BAGAN, Myanmar — Poised on the doorstep of one of the world’s most breathtaking archaeological heritage sites, Myanmar’s newest boutique resort Bagan Lodge has targeted Aug. 1 for its soft debut in the ancient Buddhist capital.
With stylized tenting and furnishings that evoke the Golden Age of Travel, Bagan Lodge’s 85 rooms and suites skirt the boundary of the shrine-studded plains of the Bagan Archaeological Zone. More than two thousand historic temples and ruins rise from the landscape east of the resort, many dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries at the height of the Kingdom of Bagan.
Conceptualized by noted French designer Brigitte Dumont de Chassart, the interiors and grounds of Bagan Lodge are a melding of traditional Burmese design, colonial-era trappings and contemporary decor. Three classes of accommodation range in size from 50-square-metre deluxe rooms to the 196-square-metre Queen Victoria Suite, which includes four bedrooms, a living room and private garden.
As part of its soft opening, Bagan Lodge will also be cutting the ribbon on its open-air restaurant, Tiffin Box, as well as a spa with eight private treatment rooms, and a 20 x 9-metre swimming pool.
A full-service travel desk will cater to modern-day explorers staying at the resort. Private temple dinners, pagoda tours and fishing excursions on the Irrawaddy are among the activities on offer.
“Of all of the country’s many cultural attractions, Bagan stands out as the ultimate Myanmar experience,” said Shane McKirdy, the resort’s general manager. “This was and is a place so fantastic, it exudes an almost mythical appeal.”
Of more than 10,000 tiered brick temples originally constructed, about 2,200 remain standing within the 46-square-kilometre Bagan Archaeological Zone – the largest and densest concentration of Buddhist monuments anywhere in the world.
Situated 300 kilometres southwest of Mandalay, Bagan Lodge is operated by Apple Tree Asia, a hospitality group that owns and manages a collection of boutique properties in some of Southeast Asia’s most intriguing destinations. Earlier this year Apple Tree appointed Australian-native Shane McKirdy as the Lodge’s first general manager.
A grand opening of the four-star resort is scheduled for later in the year.