Tried & Tested

Hotel review: Pan Pacific Yangon

7 May 2018 by Craig Bright
Pan Pacific Yangon

Background

One of the tallest buildings in downtown Yangon, the new Pan Pacific hotel – which opened its doors on November 1 last year – is only really exceeded in height by the city’s defining landmark, Shwedagon Pagoda. Part of a wider mixed-use development through its connection to the Junction City Shopping Centre, the property is home to 336 guestrooms and suites.

Where is it?

Pan Pacific Yangon is bang in the middle of the central business district (CBD) on the corner of Bogyoke Aung San Road – home to the Bogyoke Aung San Market – and Shwedagon Pagoda Road. Both of these popular tourists sights are in close reach to the hotel (the market is just down the road from it) while directly opposite is the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, one of the oldest of its kind in the country. A short distance south from the hotel is the city’s old town, home to a plethora of colonial-style architecture.

Pan Pacific Yangon - Sky Lobby

What’s it like?

This is a sleek and modern property, particularly when compared with the slightly older style and more traditional aesthetic touches of the Pan Pacific Group’s other hotel in the city, the Parkroyal Yangon.

That being said, there are plenty of traditional subtleties to the design of the property, if one knows where to look. Aside from the sculptures resembling traditional stupa decorating the lobby, there are also two latticework structures whose negative spaces are designed to resemble the outline of Buddha and Shwedagon Pagoda.

Ultimately, however, this is a contemporary property designed for corporate travellers in particular, with clean, simple designs in the rooms, functional technological touches such as in-room check-in, and impressive, easy to navigate public spaces.

On top of that, staff at the property were pleasant and helpful – the level of English throughout was good and more than a few members of staff remembered me after just a single interaction.

Rooms

I was staying in one of the hotel’s Junior Suites, all of which are limited to the corner rooms on each floor. This gives you incredible views over the city from two directions, which the suite takes full advantage of by having the longer of the two walls lined with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Overall, the room is divided into three main areas – workspace, bedroom and living room, and bathroom. The dividers separating these different areas create a sort of miniature foyer for the room, with the toilet and sink to the right and the work area tucked around the corner to the left. There are two swivel chairs at the round desk, which I found perfectly comfortable while working, and the desk has universal power outlets, USB and HDMI sockets located below the adjacent bookshelves, which give the small alcove a welcome “study” feel.

On the other side of the divide is the main room of the suite, comprising a king-size bed (at nearly two metres tall, I was nevertheless able to sleep on the bed comfortably) facing a flat-screen LCD TV and an L-shaped sofa along the windows. Lighting is abundant during the day thanks to these windows, though at night I did find the room’s built-in lighting a little dim. Switches are generally easy to fathom, with most located next to the bed, though this did make it a bit confusing when entering specific areas of the suite and not finding all the necessary lights within easy reach.

To the right-hand side of the suite is the wardrobe, which spans the length of the suite between the bathroom at one end and the toilet at the other. Both areas have their own sinks and large mirrors, though one minor gripe I had was that neither had power outlets particularly nearby, which made using an electric razor and the hairdryer provided in the room rather tricky.

The suite features a smart toilet (the settings on which I dared not fiddle with) while the bathroom area includes a rainfall shower with a porcelain stool inside, and a generously sized bathtub. Note that for some rooms, there is an office block directly across from the hotel, so you may wish to draw the blinds. Amenities in the bathroom were plentiful, and to my surprise I was even able to fit into the bathrobe without it looking like I’d shrunk it in the wash.

Other features within the suite include a capsule coffee maker, tea-making facilities, and an ice bucket.

Pan Pacific Yangon - Saan Restaurant

Food and drink

There are four food and beverage options at the hotel, not including the executive lounge. Saan Restaurant (Burmese for “rice”) on level R is the hotel’s all-day-dining eatery offering a buffet breakfast and dinner that includes largely international fare. If you’re looking for local cuisine, definitely give the coconut soup noodles a go, which are made to order at the live cooking station.

Also situated on level R is The Teak Bar. Interior seating ranges from small tables to sofas, but really you want to be sitting at the al fresco area enjoying the city views, especially at sundown. The menu features a number of locally inspired cocktails, with ingredients ranging from refreshing lemongrass to spicy chilli.

On the hotel’s sixth floor is Hai Tien Lo, Pan Pacific Yangon’s Cantonese fine-dining restaurant. This too offers great views over the Yangon River, and has private rooms for business meals. Meanwhile on level one is the Pacific Marketplace, a bakery and café that offers homemade cakes, sweet treats and coffee and tea.

Meanwhile, those with access to the executive Pacific Club Lounge on the top floor of the hotel will find a quiet spot to grab breakfast. The buffet offers a reasonable selection, and special dishes such as eggs can be prepared to order in the adjacent kitchen, though if you’re looking for a proper feed Saan Restaurant definitely provides a more comprehensive dining experience.

Pan Pacific Yangon - Pacific Club Lounge

Meetings

Pan Pacific Yangon has spaces designed for both small corporate gatherings and larger functions. The hotel has four meeting venues of 50 to 60sqm, and a grand ballroom that measures 600sqm and can accommodate up to 800 people in a theatre-style configuration. Meeting rooms have high-speed wifi and audio-visual equipment, as well as access to catering and business support services.

Other business facilities are located on the sixth floor – the same as reception – and the aforementioned club lounge. These offer typical business services such as printing, faxing, photocopying, scanning, message and package handling, and translation services.

Pan Pacific Yangon - Infinity swimming pool

Leisure

This is an area where the hotel particularly excels. The view from the sky infinity pool on the hotel’s wellness floor is breathtaking, with the spire of the adjacent Hoy Trinity Anglican Church in the foreground and Shwedagon Pagoda – the city’s tallest structure – off in the distance. If you can, aim to take a dip in the pool around sunset, though the view at any time of the day is still impressive.

St Gregory’s Spa and Wellness Centre has a number of facilities including a sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, and swimming pool alongside its treatments. These include facials, massages – that can be personally vouched for – and traditional Myanmar therapy.

The hotel also has a well-equipped gym, with a particular density of treadmills and cardio equipment. The rest of the fitness centre is surprisingly spread out, so it never feels particularly crowded. Even if it does, you can opt to come back at a less busy time as the space is open 24 hours a day.

Verdict

Business travellers can’t really go wrong with the new Pan Pacific – its location in the middle of the CBD is convenient, its facilities are high quality and the staff are helpful. Aside from some minor in-room quibbles, the hotel is otherwise thoroughly enjoyable to stay at.

Best for: Location to the CBD and popular tourist sights

Don’t miss: City views from the sky infinity pool

Price: Internet rates for a one-night stay in a Junior Suite in mid-July start from US$305 excluding taxes.

Contact: Pan Pacific Yangon, Corner of Bogyoke Aung San Road and Shwedagon Pagoda Road, Pabedan Township, Yangon, Myanmar; +95 1 925 3810; panpacific.com

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