Are you looking for luxurious, dreamy accommodation in Inle Lake? Then you should check out Sofitel Inle Lake Myat Min, a sustainable, luxury boutique resort on the shores of the lake that’s surrounded by nature and offers first-class amenities.
Here you’ll enjoy fantastic food, service and facilities as well as the closeness to the area’s top attractions, making your trip the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure.
Sofitel Myat Min is located in Thalae Oo Village, on the shores of Inle Lake, a scenic area in western Shan State known for its floating villages and gardens. To get to the hotel from Heho Airport, the 90-minute drive takes you down steep mountainous passes and through the hills that characterize this region.
Unless you’re renting a car, the hotel offers airport shuttles at an additional price, so you can book your transfer directly with them, or take a taxi from the airport (you’ll find plenty of taxi drivers just outside the airport)
THE CHECK-IN PROCESS
We arrived from Heho airport with a taxi, the journey was quite long, and as soon as we arrived at Sofitel Inle Lake Myat Min a bellboy helped us with our luggage. We were escorted to the reception where the check-in process was smooth and pleasant. We were given a welcome drink and they even had a special gift for us!
It’s so incredible when the staff takes the time to make the experience personalized for the guests. There are many 5-star hotels around the world, the way to create an unforgettable experience is to go above and beyond with the details. The staff had checked out our Instagram, realized it was our anniversary, and made a photo frame by hand with the photo from my Instagram.
From the glassed wall of the reception we could see the incredible layout of the entire resort that finishes on the lake, which reminded us of the layout of the 5-star Novotel Phu Quoc Resort, another Accor Hotel we had visited 2 months earlier.
This luxury boutique resort offers luxury rooms with a cozy village configuration. The resort is so big that they took us to our suite in an electric cart, and what a room.
We stayed in a Junior Suite, which was 75 square meters. As soon as you enter, you step in the living room with a big sitting area and the minibar, and double curtains for privacy. We found some tasty fresh fruit on the table.
The bathroom comes with a huge shower space, a very nice tub, double sinks with all kinds of top-quality amenities, and a separate toilet.
The bed is as comfy as it gets, and it features a mosquito net that gets set up during turndown service. Reception will asks at what time you’d like to have the staff come in for turndown service, and they will make the bed and leave cookies or cake for the night.
From the bed, there’s an incredible view of the lake, but if you really want to relax with the view you can step out in the balcony and lay down there.
Normally, the bungalows with the suites are all on top of the water. Since we visited in dry season, our view was a mix of water and plants, but we loved coming at this time because dry season means little guests, and it almost felt we had the whole resort to ourselves.
There are 4 different kinds of suites; the Junior Suite where we stayed, which features a kingsize bed, and an almost identical Junior Suite with two single beds. Then there’s the Prestige Suite, a 90 square meters room with a kingsize bed and views of the garden, and the Opera Suite, slightly bigger and offering lake views. They also offer 60 square meters Luxury Rooms with garden views.
And you want to know the best part of this all? You’d think that staying at a hotel like this would be super expensive, but it’s not. During low season, when we visited, a King Luxury Room with breakfast included starts at $115, $138 for the Junior Suite with Lake View (which in my opinion is definitely worth the extra money). During high season, rates double, so it’s one of those cases where luxury is affordable when you choose to travel during low season.
THE RESORT FACILITIES
Aside from the luxurious and thoughtfully designed rooms, Sofitel Myat Min also boasts modern services and facilities.
The resort features 2 pools, one by the reception (but there wasn’t much going on in this one since it was low season) and one by the lake.
This last one is a very long infinity pool with a beautiful view, and it comes equipped with sunbeds and a full bar.
In the resort, you’ll also find a fitness center, a cozy library with a piano where you can relax with a book, a pool table, and a conference room.
Breakfast at Sofitel is a fantastic combination of buffet and à la carte. In the buffet, you’ll find mouthwatering croissants, lots of different tropical fruit, cereals, and an interesting selection of juices.
We were allowed to order as many dishes as we wanted from the à la carte menu, and Fran was so happy about it! Our favorites were the pancakes with tomato jam from the garden, the porridge with nuts, and the Eggs Benedict.
Sofitel Myat Min features two restaurants, Roots, the restaurant by the pool, and Kwee Zeeen. Roots is an organic fine dining restaurant serving both Burmese and international dishes, while Kwee Zeen is a more casual restaurant but was closed for the low season when we visited.
During our stay, we had all of our meals at Roots and it was always exceptional, probably the best place we’ve eaten at during our 3-month long Southeast Asia trip. It’s also very well priced, especially for being the restaurant of a 5-star hotel. Most of the time we were spending around $30 for the two of us for a starter and two entrées.
One of our favorite plates was the Roots Wellness Bowl, a bowl of organic fresh veggies directly from the garden with feta cheese and some incredible mushrooms – you can’t get any healthier than that!
We also had salmon, a great pumpkin soup, a soufflè with mushrooms, an avocado chocolate dessert… I’m getting hungry just remembering all of this!
The Sofitel Inle Spa boasts three rooms where they offer different kinds of massages, including couples massages, manicure & pedicure services and reflexology treatments.
The massage we got at the spa was the cherry on top. We chose the “Sofitel Signature Massage”, which is a unique combination of Swedish and Myanmar traditional massage to provide deep tissue and muscle tension relief. It was SO incredibly good. Even if you are not staying at Sofitel, you can come for a massage: this must be the best place for a massage in Inle Lake!
THINGS TO DO IN INLE LAKE
There are several activities you can enjoy in Inle Lake while staying at the hotel. These are some of the most popular and ones you should definitely include on your itinerary.
Take a Boat Tour around Inle Lake
The lake is (as you can imagine) the highlight of this area, and there’s no better way of exploring it than getting on a boat and gliding through it. You’ll get to see the beautiful sights of the villages from the water, pass by the Inle Lake fishermen, check out the floating gardens and enjoy the insights of your guide.
We booked our tour directly with Sofitel Myat Min, and it was fantastic. We paid $40 for the entire boat that took us for a tour of the lake at our preferred pace, and also included a visit to Shwe Indein Pagoda and the Five Days Market, both incredibly enjoyable.
While you can get cheaper boat tours when booking them in town (they range between $15-$30) if you’re not staying close to town it’s much more convenient to have the boat come meet you directly at the hotel. The tour we took was incredibly enjoyable and worth the money.
Visit the Five Days Market
This local market is one of the best attractions in Inle Lake. Its name derives from the rotating nature of the market; the stall owners rotate in five days to five different locations. The market sells fresh local produce, and you may get to see some parts of the market on the water, as a few vendors sell directly from their boats. It’s a great opportunity to meet the local people and see how they live.
The visit to the market, in particular, was the highlight of our time in Inle Lake; we got to meet some of the locals, who are incredibly nice and smiley and witness their way of life.
Shwe Indein Pagoda
Shwe Indein Pagoda is an unmissable spot in Inle Lake. A group of pagodas built over 2,500 years ago, some of them restored but many others kept in their original state, create an incredible complex in which you’ll be able to wander around and marvel at the structures. Shwe Indein Pagoda is considered the oldest Buddhist stupa in the world!
SUSTAINABILITY AT SOFITEL INLE LAKE MYAT MIN
Sofitel Inle Lake Myat Min is surely an incredible resort, but even better it’ has a strong commitment to preserve and promote both the environment and the community. Here are some of the measures taken by the hotel regarding sustainability.
• Waste water filtration and UV light treatment: All the grey and waste water gets filtered and treated so that the outflow contains purified water free of germs and technically even safe to drink.
• Organic Garden: They plant their own vegetables 365 days a year and have over 1 hectare of garden from which they collect all sorts of vegetable and fruits throughout the year. Sofitel then uses the harvest in our Roots Kitchen which severs 100% organic locally grown food.
• Compost area: Sofitel Myat Min is one of the first 5 star hotels in the area that composts its food waste and later uses it as a fertilizer for their garden.
• Less Plastic: In a continuous effort to curb the use of single use plastic, Sofitel has minimized plastic usage in and around our resort. This includes the use of glass water bottles, biodegradable takeaway containers and wooden cutlery for takeaway food, paper straws, woven bags, etc.
The next step will be to replace all the bathroom amenities (shampoos, conditioner razor etc) with plastic free alternatives like biodegradable products or shampoo and soap dispensers. Just to give you an idea on numbers, since starting this initiative last year they have already cut down over 35000 plastic bottles and nearly as many straws!
• Recycling: All the waste collected from the hotel and guest room gets segregated in a waste sorting area and recycled, which helps to keep the net garbage down to non-recyclable and non-biodegradable items.
• Architectural design: The interior design theme reflects the regional aesthetics as you will find many decorative pieces native to the region. There are also native materials used on the furniture and furnishings such as bamboo or rattan. Even when you are inside your room, you will feel like you are still part of the community and local environment.
If you want to enjoy the full Inle Lake experience, this hotel will offer the experience of a lifetime.
We were guests of Sofitel Inle Lake Myat Min, but the opinions expressed in this post are exclusively our own. We really had an incredible time, no matter who footed the bill!