the best ways to travel within cities in Myanmar. The journey from Mandalay Airport to Hotel By The Red Canal cost us 15000 kyat.
Getting Around Mandalay
Hotel By The Red Canal is located close to many popular attractions around Mandalay. Though, I do not recommend walking further than a couple of kilometers as the sun here is intense which makes for one hot sweaty journey. Instead, your best option is using the grab app and take a tuk-tuk. There are plenty here so you will never be waiting too long. We never paid more than a couple of dollars around the city center.
A Relaxing City Stay: Hotel By The Red Canal Review
From the amount we stepped out of the taxi we were greeted by nothing but smiles from the staff. They have a little welcome area next to the street side with a decorate welcome board with all guests names on. This showed how organized they were and was a great start to our stay. We also received a refreshing welcome drink before being taken inside to the check-in area.
Staying In The Rakhine Room
Hotel By The Red Canal has four different types of rooms; Chin Room, Shan Room, Rakhine Room and Kachin Room. All fit 2 guests and some even have balconies which look out over the beautiful garden courtyard.
We had the Rakhine Room for our 2-night stay in Mandalay. First impressions, the room is very clean and has everything you need for a stay in Yangon. The king size bed was super comfy and there was even a lovely little fruit bowl set up on the table for us to enjoy. There was plenty of space in the room and it also featured a desk, minibar and lounging area.
I am always a fan of bathtubs in hotels and I was happy to discover one here. Slightly tucked behind a privacy wall in the bathroom it is the perfect place to relax at the end of the day. What truly stood out to me was all the little details in the bathrooms; from different types of soaps, bath gels and scrubs, there was a lot of attention to detail in here.
A great air con system keeps the room cool from the humidity of Mandalay and the super comfy bed provides an excellent nights sleep.
On-Site Dining At Hotel By The Red Canal
Waking up early we head downstairs to the Spice Garden Restaurant. This is a couple of steps away from the building where guests sleep and it is where the breakfast is held each morning. A buffet is set up along the bar counter, various fruits, breads, eggs and juices as well as cold meats and salads.
The breakfast food was certainly great and I was a big fan of the little pastries they provided. It was great also just being to relax overlooking the pool area while starting the day.
Dinner at the Spice Garden
The Spice Garden restaurant is one of the top rated Indian restaurants in Mandalay and the only Burmese-Indian restaurant in Mandalay. There are plenty of positive reviews on TripAdvisor saying just how great the food is.
Unfortunately, we did not have the best experience of dining there. The food was honestly tasteless and bland. When we had so many delicious Indian food experiences throughout Myanmar and expected a lot better. It was also much more expensive than any other meal we had eaten. The menu seemed priced strangely, for example, all naan bread is the same cost, no matter if you get it plain, butter, garlic or cheese, which is quite unusual.
Obviously, this is not a frequent occurrence as there are plenty of positive reviews. Though, we decided to get a tuk tuk to restaurants after that as there are really no other dining options within walking distance.
Facilities At Hotel By The Red Canal
As well as the Spice Restaurant, Hotel By The Red Canal also has access to a well-equipped gym on the third floor. We spent a good afternoon working out in their gym and I must say it was great. They had a variety of machines and weights to keep us busy.
Reception is 24hours and the staff are super friendly and happy to help. Arranging airport transfers, local taxis or recommending things to do around the area. First-time travelers to Mandalay will probably feel a little overwhelmed at first, so having helpful staff goes a long way to making you feel at home in an unfamiliar country.
There is also a pool available to use. This is perfect for providing afternoon relief from the hot Burmese sun.
Afternoon Tea & Cocktail Hour
One of my favorite parts of staying at Hotel By The Red Canal is the daily free events they put on for guests. This truly allows you to relax and make your stay here a step above the rest.
The first is the afternoon tea which is held on the balcony overlooking the garden and pool area. Offering free tea, coffee and small snacks we loved sitting outside and unwinding. If it is a bit warm for a hot drink they also have infused water available throughout the day.
In the evening the staff put on a delightful cocktail hour next to the pool. There were always 3 different cocktail options to choose from and the staff would also put together a plate of snacks for the guests as well. Though, a highlight is certainly the live music. Each night a lovely lady would come through and play music on one of the local traditional instruments.
Lastly, we also had the opportunity to try out their onsite Prana Spa. This was certainly a highlight of our stay and I highly recommend trying out the spa during your stay.
We decided to have a couples massage and were greeted by the lovely ladies at the reception of the hotel. They took us across the garden to a secret entrance to the spa. I honestly otherwise would have had no idea that it was even there! Once inside it was like going down into an underground cave. Sweet scents filled the air as we were served a delicious cup of tea to relax us into the experience. I have to give the massage a 10/10 as it was the best one I have ever had in Asia. I often get massages in New Zealand because of my back/posture issues. My masseuse could see there was an issue with my back and focused in on that area. I felt so amazing afterward knowing my back had a good workout.
The Best Mandalay Stay: Hotel By The Red Canal
Overall we really enjoyed my stay in Hotel By The Red Canal. This was a great stay in Mandalay and the ideal way to finish off our trip around Myanmar. We had a lovely relaxing and peaceful stay in our beautiful Rakhine Room. The staff couldn’t be any more accommodating or helpful. I hope this Hotel By The Red Canal review has been helpful and if you have questions let me know in the comments!
Any Questions? Let me know in the comments!
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Backpackers Wanderlust was a guest at Hotel By The Red Canal, however, as always, all opinions are my own.