Inle Princess Resort
This peaceful Burmese owned resort is the perfect base for exploring Inle Lake. Jutting over the eastern shores of the lake, the resort was built by local craftsmen, using timber and bamboo from the area, and the style reflects the traditional architecture of the Shan people.
Each of the 36 large wooden villas are decorated with Burmese textiles and have a comfortable sitting area. All have a private balcony overlooking either the Shan mountains, the tumbling gardens or the lake itself. Princess and Lake Houses face east for panoramic sunsets, while Mountain Houses have exceptional sun rise views. In keeping with the resort's ecological ethos, the houses have fans rather than air conditioning and there are no TVs; the rooms are rustic and unfussy, and complement the natural environment of the lake. The lake can be quite chilly in the winter (from November to February) and so the resort provides heaters and extra blankets, but we would recommend packing an extra jumper for the cool nights.
The restaurant has great views over the water, particularly at sunset, and the varied menu of European and Burmese dishes is impressive, as are the local specialities of the Shan, Intha and Pao ethnic minorities. The spa is enchanting; three large wooden verandas on stilts hover over the water, with floor to ceiling windows giving lovely views over the countryside. The property has a good-sized outdoor swimming pool in a sunspot for those summer days; a serene place to start your day or relax after sightseeing. The service is exceptional and friendly throughout, and there is Wi-fi available in the hotel's main areas but not in the rooms.