The Strand Hotel Yangon is one of the few hotels that can boast of their own Wikipedia entry. The Strand Hotel is the grande dame of hotels in Myanmar (Burma), a Victorian palace built in 1901 by the Sarkies brothers, who happened to be the founders of the equally historic Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Located in the heart of the city, its 32 spacious suites harken back to a bygone age of timeless colonial elegance with its teakwood floors and high ceilings. The hotel proudly displays a private collection of local art and antiques.
The Strand Cafe (pictured below) is one of the most charming places in the city to dine; they serve Burmese and Western dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The hotel has a restaurant called The Strand Grill with vaulted ceiling skylights, and is one of the best restaurants in the city. If all you care for are drinks, the Strand Bar is ideal for cocktails. You can almost imagine Somerset Maugham perched on a bar stool next to you swirling a glass of gin and tonic.
I was impressed by the renovation of The Strand Hotel especially since all the other colonial buildings around it have been allowed to sink into disrepair. Despite the decaying condition of many buildings in Rangoon, the city is still a wonderful place to visit, not the least because the people are very warm and friendly, and their magnificent pagodas, such as Shwedagon, are truly unforgettable.