If you’ve been looking to refresh your senses and reset your bearings, there’s no better place to do that than among nature. Away from the concrete and cars, the pressures of city life and the harsh fluorescent lights, you can clear your mind and just breathe (clean air!). Malaysia is dotted with stunning resorts that can offer you this and much more.
Most of these oases lie nestled within lush rainforest, built up to be part of the natural beauty that surrounds them. You don’t have to travel far from the capital to reach some of the best in the country so why not make one of these your next getaway.
Situated in the Berembun Forest Reserve in Seremban, just over an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, lies The Shorea – a name that pays homage to the lush environment in which the resort lies. The genus Shorea comprises some 196 mainly rainforest trees, and it is also out of these (fully recycled timber) that the resort has been constructed.
Well off the beaten path, the secluded retreat has two wings with four villas each, complete with a salt water infinity pool that overlooks the dense jungle. You can head down and explore the terrain with an Orang Asli (indigenous tribesman) guide and cool down in one of the nearby waterfalls.
The impeccably designed villas which cater to both couples (the 400 square foot Villa Kemboja) and families (the 2,000 square foot Villa Shorea) are matched only by the high service standards which ensure you’re well pampered throughout your stay. To experience nature at its finest, look no further than The Shorea.
Where Kampung Kolam Air, Mukim Pantai, Jalan Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan
Tel 017 300 5600 or 017 300 5810 (Whatsapp)
With sustainability and conservation at the heart, The Dusun has built up a reputation as one of the leading eco-resorts in Malaysia. Owners David and Helen Todd poured their blood, sweat and tears into The Dusun, which started life as their holiday home when they arrived over 30 years ago. The plot grew, new houses were added and in 2009 it officially opened for business.
The resort sits on a 12-acre fruit orchard (planted by the Todds) and comprises five houses each distinct in style. Berembun House is a romantic abode built on stilts with direct access to the infinity pool and spectacular vistas over the untouched rainforest, while Emas House is perfect for a family of five or six. Next to a deer park, it is shaded by the trees and has beautiful views of the rolling hills that surround the resort.
The Sora, Perling, Tapir and Tembusu Houses are equally as beguiling, with architecture and comfort in spades. Explorers can walk along the Batang Penar river which offers a few swimming spots and magical waterfalls, and if you’re up for a longer trek, an indigenous Temuan guide can lead you to deeper into the forest while divulging its secrets – an opportunity that should not be missed!
Where 3437 Jalan Kampung Baharu Pantai, 71770 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan
Tel 012 616 2585
Rest. Pause. Rainforest Retreat
The name of this place says it all really. Escape the deafening city sounds to this Janda Baik retreat a thousand feet above sea level and in the heart of West Malaysia’s oldest rainforest. A mere 45-minute drive from KL along the scenic Karak Highway will get you there.
This four-bedroom retreat comfortably accommodates up to 10 guests on seven beds (with added charges for every additional guest over six), and comes equipped with TV and DVDs, a small library, board games and limited WiFi. You’ll easily forgo all those to the natural wonders outside however, which come with their own unique soundtrack from the wildlife that inhabits these jungles. Listen for the occasional call of the hornbill, cry of monkeys and chorus of mammals.
Naturally, there are walking trails all around the resort if you want to really immerse yourself in the jungle and photography lovers can go nuts with perfect conditions happening at sunrise. Finally, you can do your own cooking in the fully equipped kitchens or drive to the nearby restaurants to grab a bite!
Rest. Pause. Rainforest Retreat
Where Lot A293, Jalan Tanarimba Sum Sum, Tanarimba, Janda Baik, Bukit Tinggi, 28750 Bentong, Pahang
Titi Eco Farm
This 100% organic farm doubles as a rustic resort and is the perfect retreat for those after a serene getaway where the focus is on peace of mind, wellbeing and healthy living. Surrounded by lush green hills, herb, vegetable and fruit gardens and breath-taking views of the distant mountains, there couldn’t be a better place to clear your mind.
Here you can gain valuable insight into how an organic farm operates with packages that include healthy plant-based organic meals, activities such harvesting tea and crafting a meal, guided tours around the farm, vegetable harvesting, and much more.
Animal lovers will feel right at home as they can get up close to the many animals that roam the farm, including goats, chickens and rabbits. Meals here are prepared using only produce picked from the day so it’s the freshest farm-to-table food you can get.
Make sure to swing by the Farm Store before you leave where you can purchase a wide range of premium organic products to take back with you.
Titi Eco Farm
Where No.28, Jalan SS1/23, Kampung Tunku, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel 03 7874 8122/ 03 7874 8127/ 03 7876 9833
Another hidden gem located in the Berembun Forest Reserve is Selapas Hujan, a sprawling villa right on the fringes of the 4,000-acre virgin rainforest. If it’s Zen you’re after, you’ll find it in droves here with captivating views, intoxicatingly fresh air and just Mother Nature to keep you company. Put the gadgets away and reconnect with yourself and family or friends.
The villa comes with a few bedrooms that can house up to 10 guests – it’s a simple and cosy set up built from warm woods, extremely well maintained with spacious kitchens and comfortable beds. A scrumptious breakfast of nasi lemak is provided and sets you up for the rest of the day.
On the activity front, we recommend hiking to the nearby Temuan Orang Asli village and sitting down for a chat with some of the villagers to learn about their way of life. They’ll also be able to take you on guided tours around the area, provide a traditional meal and even massage – all payment goes directly to them so you’ll be doing your part to help them survive.
Where 43A (Lot 3154) Pantai Hill Orchard ResortJalan Kampung Pantai, Pantai Negeri Sembilan
Tel 012 9315147