Bala’s Holiday Chalet comes across as one wasted opportunity. The setting, just outside (the rather unattractive) Tanah Rata, is superb, and the old building (formerly an Englich boarding school) is full of charme and history. The building is well maintained, and the inside nicely decorated (and includes a tea and reading room). Thus first impression is very good, and having a tea (with homemade scones) in the garden is good too. But then there is the overall service, already commented on in just about every other review of this place. The people running the place are either constantly overstretched and thus not able to extend basic courtesies, or it’s just their nature. We booked by phone and got a first taste of the generally brusque and unfriendly manner with which guests are treated.
The rooms are ok, but very dark (some lights didn’t work, though were later fixed), but very damp – after only 2 days all our luggage and cloth were damp. The rooms themselves (we had the smallest/cheapest category) are clean but do no look well taken care of, and the bathroom was very basic (including the bucket shower mentioned by others).
We also tried the Indian restaurant, which was disappoining. We had the advertised set menue, which was very simple, but overpriced, and in the end only included some pickled veggies on the side and no desert, thus wasn’t a set menu at all. Unfortunately there are not many good restaurant options nearby. Walking to Tanah Rata takes some 20 minutes, but the Bala does provide a somewhat erratic shuttle service.
Overall we thought the place looked great and that the Bala could be a wonderful hotel – unfortunately it’s not, and it’s largely due to the people running the place.
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- Also Known As:
- Bala`s Holiday Chalet Hotel Cameron Highlands
- Planters Country Hotel & Restaurant Cameron Highlands/Tanah Rata