The 484-room hotel, which is positioned on Sule Pagoda Road near the landmark namesake pagoda that is over 2,000 years old, has been a major fixture in the city's central business district since it opened in November 1996.
A key port in the British Empire, Yangon still has vestiges of its colonial past after nearly a half-century of isolation. The newly branded Sule Shangri-La, Yangon captures the place’s history through its design.
While the exterior of the building is modern, the lobby of Sule Shangri-La, Yangon evokes the colonial days with imposing white columns and a grand staircase that ascends to an open balcony. The classic impression extends to the adjacent double-height lobby lounge, where a tiered crystal chandelier highlights a wall mural and panel details with intricate peacock motifs. The green peafowl, called the U-Doung in Burmese, is one of the country's national animals.
Hotel staff uniforms celebrate Myanmar's history, incorporating the traditional longyi (a large sheet of cloth folded to form a cylindrical shape) in styles specially designed for the hotel. Doormen wear a range of seven different uniforms, each representing the seven states of the country.
A walk through the public areas reveals more cultural components of the property with ornate Burmese vases, panes of intricate woodcarving and specially commissioned art pieces by local artists such as Ba Khine and Hla Phone Aung, whose artworks decorate the hotel's café, conference rooms and suites. The hotel is a showcase for local artists and craftsmen, and their works are creative depictions of Burmese stories.
For dining, the hotel's updated restaurants and lounges offer a variety of choices. Summer Palace, Shangri-La's signature Chinese restaurant, overlooks street activity through large window alcoves. Red and mahogany accents contrast against the light-colored walls and patterned ceiling, and Chinese paintings and fabric finishes around light fixtures complement the restaurant and its six distinctive private dining rooms specializing in Cantonese dim sum and authentic Chinese dishes.
The Gallery Bar was modified to reflect a public drinking house from the past British era. Half-curtained glass windows allow a peek of the dark wood interior with wrought iron and brass details. Memorabilia and photographs from the early 1800s fill the walls and add nostalgia to the venue. Its balcony has an encompassing view of the Lobby Lounge.
The hotel's renovation also included the three other venues - Café Sule for international flavors and Asian favorites; the Peacock Lounge, an informal meeting ground for catch-ups between friends or executives; and the Gourmet Shop, serving snacks and beverages. All outlets are the first in Myanmar to be awarded the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System (HACCP).
For recreational pursuits, the property has the Health Club, which is bathed in natural light and overlooks the outdoor pool, offering an expanded space of over 9,148 square feet of fitness equipment, sauna, steam and massage rooms.
The hotel's meeting spaces span three levels at Sule Shangri-La, Yangon and were refurbished in a modern palette with gold accents.
The hotel's 484 remodeled guestrooms have large picture windows that frame the city, river or Shwedagon Pagoda. Flat-screen televisions, complimentary Wi-Fi, 24-hour room service, fine linens and marble bathrooms complete the guest experience. Pictures of local life grace the walls of each room to balance the modern touches.
On the top floor of the hotel are three refashioned suites bordered by views of Yangon city or Yangon River. Incorporating artefacts to display Myanmar's handicraft, they are swathed in fabrics and trimmed with dark wood. The suites, including the city's largest presidential suite, measure between 710 square feet and 2,034 square feet. Bathrooms are fitted with a bathtub, rainforest shower and quality amenities.
The property also has the new Horizon Club Lounge. The executive lounge was relocated to level 21 to offer an unobstructed view of Shwedagon Pagoda and enlarged to over 5274 square feet to provide additional seating and two private meeting rooms.
Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and/or manages more than 80 hotels under the Shangri-La brand, with a room inventory of over 34,000. The group has a substantial development pipeline with upcoming projects in mainland China, India, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom.