Monday, December 29, 2008

The Bala's Holiday Chalet

Star rating: ***
My rating: ***

This is the latest place we've stayed, though it's the 3rd time for us travelling to Cameron Highlands. For me, if you are going to Cameron, there's no point staying in normal hotel or apartments, since you can't experienced the 'difference' Cameron has to offer. Cameron's specialty is of course experiencing the European feelings in your own Asian country, so that's why we chose Bala's. The place itself used to be a boarding school for expat's children since early 1930's, and it still carries out the feelings, though a bit of renovation here and there, the basic still remains. If you search in the net, you can see this place got more negative reviews than good ones, and I understand why when I saw the room.

For those looking for top class accomodation, this place is not for you, as I've mentioned earlier, it's a very old building made of huge stones and large strong woods, creaking wooden floors and doors, with some parts were destroyed through time and not repaired. The place is rated as 2 1/2 or 3 stars, so you should know what to expect. The room and surrounding has the old building smells, which to us, is pleasant and nostalgic. The gardens are fabulously well-maintained, though they should clean up the fish ponds once in a while =)

The foods were great though a bit pricey. For people with sensitive skins, I would recommend bringing along insect bites cream or repellents, since the beds may have bugs or whatsoever. Do not bring kids below 5 year old, as my tot had a few insect bites and rashes, playing in the gardens and sleeping on the beds/pillows. For families, taking the family room is really worth it. I would love to take the Raffles or Executive suite, as it looks so nice & comfy, but all fully booked. The staff are moderately friendly, but they love kids =D I like the way they treat locals with no different than non-locals, unlike some other hotels or resort around Malaysia who treats foreigners like kings and locals like dirt, which is so unprofessional, though we paid the same price. I also heard some other well-known hotels or resorts in Cameron who shooed locals as if we couldn't afford the rooms, but you won't get that treatment here at Bala's.

The chalet is located in Tanah Rata:
Overall, we may return here when our kids are bigger, but for the time being, it worth making a hole in your pocket for a more bug-free place =D