Perched 5,500 feet up in the highlands and draped in wisps of mist is the colonial 5-star hotel, Cameron Highlands Resort. Romantic in its grandeur and placement in the centre of the mystical highlands, I took in the lush view from my private room balcony that overlooks an 18-hole golf course as a swirling fog descended upon the resort. In the blink of an eye everything had become concealed. Magical.
Cameron Highlands Resort is a nostalgic throwback to a grand heritage and was my base to explore the picturesque rolling hills backdrop that makes photographs and an Instagram feed just pop. My Deluxe Room, with its king four-poster bed, was fit for a queen and a spacious seating area was the ideal place to map out all of my tea plantation excursions for the three days I was staying at Cameron Highlands Resort.
There is a calmness entrenched within Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands that the resort embodies as a pianist gently plays his grand piano in the evening and the attentive staff, led by the wonderful Sherry, tend to all of the guests’ whims. And to take that relaxing vibe a step further, because I’d stayed on the Book Direct package, I was entitled to a pampering at the award-winning Spa Village.
The massage treatment is only for one person per room, so, back off husbands and boyfriends. I was practically giddy with excitement while waiting for my treatment to begin. Cameron Highlands Resort’s Spa Village have incorporated the characteristics of the environment and local traditions and the smell of tea filled the room when I was invited to begin by dipping into a soothing tea bath. Heaven. The intention is to bring your mind to a state of calm before getting your 50-minute massage treatment to heighten the overall experience. I felt like I’d awoken from a lovely dream after and was left in such a sleepy happy state that the only thing I was capable of was dinner.
Another perk of availing of the Best Available Rate package at Cameron Highlands Resort is that you’re given a free Steamboat dinner at their restaurant, Gon Bei San. A buffet spread full of fresh ingredients for you to cook your own dinner are laid out for you. Don’t worry, the staff are on hand ready to explain everything and take you through the steps. For anyone who hasn’t had a steamboat dinner before, many hands can make it a chaotic experience to manage! Food starts to become tossed in for the sake of it rather than what’s advised, but it’s all fun and delicious.
Breakfast was included in my package so I had a hearty breakfast every morning, including on my own balcony, which costs an extra RM10 to enjoy. Pastries are freshly baked in front of you and are constantly being offered around that it’s hard to stop just at one (guilty). I was hoping to get my hands on some scrumptious scones but I had to wait until later in the day for those.
To play the part in the colonial themed highlands there is the quaint act of Afternoon Tea. Cameron Highlands is famous for their plump strawberries and you can taste the resort’s own freshly made and preserve free strawberry jam on freshly baked scones between 3-6pm along with finger sandwiches and other delicacies. It costs RM110 for two people.
Not everything is about the glamor and if you’ve brought your hiking boots with you then you can explore the highland’s wilderness with the resort’s resident naturalist, Madi, on a complimentary Jungle Trek. The trail has been tailored to bring to life the curious disappearance of Jim Thompson. I’ll be honest, the Jungle Trek wasn’t my cup of (Cameron Highlands) tea. I prefer a nature walk that has a somewhat manmade tourist friendly path which delivers to me not only the experience of the environment but to a destination where a cocktail is waiting at the end.
This wasn’t that. You spend 40 minutes traipsing through a real jungle before remerging 5 feet to the left of where you entered and then walk along the road back to the resort. I would have preferred to have listened to Madi share his wealth of knowledge on one of the scenic walks that Cameron Highlands is renowned for and to leave the curious habits of Mr Thompson’s last day to CSI.
The resort is perfectly positioned in location to explore the surrounding towns and attractions. The minimum amount of time you can hire a private taxi is three hours and it costs RM30 per hour. The overall friendliness and location of this unique retreat high up in the Malaysian mountains is a lovely place to experience everything that Cameron Highlands has to offer and a welcome escape from the sweltering tropical heat of Kuala Lumpur .