Before my arrival in Mandalay I did something I don’t do too often, I booked ahead. I booked the Hotel Sahara thanks to a promotion on agoda and its “fantastic” reviews. The hotel is quite easy to find since it is located quite close to the temple and not far away from the clock tower (which is easy to find on maps in case you need to tell the taxi where to go).
Upon arrival the welcome by the hotel staff was super friendly. Very nice and helpful. While preparing the room they served complimentary orange juice (nice touch, since unexpected) and then brought me to my room. All clean, tidy and quite spacious. Nice.
Therefore: The service and friendliness is definitely on the plus side!
Extra: They even offered to organize my night bus ticket and a pick up for me. Great!
The downsides: Sounds a bit weird but there was no real shower. A bathtub, yes. But no stand up shower possibility. That’s of course not a big problem but worth mentioning when reviewing the place.
Wifi: Sucks. Connection shows full power and routers are on every floor but that doesn’t really help since the connection itself is terrible. Couldn’t even do the web check-in with my airline. So if you rely on fast(er) internet, don’t expect that here.
Smoking: On every level in front of the elevators you can find ashtrays. That’s obviously stupid (sorry) but every time people smoke there you have to pass them when you go to your room. Furthermore the smoke travels through the whole floor into your room. Annoying! When turning the a/c on however you are able to fight the smell.
Mosquitos. Lots of guests complained about the amount of mosquitoes in their rooms. The staff then would go to the room and spray some anti mosquito stuff around but if that’s the best solution can be up for discussion.
Overall: The staff performance outshined the negative aspects of the stay however I’m sure I’d try a different place next time in Mandalay.
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