One of South East Asia’s most enduring landmarks will enter a new era, as Myanmar’s grand dame hotel, The Strand Yangon, re-opens on 15 November after a restoration project that has seen this luxury heritage hotel ushered elegantly into the 21st century

As part of the six-month renovation, local artisans have meticulously restored every original architectural detail, from the teak panelling and antique bedsteads, to traditional Myanmar lacquer ware and marble flooring. Meanwhile, the hotel’s 31 light and airy rooms and suites have had their traditional décor complemented with vintage-inspired textiles and original artwork, updated with modern air-conditioning systems and the latest in-room technology.

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The latest project has preserved the heritage at the heart of the hotel

Founded in 1901 by famous hoteliers, the Sarkies brothers, The Strand Yangon was one of the first luxury colonial outposts to open in South East Asia, and it remains one of the most architecturally beautiful landmarks in the region,” Olivier Trinquand, Vice President, The Strand Hotel & Cruise, told Essential Journeys. “This latest project has preserved the heritage at the heart of the hotel and honours the Strand’s part in Myanmar’s history, whilst creating a more relaxed, refined and glamorous setting for 21st century travellers and explorers. We are delighted to continue our investment in the revival of the Strand name in Myanmar, having successfully launched our 28-cabin ship, The Strand Cruise, on the Ayeyarwady River just over ten months ago.”

Yangon’s most elegant dining room, The Strand Restaurant, with its high vaulted ceiling, sparkling chandeliers and museum quality black and gold lacquer panels from Bagan, has welcomed a new executive chef, Christian Martena.

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Chef Christian has travelled around Myanmar sourcing produce to create a unique gastronomic experience

Trained within some of Europe’s most famous Michelin-starred kitchens before running his own acclaimed restaurant in Bangkok, Christian has spent the past few months travelling around Myanmar visiting suppliers and remote farming communities, immersing himself in the country’s distinctive regional cuisines and sourcing the best of Myanmar’s produce and spices to create a unique gastronomic experience. The Strand Restaurant will be open from 1 December for dinner four nights a week, and serve a seasonal menu of classic Mediterranean dishes enhanced with locally sourced ingredients.

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Time for tea at the Strand Café, which is open all day for coffee, pastries and a light lunch

Chef Christian will oversee the food concept throughout the hotel, including the more casual Strand Café, a warm and welcoming respite from the bustle of the Yangon Road, open all day for coffee, pastries or a light lunch of Western or traditional Myanmar cuisine. The Strand Café is also home to the famous Strand High Tea, which has been preserved and expanded with more traditional and Myanmar delicacies.

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What better way to start the morning than breakfast in bed

The hotel’s bar, for over a century the epicentre of social life in Yangon and gathering place for many adventurers, raconteurs and explorers such as Sir Noël Coward, Orsen Welles and Rudyard Kipling, has been re-named The Sarkies Bar at The Strand Hotel in honour of the hotel’s founders, Aviet and Tigran Sarkies, the brothers responsible for many of the finest colonial hotels in the region, such as Raffles in Singapore and the Eastern & Oriental in Penang.  The teakwood-panelled bar has been given a glamorous club-like atmosphere, with leather seating and an extensive new menu of cocktails and single malt whiskies.

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Deluxe Suite at the refurbished The Strand Yangon

Superior Suites at The Strand Yangon start from £274 per room per night including breakfast and taxes. To celebrate its re-opening, The Strand Yangon is offering a special ‘New Era’ package, offering guests booking a Superior Suite for two nights or more for stays* from 15 November 2016 to 30 April 2017 a complimentary upgrade to a Deluxe Suite (subject to availability) along with return airport transfers, High Tea for two, a bottle of wine in room on arrival and a Myanmar degustation menu for two at The Strand Café. *Blackout dates may apply.

The Strand Yangon is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and is currently managed by GCP Hospitality