Novotel Inle Lake | Myanmar | Full Review & Photos
Novotel Inle Lake is a 4* hotel open in late 2014 in Myanmar on the shore of Inle Lake, in northern Myanmar – Shan State. Even if it’s been operating for 4 years already it did not has any sign of getting old. Like many hotels on the Inle Lake and Ngapali Beach in Myanmar, due to the rainy season every year most of the hotels do go some minor reparations. I have first visited Novotel Inle Lake in 2015 while on a hotel trip inspection in Inle Lake and this year I have overnight 2 nights at this Accor Hotels chain in Myanmar. Even if there are 2 Novotel hotels in Myanmar they are not under the same owner (ie – Novotel Yangon has a different local owner for example).
Location @ Novotel Inle Lake
Novotel Inle Lake Myat Min is just 15-minute drive from Nyaung Shwe Village and approximately 1-hour drive from Heho Airport. From Heho Airport to Novotel Inle there are 2 options to get to Novotel Inle Lake. By car from Heho to Nyang Shwe and then to take a scenic boat ride to the hotel( boat ride is around 20 minutes and 6-7$/way) or take the whole trip by car and arrive around 1h to the hotel. If you arrive late, the latest is the best option since after sunset, boats are not allowed anymore on the lake.
Check in @ Novotel Inle Lake
Late March is already the beginning of low season in Myanmar and I was not expecting too many tourists on the lake or the hotel. I was almost right: the number was tourists was even lower that I have imagined! When I made the reservation I have asked for an early check in. I arrived at the hotel by boat around 10am; not to early anywhy. At the hotel jetty I was welcomed by a friendly staff who help me with the luggage and since it’s part of a resort and located on a big property, the transportation to the hotel reception was handle with a small golf car. In less than 1 minutes I arrived at a sumptuous reception and handle my passport for check in. Depending on your Accor Hotels Membership there are many desks to do it.
While presenting the information about the hotel, the reception informed me that usually the check in it at 2pm and since I have made a special request for early check in, my room was already ready. That made me thing about the following sceneries. What if I did not requested an early check in? I would have been allowed to check in or no? The hotel was 95% empty and my room type – Junior Suite (with no lake view) was not occupied by no other person during my stay. Should not the staff know and prepare the room 1 day in advance in order to have it ready whatever time the client arrives?
I work in travel industry and I know that the hotels rooms can only be available only after the previous clients checks out and rooms gets cleaned and ready but this was not the case as the hotels was empty and it’s not a small hotel.
Secondl, Given the property was mostly empty I would have expected the staff to put me in a room closer to the water or explain my upgrade options as It happened during my stay at Wyndham Grand Yangon Hotel during my stay in February 2019.
Room @ Novotel Inle Lake
I have the Junior Suite Room at Novotel Inle Lake. Hotel has the option for Deluxe room with Lake View, Superior Villa and Deluxe Villa with Lake. Room amenities and style is almost the same; the only difference is the lake view which makes the price different. For example my Room and the Deluxe Room are located on the main building quite far away from the lake – more on the road side and the price difference is 30$/room/night only because of the view, the Deluxe room being located on the upper floors. Does it worth it? I would say it does.
Rooms are huge! 76 m² – just to make a comparison and a joke as I will be heading to Paris, France this year – it’s 10 times higher in size than a room at a hotel in Paris and almost the same price but with a 2* hotel in Paris not a 4* hotels as Novotel Inle Lake. The 76-sqm suite is composed of one bedroom, one bathroom fitted with a shower and bathtub and a private balcony. There’s also a separate lounging area.
I had the last room of the building as location and being situated on the ground floor there is not too much natural light coming in the room but it does make it a very quiet room and there is no sidewalk in front of the balcony (not too much view – another building) but I did not felt as I was too dark in the room.
Bed was not as hard as I was hoping – a bit soft compared with the Wyndham bed but my sleep was not influenced at all.
We had been given 2 magnetic keys and I know some time at few hotels we have to ask for the second one even if you are 2 person in the room.
Because of the room type, 2 AC were available. One in the bedroom area – it’s position was not very great as it faced the bed completely but even if it was March/April one of the most warmest months in Myanmar, I have opened it only few times just for a few minutes. During the winter time when the temperatures on the Inle Lake go under 10 degrees I don’t think the AC will be needed anymore!
I liked the spaces in which the light has been put – like a bird nest.
Room had for me a strange design. Theirs is a separate lounging area and a small step to separate it; if you are traveling with children in Myanmar this hotel is not very good because they can follow down if the floor is wet for example.
The lounge area has 1 couch and 2 armchairs and the TV is located in front of them where the mini-bar is situated as well. About the TV – I did not see it as it can be rotated. Because if you are staying the in bed we can see see it – the angle is almost 180 and only a fraction of the screen can be seen; so the only way to see TV is from the sofo and not from your bed. That gives you more reading time for book!
Bathroom @ Novotel Inle Lake
It’s a trend among the hotels in Myanmar to have the bathtub located in the middle of the bathroom or just separated from the shower room. Did not try it, again but my wife did try it at some point she told me she is swimming in the bathtub – that big it was for here!
The bathroom is smart divided in 4 area and separated from each other. The shower room, the bathtub, the main area (sink, etc) and the toiled on the other side of the bathroom.
Shower room had a ceiling shower as well and water pressure was lower coming from the ceiling but it was quite hot and it took me a few minutes to try to stabilize the water heat. The shower room glass was not well maintained and could not be closed properly; that means the wet got a bit wet but if you put the towel down it won’t be too much water. But for a 4* hotels the small details does do matter.
Secondly, the towels were not new anymore and a bit rotten. They were clean but I believe it were not changed since the opening of the hotel back in 2014. I think it’s time to have it all change and new one more soft to be added.
Free toiletries as shower cream, shampoo are provided with a nice smell for all 2.
Being located on the lake, there a quite a few mosquitos but they don’t carry diseases and malaria or dengue. Hotel had provided in most of its locations and in the room as well a mosquito repellent. I have seen only 1 mosquito in my room so I believe they do spray the room before you check in.
Room is clean daily and one small incident – we do lef the TV close but when we arrive the TV was opened and we felt a bit insecure but no need to worry to much if you are planning a tour to Myanmar as it is a very safe country to visit!
Dinner @ Novotel Inle Lake
One of the downsides of staying on the lake or on the shore in Inle Lake is that we are stuck and we don’t have too many options in terms of dinner for example. Novotel Inle falls in the middle; it not on the lake as some hotels are and after 6pm we can not move at all but on the shore and on the mainroad and close to it there are 2 more hotels – Ananta Inlay and Sanctum Inle Lake as an second options for a place to have dinner. Plus 5 to 10 minutes walking there are a few quite good local restaurants based on Google Reviews.
First day we arrived early by bus from Yangon and after sightseeing we felt quite tired to go out to eat. I do read the hotels reviews from different sources – because booking users and tripadvisor users are in a way different and booking users tend usually to give lower scores and not to many informations compared with the Tripadvisors one’s. And one of the main complain was the hotel menu – which was poor in local food and not to many options. I agree with both. There is only 1-2 options for local, shan food and the rest is international but not too many options to choose from.
But this was not issue in having a great dinner. I was in a mood of pizza and since the chef from Novotel Inle is italian was the best idea of the day. Very good pizza (Quattro Formaggio – but some cheese was not exactly my type and maybe too much cheese? but it was one of the best pizza I had in Myanmar and price was only 12$ which is a quite decent price for Myanmar and a 4* hotels. My wife had a curry and she really enjoyed it.
It took the food around 15 minutes to arrive and before the main food arrived we had been served fresh baked bread and butter; bread was very good and fresh.
Breakfast @ Novotel Inle Lake
The part had the lowest reviews for Novotel Inle Lake. Some tourists were saying that it was too much food and wasted and some that was not too much food and not so good for a buffet breakfast. My option: is a matter of taste but it’s not the one of the best breakfast we will ever had but not the worst.
First day we had breakfast a-la-carte. As mentioned at the beginning of this hotel review in Inle Lake, only few rooms were occupied during my stay: no more than 4 so it would have been a waste of food it buffet was opened. But some parts as salad corner, fruits (to be honest this was the most negative part of the breakfast in the both days – not too many options of fresh fruits and taking into consideration that was strawberry season in Myanmar and Inle Lake, none were available), cereal corner and some meat available.
I had ordered from menu the scrambled eggs; to be honest it had no taste at all and they were made too simple. Then I took the baked bean – very good and big portions and the sauteed potatoes – which were not bad but I was expecting a smaller portion and I could not finish it!
Feta cheese and 2 more type of cheese were available as well. As for the butter I was hoping for a local made product and in general the breakfast did not have too many local products and all seemed to be imported and not focusing on the local products: as the jam for example.
The next morning a big conference ASEAN COMMITTEE ANNUAL MEETING was held in Inle Lake at Novotel Hotel and buffet breakfast was available. More items were added and egg station, bacon, pancake, juice cornet (fresh orange juice). mohinga as local food. Overall it was a good but not exceptional breakfast.
I had the option to take only 1 egg instead of having more wasted in an omelette and bacon was available this day.
Coffee was great in both days; not sure what was the kind – if the local Shan Coffee which is not bad or an international one.
Staff was attentive and always asking if anything needed and their english was excellent
Swimming Pool @ Novotel Inle
Not tried as I thought the water would be very cold; actually I did not see anyone taking a bath during my 2 days stay at Novotel Inle; probably it was quite cold water. It’s an infinity pool with an amazing view of the lake especially for the sunset.
Room Prices @ Novotel Inle Lake Myanmar
Junior Suite Room prices starts from 120$/room/night with breakfast included. If you want the same room type but with the lake view the price goes up to 145$/room. For a superior room type we will have to pay 165$ for the Villa. The Deluxe Villa each has 100% lake view is more than 200$.
Where to book @ Novotel Inle Lake
You can book it via a travel agency in Myanmar which probably has a good price or online on Booking.com and for the best rate direct to the Accor Hotels Website.