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The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat
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Reviewed November 28, 2011

I have just returned re-charged and rejuvenated, in every sense of the word , from an extraordinary out-of-the world geothermal getaway, The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat , just a 2-hour drive north of Kuala Lumpur, the booming capital city of Malaysia. My only regret was why I had not discovered it earlier as I understand it's already two years old and I had been scouting around for a clean, well-maintained low density resort that focussed more on the "wellness" concept; but now that I have visited it and stayed there for 2 nights, I can't help wanting to re-visit it quickly - that's how I instantly fell in love with it the moment I strode into the serene resort.

The air of tranquility envelops you the next few steps you take into its beautifully-landscaped gardens amidst a backdrop of limestone caves, a mountain range (hence the name "Banjaran" meaning "range" in the local language) and rolling hills.

What makes this resort so special? It doesn't have a beachfront but besides the private very well-maintained swimming pool that comes with each villa - there are only 25 villas in all : the Garden Villas and the Water Villas - there is an added unusual feature in this resort that really fascinated me and my spouse the most - the natural clean geothermal jacuzzi in the villa - a private one just for the two of us and situated beside the swimming pool so that you could dip into its cool waters , in your birthday suit if you so chose , after a hotspring spa that has massaged you and done the proper blood circulation in your body. Like everyone else we spoke to, we were thrilled with this jacuzzi concept - the jets were powerful enough to satisfy every muscle in our limbs - and were in it before going to bed and in it the first thing in the morning - and finally, we felt we couldn't get out of it and of course didn't have enough of it in our 2 nights' stay; hence, the longing to get back there. The privacy and the cleanliness when it's just for the two of you - that bought us immediately! "Wow! Wow! " is what everyone we met said about it!

Then when we explored the resort further, we entered the steam cave - also a natural one with the gradual heat coming from the hotsprings in it. Another worthwhile feature that we liked for healing and wellness. It was a natural spa and we guessed it opened all our pores and cleansed the toxins away . The heat was natural!This we enjoyed very much.

As we were looking for a short vacation that would de-stress us quickly, we felt this sprawling resort did more than that. It gave us inner peace as we marvelled at one of God's best natural creations for therapy of the body, mind and spirit. And, on our own shores as we didn't have to travel further and have the hassle of taking flights.

Then, we went jungle-walking. Another neighbour friend of ours who also happened to be at this resort at the same time as us - and it surprised us it was her second visit in so short a time , Mrs Leong and her hubby did the jungle-trek a few times, to and fro, as they loved the gradient - the slope was gentle and the air was invigorating , far from the noise and pollution of the traffic in the city.

Finally, there were no bulky keys to carry around with us as the resort has a unique way of making your stay convenient. All of us wore a band each on one of our wrists and with a touch of it to the door latch or knob, it was "Open Sesame" .

Everything in the villa was state-of-the-art quality. The furniture, the soft huge king-sized bed , the many soft pillows , the easily dimmed lights , .... I could go on and on ; but suffice to say I have found a quick getaway to be rejuvenated quickly. Initially the up-market price did bother me but once I got there and saw that the number of workers/ employees/ helpers and butlers far exceeded the number of villas and those in other resorts, I began to understand the need to pay a high price for the impeccable service and maintenance.

The private butler and the exceptional service speaks for itself. We felt pampered all the way from the jockey parking that my hubby was not used to at resorts and the personal butler taking us around our huge exceptionally spacious villa - Villa 9 - and the buggies transporting those who didn't want the strolls, we were treated like The Maharajah and The Maharani of India.

We owe a very special thanks to all those who made our stay out of the ordinary at The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat. Special mention must be made of course to the Chief Operations personnel Olivier Robinet who made it a point to greet us and show us around and asked if there was anything more that we wanted , the energetic and efficient Carl Selvarajah who took a lot of his invaluable time off from his busy schedule there to guide us around this resort, Ishak our trekking guide who insisted on leading us there, Bruno the new French chef (I hear he is creating a new menu to suit everybody's tongue and taste buds - I'm coming soon to evaluate your cuisine ) ,Chef Shan, Jay, Kamal, Murali, Connie, Balan, Faridah, Thurai, Nadirah and all in The Banjaran Team that served us and pampered us all the way.

We enjoyed your excellent service, your amazing cleanliness and maintenance, your service with a smile, and the many comforts and amenities in the hotsprings retreat that have made this 3D2N stay at your haven of tranquility out of the world. We are coming back - and soon!

Room Tip: I liked the Garden Villas. I would want to stay in it again.
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Jagjeet S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBanjaran, The Management at The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded December 2, 2011

Dear Mrs. Jagjeet,

We are delighted that you have enjoyed your stay with us and it is gratifying when one of our guests takes the time to let us know of their satisfaction. We will certainly pass along your comments to our colleagues who will be delighted to find that their efforts were appreciated.

We look forward to being giving us the opportunity to serve you again and to provide you with the very best of our The Banjaran hospitality.

The Banjaran Team
The Banjaran Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2011

Booked through Agoda. Cancelled as they had a discount later. Cancelled again when Groupon Malaysia had a discount with 1hr massage(spa) treatment for 2, inclusive of breakfast, at a lesser price.

Wanted to travel before the Malaysia/Singapore school holidays.

Banjaran is beside Tambun Sunway and located the base of a hotspring cave/mountain. Amazing place and its about 10 km, at most from the airport and 3-5 km from city area. So getting around is cheap although most cab drivers will charge you around RM10 to RM15 for short trips.
Check in was a breeze and there are 25 villas, each privately enclosed and well spaced out. Very quiet and peaceful with, estimated not more than 5to 10villas (out of 25) taken. Most advised the garden villas which is bigger and appears so. Had villa no.2, which I read from one reviewer to avoid, but really, its really fine and nearer the main entrance and geothermal pools.

The fish (apparently originate from Turkey) therapy where you put your feet into the pond looks a little algaeish but again, you can just dip your feet into the hot thermal pool beside after the DIY treatment which is quite fun. The thermal caves, outdoor pools and the outdoor enclosed scenary are best explored yourself and in my opinion, will be worth at least a quarter toof the price for 2 persons. Regretted not taking 2 days.

Rooms are needless to say and already described aptly by everyone before me. The indoor jacuzzi has natural hotspring water, and this is in addition to the pool in the villa which is great as well.

Service was good and staff very helpful. Room does not have coffee, only tea, presumably because the resort is for healthy, wholesome, cleansing, stay. So some good self brough coffee will be good.

The wine cellar, which is a huge cave, fully airconditioned, is only opened for specific hours at night and will be good if you have company of 4 , to enjoy since if you go as a couple, your villa will be ideal enough.

The GM or Ops Director, think he's Oliver, is very friendly and came to us during breakfast, rather apologetically for not saying hello to us the previous day. Nice gesture. Breakfast is simple and good. Nothing extravagant but looks prepared very meticulously. Oliver said they are in the process of changing to a French chef, presumably from hungry customers who complain of simple food, but really, the simple breakfast is quite nice. Not describing it here for you to comment yourself.

You can walk to Tambun through some forest walk from the resort, but couldn't do it and guess if you can, you should really do so, in the morning. The spa was really good and in superb setting and whole process was done in a most well thought through process.

If you need to stock up on some food, you can go to Giant (equivalent of Tesco or Carrefour in Malaysia) which has some fast food and local food and probably, 500 metres away. As it was the low season, the hotel, which is not their policy to do so, sent us there and back and this was again, a superb gesture.

Before I went, I felt that the price was rather steep. When I left, I though that every cent was well worth it and in fact, my top 2, or 3 travel in my 18 years of travelling. 6 stars.

Room Tip: Prefer the garden villa but really, should not be too different. Feedback from previous reviewers to avoid villas 1-3 but really, its nearer the attractions and although the buggies will have to pass your room to get to the other villas, its not really an issue.
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CalvinOng1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBanjaran, The Management at The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded November 25, 2011

Dear CalvinOng1982,

It was a pleasure having you stay with us at The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat.
We thank you for your comments and we appreciate you taking the time to write to us.
We look forward to welcoming you back again and to providing with the very best of our hospitality

The Banjaran Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2011

Great place! For those who want to relax and recharge, here is the perfect place. You will have total privacy here. Because of the low density, we hardly meet other guest during our stay here.

Staffs are all friendly and helpful, except the security guard who guided us for jungle walk,black face and not saying single word throughout the 25 minutes journey(except asking us whether want to take a rest), as if I owe him money, haha ^o^... The rest of the staffs are superb!

Must try all facilities here, all are great, pay a visit to all places in resort area after checking in then you know what you want to do next, it will be better if the staffs do give a briefing on what we can do in the resort during our check in. Infact we were explore it ourselves.

First, enjoy in hot spring dipping pool and Dr. fish pool, then try the fabulous rainforest shower, walk into steam cave, after coming out, dip in ice dipping pool (special thanks to the sweet male staff, who were even dropped ice cubes into the pool for us), it were so refreshing after we had stayed in the steam cave for 20 minutes. We all love steam cave very much, it is different from those sauna and steam bath we did before, it is natural steam from the hot spring! Fantanstic!

Of course, our garden villa is great.

My husband and me were struggled whether to have our romantic trip or to bring along my 2 boys in the begining, but thinking of spending another RM400 for an extra bed and they can enjoy all the facilities is actually worthwhile. Pls bring along your kids if they are above 8 years old. They will enjoy it too.

Especially thanks to Minnoli and the Malay girl who did the checking in for us, you guys are great!

  • Stayed: November 2011
    • Value
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Thank ZoeChong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBanjaran, The Management at The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded November 25, 2011

Dear ZoeChong,

Your comments are a valuable tool in our commitment to provide higher standards of service to our guests. It is gratifying when one of our guest takes the time to let us know of his satisfaction. We appreciate the time that you took to write and we thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you. We look forward to welcoming you back again and to providing with the very best of our hospitality.

The Banjaran Team

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Reviewed November 10, 2011

The garden villa is definitely 5 star. The staff are all very friendly and helpful but the service needs to be a bit more prompt. Although the restaurant is western, it would be nice if it could serve some local fare. I miss my cili/sambal the 3-4days I was there. Maybe the chef can come out with a healthy version of nasi lemak or roti canai. It would be much appreciated by a kampung girl like me.

  • Stayed: November 2011
    • Value
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Thank Shazabubakar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBanjaran, The Management at The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded November 17, 2011

Dear Shazabubakar,

It was a pleasure having you stay with us at The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat. We thank you for your comments and we appreciate you taking the time to write to us. We look forward to welcoming you back again and to providing with the very best of our hospitality.

The Banjaran Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2011

I've been to The Banjaran last year July 2010, and this is my second visit. Although I must say, my first visit was much better (I've also paid more for that). The second visit was via a promotion on Groupon while the first was a promotion direct from The Banjaran to celebrate their opening. After 1 year, the place is still very well maintained. This visit was a little less personal most probably due to high occupancy (public holiday + long weekend). 22 of the 25 villas was filled. Yet, when using the facilities around the hotel, you still feel the privacy and don't really notice much people around. They will assign a private butler for you during your stay, our first stay the butler was sending everywhere without asking and helped arranged everything up to what we should do in the hotel. The second stay, the butler also tried to arrange the things but the difference was quite obvious as she seems to be more busy juggling different customers.

Anyway, the overall trip was still a pleasant one. We had the feeling as if we were back to heaven for the second visit. I rate the bed as the best in the world I've ever slept on! The Steam Cave was amazing and the privacy you get at the facilities even though it is almost full is unbelievable. Would definitely come back again to rejuvenate and recharge my batteries. Due to the price, most probably will only be back next year.

Please also do not miss out having a wine at the Jeff's Cellar, the environment in the cave converted cellar is just magical. We were lucky that we've been here before, so we don't really need a butler to show us around :). Oh, 1 thing that was a bit of a sour note was that our in-villa jacuzzi was not cleaned properly when we checked-in, was filled with moss due to the geothermal water. Other than that, we are a very satisfied customer. p/s: you won't find any place that serve breakfast as healthy as The Banjaran.

Oh I seldom do reviews, but the reason I do this is because I've promised the Operation Director that I will write a review for him :)

Room Tip: If you don't need the balcony, go for Garden Villa, it is bigger and more spacious. But both type of villas also will give you the privacy.
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank bennygcs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBanjaran, The Management at The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded November 17, 2011

Dear Bennygcs,

It was a pleasure having you staying with us again at The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat. We thank you for your comments and we appreciate you taking the time to write to us. We look forward to welcoming you back again for a further visit and to providing with the very best of our hospitality.

The Banjaran Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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