A hidden gem sums this place up precisely. As city-dwellers we never imagined we could experience such sublime retreat without having to travel a great distance. The scenic drive from KL to Ipoh held us in great anticipation and we were not disappointed. The welcoming staff was friendly and accommodating, always at the ready with drinks, hot towels and buggy rides. Everybody (and I mean everybody) knew us by name and was apparently briefed on all our special requests. I recommend the honeymoon package, which was inclusive of all meals, spa + facial treatments for him and her, special candle-light dinner. If you forgo these extra deals at time of booking, they would be very expensive individually esp. the meals and the spa treatments.
At the recommendation of the Reservations Officer, we stayed at the Garden Villa. We enjoyed the outdoor jacuzzi and private swimming pool very much, particularly when we could see nothing but lush tropical greeneries and the clear blue sky around and above us. You can imagine the stars above your head at night with the scent of rose petals wafting in while relaxing in your natural hotspring jacuzzi (which they had at the most perfect temperature everytime). The swimming pool however is not heated but a brief swim at night in the tropics is no big thing. Massive comfortable king bed + wide selection of in-house movies.
The ala-carte meals were excellent. We could order and eat as much as we wanted. Some reviewers may say the meals are a bit too healthy? But to us the portions were alright and the choices, as limited as they were, catered to most discerning palates. We had 3-course meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the only restaurant in the retreat, the Pomelo.
The Spa was amazing. My husband and I were given the complimentary Adam and Hawa treatments had some of the best massages we've ever had there. On-the-spot prices are outrageous so better get a package inclusive of treatments. They offer everything from acupuncture to taichi to colon therapies to ayurvedic treatments to never-heard-of facial and body treatments. They do advertise themselves as a wellness and retreat spa so you'll be spoilt for choice.
The gym was adequate and immaculate. The outdoor trail to the Lost World of Tambun makes for good exercise in the morning with private entrance to the themepark if you wish to visit. Or you can arrange for a jungle walk but you will be escorted by security guards wherever you wish to go.
To me, what makes this resort so memorable is its exclusivity. When we arrived we were informed they were at 80% occupancy, but throughout our 3 days' stay we never saw a single soul. Either they were telling us a fib, or all the other guests preferred to stay in their own villas. It was like we had the whole place to ourselves. An intimate frolic in the main swimming pool and suddenly romantic music started to play, reverberating from the mountains all around us. You do feel like you're left alone most of the time but you are never out of their sight.
Perfect for couples as no children below 12 are allowed here. Do visit the crystal steam caves and the wine cellar. Non-alcoholic drinks are also available. You might think a 3-day stay here is too long and there'd be nothing to do but this place may and will surprise you. We would have extended our stay if we had not made other plans.
Special mention for Ms Liba, the hotel manager who we seemed to bump into all the time, at the restaurant, at the Spa, during our lovely walks at night - thank you for a wonderful honeymoon experience. We will definitely come again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat is an integrated luxury wellness and spa retreat in Ipoh. The 5-star retreat is situated on a 16.19 Acre valley nestled within a cluster of towering limestone hills and features a combination of natural caves, pristine jungle, waterfalls and geothermal hot springs. It is a self-contained sanctuary consisting of 25 luxury villas offering holistic wellness and spa experiences inspired by authentic Malaysian practices. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat Hotel Ipoh