Accor flies Mercure flag in Yangon

YANGON, 26 April 2018: After an extensive renovation, AccorHotels officially raised the first Mercure flag over a property in Myanmar’s commercial capital last week.

Unofficially, the former Micas Hotel Apartments was rebranded Mercure Yangon Kaba Aye in the third quarter of 2017 and remained open for business, during a renovation that ended in March.

Last July under Accor’s management, the hotel initially offered a USD114 ‘opening’ rate for a room with a kitchenette, valid until September 30 2017.

Today, the stay has got considerably cheaper. Booking.com posts a rate, before tax and service, at USD 92.16 after eight months on the Mercure ticket.

Last week’s ‘official’ opening was the icing on the cake, a celebration for VIPs and the hotel group’s executives to pat themselves on the back for acquiring their first Mercure management contract in the country.

The Mercure brand offers a loose fit for independent hotel owners, who gain full access to AccorHotels’s formidable distribution system and loyalty programmes without too many pressing obligations to meet the usual stringent brand guidelines.

It allows AccorHotels to cherry pick contracts from a variety of hotels that lack hardware fit with any of its mainstream brands.

The former Micasa Hotel Apartments is owned by SC Capital Partners Group, which has just completed a comprehensive renovation including 40 rooms and 143 one to three-bedroom suites for short or long-term stays ( 30-days minimum).

Booking.com fields just 49 reviews on the hotel and gives it a ranking of 8.4 and a four-star rating, while TripAdvisor posts 159 reviews and lists it 13th out of 451 properties for best value in Yangon.

Based on location, Mercure’s immediate competitors are Sedona Hotel selling at USD 125.99, Inya Lake Hotel at 85.67, Melia Yangon at USD 134.50 and Hotel Parami at USD 86.94.

Located 5 km from downtown Yangon (Chinatown and the city’s main market) the property is located on Kaba Aye Pagoda Road leading to Inya Lake. It takes about 30 minutes to drive to downtown Yangon. It’s around a 15-minute taxi ride from both Yangon International Airport (10 km) and Shwedagon Pagoda.

Location provoked criticism from a few reviewers who claimed the hotel was in a poorly lit part of town, well out of the business district and a distance from any night life. However, it is close to the Myanmar Shopping Plaza and other reviewers appreciated the absence of traffic noise.

Renovations were still underway in January and it ruffled feathers. Some guests claimed AccorHotels had failed to notify them that the property was undergoing modifications, a criticism vigorously denied by the management.

Post renovation, the only reminder of the original hotel, that opened in June 1999, is the refurbished MiCasa Restaurant & Bar where Southeast Asian dishes (one or more from each of the 10 ASEAN nations) are featured in the menu, plus a daily buffet.

The seven-storey Mercure Yangon Kaba Aye features 183 units (40 deluxe rooms and 143 one to three-bedroom suites. Room and suite dimensions range from 32 sqm to 125 spm.

The stay is comfortable enough with free Wi-Fi and access to a fitness centre and a 21-metre long swimming pool for business visitors who need to trim their waistline.

Still the main attractions apart from the refreshed appearance and new facilities is the original offer – the choice of suites, on short or long-stay terms, that come with a self-catering kitchenette.

Conclusion
Family travellers will appreciate the suites with a self-catering kitchenette. The distance to downtown is not a major issue and the lack of traffic in the evenings makes for a relaxing chill-out retreat. But be prepared to dine in-house.

AccorHotels counts six hotels in Myanmar, including MGallery The Lake Garden Nay Pyi Taw, Novotel Inle Lake Myat Min, Novotel Yangon Max, Ibis Styles Yangon Stadium, Mercure Yangon Kaba Aye and Sofitel Inle Lake Myat Min.

Source : TTR Weekly

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