The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat
It was a choice between an upscale hotel in the middle of the city with a very famous infinity pool on the 57th level that one shares with a massive number of people taking selfies, or a quiet luxury resort away from the city with our own private plunge pool.
I chose the latter.
Ipoh is the capital city of the Malaysian state, Perak, and is the third largest city in the country. It’s roughly 200 km (120 mi) north of Kuala Lumpur.
The resort offers pick and drop service from the airport. This is not free. We decided to rent a car from Kuala Lumpur airport and drive ourselves. Malaysia’s roads and highways are excellent, and the drive is pleasant. I definitely suggest driving yourself.
Warm Welcome & Seamless Check-In Experience
There’s the usual welcome drink, a wet towel to freshen up, and a quick intro about the resort. We were taken on a buggy ride to tour the resort and then to our garden villa.
The tour of the property is essential since it’s massive and quite overwhelming in the beginning! A map is provided in the room, which is helpful.
The staff accompanied us inside the villa to give us a tour of the place, where things are located, the remote controls, precautions, etc.
The buffet breakfast—when compared to what we’re used to in the UAE—was small and limited. One look at the humble spread and we were like, is this all?
They also give you a menu from which you can order as much as you want and the chef will prepare it for you. Masood ordered the noodles and fried eggs, while I ordered nasi lemak. Portions are small.
Do note that while the food is halal, alcohol is served in the resort.
But the food tasted fresh. I believe it’s the view and ambiance that made the meal special.
Delicious Meals Just a Couple of Minutes Away
When we toured the property to decide where to have dinner, we were greeted by bottles upon bottles of alcohol on display, and that killed my appetite. This is when we appreciated renting a car because we were able to drive out to the nearest food court and had our halal, alcohol free meals.
We ordered mee goreng, bihon sup utara, a cocktail drink with jelly, and ice kachang. All these at a fraction of the price when compared to dining in the resort. The locals are sweet and friendly, and we loved dining in their midst.
The Garden Villa
We chose the Garden Villa over the Water Villa for the following reasons: bigger room, bigger pool, an outdoor jacuzzi, and more privacy.
Service is impeccable. The villa is tastefully furnished. I’m totally smitten by the his and hers washbasins in the bathroom. The complimentary products provided by the resort are of very good quality and include bug spray. The bed is comfortable and huge.There’s a complimentary pomelo sitting on a table. Did I tell you there’s an outdoor shower with a rainwater head?
Tip: The jacuzzi takes time to fill so you might want to do that the moment you enter the villa.
The private pool is not heated so it takes some amount of courage to submerge yourself in the water when you first get in. But it’s private and I don’t need to worry about hijab. Totally worth it!
We absolutely loved the turndown service. When we returned to the villa after dinner, we noticed that the curtains were drawn, the lights dim, and the electronic mosquito repellent on. They left some cookies with a note on the bed! Plus, whatever wet towel we had used earlier in the day after the swim and shower had been replaced.
The Property: Hot Springs, Caves and Waterfalls!
The minimum age required to stay at this property is 12 years.
There’s a quaint library in the resort where you can borrow a book or two to take back to your room, or read in the library with a cup of complimentary coffee.
Explore the property and visit all the caves! You may even want to meditate inside one. The biggest cave has a comfortable sofa inside.
There’s an organized walk each morning that’s free to join. There’s also an amusement park called the Lost World Of Tambun next door.
Other facilities include: Free Wi-Fi (although the signal is weak inside the room), Car park, Fitness center, Spa, Yoga classes, laundry service, and luggage storage.
If you don’t mind the drive from Kuala Lumpur, the tropical humid weather, and the occasional mosquito bite (the resort is surrounded by trees!) I would definitely recommend the Banjaran Hotspring Retreat.
The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat
Address: 1 Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3, 31150 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Phone: +60 5-210 7777