Review: Engaging Myanmar – The Hotel Umbra Bagan

Introduction
Dragonair 252 A321 Economy Class Hong Kong to Yangon
Inya Lake Hotel Yangon
Yangon Airways 917 ATR 72-212 Yangon to Bagan Nyaung-U
Hotel Umbra Bagan
Teaching in Myanmar
Yangon Airways 910 ATR 72-212 Bagan Nyaung-U to Yangon
Myanmar Life Hotel Yangon
Dragonair 251 A321 Economy Class Yangon to Hong Kong


As the Hotel Umbra Bagan was where the bulk of our stay was situated, we were pretty much hoping that we’d get a good room. The hotel redirects to Agoda for bookings, which didn’t tell us much at the beginning, so we went in without high expectations, especially after a long day of children on our backs.

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Signage

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Exterior

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Exterior

The lobby was small though the staff were friendly and we were quickly checked in. Ayan and I were assigned room 908 in one the of the bigger buildings (there seem to be individual villas, too), which looked like a Grand Deluxe Room by the means of Agoda’s site.

It was a minute-long haul from the lobby across the villas into the bigger building, where all our rooms were situated.

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Main Building

From there it was up a flight of stairs to a pretty nicely decorated external hallway.

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Main Building Hallway

Our room was halfway across the hallway, with a traditional doll marking our room number. I found this a pretty “national” touch.

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Grand Deluxe Room Exterior

Interestingly there wasn’t a floorplan behind the door, but I guess that all makes sense when you have external hallways with a direct view of the pool…

The Bagan Hotel Umbra
Check-in: Monday, November 16, 2015
Room Type: Grand Deluxe Room
Room Number: 908
Stay duration: 4 nights
Check-out: Friday, November 20, 2015

To the right of the entryway was the bathroom and the room was right ahead.

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Grand Deluxe Room Entryway

I was pretty much speechless when I entered the room. While I’ve stayed in some pretty nice hotels on school trips, this rivalled one of the best I’ve EVER stayed in (and that’s saying a lot).

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Grand Deluxe Room

It featured a flat screen TV, two very comfortable loungers and a table, two equally comfortable beds and a balcony. While I don’t normally use decorative pillows, these pillows added an infinite amount of flavour to the room.

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Grand Deluxe Room Beds

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Grand Deluxe Room Loungers

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Grand Deluxe Room TV

There was also a desk by the door, though it was a reasonable distance from it, in which when the door’s opened you don’t get smacked on the face.

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Grand Deluxe Room Desk

While the balcony didn’t feature any views, it was in the middle of a little cluster of trees. In the early morning, you could hear a lot of wildlife, so I spent a lot of the time sitting down. Furthermore, the balcony was also stocked with two chairs and a table, though Ayan basically spent no time out there.

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Grand Deluxe Room Balcony

While a view of Bagan would’ve been heavenly, it would probably affect the city’s infrastructure – I was more than happy with what I got.

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Grand Deluxe Room View

The bathroom was equally, if not more, impressive. It featured a toilet, a nice sink, and a walk-in shower. More importantly, though, it was lighted with ambience – the first hotel I’ve been booked in from school that I didn’t feel like I was in a hospital room.

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Grand Deluxe Room Bathroom

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Grand Deluxe Room Bathroom Sink

The shower also had lovely local ornaments. I guess they’d look weird if the ornaments were on all sides, so it was especially tasteful the way they made it. Also, the walk in shower was pretty massive.

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Grand Deluxe Room Bathroom Shower

The room was stocked with hotel-branded amenities, which were citrusy and heavenly.

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Grand Deluxe Room Bathroom Toiletries

Overall, I found the room really nicely decorated, especially by the price point we paid for it (as far as I know the hotel retails for HK$750, which is super cheap especially for this).

Once I settled down I tried to reach for the WiFi after a long day, except I couldn’t find it. I called the reception, who told me the WiFi name. I called the reception again, who said he’d come up. He greeted me, gave me a password slip, and told me that the WiFi only worked in the hallways. Damn!

Not only, but the WiFi worked almost seamlessly. Why couldn’t they just move it in a few meters so we could access the WiFi from the rooms?!?

Apart from that, the hotel was pretty much seamless. I mean, they even had turndown service, where they adjusted the lights to “ambience mode” and turned down the covers (that’s about it, but I wasn’t expecting that).

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Grand Deluxe Room Turndown Service

Once I was playing around with my pillow. When providing turndown service they actually incorporated it into the service. Admittedly a minor touch, but it was very much appreciated.

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Grand Deluxe Room Turndown Service

Instead of a full breakfast spread, the hotel only features a pop-up restaurant with a few buffet items, though all the items were high quality.

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Breakfast Area

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Breakfast Spread

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Breakfast Spread

As far as the facilities go, there’s a nice infinity-ish pool.

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The Hotel Umbra Bagan Pool

There’s also a gym – though I didn’t use it.

BOTTOM LINE ON THE HOTEL UMBRA BAGAN

While the WiFi situation pissed me off, everything else went way beyond my standards for a hotel for such a low price. I wasn’t expecting a hotel of such a high calibre.

I hope the hotel upgrades its booking system, as I’d return in a heartbeat.

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