The first upscale hotel to come on line in one of Myanmar's most compelling tourist destinations will officially debut October 1 when 94-room Sanctum Inle Resort holds its grand opening on the shores of Inle Lake.
An Olympic-sized swimming pool overlooking the lake, the 150 square meter presidential Sanctuary Suite and a Shan and international cuisine restaurant, The Refectory, are among the new features to be unveiled as part of the Brigitte Dumont de Chassart-designed resort's grand opening.
"In a region long closed off to the wider world, we're opening the doors on an experience of accommodation that celebrates removal and contemplation," said Philippe Arnaud, the resort's general manager. "Our location invites this sort of mind-set, and our design does, as well."
At 120 square kilometers and 800 meters above sea level, Inle Lake is renowned for its stilted wooden homes, floating vegetable gardens and fishermen, who propel their boats across the water with a singular, one-legged rowing style.
Two hours by air, car and boat from Yangon, Sanctum Inle Resort inspires contemplation through its off-the-beaten-path location and architectural flourishes that invoke monastic traditions, such as Spanish-style arches and minimalist but modern room designs.
The resort offers four room categories, including a pair of suites with full vistas of the lake, and a window on some of Asia's most remarkable markets, pagodas and stupas. While the rooms range in size from 40 to 150 square meters, all feature lofty ceilings, natural wood floors, plush beds, air-conditioning and cable TV.
The 107-seat Refectory offers a full complement of Chan and Western dishes, and Cloister Bar, an elegant hangout, boasts a selection of Myanmar-brewed beers, international wines and Cuban and Dominican cigars. The resort's Chapter House is a quiet venue with books and board games that can be transformed into a meeting space.
Totaling 170 square meters, Sanctuary Spa is home to five treatment rooms and offers a multitude of therapies including its signature Tamarind Scrub with tamarind harvested from the property, as well as hot stone massages and facials. In addition to the saltwater swimming pool, a fully-equipped gym will be ready in time for the grand opening.
To encourage exploration of the area, the resort's team has developed eight tours ranging from a half-day cycling excursion to Red Mountain Estate winery to a full-day trip to Kakku's ancient temples.
Traditional dancers and musicians from the Shan, Intha and Pao tribes will gather on the property to mark the grand opening and celebrate a sunset barbecue buffet dinner with cocktails and candles floating around the resort's jetty.
Just as Sanctum Inle Resort's architecture blends the traditional and the modern, the event will also include a fashion show of recycled garments, fireworks display on the lake, and DJ spinning the decks at the resort's Cloister Bar.
Opening room rates start at MMK 334,470 ++ [USD 284 ++] per night.