Ned Kelly Hotel, Mandalay

I stayed in the Ned Kelly Hotel last year, on a trip with an American friend who’d made the booking mainly on the strength of the Ned Kelly having a roof terrace.

And the unusual name.

Turns out, she didn’t know who Ned Kelly was.

Nor, I suspect, had she quite realised what the word “poshtel” meant.

Because this uber cool, striking-looking hotel-hostel is a clever, laid-back mix of the 2 concepts.

It is a hotel and it is also a hostel.

Now how does a poshtel work, do I hear you ask?

Well, there are common areas, like a sitting room which comes equipped with a TV, sofas, a dining table and a kitchenette. They were hardly used during our stay there, and everything was spotless.

the communal

And in the bedrooms, each bed has a lockable cupboard below it. Like so

Actually, this might well be our room. There were just 2 of us. But 4 beds.

As you can see, the beds are a little higher than normal, ‘cos of said cupboards, but that’s no big deal.

Otherwise, it’s just like any smart, clean hotel.

No frills. But spotlessly clean.

Small but clean bathroom:

And the famous roof terrace? Actually there are two & they looked good when we checked them out on arrival:

But…that evening they were showing the Super Bowl on that giant screen, so the place was packed. And noisy.

So the very kind, very attentive staff served us our drinks up on the second roof terrace. Just the 2 of us. (And the Super Bowl).

An adequate breakfast (with excellent coffee) is served in the lobby café or outside on the terrace, there is good wifi, you can leave your luggage there on departure day if needs be, and it is all very chilled and very easy-going.

Great location.

Tuk tuks easily available.

We paid our own way and I didn’t tell the staff at the Ned Kelly Hotel that I blog and write reviews.

Personally recommended.

Need a brilliant guide/driver in Mandalay, Myanmar?

As we got off the bus in from Mandalay airport, on our first ever visit to Myanmar, there was a crowd of taxi drivers waiting to greet the arriving bus.

We selected a driver purely on instinct, and boy oh boy did we make an excellent choice.

Colleen and William_3736

Introducing William Thein Soe, a very safe and competent driver, and his absolutely adorable wife Colleen who, for the duration of our stay, travelled with us in the car driven by her husband, dispensing information and conversation and humour and anecdotes, along with wet wipes and snacks and tissues and bottles of water.

We hadn’t requested any of this, but Colleen had an apparently endless supply of treats, and so every time we collapsed back in the car, hot and a bit dusty, there would be water and a wet wipe and food if she felt we looked hungry.

Too fabulous.

They both speak good English – Colleen especially – and they both worked for many years in Singapore.  They make a great team, explaining and informing, but never overloading you with information, and never ever over-stepping any boundaries.

Never once did they suggest we shop, or visit a particular restaurant.  They were both uber-polite, dignified and totally trustworthy.  They added to our enjoyment, honestly and truly.

It was an absolute pleasure being with them, and I would recommend them without hesitation.

Their details are below:

william

They don’t have a fixed tariff (well, they didn’t then), so decide each day what you want to do, where you want to go, and fix a rate with them.  We averaged $30-35 a day (one day was even more because we did so much more), and we never begrudged them a penny.  Such charming, helpful, un-pushy, friendly people deserve to be remunerated and encouraged.

I wish them both well, and would definitely call them on a subsequent trip to Mandalay.

Personally recommended.