MANDARIN Oriental has taken a 25 per cent stake in a US$92 million project to build a luxury hotel in Bagan, Burma. The hotelier has teamed up with two Thailand-based partners, The Oriental (Thailand) and Italthai Development Bangkok, to build a 100-room hotel on the eastern bank of the Irrawaddy River. The Oriental (Thailand) has taken a 50 per cent stake and the remaining 25 per cent is held by Italthai. The Bagan site has more than 100 buddhist pagodas, and their preservation is a condition of the area's development. The ruins had to be preserved for religious and historical purposes, Burmese authorities said. 'We are studying with the developer ways of building the hotel so that it fits into the environment,' a project official said. The development would 'harmonise with the unique culture and beauty of the surroundings'. The group has already signed a lease agreement with the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism to develop the site.