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Top Hotels in Malaysia that transport you to a different world

Holidays are a way to get away from the routine and familiar. That’s why when we travel, we sometimes catch ourselves doing things we wouldn’t normally do back home. We’re more adventurous, aren’t we, when we’re on the road travelling. There’s a change of scenery, we’re surrounded by strange cultures, the food is different, etc. In such an environment, we find ourselves opening up to new experiences – we try the local food, we get out of our comfort zone and speak to the locals, we participate in their traditions, and more.

A romantic holiday at Colmar Tropicale, oui?

Similarly, when we check ourselves into a hotel, wouldn’t it be nice to be surrounded by a fresh change of scene? Of course, the standard hotels have all the comforts we could ever want, but how about passing up on that spick and span hotel experience and jump in to a whole new “hotel” environment?

Colmar Tropicale at Johor
Colmar Tropicale, Johor

Legoland Hotel at Johor
Legoland Hotel, Johor

Thematic hotels abound in Malaysia and it’s a great way to get out of our comfort zone to try something new. For kids, surely they would love the Legoland Hotel in Johor to relive their love for these iconic play bricks. Feeling a little bit French? Colmar Tropicale transports you to a Parisienne holiday in the tropics!

Well, read on to see our top picks of unusual and themed accommodations that will definitely give you a fresh take on your holiday in Malaysia!

Tiarasa Escapes, Janda Baik, Pahang

Tiarasa Escapes is glamping extraordinaire for folks who want to be near nature but have issues with creepy crawlies. Rest assured that this property will put you up in exclusive tented villas surrounded by thick rainforest in the hills of Pahang…and pamper you while you are there with in-room comforts such as free-standing bathtubs, luxurious bedspreads and comfortable pillows.

Tiarasa Escapes, Janda Baik, Pahang
Tiarasa Escapes, Janda Baik, Pahang

Think of picnics by the bubbling brook, evening campfires to roast your marshmallows, stargazing at night, moonlight cinemas and morning walks amid the cool highland mist. Here’s where you can be the luxe-version of your Indiana Jones!

The Prestige Hotel, Penang

If you love a little magic in your life, then book a room at The Prestige Hotel in Penang’s UNESCO World Heritage enclave, but don’t mistake it as simply another Victorian heritage hotel.

So inspired was the designer of the hotel, Colin Seah of Ministry of Design, with Christopher Nolan’s 2006 film, “The Prestige” about rival magicians in the Victorian era, that he introduced elements of optical illusion throughout the property. Take for instance the “levitating” bed that seems to float in the middle of the room, hidden doors that lead to pantries, and the piece-de-resistance of the room — the custom-designed shower and wardrobe enclosure, supposedly harking back to Houdini’s escape box!

The Prestige Hotel at Penang
The Prestige Hotel, Penang

Through subtle and clever use of light and space, geometric lines and repeated patterns, the designer leads guests to experience a little magic during their stay, so that nothing is ever quite what it seems!

Hard Rock Hotel, Desaru Coast, Johor

Fancy yourself a rock star? Then, you’ll dig staying at the newly-opened Hard Rock Hotel in Desaru Coast, Johor. The international brand of property is renowned for its rockin’ hospitality. Check into their Rock Star Suite for some top-class Hollywood star treatment — enjoy in-room plush Sleep Like a Rock bedding, Bose sound system, and even a 15-ball American City ARAMITH 7ft Pool Table. Pair that up with a personal concierge to meet your every whim and fancy, and you’ll have a rocking good time for sure!

Hard Rock Hotel, Desaru Coast, Johor
Hard Rock Hotel, Desaru Coast, Johor

Don’t forget to explore the hotel’s Memorabilia Gallery to get you that bit closer to the rich and famous of Hollywood. On display are some of the greatest rock memorabilia, whether you’re a rocker who loves The Rolling Stones or a Rihanna fangirl!

Tanjong Jara Resort, Dungun, Terengganu

If you’re an urban dweller used to braving traffic jams and air pollution, why not retire to the east coast countryside of Malaysia and enjoy a change of pace in life? Get a room at Tanjong Jara Resort and enjoy the tranquillity of this property, inspired by 17th century Malay palaces with a layout that makes you feel like you are in a typical Malay village.

Tanjong Jara Resort, Dungun, Terengganu
Tanjong Jara Resort, Dungun, Terengganu

The genuine countryside charm is so authentic, even the staff that serve you are actually drawn from the local villages, who truly embody the gentle Malay art of service and hospitality. Sleep in luxuriously appointed wooden villas, wake up to a traditional Malay breakfast, stroll along the beautiful beach, and enjoy local folk games in the afternoons. If that’s not enough, indulge in traditional beauty treatments at their Spa Village — there’s one couple’s treatment that last half a day where we hear you’ll be treated like Kings and Queens!

The Culvert, Kuching, Sarawak

Who would ever think that refurbished concrete culverts would make a cosy hotel room…well, the owners of The Culvert thought it would be unique to transform these huge cylinders of concrete and galvanised steel into rooms, and so they did! Don’t worry, you’ll still get to sleep in comfortable beds, have access to en-suite baths and even soak yourself in the freestanding bath tubs!

The Culvert, Kuching, Sarawak
The Culvert, Kuching, Sarawak

On a patch of land nestled in the dense flora and undergrowth of Santubong, Kuching is this dreamy and relaxing resort that will melt away your stress. Enjoy views of the iconic Mount Santubong in the background, and frolic in the private beach nearby. Outfitted with eco-friendly room designs and an array of facilities offering adventure and relaxation, this Kuching hotel resort promises to take you on a cultural journey of Sarawak’s rainforests and rejuvenate your weary soul.


This article from BorneoTalk Vol.54 (page 48). Click here for DOWNLOAD
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