Imagine arriving at Inle Lake after 3 days hiking in the mountains. Your feet hurt, you haven’t slept well in days, the sun is burning while you are sitting in a small noisy motorboat, one of the many that are cruising through the lake… And then the Sanctum Inle Resort appears between the floating gardens, like a Fata Morgana beckoning you to come closer. And closer. Until you have to surrender to its heavenly luxury and serenity. Quoting the owner: “The sanctum is a place of inner peace, calm and serenity. Here on the shores of Lake Inle we have found our sanctum.”

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The hotel

Sanctum Inle Resort opened its doors beginning of October 2016 and aims to be an upscale resort where detachment, simplicity and elegance are key. Contemplation reigns supreme, far from the bustling world. Arches and cloisters reference the monastic life, opening the doors on a more contemplative experience of travel. And… not to forget: an amazing infinity pool overlooking Inle Lake! This hotel is an ideal getaway to one of Myanmar’s most fascinating spots.

Sanctum Inle Resort

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The location

A timeless fisherman, rowing one-legged across the placid water at dawn. A floating vegetable garden, fertilized with decaying plant matter. The stilted wooden homes of waterfront villagers. A destination as lost in time as in the vast, unexplored realm of one of the world’s most compelling destinations. This is Inle Lake.

Together with Bagan, and two of the Far East’s most exotic cities at Yangon and Mandalay, Inle Lake beats at the heart of every traveler’s dream of Myanmar. As the country’s second largest lake, pooled at 800 meters above seal level, Inle is renowned for its waterborne life. Its stilted homes perch precariously above water levels that rise and fall with the seasons.

The lake’s channels route splinter boats to some of Asia’s most fascinating markets, to pagodas of distinctive grandeur, to a remarkable collection of 1,000 ruined stupas at Inthein Village that date back to the 13th Century, and to a very singular house in the middle of the lake where long-necked Kayan women are welcoming you with a smile.

Local industry abounds from shops rolling cigars to boatyards and handicraft garments. Few destinations in the world today preserve the fabric of life as life was lived decades ago. Inle Lake is one of those places.

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The rooms

The rooms at Sanctum Inle Resort celebrate the virtues of a monastic life. Though the design is minimalist, the hotel has integrated all of the modern comforts, from plush beds and air-conditioning.

All the 94 offer the same comfort and peace. Guests can choose between four types of rooms: Cloister Delue, Provost Junior Suite, Abbey Suite and Sanctuary Suite. All guestrooms include LCD flat screen television, mini-bar, complementary Wifi access, tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer and a personal safe. On top of that, every room has its own terrace overviewing the gardens and the lake. Sometimes I caught myself staring endlessly at the serene lake and the waving water lilies.

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The restaurants

The Refectory

The menu at the Refectory celebrates must-eat standards of the Shan culinary arts, from noodles and soups to fresh garden salads. The Refectory deepens its exploration of regional fare with mohinga, samosa and a delectable palate of curries from wider Myanmar. Even for the ones longing for non-Asian food, the hotel offers a full complement of familiar Western dishes.

The Cloister Bar

Part-bar, part-lounge and altogether the place to swill a late-day cocktail, the Cloister Bar serves traditional favorites and a wide selection of Myanmar-brewed beers. For wine aficionados, the bar uncorks two premium vintages from Myanmar, each produced under separate German and French management. One of the two is located close to the hotel: the Red Mountain Winery. Read more about the winery further on our blog.

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More information

Sanctum Inle Resort website

Address: Maing Thauk Village, Inle Lake, Nyaung Shwe Township, Shan State, Myanmar
Phone: +959 252 818800