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By the time travellers arrive in Inle, they’ve often been to the buzzing cities, explored markets, pagodas, villages, workshops, temples and stupas and in search of a few days R&R to reflect on all the colour and character in Burma. Sanctum Inle may well be the perfect sanctuary for such reflection; think whitewashed walls, lofty ceilings, large picture windows and neutral colours. Add one of the most comfortable beds we’ve ever slept in (ever) - with a pillow menu of course - and you’ve found an ideal lakeside retreat for a few days R&R.
Rooms and suites are set around a courtyard in the main building and spread across the grounds. The design is intended to reflect a contemporary monastery, with classic dark wood flooring and furniture, and arched windows offset by luxurious marble bathrooms and colourful soft furnishings. All guestrooms and suites are air-conditioned and include a TV and minibar. The huge two-storey Abbey Suites steal the best lake views, while the Junior Suites are favourites of ours, each with a private terrace looking out across Inle.
The Refectory restaurant serves a delicious breakfast and a dinner menu catering to both Eastern and Western palates, which can be enjoyed inside or out on the deck, while The Cloister Bar is the perfect spot to enjoy an evening cocktail, or indeed a (surprisingly good) Myanmar vintage.
When you return from a day on the water, hop on one of the hotel's bicycles and explore the surrounding villages and farms, relax with a book from the Library on the water's edge or slip off to the spa to try their signature Tamarind Scrub.
Why we love it
Sanctum Inle has a little shop - The Workshop Boutique - which stocks a variety of handicrafts created by local artisans and make perfect keepsakes. Or for those who would prefer to buy directly from the artisans, the staff will happily point you in the right direction.