Inle Princess Resort (“IPR” for those in the know!) is my pick for Inle Lake’s top hotel.
You don’t go to Myanmar for mind-blowing hotels but there are some standouts. Inle Lake has 3 solid options. Inle Villas (FAB for Honeymoons), Sanctum (new, contemporary)…and ‘IPR’ where I stayed. All three are great which is fab because it’s here at Inle Lake where you do a longer stay.
I sat down for a wine with the GM, Mrs. Kyawt Kyawt Khine, or ‘Ky Ky’ for short. Staying true to ‘Indochina Unscripted’ I wanted to talk to Ky Ky about her story. IPR’s resident (gorge!) Burmese cat also muscled in on the action too… I wasn’t mad about it.
Typically hotel GM’s I have met here are ex-pats. Brits, French, Danish etc. When IPR opened in 1998 Ky Ky was on reception. She’s worked with the resort since day 1. Ky Ky is local to Inle Lake and through her career with IPR has worked on reception, supervisor of front office, then F&B, then reservations and also in sales and marketing. PHEW! 3 years ago the owners asked her to run it.
Ky Ky knows the hotel inside out, every facet. Service as a result is fabulous. The hotel is a huge part of her life. I asked Ky Ky what makes IPR different. Without thinking she talked about the family feeling with all staff. Can you believe a third of IPR’s staff have been with the resort since it’s opened in 1998?
Ky Ky also told me how IPR (as seen below) creates crafts and products for the resort in their own artisenal furniture factory. Funnily enough earlier I commented to her on the amazing chandaliers and menus in the restaurant and villas – turns out it’s all made on site.
Ky Ky told me how busy IPR gets in high season. I’d never heard of Diethelm until 6 months ago. So when traveling here there are moments I’m reminded how highly the hotel partners regard Diethelm’s 60 year heritage.
Diethelm has supported IPR since it opened in 1998. These relationships help unlock THE best rooms in constrained periods. I’ve seen this relationship first-hand when it comes to ‘RESERVED’ signs on the best lakefront tables at breakfast (imagine, NOT being lake-front! Gasp!).
It’s a natural trust and feeling with some resorts, and here I got that feeling. Yes they have the rooms, the location, but that feeling you can’t create without a great leader, service ethos and a kindness. All of these ‘feels’ I got at Inle Princess Resort. I also got all of the hugs too, which are few and far between when you travel solo for five weeks! CUTE!