Wood is the word throughout the Kalaw's elegant, comfortable cabins. Featuring wood-panelled floors, walls, furniture and bathrooms, the cabins evoke the romance of the glory days of river travel in Burma, when flotillas of passenger steamships plied the Irrawaddy. At 16 square metres, the cabins are comfortable, with plenty of storage. All cabins are outside-facing.
The 18 cabins are all exactly the same size and have the same features and facilities. There are eight cabins on the upper deck and 10 on the main deck; upper deck cabins are considered to have the better position on the ship. The two cabins at the bow of the upper deck (201 and 202) are the best of the best as they have a corner position and one additional window. All cabins open to the outer perimeter of the ship and therefore have direct water views when cruising.
Cabins can be configured as either twin bed or double bed. The beds are comfy and made up with premium white linen as well as plump duvets that make early morning snoozing an appealing option. Serviced twice daily.
The airconditioning unit on the ceiling is powerful and cools the room rapidly. In addition to glass sliding doors, each cabin has louvred wooden doors fitted with insect screens. As the night breezes tend to be cool and refreshing, it is pleasant to sleep with the aircon off and just the louvred doors closed. There is also a curtain at the door for additional privacy. Be aware that the Irrawaddy is a working river, teeming with everyday life, and as a result tends to be noisy. Early morning sounds include the outboard motors of small fishing boats, roosters crowing and dogs barking.
Each cabin has a desk and chair, a mirror above the desk, and two wooden bedside tables plus reading lamps. Storage includes a closet with hangers and a personal safe, as well as large drawers under the beds to store suitcases or other items. Bottled water is provided free of charge and is replenished daily. There are no connecting cabins, and none that are wheelchair-accessible.
Bathrooms also feature wood-panel flooring, and even wooden French doors as shower screens (there is no glass door). The shower stall feels spacious, and the water pressure is strong. No bathtubs. There is storage available under the bathroom sink, plus a shelf on top of the towel rack and open shelves above the sink. Soaps and personal care items are a combination of high-end Thai brand Thann, and French brand L'occitane. Bathrobes, slippers and hairdryers are provided.