A stylish urban classic for over a century, The Strand Yangon first opened its doors to writers, raconteurs, explorers and adventurers in 1901. The luxury heritage hotel has been collaborating with Augustine since the early 1960s. This was the time when Mr Augustine first sourced rare and beautiful objects from Myanmar’s history for the hotel.
This summer, The Strand Yangon celebrated that successful relationship with the opening of Augustine At The Strand. This is a new boutique located just off the hotel’s marble lobby. It specializes in exceptional items that exemplify the finest in Myanmar craftsmanship.
Augustine At The Strand
Collated by Mark Augustine, the pre-owned items at Augustine At The Strand are from post-1900, when the hotel first opened. The hotel has placed an emphasis on items that are hand-made by traditional artisans using rare techniques. It also features typical elements such as gold leaf, lacquer, and teak wood.
Mark and his father, Augustine’s founder have had a close relationship with Strand Hotel for over 55 years. They collaborated with the Strand during its major renovations in the 1990s and in 2016. They’ve sourced numerous items now found in the lobby. These include various large pieces of lacquer ware and gilded wood carvings.
“Here at the Strand, we have the privilege to be the guardians of this beautiful building’s history,” commented Hotel Manager Barthélémy Durand.
He added: “Likewise, Mark and his father have become stewards to a century of Myanmar’s artisan crafts. By opening this shop, we have brought the experts right to our guests, who can ensure the provenance of each item, help source particular items and assist with any paperwork such as certificates of authenticity, thereby preserving and ensuring the longevity of Myanmar arts and crafts.” .
If guests are unable find the exact item they desire, the Augustine team can arrange for them to visit the original Augustine shop and warehouse in nearby Kamayut Township. This is also a treasure trove of carvings from workshops in Mandalay, gilded statues, mid-century furniture, lacquer ware from artisans in Bagan, and beautifully worked silver.
Additionally, the Strand’s contribution to Yangon’s historical and cultural heritage was recognized in February 2019. It become the first hotel to receive a commemorative Blue Plaque from the Yangon Heritage Trust.