KUALA LUMPUR, 27 November 2018: Travellers revel in the tropical Malaysia experience, but they can also literally climb out of the heat and humidity for spring-time temperatures during their Malaysia trip.
Within easy reach of Kuala Lumpur the country boasts four distinct highlands all located in the state of Pahang.
Take your choice Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands, Fraser’s Hill and Bukit Tinggi all have their own distinctive charm.
Located at an altitude of 1,828 m at the northwest corner of Pahang, Cameron Highlands is the largest hill resort in Malaysia, established originally as chill-out spot for colonials, post World War I. It was originally surveyed in 1885 and by 1926 the first road reached the gentle slopes and plateau of what is now one of Malaysia’s oldest tourist spots. Ironically, Cameron Highlands’ tourism career began as a “sanatorium and health resort,” a role that has been reinvented under today’s tagline of “wellness.”By 1930, it even sprouted a six-hole golf course and colonials compared it with the pleasures of holidaying in Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka, or Baguio in the Philippines.
Today with its hotels, golf courses and tea plantations it’s a popular destination that contrasts climatically with Malaysia’s coastal cities and resorts. In the highlands temperatures rarely exceed 25 degrees centigrade and at night they sink to a chilly 9 degrees.
Expect to see Tudor style houses and mansions many of them converted into hotels, guesthouses and restaurants.Reinforcing the imagery of English gardens are the strawberry farms and the profusion of rose gardens. A near perfect rose growing climate produces remarkably colourful blooms.But the climate is also perfect for tea plantations and forest trails are abundant for the energetic traveller, who needs more than the sedentary pleasures of sipping afternoon tea and savouring fresh strawberries and cream with a selection of dainty cakes.
Traditions aside, Cameron Highlands is a three-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur a journey punctuated with a stop at hot springs on a route that is still recognised for reaching the highest point accessible by car in Malaysia.Nestled on the gentle sloping moorland shared by villages, resorts and farms, the Lakehouse Cameron Highlands has just re-opened following two months of restoration.
Back in the market and accepting bookings, 1 November, the renovations focused essentially on providing safety-improvements and attaining compliance with international standards, or tour operator requirements, but the Tudor style country home ambience remains intact.
Both the exterior and interiors have been refreshed, but the distinctive design remains to continue reflecting a heritage Tudor-style country home in the midst of tropical Malaysia.
Lower temperatures and humidity, in a zone described as “sub-tropical highland climate,” makes the difference for visitors so they can enjoy walks and more energetic treks in the undulating forested hills without breaking a sweat.
Joggers love the Cameron Highlands as do mountain bikers mainly for the technically difficult off-road riding challenges as well as the cooler climate.Heritage wise the property is a throwback to colonial times when tea plantation owners gathered in their second homes replicating an England they still cherished even down to the chimneys and log fires.
This quaint ambience lends itself to a family get-together; picnics in the resort’s gardens and manicured lawns, while also catering to visitors who appreciate learning a new skill such as, strawberry jam-making, a mojito-making class and forest trekking.
We sourced a USD130 a night room on the hotel’s website for a December stay with complimentary tea and scones and the room has a Nespresso coffee maker so the day starts off perfectly with great brew.The property has a strong rating from TripAdvisor with 929 reviews and a score of 4.5 bubbles based on 51% excellent reviews and 35% very good ones. Call it responsive service. The hotel manager responds to reviews takes on board feedback, which suggests traditional hotel care is practiced here with the GM reaching out to guests as opposed to flicking through spread sheets in a back office. Properties that put their GM’s back in the lobby interacting with guests are the winners in our opinion and it shows in the TripAdvisor reviews for this property.Top marks are recorded for the staff, who organise the morning jungle trek a popular activity when visiting the resort. The team showed it has local knowledge to make the trek memorable.Commenting on the reopening of the Lakehouse Cameron Highlands hotel manager, Low Lai Fun said: “My team and I look forward to welcoming guests ….A brand of new energy awaits.”
Located 200 km north of Kuala Lumpur, and against lush state reserved forests at 1,000 metres above sea level the Tudor-style country house hotel overlooks the Sultan Abu Bakar Lake. Definitely, worth the commute from the Malaysian capital.
Visit HPL Boutique Collection: The Lakehouse Cameron Highlands
For more background on the Lakehouse experience