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“could be a great place !”

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Planters Country Hotel & Restaurant
kuala lumpur
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“could be a great place !”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2009

my husband had gone for a previous trip in the cameron highlands staying in a small hotel in tanah rata, and had seen the bala's chalet as one of the nicest places to stay later with us.

cameron highlands and most of its hotels have a very suprising and special atmosphere, you could think you really are somewhere in england ! so bala's chalet buildings and gardens are very lovely in this syle, but the rooms are too basic, very humid and mostly very noisy ! we had a chinese family staying the adjacent room and we could here them talking, playing cards and having fun until 3 in the morning ! the bathroom was very old and not convenient. but i was told all the hotels of cameron highlands have quite the same problems !

  • Liked — the atmosphere
  • Disliked — the room
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank fabetol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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307 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    65
See reviews for
108
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ann Arbor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2009

The place is lousy. No lights in the pathway to your rooms which is a steep hill climb up. DANGEROUS!!!....And not at all suitable for old folks. When you complain, they just couldnt be bothered and turn a deaf ear. Solution?? You use your own torchlight to guide you up the steep hill climb up to your room. That is, if you have one. Otherwise, its your own funeral.
The same goes for the driveway up the hill. DARK. No lights at all until nearing the lobby. Path is narrow. No railings at the mountainside. Easy for inexperienced drivers to just go off the mountainside in a situation like this. And worst, parking is REALLY REALLY LIMITED. They expect you to park your car anywhere (up the steep pathway - at the mountainside).

Rooms not at all worth RM380!!! DAMP; no heater. They clean the room with a BROOM not VACUUM CLEANER. Pathetic TINY TV with no remote; electric jug not working (no replacement when asked. As if this is not bad enough, you dont get hot drinking water to compensate too. Solve this problem yourself lah if you have small babies/kids in a situation like this). Bath tub with a big sign OUT OF ORDER written on it, no wardrobe cupboard.. Is this worth the price you have to pay??? Online website photo gallery says 4-6 pax per room, but when you show up there, you will be surcharged for anything more than 4 pax. Daylight robbery, I call this.

The staff??? Damn RUDE. WORST HOTEL SERVICE you can ever get. and there is NO FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE TO TOWN unlike what is stated on their website. Dont be FOOLED!!!!

Lastly, my experience one morning while walking around the lobby.. Two families arguing with the hotel staff upon checking out..and one of them throwing dollar notes in the staff's face.. So, draw your own conclusion...What kind of a hotel is this. I, for one, wont ever go there again. and sure wont recommend to my friends.

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Everything
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank hotAnnArbor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Tanah Rata hotels

malaysia
1 review
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2009

Nothing special. My apartment far better than here. Booked through phone, provide my c. card info to them for advance booking.
But paid cash before check in. End up early this year my c. card used by someone else to book air ticket online. My mistake for providing them my c. card info. My advise, do not provide your c. card info through phone for advance booking. You never know who's on the other end.

  • Liked — nothing special for the price I paid
  • Disliked — nope
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank v0lt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Muenster
Level Contributor
76 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 23, 2008

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.

  • Liked — The location, and the old, charming building.
  • Disliked — The terrible service
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nkerle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, England
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 27, 2008

My husband, my daughter, a friend and I booked this hotel as part of a short break to Penang. As part of this break we thought we would like a visit to the Cameron Highlands. We booked the hotel by telephone which was fine. We obviously had to provide them with our credit card details to secure the room but I was told, on booking, that if we didn’t turn up we were still liable for payment. This was fine as there was no other accommodation available in the Cameron Highlands because it was the Deepavali weekend.
En route to the Bala’s we got stuck in some heavy traffic jam just outside of Brinching which held us up for over an hour. A member of Bala’s staff called us to see if we still needed the room. We told them yes and explained that we were stuck in heavy traffic and would be there shortly. We actually ended up getting there at around 5pm. We checked in and were told that we had to pay for our rooms in advance, which we did. We enquired about tea and scones and was told by one member of staff that there were no more scones but tea was available.
We were shown to our rooms, which were on the second floor. In both rooms even though the windows in the bathroom and the main bedroom were flung open the rooms smelt very bad. They were dark (even with the lights on), badly furnished (very old shabby furniture), one bath towel per guest (no hand towels or bath mat), no tea/ coffee making facilities, no drinking water available and the rooms smelt musty with damp carpets and beds, even the toilet paper was damp!! The musty smell was choking and almost ammoniacal!
My husband then went to the reception to enquire about some tea for the four of us. He was told that there was no tea available and we would have to wait until dinnertime (some two hours away) before getting a drink as all staff were preoccupied with preparing dinner! Considering that we were in the middle of Malaysia’s tea-growing area and the fact that it had taken us 5 hours to get to the hotel we were looking forward to a cup of this famous tea that the Bala had pasted on their website. I then went down to enquire about a flask of hot water and tea bags (as mentioned in their room information sheet) which should have been available for all rooms without tea/ coffee making facilities. I was told that tea had finished and they could not do this. While I was chatting to the gentleman another gentlemen came up and spoke to him in Malay presumably asking what I wanted. This gentleman said that there were no more scones but he would get some tea for us which we could have out on the patio area. This seemed OK.
After showers and a change of clothes we headed out to dinner in Tana Rata.
On return to our rooms at Bala we found that the smell had not improved and the dampness was still present – added to which the bed in my daughter and her friend’s room was so old that the mattress had worn away leaving bare springs to lie on! The bed in my husband and my room was marginally better but on getting into bed it felt damp and the musty smell was quite unbearable! I was scared to move in bed in case I disturbed the dust and the mould spores! Needless to say I did not sleep! I actually contemplated leaving that very night!
The following morning I discovered that the dampness in my daughter’s bed and the horrid smell of it had forced her and her friend to sleep in our rental car! Needless to say we were all up at 7am the following morning. We decided that we were going to skip breakfast and just have coffee and head back home – I did not want to give any more money to Bala’s than was absolutely necessary! At 7.40am I tried to get some coffee for us but was told that the restaurant had not yet opened - yet it clearly states on the guest sheet that the restaurant is open for breakfast from 7.30am. I returned at 7.50am and was told that they had no one to make the coffee and bring it out to us on the patio as they were preparing breakfast! I said that I would take it out and return it afterwards. I was told to call back in ten minutes! I returned at 8.15am and collected the tray. We enjoyed our coffee in the lovely surroundings but could not wait to leave to get back home for a good night's sleep and a clean flat!
On checking out my daughter complained about their room and was told by Mr Bala that he had never received any complaints about any of the accommodation at the hotel and basically it was tough luck! She insisted that they offered her a discount as they had not actually slept in their bed! He said he was only prepared to offer 30% but she managed to persuade him that 50% would be more appropriate!
This has to be the very worst hotel I have ever stayed in and I would be recommending to all my friends, family and work colleagues that they avoid it at all costs! The staff were rude and extremely unhelpful. Whatever happened to the statement that ‘the customer’s always right?’ If Bala is having problems living up to their website sales promises I suggest they invest in extra staff who are better trained and polite!

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Rude staff
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Easy-going50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2008

Rooms can appear dark and damp but don't be put off. The rooms are clean and the shower surprisingly hot and powerful. Can get cold at night so pack extra layers.
Beautiful settings, good food for breakfast, dinner and afternoon tea. Internet available too.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank CHontour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
58 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2008

After a review in the New Straits Times the week we were due to drive up to Cameron Highlands, we decided to make a booking, just for the one night. The article said it was once a favourite for backpackers and had since undergone renovations to emerge as a place to appeal to both budget and discerning travellers. The main Tudor building is delightful, interior very comfortable and cosy looking and the gardens beautiful with long established plants and creepers on the roofs. We were aiming for the lowest room rate of RM120 but they had all gone, next rung up was RM180 but Bala kindly gave it to us for RM150. This did not include breakfast. The room was very basic, two single beds, side table with small TV showing 3 channels, mirror on wall and bench for luggage and hooks for clothing. No cupboards, almost threadbare towels but at least it did have a bedside lamp. No heating but we weren't cold although it was said to be a chilly evening. I didn't notice any musty smell, but did experience allergy problems which I put down to dust in either the carpet, curtains or bedding.

We arrived too late for lunch, so settled for afternoon tea of scones, jam and cream and sandwiches. The place claims to serve the best scones in CH but we were horrified to see they didn't serve real cream! Synthetic cream just didn't do it for me, although the scones themselves,although small, were a good consistency and were not dry. Two small scones, jam and synthetic cream was expensive at RM18.50.

Dinner was better, with a charming open fire in the dining room, and we enjoyed our Mini Thali meal, but would have loved to have it served in a real thali rather than a normal dinner plate. They also do fabulous pancakes.

I would stay there again, but would prefer a nicer room, would have to decide whether I want to spend that kind of money. I feel that CH is overpriced based on what we paid at Bala's, but as we didn't stay anywhere else, hard to say. Certainly I expected to have tea/coffee making equipment in the room for RM150.

We didn't experience the rudeness of the staff as mentioned in other reviews, but Bala was the only one who spent any time with us.

CH is a place where you can pick fresh strawberries and buy all manner of strawberry products. Strange therefore to go for morning tea at Boh's state of the art teahouse and were served scones (dry) with packets of butter and Australian strawberry jam! And no cream.

  • Stayed August 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank FennKualaLumpur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Planters Country Hotel & Restaurant

Property: Planters Country Hotel & Restaurant
Address: Lot 55 | Cameron Highlands, Tanah Rata 39000, Malaysia (Formerly Bala's Holiday Chalet)
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Pahang > Cameron Highlands > Tanah Rata
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 19 Specialty Lodging in Tanah Rata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Planters Country Hotel & Restaurant 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Bala`s Holiday Chalet Hotel Cameron Highlands
Planters Country Hotel & Restaurant Cameron Highlands/Tanah Rata

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