Experience traditional authenticity in luxury with boutique, shoreside accommodation
Fishing | History & culture | Mountains | Natural world | Relaxation
Inle Lake is possibly Myanmar’s most impressive meeting of nature and man. Tucked away beneath the Blue Mountains that range across the secretive Shan State, it’s a giant 45 square miles shimmer that plays host to floating gardens, stilted villages and Buddhist temple islands. Watch as tribal peoples row across it with their feet and stand up on tiny skiffs to fish precariously. And this characterful accommodation, set on a quiet inlet on the eastern shores, combines direct access with a relaxed setting. To preserve its environment, the hotel engages in a range of conservation practices as well as employing local staff wherever possible and running a range of outreach programmes that provides communities with language and technical training.
Built entirely by local craftsmen using traditional Inthar techniques, characterful accommodation can be found perched on the lake shores, set among verdant grounds or stood on stilts on the waters themselves. In all, teak flooring, high timber ceilings and verandah views make for authentic stays as Shan paper lanterns, Inthar weavings and Burmese artwork add more than a touch of character. Modern en suites feature designer baths and rain showers while binoculars can be provided to aid you in spotting rare wildlife. In the winter, look to those with clay ovens for some extra warmth.
Designed to make the most of its environment, Inle Princess grows its own vegetables, sources produce from the famous lakeside markets and even forages for wild herbs. Take your traditional meals on the lakeside decks or under the lanterns of its atmospheric hall as guests are encouraged to meet with the chef to discuss any dietary requirements, learn about the menus or make any special requests. The flexible kitchen is more than happy to oblige – as are the bar staff who make use of local ingredients in innovative cocktails and mocktails. Alternatively, select a regional delight or old world favourite from the hotel’s temperature controlled cave cellar. If you’re inspired, book into a wine tasting experience, gourmet picnic or cooking course.
Start with the spa island where stilted treatment rooms, meditation facilities, pools and saunas are built once again from traditional techniques. Then there’s the craft village where you’ll be able to watch local craftsmen work on pottery, lacquerware, carvings and weavings before you have a go yourself. However, you might simply prefer to relax by the pool, spend some time with the house cats or take a wander through the resort’s gardens where 20 years of growth has resulted in an astounding diversity of southeast Asian horticulture. There’s also a full complement of activities that take you off-site for tribal dinners, cycle tours, birdwatching, lake tours, treks and wine tastings.
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