8 of us wanted to come down over the Vesak day weekend for the Beginner's camp, but were told that the promotion doesn't apply for public holidays - we would be offered a free night and 10% off riding instead. That wasn't what we wanted, so in the end, only 3 of us could make it down the weekend before the Vesak Day one for the camp proper. Minor scrambling over change of plans aside, we were more than pleasantly surprised at the beauty of the grounds. Located within The Legends golf course, the surrounding lands are very "neat"-looking and quite prettily landscaped. In the near distance, there are pineapple and palm tree plantations. I'm not a fan of creepy jungles (too many horror movie references) so I wasn't sure what to expect during our scheduled trail ride, but we were actually going through the plantations and at one point, going past a little kampung along the road. Quite civilised, actually and I enjoyed the feel of cool jungle greenery. The riding lessons were fab. The instructor Larry (Guillaume) is an absolute gem. He is soooooo patient and sweet, and has a gentle sense of humour so that you'll really get to relax and laugh, and just enjoy his classes. He's always willing to answer questions (and trust me, I pepper him with questions, being new to this!) and he makes it a point to tell you about each horse's characteristics, and likes and dislikes, when you first get on it, so you'll know how to handle the horse right. I'm not sure if this is true, but I think he also puts quite a bit of consideration into assigning horses that he knows we are confident with. My second lesson, I had a ...frisky horse who wanted to canter when I haven't done the trot much yet. I freaked out then. And for my third lesson, I noticed he put me back on my first-lesson horse, which was not only more placid, but a mount I was used to. Coincidence? I don't know but I fared better that ride as I felt more confident handling a familiar horse. The horses were fab...mostly ex-race horses with some polo ones thrown in. Well-behaved, elegant rides. On to the accomodations: it's not hostel living, that's for sure, but it's not 5-star either. I'm not sure what the previous reviewer was complaining about, since the pictures on the website were pretty straightforward. The best comparison I can think about is a cross between a bed and breakfast (thanks to the hospitality and fab food) and a business-class lodging. You get slightly more than the bare necessities, but not much more than that. True, the sheets and towels can be whiter, the bathroom amenities could be more luxurious...and we could pay more money for all these! Frankly, it depends on what you are coming to Riders Lodge for. For us, we expected good riding and a decent stay and Riders Lodge overdid themselves on those aspects. I had the room with the double bed and trust me, it's actually two doubles pushed together to form a huge over-king sized bed. So it'll be a very comfortable sleep for two people (but if you like a soft bed to sink layers into...you're out of luck here. The bed is more firm than soft, though the pillows and duvet are decent). We stayed at the Verandah rooms on the 2nd floor, which opened out onto a nice wraparound porch overlooking the green gardens and lounge chairs. There are cooling ceiling fans, and wicker chairs and rocking chairs lining the entire stretch. The Verandah rooms are the only ones without a bath tub, and I do wish that we had been explicitly told that we had a choice of a better room with a tub that was just for RM20 more! Apparently if you filled in an online form, you'll get to pick your options but as I handled our reservations mainly via phone and through email, I didn't realise we had this choice. The food is fabulous. Simply delicious and creative too. The fish was the highlight - so soft and flaky. Even the French family we dined with loved the food. The soups are apparently hand-strained, and I'm still thinking fondly about the tangy lemon cream profiterole at dinner! So absolutely no complaints on that front. Go for their afternoon tea too...their scones are more American-style biscuits, but their devonshire cream is the real deal...not some cheap whipping cream. The owners apparently come down every weekend and they are very friendly and hospitable. Sennet has a dry AND wry sense of humour, while Agnes is a dear with wonderful horse and people stories! Some people say she lingers too much at a table, talking, but I feel otherwise. I think she does watch out for cues and if you keep asking questions (like we did!), of course she'll stay to answer them! If you want your own time, then don't fake it and she'll understand too. C'mon people, we are old enough to know how to play in social settings. Deal with it. For myself, I loved her openness and friendliness...I really felt like I was at a B&B at such times with owners who actually liked and wanted me there! Such a treat. The staff are very very nice and accomodating and always ready to help. Love this place, and will definitely come back for a return visit!!!
Ask for the rooms facing the stables!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.