The Strand Yangon’s Historical Significance Celebrated by the Yangon Heritage Trust

Posted in News on 19 February, 2019

We are delighted to let you know that The Strand Yangon has become the first hotel to receive a commemorative blue plaque from the Yangon Heritage Trust in acknowledgement of its significance in the historical and cultural heritage of Yangon.  The Strand has been a city landmark since it was first founded in 1901 as a luxury hostelry to accommodate the first influx of international travellers arriving in South East Asia by steam ship and later by air.

The recently renovated 32-suite hotel is highly acclaimed as one of South East Asia’s leading luxury hotels and one of its most architecturally beautiful.  Classic but never old-fashioned, a visit to The Strand Yangon is a ‘must do’ for visitors to Yangon, who are invited to walk in the footsteps of famous guests such as George Orwell, Noël Coward and Rudyard Kipling by taking afternoon tea at The Strand Café, cooling off with one of the famous Strand Sour cocktails in the Sarkies Bar or checking into one of its beautifully appointed suites.

On display under the portico at the entrance to the hotel, the blue plaque states that The Strand Yangon was established in 1901 by the Sarkies brothers and is the oldest hotel in the city, often referred to affectionately as Yangon’s ‘grande dame’, having played host to royalty, writers, raconteurs and weary travellers alike for more than a century.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the installation of the blue plaque was held at The Strand Yangon on 7 February 2019, attended by Yangon’s Chief Minister, U Phyo Min Thein, and the Yangon Heritage Trust’s Vice Chairman and Director, Daw Moe Moe Lwin, amongst other tourism ministers and members of the Yangon City Development Committee.

Commenting at the ceremony, Suki Singh, Vice President Operations, Myanmar for GCP Hospitality, operators of The Strand Yangon, said, “We are honoured that The Strand Yangon is the first hotel to be the recipient of a blue plaque from the Yangon Heritage Trust and that the Strand’s history is being commemorated with this internationally recognised symbol of cultural significance.”

Singh continued, “The entire Strand team considers itself fortunate to be the guardian of this beautiful building and thereby to over a century of Yangon heritage.  If the walls of the hotel could talk, they would tell tales of the adventurers, explorers, writers and raconteurs who have passed through its doors, as well as the highs and lows of the city we live in.  We look forward to preserving this piece of Yangon heritage for future generations of hoteliers and travellers.”

Despite its recognised place in Myanmar’s history, The Strand Yangon has constantly evolved to meet the expectations of modern luxury travellers. In 2016 the hotel underwent a six-month restoration project that preserved the heritage at its heart while creating a more relaxed, refined and glamorous setting for 21st century travellers.  Local artisans restored original antiques and architectural detailing; the latest technology installed; and the hotel’s décor given contemporary twist through a refreshed colour palette and subtle decorative details.  The renovation was completed with the addition of a new outdoor swimming pool, dining terrace, therapy rooms, gym and private garden.

The Strand Yangon is the 27th building or historical site in Yangon to be commemorated by a blue plaque, and the first hotel to receive such an honour.  The Yangon Heritage Trust’s blue plaques are permanent signs installed on heritage buildings and locations to commemorate a link between those buildings and places and a famous person, event or landmark, serving as a historical marker.  The objective for installing blue plaques is for people to understand the cultural value of established heritage sites and also to discover lessor known heritage sites. The Blue Plaque Project is supported by the Yangon City Development Committee and implemented by the Yangon Heritage Trust (YHT). YHT believes that Blue Plaques are one of the most effective and visible means to celebrate Yangon’s rich history. With their direct appeal to the public, they will make Yangon’s history accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.

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