mylifestylenews

2015-05-18

The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat @ Malaysia First Luxury Natural Wellness Hot Springs Resort


A good two-hour drive up north from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, there is this bespoke retreat resort surrounded by lush tropical jungle, natural geothermal hot springs and a cluster of magnificent and awe-inspiring range of 260 million year old limestone hills. The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat is the country’s first luxury natural wellness hot springs destination, mylifestylenews writes……



The natural Hot Springs at the resort


Located within a 16.59-acre valley, this sanctuary is 15 minutes from the city of Ipoh in the northern state of Perak. Its collection of 25 garden and water villas and a spa and wellness centre offering more than 40 authentic Asian-inspired treatments and therapies, are complemented by a host of unique features including a thermal steam cave, meditation cave, crystal cave, outdoor rainforest shower, foot reflexology walk, hot springs dipping pools, ice bath and Doctor Fish Pool containing exotic Garra Rufa fish for a true relaxing, renewing and rejuvenating experience.


We checked-in to our Garden Villa which was a delightful haven encompassing an extensive outdoor garden terrace with quite a decent size plunge pool, living and dining area under cover, and a state-of-the-art sound and music system that enhances its overall mood. Stepping in, the sumptuous bedroom suite has an oversized 7-foot king-size bed with a 10cm thick ‘feather-bed’ topped mattress - offering a heavenly sleep with hypoallergenic pillows, a writing desk, a 40-inch HD LCD-screen television and cabinet, as well as other luxurious conveniences.


The Garden Villa provides amber space and privacy to guest.


The large bathroom ensuite is complimented by a walk-in closet, private outdoor rain shower, outdoor sunken Jacuzzi with natural geothermal hot springs water and an entire range of aromatherapy bath and body care amenities. This villa truly ensured you were relaxed and in a state of bliss on so many levels in total privacy, it was hard to wrench oneself away from these luxurious confines to try out other amenities in the resort.


The spacious outdoor living room


In-villa outdoor natural hot springs bath



For the adventurous at heart, there is also a half-hour jungle-trekking trail through the dense, deep limestone hill forests, allowing for exploration and appreciation of unique flora and fauna like the uncommon, luminescent green, single-leafed plants called the Monophyllaea horsfieldi, which only grow on limestone-derived soils, swift flowing waterfalls and mysterious caves. You really feel you are miles away from civilization when enjoying the sights and sounds of this forest below the limestone hills.


The outdoor recreational swimming pool.



To replenish the appetite and revive one’s spirits, there is the retreat’s all-day restaurant <Pomelo> which acquires its name from the fruit that the city Ipoh is famous for, featuring a menu crafted from flavourful yet healthy and nourishing dining by Michelin-starred chef Felix Eppisser. Drawing on the freshest organic and locally sourced ingredients, healthy selections of organic fruits, vegetables, fresh seafood and premium poultry are mainly used and carefully selected by Chef Eppisser.


To compliment such authentic ingredients, fresh herbs and spices are picked from the resort’ spice and herbs garden that  accentuate all the tastes on the menu. The cozy indoor dining as well as the al fresco dining within any one of the three floating pavilion that extend over the hot springs offers a romantic evening dining experience with the red lanterns.



 Chef Eppisser surprised us with his culinary by special tailor-made four course menu with local infusion.



<Grilled Udang Galah>


<Grilled Seabass>


<Assam Laksa>
&
<Beetroot Salad>



<Tuna Carpaccio>
Honey and lime dressing, mandarin aspic, capers berry and micro green

<Crispy Prawns with Lemongrass>
Pomelo salad and coriander sauce


<Lamb Rack Marinated with Sarawak Pepper>
Potato mousseline with Indian spices

<Cod Fish Glazed with Soya Sauce>
Ginger and wok-fried vegetable



<Chocolate Fondant>
Mango and white coffee ice cream



Just you think the dinner will ends your evening in such exclusive resort and retreat, a visit to Jeff’s Cellar (formerly a privately owned cellar by the owner and was the first development project in this entire resort) is an absolute must.  Viisting Jeff’s Cellar is a unique experience, and not just for the wines! The cellar set within a limestone cave and built in a grotto with some of the most spectacular cave concretions. At the cave entrance, the walls are covered with rare hemispherical calcite or aragonite concretions a few cm in diameter that look like a field of mushrooms. These were formed by seeping of calcium carbonate-rich water through the pores of the rock and precipitation of crystals in the shape of half golf balls.


The main room of the cave is lined with a series of large stalactites (descending concretions), stalagmites (ascending concretions) and columns ( joined stalactites and stalagmites), at the foot which lay pools enclosed by calcite walls called rimstones. The rainwater is rich in CO2 slowly percolates through the limestone and comes out along the roof of the cave, enriched with calcium and carbonate ions. These combine to form the calcite concretions that create this fantastic underground scenery. That makes Jeff’s Cellar one of the most unique wine bars in the world.


The renown Jeff's Cellar


While savouring a wide range of organic and rare wines, you are in an ethereal setting with subtle lighting that highlights the intimate cave interiors and breathtaking natural water features, presenting a whole new encounter and indulgence. There are not too many wine bars in the world - maybe none, where you sip wine while up close with stalagmites and stalactites! Jeff’s Cellar’s unique setting and ambience adds stylish appeal and extravagance to significant occasions and events.



The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat  is truly unique in so many levels and even if you are not into holistic retreats, yet  there is still something for everyone. It is also refreshing to note that to maintain the tranquility and exclusivity,  it only welcomes guests 12 years of age and over, so is essentially a children free resort.



The cellar is filled with private collection from around the world.


An additional lovely touch by the resort is that every villa has a Labu Sayong - an icon of Perak. This is a glossy black earthenware carafe that assists the cooling of the drinking water provided to guests by its colour and distinct gourd shape with a double bulb design. Inherent minerals in the clay used to produce the Labu Sayong are believed by some to be able to cure ailments like coughs and fevers.



The whole wellness factor is truly engrossing and we knew that leaving so soon meant that we missed out on experiencing a greater depth of satisfaction for all the natural beauty and health-giving amenities. There never seems to be enough time basically, we have to return and will not stop waxing lyrical about our happiness in experiencing such a wonderful retreat.



Tried & Tested:
Location: 5/5
Ambience: 4.5/5
Design & Decor: 4.5/5
Food & Beverage: 4.5/5 
Room Amenities: 4/5
Housekeeping: 4/5
Service: 4/5

Highlights:
Hot Springs
Jeff's Cellar
Food & Beverage

1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3,
Ipoh, Perak
Darul Ridzuan
Malaysia
Tel: +6 05 210 7777