Belmond Governor’s Residence: $30 (including breakfast)
The gold standard. This is the pool of dreams: a lush free-form lagoon beside a beautifully restored colonial-era wooden mansion. Geese frolic on the grass. There are curtained off cabanas in the shade. The best way to get in is to buy breakfast. It’s costly, though, at $30 per person. But it comes with free-flow mimosas, and literally every indulgent breakfast food you can think of: honey-soaked fluffy pancakes, French toast, a million dainty pastries, Mohingya, coconut noodles, a whole shelf of cheeses, posh ham, smoked salmon and so much more. There are multiple rooms full of food. Go early, and eat several courses. Breakfast ends at 11am.
They’ve also recently introduced an all-day deal, which is not really a deal at all, but it’s sort of tempting if you’ve got the big bucks or it’s pay-day. Eat breakfast, lunch, and have free-flow drinks (cocktails, wine or beer) from 8am until 5:30pm for $79 per person. That’s not including service and tax, by the way. There’s also a 30 per cent discount on spa treatments.
Governor’s Residence is located at #35 Taw Win Road, just past the American Center.
Rose Garden: $20 (including $10 for food)
Rose Garden’s pool is simple but has a generous deep end. Photo: Coconuts Yangon
This isn’t such a bad deal, as deals go in Yangon. The Rose Garden, a relative newcomer, is built in the style we have come to know as Naypyitawrian: massive, turreted, grandiose, empty. But they serve very decent Western food: crisp and flavorsome pizza, Paninis with pesto and mozzarella, BLTs. To use the pool you pay $20, but that includes $10 credit to spend on snacks. Ice-cream is $1 per scoop. The rectangular pool is sizeable and has a proper deep end.
Rose Garden is located at #171 Upper Pansodan Road.
Jasmine Palace: $10
Jasmine Palace’s pool is located on the fifth floor of the hotel. Photo: Jasmine Palace/ Facebook
The cheapest of the lot, Jasmine Palace is a fairly new hotel on Pyay Road. The half indoor-half outdoor pool is on the fifth floor, with a city view. The bar’s right there, too, in case you get thirsty.
Jasmine Palace is located at #341 Pyay Road.
Kandawgyi Palace Hotel ($20)
The pool at Kandawgyi Palace Hotel looks straight onto the lake. Photo: Kandawgyi Palace Hotel
This pool is pretty big and fun. There are dinosaurs in the garden, for one thing. It’s also right beside Kandawgyi Lake, which makes for a pretty view, especially at sundown. However, you get diddly squat for your $20, except the swimming.
Kandawgyi Palace Hotel is located on Kan Yeik, near Kandawgyi Lake.
Park Royal ($30)
Not very inspiring but functional, and use of a slick gym is included. If you’re not planning to work out, though, it’s expensive and the pool is a bit small and has absolutely no view. In fact, we’re not sure why we included it. For desperate times only. If you really, really need the sauna. Or wi-fi, which is fairly speedy.
Park Royal is located at #33 Alan Pya Phaya Road, near the corner with Yaw Min Gyi Street.
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