One of the nicest and most quaint places to stay in the highlands, would be The Lakehouse Cameron Highlands.
Situated 1000 meters above sea level in Pahang, in the Malaysian highlands, The Lakehouse Cameron Highlands was built by the late Scotsman, Colonel Stanley Jack Foster, a retired British Army Officer, in 1966. The construction of the building took four years and in 1970, the property started its operations as a boutique hotel.
Back in the 70’s Colonel Foster himself was running the place, but as the colonel’s grown up children were not interested in running a hotel, The Lakehouse was eventually put on sale and in 1989, HPL Hotels & Resorts took over the property and has been managing it since. The Lakehouse has since been refurbished in 2005 to introduce modern material comforts into the traditional English-styled 19-room country house, yet it still cleverly retains much of its original fittings.
The Lakehouse comprises two Tudor styled buildings – the main wing and the house wing. Both are perched high on a landscaped terrace, with the main wing being situation slightly lower than the house wing.
They both over look the Sultan Abu Bakar Lake and sit in what is called, ‘the valley of eternal spring’. Each morning we woke up early to go for a run – the route took us past this lake and later, when we’d completed our 8K run, we jogged up to the House wing to stretch and cool down. It has by the far, the prettiest view of the valley below.
the Sultan Abu Bakar Lake – a murky laterite color as it has been raining not stop in the evenings and kicking up the sand
After a run and a quick hot shower, it’s nice to explore the big old house. What’s nicest about the place is the old world architecture and paraphernalia that tastefully decorates the resort.. Walking through the hallways of the hotel, it’s hard not to feel nostalgic. An old typewriter here, a big old gramophone there.. this place is so charming. And the tastefully upholstered furniture is a sight to behold.
nostalgic paraphernalia – the old gramophone
old fashion typewriters, irons, and different species of framed butterflies
There are quaint lampshades, heavy wooden tables, lush deep and vibrant floral carpets ( think Laura Ashley), brass lamps, and of course stone walls and wood floors. Armchairs are clothed in either bold stripes or paisley/floral prints.. all terribly English as well. Antiquated brass cooking utensils such as kettles, cooking pots, clocks and lamps line the walls and decorate the place tastefully.
quaint lampshades, heavy wooden tables, lush deep and vibrant floral carpets.. perfect for a couple’s romantic getaway
Antiquated brass cooking utensils.. to play “masak-masak” (make belief cooking that small children like to play)
Another big highlight of the stay is of course, the rooms. Upon entering our room (the deluxe which is approximately RM500 per night), we couldn’t stop gushing over the bed. So dreamy! A four-poster bed with sheer billowy drapes, a bronze antique fan twirls the air , a large white and black tiled bathroom with a spacious vanity, a long bath and a rain shower are all a couple can ask for. Tres tres romantic!
Our room, the Deluxe in the Main Wing
This 19-room Tudor style hillside resort features 11 Deluxe rooms, 3 Junior Suites, 3 Family Suites, 1 Cameron Suite and 1 Foster Suite. The Main wing has 10 Deluxe Rooms, 2 Junior Suites and 3 Family Suites. The House wing has 1 Deluxe Room, 1 Junior Suite, 1 Cameron Suite and 1 Foster Suite.
House Wing, the Foster Suite
If you walk around the grounds you will discover even more things to gush about. There are deck chairs in the lawn, for reading and relaxing on a sunny day- the weather is perfect even with the sun out so make sure you find yourself a spot on the grassy lawns to sit and sip tea while listening to the chirping of the birds in the garden.
Up in the house wing there is a gorgeous spa. The spa has a twin room for couples to enjoy their massage treatments together. The whole atmosphere and vibe is incredibly Zen. If you wanted to get away from the stress of city life, you’ve come to the right place.
Beautiful flower gardens up by the House Wing
the spa shower…
Back at the Main Wing, book addicts can get their fix at the Highlander Lounge and the Reading Room. There is a lovely selection of books – all classics so you can lose yourself for hours reading them.The cosy Highlander Lounge, filled with plush armchairs, is the place for guests to unwind in the evenings.
Once evening arrives, the lamps and fire place gets lit, and everything takes on a romantic incandescent hue..
The Cameron Bar has a lovely English pub feel about it, and complimentary cocktails are served here between 6:00pm – 7:30pm. This spot also has the best wifi connection, so you will inevitably find me and Cumi here, with our laptops, surfing the internet and enjoying an evening drink before dinner. The bartender makes some terrific Bloody Marys and Mojitos and they also have a fine selection of Red wine, whiskeys and beers to choose from. At 5 pm you can come here for your tea – it is served as a 3 tier English tea platter, complete with scones, clotted cream and jam plus sandwiches, cakes, tarts and fruits too.
Speedy wifi, excellent drinks and English pub ambiance.. our perfect hideout!
They make excellent bloody marys here!
Tea is served at 5pm at the Cameron Bar
Chillax with a red!
Kick ass Bloody Mary! Spicy and peppery and strong.. just how I like it!
After dinner, it’s always nice to go for a stroll up to the house wing and walk off dinner. Then you can opt to end the evening lazing about in the Reading Room, which had a gorgeous fireplace. It is lit every day at 7:00pm. Love the way they keep this tradition going – no point having a fire place that’s hardly lit I say. It is here that one may read or play board games into the wee hours of the morning. For those who need to be constantly connected, there are 2 laptops (complimentary) by the front desk for customers to use. Otherwise, just bring your own laptop down the the cameron bar, as the wifi connection there is pretty zippy.
Apart from the morning jog, there is also a rather cool nature trek that goes into the forest surrounding the hotel. It takes about an hour so it is relatively short. You are recommended to go with a guide. The trek takes you behind the resort, into the forest to enjoy the flora and fauna of Cameron highlands. During the day, some of the tourists attractions include, paid tours to strawberry farms, rose and orchid gardens, and tea plantations.
For nature buffs – the outdoor nature trek that snakes up behind the resort, into the forest
Fallen logs add adventure to the path
The service at The Lakehouse is outstanding as well. We found the staff courteous and accommodating. They were very quick to respond to our needs and requests, and usually with a smile. The Restaurant, the only dining outlet in the resort, serves excellent International Cuisine.
clockwise – sirloin steak with rosemary sea salted potato wedges and black pepper sauce, (best in the world) sweet corn & vegetables, asparagus with lemon butter, roasted eggplant pepper and tomatoes, seared Australian lamb rack and grilled fillet of snapper
From English goodies such as scones and the big breakfast in the morning or steaks at night, to Asian meals such as the Nasi lemak, the restaurant caters to the needs of their guests perfectly. They do a lovely Chinese style steam boat as well – something which is perfect for the cool weather. It also boasts a good collection of international wines to go with your evening meals. The house red we had went with everything.
The dining room
Steamboat for cold and stormy nights!
The restaurant is also the place we have breakfast each morning. I highly recommend the salmon and asparagus omelet. In fact I highly recommend anything with loads of fresh vegetables (such as the corn, capsicum and asparagus) in it, as the veges come from the highlands itself. They are super sweet, crunchy and nothing like the sort you get in the city. Just a dash of balsamic vinegar or French dressing and you are in for a phenomenal salad treat! The strawberries and grapes are superb as well.
Breakfast of salmon and cameron highlands asparagus omelet, and the Lakehouse Big Breakfast
Choose from desserts, of Fresh strawberries mango and cream, Apple crumble and ice cream or Hot Lava Chocolate pudding.
Best seedless grapes on earth
Well I think it will most definitely be hard to say goodbye. I will certainly miss the fresh air, the great food and most of all, the subtle gestures of fine service – that’s what I’d probably miss most about The Lakehouse Cameron Highlands. One of the outstanding things that the resort did for us was to wash our car every single morning! Make no mistake, I’ve definitely been pampered beyond belief. Woe is me, because I need to head back to everyday life in a couple of hours.. Ah, but we will be back to stay again soon, you can count on it. The Lakehouse absolutely ranks way up there on our Top 5 must visit places in Cameron Highlands!
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39200 Cameron Highlands,
Pahang, Malaysia Tel: +605 495 6152
Fax: +605 495 6213