Cameron Highlands Resort Review - Poplar Travels
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Apr 13 2015

Cameron Highlands Resort Review

If you are making a trip to Malaysia and are on the fence about whether to stop in the Cameron Highlands, allow us to help you make up your mind: you need to go. The Cameron Highlands Resort was a highlight of our trip to Malaysia. We left feeling inspired, relaxed and very very full. We were greeted cheerfully by staff and took a seat in the Jim Thompson tea room to get settled. The room is a look back in time to the days Jim Thompson would arrive there for tea and to meet with influential individuals. After participating in a brief romantic fire-lighting ceremony, we were shown to our room.

The Grounds

The entire resort is inviting from the bright country club feel in the tea room to the overstuffed leather couches and fireplaces in the libraries. Cool, quiet seating areas are set up facing fish ponds and fountains and everyone seems to have drifted into a state of calm. There were plenty of other guests during our stay, but noise remained minimal. With three restaurants, a boutique and a spa all surrounded by the jungle of the highlands, you can’t help but relax and embrace the natural serenity.

To explore the surrounding area, Cameron Highlands Resort offers tea plantation tours, treks and jungle tours. The Jim Thompson tour is absolutely a must do and involves a short, slow walk along the path Thompson took the day he disappeared. Along the way, learn about indigenous plants and animals and local farming in addition to the details about who saw Thompson last and what he may, or may not, have been up to during that day.

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The Rooms

The rooms stretch out from the main section of the building in long wings with an exposed hallway cut into the slope of the mountain. Our window looked out over the road, but it was hidden by lush trees. The clean, bright rooms feature white linens, a small couch and armchair, mini bar area and medium sized bathroom. We felt we had plenty of space, especially since there is so much to explore in the area.

The Food

We had all our meals at the Cameron Highlands Resort and we would do it again in a heartbeat. Breakfast was laid back with a salad and fruit bar supplemented with delicious made-to-order items. The poached eggs and salmon omelet, fruit waffles and eggs Benedict were nice takes on classic dishes.

We had lunch in the Jim Thompson tea room and did not hold back. We ordered tea (of course) to start and then continued with a lovely caprese salad, lamb shanks and shepherd’s pie. We couldn’t resist the dessert menu and ended up sampling the cheesecake, which was very airy (but still rich) and the chocolate cake with caramelized bananas and banana ice cream.

For dinner, the main restaurant was by far our favorite. The steamboat style was fun, but would probably be most enjoyed by someone who goes in with a plan. The seafood option, for example, is probably better in the Tom Yum or coconut broth. The included dessert buffet was huge, but we weren’t blown away by any of the choices.

Downstairs, however, we enjoyed the best service we have experienced in Southeast Asia, which only made the whole meal that much better. Here, the beef medallions were the superstar followed by a large creme brûlée. Fish served with a fresh mango and olive salsa and a shrimp and avocado appetizer were delicious as well. Every detail in the formal dining room was perfect. Everything was so flavorful and despite our huge lunch earlier that day, nothing was left over. If you’re an enthusiastic eater like us, the cuisine at Cameron Highlands Resort should be enough to convince you to stay.

The Spa

The peaceful, green, cool setting of the Cameron Highlands is conducive to a relaxing spa day. The treatment rooms are airy and bright with massage areas, bath rooms with two tubs each and relaxation rooms for lounging between treatments. This is not the place to shy away from a lengthy set of treatments and we highly recommend trying one of the signature packages. A fountain runs the length of the spa filling all the rooms with soothing sound.

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We both started our afternoon with a soak in a claw foot tub; Eric in chrysanthemum and me in strawberry tea. The baths were drawn for us when we arrived with flowers and sliced strawberries floating on top. For our 20 minute soak we were given iced tea to drink, sugar and limes to scrub our elbows and knees and soothing music for optional enjoyment via headphones.

Following the soak, we were already feeling relaxed when we headed into the next room. As part of the Fresh Strawberry Escapade package, I enjoyed a strawberry body wrap and aromatic massage. The sensation of being wrapped in warm towels and heating blankets, coupled with the soothing smells of the oil produced one of the most relaxing treatments I have ever received. Eric got an oil massage and an avocado scalp treatment that he said was also incredibly soothing.

We had an overall amazing experience at Cameron Highlands Resort and were floored by the amazingly attentive staff. From the concierge and front desk to the dining staff and guides, everyone was confident, engaging and had infectious positivity. Whether you are looking for a jungle adventure, a long spa day or quiet relaxation with wonderful cuisine, Cameron Highlands Resort is the best place to stay in this region of Malaysia.

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Quick Tips

  • Cameron Highlands Resort is in a great location to explore the mysteries and agriculture of the area. Be sure to take the Jim Thompson tour.
  • Enjoy a meal in the Jim Thompson tea room or check in for afternoon tea
  • Don’t miss dinner in the main dining room and order the beef medallions
  • Treat yourself to a spa day, perfect for couples or a day to yourself, and try the signature strawberry package (not recommended for anyone sensitive to heat)
  • For more information and to make a reservation visit the Cameron Highlands Resort online


Poplar Travels was a guest of Cameron Highlands Resort. Our opinion is always our own. 

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Evanne Allen

Evanne co-founded Poplar Travels after quitting her job in Washington, D.C. She got itchy feet at a young age and has never lost the urge to explore the planet. A previous museum employee, she is apt to drag travel partners into several cultural institutions anywhere she goes. She wishes she could speak every language and loves meeting new people.

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