As I write, a sense of nostalgia felt from within my heart. The 3 days 2 nights away from everyday life at The Lakehouse was enchantingly wonderful.
I used to have family trips to Cameron Highland when I was younger. Therefore this highland of Malaysia is not total strange to me. I remember our family used to drive pass The Lakehouse and went straight up to Brinchang to our usual hotel, but I have always wondered how it would be like to stay in an authentic English cottage in the highland. So when there comes a chance for a break, The Lakehouse just came into my mind.
My 3D2N Ultimate Rejuvenate Package consist of daily breakfast, one English afternoon tea, one 4-course dinner, one complimentary tour and one Spa retreat. Prior to the trip, pictures circulating online had left my senses tingle with anticipation and I had been looking forward to the trip ever since.
We took a flight from Changi Airport to LCCT in Kuala Lumpur, followed by an approximate 3 hours 15 mins private taxi ride. The taxi drove up from the North-South Expressway, turning in near the town of Tapah. I thought the long hours mountain path would be dreadful but to my surprise, a scenic journey beckons. After about 90 mins of twists and turns in the valley, in the distance, an inviting Tudor-style country cottage appeared.
Located at 1500 metres above sea level in the state of Pahang, Cameron Highland is the highest area on the Malaysian Peninsula. The Lakehouse, however is located at Ringlet, the 1st and the lowest sea-level township along the Cameron Highland stretch. This peaceful and serene resort was built by the late Scotsman, Colonel Stanley Jack Foster, a retired British Army Officer in 1966. The construction took about 4 years and it started its operations as a boutique hotel in 1970. The Colonel continues to manage The Lakehouse till his demise in December 1984. As his grown-up children were not interested in running a hotel, The Lakehouse was put up to sale in 1989, HPL Hotels & Resorts took over the property and has been managing it since then.
The Lakehouse stood on massive, lush hills over looking the Sultan Abu Bakar Lake. Framed against the breathtaking landscape, I was mesmerised by the quaint charm emitting from the wooden silhouette. In fact I just felt like stepping into another world!
Warm towels and mocktail were served upon arrival. We were led to the Cameron Bar for this thirst quencher made of ginger, lime and soda. Ginger is known for alleviates feelings of nausea and reduces travel sickness. A well-considered welcome drink, certainly freshen up our tired body.
The Lakehouse comprises two buildings – the main wing and the annex wing. Deluxe rooms, Junior Suites and Family Suites are located at the main wing, which is situated slightly lower than the annex wing. The annex wing, which consist only of the Cameron Suite, Foster Suite, a deluxe room, a junior suite and a Spa, ensures total privacy and comfort.
Refurbished in 2005, The Lakehouse transformed into a 19 room country resort, providing modern comforts, yet at the same time, the original building structure, historical artifacts, complete with the richly carpeted, wooden stairs and fireplace are painstakingly preserved.
One highlight of the stay, I would say it’s the room. Adorned with Bric-à-bracs of yesteryears, the room ensures all guests to travel back in time — and even in their dreams. The four-poster bed with sheer, flowing drapes in the room just oozes romance. The old English style antique armchairs, the bronze table fan and a black and white tiled bathroom, all of which maximise the romantic ambience, which makes The Lakehouse a irrepressible romantic getaway for couples. Imagine a long bath in the spacious bath tub in the windy evening, and then snuggle up in the dreamy bed, are all a couple can ask for.
Time travelled in an unrushed manner here at The Lakehouse. Other than the halfday tour and the Spa retreat, we spent pretty much the rest of our time listening to the chirping of the birds while sipping tea in the mornings, or just resting on deck chairs at the grassy front lawn. Stumbling through another day aimlessly was the lifestyle there.
Well, since the house masseuse already diagnosed my tight shoulder and stiff neck muscle are due to “Too much stress and excessive work”, doing nothing seem to be the best way to pamper myself here at the resort.
The windows at the corridor towards our room have a nice overlooking view to the courtyard and the valley at the background. Walking through the hallways reminds me of the English classics movie scenes like Pride and Prejudice or Emma. The old typewriter, the gramophone, the antique collections that preserved around the resort, each of the furnitures and the architecture seems to be from the last century (to me) were so exquisitely arranged.
The Cameron Bar situated right beside the reception has a homely warmth old-English pub settings. The first sight that greets you when you walk into the pub is their grand golden floral prints armchairs and the aged wooden bar. This cosy, old fashioned pub serves quite a fine selection of red and white wines, whiskeys and cocktails. We spent every night here after dinner to enjoy our house red Shiraz. Good WiFi connection enables you to connect the world here at the bar.
Our package comes with a 4-course dinner, which consist of a salad, a soup, a main and a dessert. Although not impressive, I find the food fairly nice. Being the only dining outlet in the entire resort, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. From the morning continental breakfast, the lunch, the English scones in the afternoon, to the sumptuous dinner, they provide a decent selection of all kinds of cuisine. Even Chinese Stemboat is available too. Perfect for the cool night in the highland! As there are no nearby eateries around and cabbing to the nearest town cost RM25 per single trip, if you don’t drive, I recommend you to settle your dinner here at the resort.
I like having breakfast early at the resort. Let’s be frank, not everyone is a morning person. That’s an indirect indication to me, yet I love having early morning breakfast here at the resort. Nothing like chilling fresh morning breeze and the way soothing sun rays lighting up the dining table.
Here at The Lakehouse you get your breakfast eggs done in different styles. From the tangy egg benedict, to fluffy scrambled eggs, or to the runny-yolk sunny side up, you get the kitchen to prepare it your way. Besides, varieties of cheese, cereals and even strawberry muesli are available on the buffet table. The restaurant go quite international even on breakfast menu. We see Chinese style congee with at least 9 condiments to pair with on the table, Nasi Lemak is also spotted on their menu!
The Lakehouse has each a beautiful fireplace at their Reading Lounge and Highlander Lounge. The resort follow a long tradition of lighting a fire at the fireplace everyday at 7pm when the weather turns much cooler. I must say it is the perfect spot for that after-dinner drink, right in front of this gorgeous, stone-walled fireplace.
Guests may play board games and do their readings into the wee hours here at the two lounges. It was 10pm on a Friday night and we were quite surprised that there wasn’t anyone there at the fireplace. Cosy up in the beautiful hue, I started to plan out my future adventure, feeling hopeful.. (and then realised I booked the wrong time for the flight to my next destination) …lol
The resort paid their attention to the detail even to their staff’s uniform. I noticed their housemaids were all dressed in cute french maid uniform too. Some may think of a maid uniform as a symbol of oppressive servitude, or find it is hopelessly old-fashioned and stuffy, or even humiliating to the domestic helpers. As a guest, I do find the resort professional.
Services here are personal yet unobtrusive. It is a very small resort, with only 19 rooms. We were there from a Thursday and checked out on a Saturday. Check-ins soar from Friday afternoon but we still get to enjoy plenty cosy pockets of space throughout our stay.
The resort did a good job in terms of hospitality. We even received a personal welcome letter. Staffs are friendly and attentive, our requests and needs were responded with efficiency and often with a smile.
Daily turndown service. House maids turning the bedspread and pillows down, and put some shortbread in the room.
We often came back to our room after our activities, finding the room was nicely arranged again. The housemaids will top up fresh fruits and English shortbread every evening when they come to do the turndown service, and I am pleasantly surprised that there was even warm water ready in the kettle for a cup of tea. Such outstanding service they provide, that you will agree with me the resort really take utmost care to make sure the stay is relaxing and comfortable.
We had our English afternoon tea here at the resort at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Guests can choose anywhere in the resort they like to have their tea. It was quite sunny out there at the Lakeview Terrace (2nd picture of the post) so we decided to switch to this cosy little reading nook outside the Highlander Lounge. This particular spot have a very nice view of the dovehouse. Sit back in the rocking chair reading your favourite classics from the library, while listening to the birds chirping in melodious harmony… all these sums up to a perfect afternoon.
A 3-tier English tea platter was served. A very authentic English style platter complete with freshly baked scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam. Perfect combination with a cup of premium whole-leaf tea. Finger sandwiches, walnut and pandan cakes, cheese tarts and fruits filled up the rest of the tier, making the afternoon tea so sumptuous that we had to delay the dinner time for that evening.
Rabbit all prepared to indulge in English style afternoon tea of fresh scones and jam.
and more pictures…
Exploring the mansion after the tea in a chilling evening.
My Verdict: The quaint and whimsical settings, the quiet environment for total relaxation, as well as the thoughtful gestures and their wonderful service is what I miss the most at The Lakehouse. The peaceful and serene environment of the resort really rejuvenate my entire being. Paying 859 MYR per night, I am satisfied of my stay at The Lakehouse and I foresee myself coming back on my next summer vacation.Up there in the highland with temperatures no higher than 25 Celsius degree and rarely falls below 12 Celsius degree, I’d say it is one of the perfect summer vacation destination if you are not a beach person.
For couples who are looking for a romantic retreat, The Lakehouse is the ideal place. You can enjoy a total privacy in the lavishly furnished resort, and celebrate the romantic ambience with a toast. The resort have a package altered especially for anniversaries, honeymoon, or any special occasion between the two of you. Surprise her with 68 stalks of freshly cut roses in the uber romantic room : )
The resort have various packages catering different needs of their guests. Remember to check them out before booking!
(One last check at their website confirmed that the particular package I had, the ‘Ultimate Rejuvenate’ is no longer avail. I do hope they will bring it back soon, as we really had an enjoyable trip with that package. )
The Lakehouse, Cameron Highlands
30th Mile Ringlet,
39200 Cameron Highlands,
Tel: +605 495 6152
Fax: +605 495 6213