With many of us adopting a hectic work schedule making it difficult to take long leave from work, accessible weekend getaways offering calm and tranquility have become a sudden trend. These hidden gems offer visitors a relaxing environment, mostly amidst greenery and nature. Some venues offer villa accommodation where up to 8 guests can share a villa, organize a BBQ and just hang out with friends. It’s a way of shutting out your daily routine, while adopting old fashion fun such as playing board games or just having a good long conversation with your friends over a cup of coffee. Back to basic is a good way of describing the experience, but with comfortable lush accommodation. Some locations keep themselves very private, and have declined to be featured by press. This is to keep the promise of privacy to their guests, and they have mentioned that, “Word of mouth is enough for them. As, they try to keep their guest very happy, and 70% of their guests repeat their stay.”
SEKEPING KONG HENG
Rustic nostalgia is a way to describe Sekeping Kong Heng. Charmingly located in the old town of Ipoh, this three story neo-classical building brings you back in time. Housing a famous coffee shop on the ground floor that serves aromatic coffee and the best local dishes in town, even your taste buds are instantly transported back to an era where everything was just simpler. Sekeping Kong Heng is a testimony to Ipoh’s decadent past, Kong Heng the name of the famous coffee shop on the ground floor was formerly used as a hostel to house theatre performers who performed in the adjacent theater building that was burnt down in the 50s.
LOCATION: Ipoh, Malaysia
GPS: Latitude : 4.596972,
Longitude : 101.078135
The Dusun is nestled on a hill surrounded by nothing but lush serenity and rainforest. Life at The Dusun is designed for those who enjoy fresh air, lush greenery, jungle trekking and peaceful strolls. Meals are self-catered, so make sure your travel buddy knows how to cook. You can enjoy the day exploring The Dusun which is surrounded by fruit trees, best time to visit is when the ‘king of fruits’-Durian is in season. You can savor a taste, right after it falls off the tree.
This small nature resort features five houses, which are lovingly developed by Helen, David and their five children over two decades. Each house is unique and sets apart from the others so guests can enjoy privacy. The family has a good relationship with the local community, so enjoy the day with a local massage, jungle trekking with local guide Ah Kau or go bird watching. Back to nature sums it up.
GPS: Latitude : 2.715407 | Longitude : 101.958443
TEMPLE TREE, BON TON LANGKAWI
There is no other place like Temple Tree, Bon Ton Langkawi in Malaysia. Antique buildings of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian origin, make up this 12 room, 13 suites and 8 villa hotel. Each building holds a history of between 70-110 years old. A cross between a guest house and luxury villa, guests are treated as friends and house guests. The Straits Club is a 90 years old Eurasian House that accommodates the restaurant, library and bar.
The unique aspect of Temple Tree goes to the dedicated owners who scoured Malaysia to find these homes. Some of them were derelict, numbered and dismantled, then transported piece by piece to Langkawi. They were re-erected to their original plan. The design had to work around the existing rooms. The interiors are styled with Asian antiques to feel like a private home.
The Chinese house was built by a Chinese family in Batu Pahat, Johor. This was originally a farmhouse and built approximately 100 years ago. Some of the design is thought to have Taiwanese influence. Originally situated next to busy Gurney drive in Penang, The Penang House was built in the early 1930s by a Chinese contractor and was very typical of its time. The black and white house, Colonial house, Estate 5, Plantation House, Ipoh house and yellow house all holds a heritage story told by The Temple Tree.
GPS: Latitude : 6.3233 | Longitude : 99.854724
BAGUS PLACE RETREAT
Bagus Place Retreat comprises of seven chalets beautifully located on the stretch of a beach blessed with aquamarine waters. If you lead a hectic busy lifestyle and want to completely switch off from the world this is the paradise you have been searching for. Offering seven unique chalets designed to blend in with the surrounding- the tree house features an open air living room area built around a tree trunk. The boat house is a wooden version of a boat offering comfortable accommodation and a private sundeck.
Sit-back, relax and enjoy the sound of the waves at this tranquil retreat.
LOCATION: Tioman Island, Pahang.
GPS: off the grid
45, LEKIU, MALACCA
45 Lekiu located in the heart of Malacca’s UNESCO World Heritage, allows guests to soak in the heritage, culture and history that Malacca has to offer. The concept of Guesthouse is taken to another level, where 45, Lekiu offers luxurious and stylish accommodation. The building that houses 45 Lekiu is a 1941 pre-war art deco building that has been restored while maintaining its original quaintness.
When you check in you get exclusive use of the whole premise, it feels like having your own home in the heart of Malacca. Boasting two floors and a rooftop, this accommodation is ideal for families or a group of friends. The Ground floor features a TV room, kitchenette, garden and lap pool. Both first and second floors offer luxurious bedrooms. Escape to the rooftop where you can sit back and watch the stars in the outdoor lounge setting roof top garden.
GPS: Latitude: 2.197045 |
M BOUTIQUE, IPOH
Located in a corner shop house in Ipoh town, this boutique hotel interior is like walking into a movie set or home and living store. You are instantly transported to a world where everything you look at is creatively position for an eye dropping sensation. By immediate reaction you will whip out your phone and start taking pictures to upload onto your social media outlets, before even making your way to the reception area for check- in. Spread over three floors, they offer a room for single, double, triple and family occupancy.
The hotel is tastefully decorated like a warehouse with large flower arrangements, rustic nooks, grand chandeliers and breathtaking centerpieces. You are instantly inspired to be creative, and bring out your inner artist. Featuring a boutique M store which sells interesting art deco pieces and two restaurants. Myth Eatery & Bar serves western flair and Old Town White Coffee Grand offers Asian favorites. The living room communal areas is a great quiet place to read a book and after consuming all that yummilicious food in Ipoh you can burn off the calories in their well-equipped gymnasium both located on the first floor.
LOCATION: Ipoh, Perak.
GPS: Latitude: 4.5881972 | Longitude: 101.0776