In the Archaeological Zone of Old Bagan, walk to many major temples
Rooms have wood floors, local accents, and lacquerware art pieces
Some rooms feature river views and furnished terraces
River View Bar and all-inclusive happy hour
Restaurant featuring live band at night
Swimming pool, kids' pool, spa, and fitness center
Free drinking water and welcome drink
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Immediate area lacks much for dining or drinking
Furniture is a bit worn in some rooms
Aye Yar River View Resort is a large, three-pearl resort with 127 rooms that sits above the banks of the Irrawaddy River in Old Bagan. While there's not a ton of dining or drinking options in the area, many of Bagan's major temples are within a 15-minute walk. Rooms are simple and traditional, but feature carved wood and lacquerware details; some have river views and furnished terraces. There's also a small swimming pool, kids' pool, basic fitness room, and restaurant with regular live music performances. Other great features include the River View bar, which has an unlimited drink-and-snacks sundowner happy hour and great views of the river. Travelers may want to compare rates at the nearby Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary, which has a lovely pool, though is a bit more expensive.
Mid-size resort with traditionally inspired architecture
As with most hotels in the Bagan area, the Aye Yar River View relies on the area's history to inform its style, which is largely traditional with local artistic details. Given its location in Old Bagan, surrounded by some of the region's most famous temples, the resort is quiet and tranquil. It sits at the top of a sloping driveway topped by a golden temple-style arch that leads into the resort. Inside, the open-air and marble-floored lobby has a centerpiece that's designed to resemble one of Bagan's many temples, with towering wooden pagoda ceilings overhead. Lobby seating comes in the form of lovely rattan armchairs and couches, and there are lacquerware and jeweled serving trays set out for guests to admire. Guests are given welcome drinks to take in the atmosphere and relax upon arrival. Sculptures and statues of Apsara-style dancers and a traditional harp complete the picture. Given its relaxed setting and temple proximity, it's not surprising that the hotel sees tourists almost exclusively, many of whom are couples.
On the Irrawaddy River, amid the temples of Old Bagan
Aye Yar River View Resort is located at the end of a dead-end road, along the Irrawaddy River in Old Bagan. It's a peaceful and atmospheric spot, overlooking the river and a local jetty, and is a great place for watching the fabulous sunsets that take place over the mountains across the river from here. The resort sits in Old Bagan, in the Archaeological Zone, which is where all of the local famous temples are located. Shwe San Daw, the top sunrise temple, and Anandha Pahto, one of the largest and most visited temples, are both just up the road from here -- less than a five-minute drive. Many other smaller temples are within a five- to 15-minute walk from the resort, including the Ananda temple (15 minutes away on foot). While there are no restaurants or shops within walking distance of the hotel, guests can rent bicycles and scooters to get to some nearby eateries. The Nyaung U Airport is a 20-minute drive away, and there are plenty of restaurants and bars in New Bagan, a 15-minute drive away.
Simple rooms with blend of modern and traditional details, some with river views
Aye Yar River View Resort features 127 rooms, all done in a style that is simple and reasonably modern, with a few traditional details. Expect to see wood laminate floors in dark and mid-tone shades, heavy wood furniture with clean lines, and black-and-white pictures of the local temples on the walls. Urns and pottery add a bit of local charm. We did spot a bit of wear on some of the furniture. All include air-conditioning, minibars, kettles plus tea and coffee, flat-screen TVs, free drinking water, and safes. The entry-level Deluxe Rooms sit in a building near the swimming pool and are dark but spacious, with large bathtubs and separate walk-in rainfall showers. They have small terraces that do look out at a few temples, but the views really aren't impressive. The Grand Deluxe Rooms are better, set in brick-walled bungalows with bright interior decor, including rattan chairs and local art on the walls. Bathtubs here, as in the classier Premier Rooms and Suites, look out on the river and have river-facing terraces. For a real splurge, the palatial Ayeyar Suite has the best river view of all, plus an extra large flat-screen TV in both the bedroom and the separate living area. The bathroom has double vanities and a deep standalone clawfoot tub plus a fancy new walk-in rainfall shower.
Swimming pool with kids' pool, bar, restaurant, and free Wi-Fi
Aye Yar River View Resort has a decent selection of facilities for guests. While the swimming pool is not as big or appealing as the one at the nearby Thiripyitsaya Resort, it nevertheless has plenty of room to splash around, plus a large kids' area. There's also a pool bar. Next to the pool is a mini-gym with a few cardio machines as well as a rack of free weights, and next to this is a small spa offering massage and other health treatments. The Mekong Restaurant has a bar and offers a large menu of both international and Burmese food, along with free buffet breakfasts for guests each morning. There's also a live band that plays each evening. The River View Bar, which is set up on a terrace overlooking the Irrawaddy River, offering superb sunset views as well as a great vantage an all-inclusive drinks and snacks happy hour, possibly the best deal in the surroundings. Other resort features include bicycle and scooter rentals, meeting and conference rooms, and a guest computer in the lobby. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property.
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