The Cameron Highlands is an easy 3 hour bus journey from Kuala Lumpur. Known for its beautiful rolling hills, cooler temperatures, and wonderful tea plantations, the Cameron Highlands is a wonderful change of pace from Kuala Lumpur. When I started researching hotels to stay at during my trip, I quickly realised that the Cameron Highlands Resort was easily the best hotel option. I’m excited to share some of the things that made my stay at the Cameron Highlands Resort so memorable!
The Cameron Highlands Resort is steeped in history and fully embraces the feel of the Cameron Highlands. Built as an extension from a 1930’s cottage, the resort has a very unique colonial feel, with some of the architecture dating all the way back to 1070! The hotel feels like you are in a very luxurious yet welcoming colonial home, complete with a shared fireplace (where you can enjoy a firelighting ceremony if it is a special occassion), wood flooring, and beautiful white shutters.
Each of the Resort’s 56 rooms and suites perfectly captures the colonial yet comfortable feel shown in the lobby. I stayed in a Deluxe room, which is perfect for a couple with its king sized four-poster bed, spacious seating area, and private balcony overlooking the neighbouring golf course (note all rooms have a balcony). I was so content to make a cup of tea, which was provided in the room, and sit on the balcony reading my book. It was truly an escape from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur, and was such a relaxing experience to simply breathe in the cool mountain air while looking at the rolling hills in the distance.
If you want a more active experience, the Cameron Highlands Resort has you covered as well. The Resort organises complimentary walking trail tours, where an experienced resident naturalist explains all about the plants, animals, and extensive history of the area. I did the “Jim Thompson Mystery Trail” on my first morning, which was a leisurely 45 minute beginner hike through the jungle with our amazing guide Madi.
Madi was absolutely wonderful and clearly very passionate about sharing his knowledge of the Cameron Highlands. He was even somewhat of a local celebrity, as everyone else we talked to seemed to know of the “famous” Madi! During our walk Madi made sure to point out several interesting facts, including background information on “Jim Thompson” who the walk was named after.
The next day we were treated to a half day tour with Madi. This tour explored farther from the hotel and included a visit to the Boh tea plantation. The tea plantation is absolutely massive and includes a look into how the tea is made, from growing, to refining, to drinking. There is a great little restaurant on a balcony overlooking the tea fields, and Madi expertly showed us some of the lesser known vantage points to take some incredible pictures from!
The rest of our day included a visit to a strawberry farm, where we were given a pair of scissors and a basket to go and pick our own strawberries. These were some of the best tasting strawberries I’ve ever had, straight from the vine! Finally, we also visited Sam Poh Temple, which is the oldest Buddhist temple in the area. Madi was providing funny stories throughout the entire tour, making the day even more enjoyable! And if that doesn’t fill your time in the highlands read my post 12 Things To Do In The Cameron Highlands.
After a long day of sightseeing, one of my favourite things to do is relax in the spa. As you would expect from a luxury hotel, the Spa Village at the Cameron Highlands Resort was one of a kind! I was treated to a “Fresh Strawberry Escapade” experience in their Spa Village, which was truly one of the most unique spa treatments I’ve ever had. Strawberries are extremely important in the Cameron Highlands, with countless strawberry farms and products, so this “Escapade” involved a tea and strawberry bath, a 1 hour massage and strawberry scrub wrap which soothes inflammation and softens the skin. Seriously, if you have never had a relaxing massage and then been covered in strawberries you need to experience it at least once in your life!
The Spa Village offers a wide range of other treatments as well. From traditional massages, to rose petal facials, to other amazing experiences offered only at the Cameron Highlands Resort (like a Chrysanthemum & Avocado Escape or a “Cameron’s Mint” treatment). The Spa Village is the perfect way to relax after a long day with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating areas to chill out.
The Cameron Highlands Resort has a good number of in-house dining options, each with its own character matching its unique location. I started my day each morning with breakfast at the traditional Dining Room restaurant, which offered a combination of made to order dishes and a self-served buffet. The dining room overlooked the neighbouring golf course and mountains in the distance, and was the perfect setting to plan out my day.
I also had dinner one night in the Dining Room, which transforms into a smart casual restaurant with an excellent selection of colonial, western, and local foods. Each day the culinary team would go out and get the freshest ingredients, and this attention to detail really pays off because the food was all excellent. Be sure to save room for dessert, because there were some delicious choices, and as we all know calories don’t count on vacation!
Afternoon tea is another important part of the Cameron Highlands, and the Cameron Highlands Resort organised a perfect one in their Jim Thompson Tea Room. The beautifully furnished Tea Room offers a place to sit and relax while enjoying a wide range of pastries, sandwiches, and strawberries with your cup of tea. This experience reminded me of being back in England, and I really felt miles away from the heat and craziness of the city. A delicious lunch is also served daily in the same Tea Room, which is a perfect spot to kick back and relax while having some traditional dishes.
Finally, no Cameron Highlands trip is complete without a proper “Steamboat” dinner experience. Luckily you will not have to venture far to find the best Steamboat in the Cameron Highlands, because the Resort has one in their very own “Gonbei” restaurant. For the unacquainted, a Steamboat dinner involves a pot of boiling soup with different flavors, where you cook your meat and vegetables yourself tableside.
Situated near the guest rooms in the back of the hotel, Gonbei is a half outdoor seating area which lets you fully appreciate the cool night air while eating your meal. The manager of the restaurant was exceptionally nice, making recommendations on the best combinations of food and explaining how the process worked, from picking our boiling base to adding the right amount of meat and vegetables. It’s difficult for me to pick my best meal at the Cameron Highlands Resort, but I would have to lean towards Gonbei because the food was not only incredible, but the entire experience was so much fun and memorable!
The Cameron Highlands Resort is the premier resort in the Cameron Highlands, and after my stay it is easy to see why they have earned their stellar reputation. The setting and amenities are beautiful, the food is outstanding, the activities very well organised, and the customer service is always fast and friendly. Next time you find yourself in Malaysia, make sure to take a trip to the Cameron Highlands and experience the Cameron Highlands Resort firsthand!
I was welcomed as a guest at the Cameron Highlands Resort. As always all opinions are my own and reflect my genuine opinion of my stay at the resort.