With Lonely Planet ranking Perak at No. 9 on their list of Best in Travel 2017: Top Regions, I have personally seen an influx of tourists, particularly in Ipoh Old Town area on weekends. This is the place that I usually avoid as a local!

Obviously, Perak is more than just Ipoh, and this new list has helped expand the radius of the spotlight, after the travel guide book publisher ranked Ipoh as 6th Hottest Asian Destination to Visit in 2016.

If you are planning a trip to Ipoh and Perak, and I assume that you already have a good idea where this northern state of Perak and its capital city (Ipoh) are, perhaps my list can help you make a more informed decision on a relaxing vacation.

This list is a compilation of resorts in Perak, including Ipoh, which I have personally experienced over the past few years. Let’s just say, these accommodations are personal recommendations and they are in no way conclusive and is in random order.

Let’s begin……….

#1 Swiss-Garden Beach Resort Damai Laut
Secluded, idyllic, scenic. Just three adjectives are enough to describe this resort in Lumut. It is quite a winding drive from the main road but it is well worth it. The resort has a private jetty to ferry guests to Pangkor Island. It saves time and is very convenient.

aerial view of the pool and sea

aerial view of the pool and sea

A beachfront resort, honestly speaking, a beach located on this West Coast can’t possibly match that of the East Coast but that doesn’t mean we are unable to enjoy what we have.

There are plenty of activities to keep everyone in the family happy and occupied, from sea sports to golf. Swiss-Garden Beach Resort Damai Laut is truly a holiday “destination”. If you don’t want to do anything but just relax during your stay, that is perfectly all right as well.

Swiss-Garden Beach Resort Damai Laut
GPS Coordinates: 4.234423, 100.638934

Address: Persiaran Swiss-Garden, Jalan Damai Laut, Off Jalan Teluk Senangin, 32200 Lumut, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.
Tel: +605-684 3333

Web: HERE

#2 Marina Island Pangkor Resort & Hotel
Located in Teluk Muroh, Lumut, this resort is great for families or large groups because of its spacious suites. If you talk about luxury, this is not the type, and in the true sense, it doesn’t give you a “resort feel” at all.

Marina Island Pangkor Resort & Hotel

swimming pool of Marina Island Pangkor Resort & Hotel fronts the lake

However, in addition to its generous floor space, the suites are clean, comfortable and quiet. And these are just some of the reasons that I have stayed here three times over the past five years. For someone like me who hardly returns to the same resort for the second time, it really tells a lot.

Marina Island Pangkor Resort & Hotel is just within walking distance from the jetty to Pangkor Island. Yup, that’s time saved due to its convenience.

During my previous stays, I liked to walk along the marina and admire the yachts; unfortunately, no owner invited me up for an “inspection”. Not yet.

Marina Island Pangkor Resort & Hotel
Add: KM 1, Jalan Utama Marina Island, Teluk Muroh, 32200 Lumut, Perak Darul Ridzuan.
Tel: +605-6832881 / 3881 / 4881
Fax: +605-6837882

KL Sales & Marketing Office
Add: KM 1.48 (Ground Floor), Tower A, Plaza Pantai, Jalan Pantai Baru, 59200 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603-22881616 / 1116
Fax: +603-22881515

Web: www.marinaislandresort.com

#3 Belum Rainforest Resort
Despite its name, Belum Rainforest Resort is actually located in Pulau Banding and not Royal Belum.

However, it serves as a gateway to Royal Belum as it is just a 30 to 45-minute speed boat ride away, across Temenggor Lake. The resort is one of Malaysia’s premier ecotourism holiday destinations, so guests can enjoy the natural environment to its fullest.

Belum Rainforest Resort

Belum Rainforest Resort

Personally, I’d be extremely contented just staying here even if I do not get to go to Royal Belum. That is another attraction altogether. But of course, if you haven’t been to Royal Belum before, you should. It can easily be arranged.

Belum Rainforest Resort
Add: Pulau Banding, 33200 Gerik, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.
Tel: +605-791 6800
Fax: +605-791 7600
Email: info@belumresort.com
Web: http://www.belumresort.com/

#4 The Haven Resort Hotel Ipoh All Suites
I personally enjoy The Haven very much as it is an opportunity to get close to nature, without being too far away from the city. I actually live just 20 minutes away, so it is a great change of environment for me, without driving a long distance.

The Haven Resort Hotel Ipoh All Suites

The Haven Resort Hotel Ipoh All Suites

I pop by frequently to dine, rest and relax or luxuriate in its seahorse-shaped swimming pool (and I can’t even swim). Somehow, the tranquility helps refresh my mind and I can approach my mountain of work with new vigour.

By the way, The Haven also offers all suites, and they have suites for two (honeymoon couple?) to three-bedroom suites that are ideal for families or holidaymakers travelling in a group.

The Haven Resort Hotel Ipoh All Suites
Add: Jalan Haven (Persiaran Lembah Perpaduan), 31150 Tambun, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
GPS Coordinates: N 04° 38.167′ E101° 9.684′

Email: reservations@thehavenpremier.com
Web: The Haven Resort Hotel Ipoh All Suites
Tel: +605-5400000
Fax: +605-5400099
Hotline: 1700.8.1700.0

#5 Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat
Not really a resort, more of a retreat but it gets into my list because I say so.

This property is a higher-end property but still affordable to a good number of tourists. The two types of villas available are: Garden and Water. How about going for one type first and the other on the next visit? Yup, that sounds like a good plan.

Banjaran retreat

The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat

Set against limestone hills of Tambun, Banjaran is just a stone’s throw away from The Haven. Banjaran’s many geothermal hotsprings within the property promotes wellness not only to the mind but also the body. That’s why it is known as a luxury wellness and spa ‘retreat’.

Security is understandably stringent here. Nevertheless, the spa is open to the public, although prior reservation is required.

The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat

Address: No. 1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3, 31150 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
GPS Coordinates: N 04 37.85′ E 101 9.333′

Tel: +605-2107777
Fax: +605-2107778
email: info.kl@thebanjaran.com
Website: http://www.thebanjaran.com/

#6 Bukit Merah Laketown Resort
Just an hour’s drive to the north of Ipoh, Bukit Merah Laketown Resort boasts two parks: Ecopark and Waterpark, which is jointly the largest water theme park in Northern Peninsular Malaysia, thanks to its 7,000-acre freshwater lake.

As you can imagine, a stay here would spell fun, fun and more fun, especially for children. It is more so when its Laketown Adventure Park & Nature Education Centre opens in the middle of 2017.

Bukit Merah Laketown Resort

Water Chalets @ Bukit Merah Laketown Resort

The resort is also the gateway to Orang Utan Island (OUI), or now known by its new name, Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island Foundation. A 15-minute boat ride takes visitors to the Orang Utan conservation centre, which provides infant care for baby Orang Utan. It also runs educational and research programmes.

Bukit Merah Laketown Resort
Add: Jalan Bukit Merah, 34400 Semanggol, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.
Tel: +605-890 8888
Fax: +605-890 8000
email: reserv@bmlaketown.com.my or sales@bmlaketown.com.my
Web: www.bukitmerahresort.com.my

#7 Sentosa Villa
This hideaway villa in Taiping exudes a “resort feel” through chalet-type villas. Besides one bungalow, conventional hotel rooms from categories of Standard to Classic and Junior Suites are also offered. This villa is very much sought-after, especially during school holidays.

Sentosa Villa Taiping

Sentosa Villa, Taiping

Sentosa Villa is like a mini resort. It is located between two famed Taiping attractions: Maxwell Hill and Taiping Lake Gardens. Also nearby are some of the town’s top tourist destinations such as Burmese Pool, Taiping Zoo, Taiping War Cemetery and Taiping Zoo.

Sentosa Villa, Taiping
Add: Jalan 8, Taman Sentosa, 34000 Taiping, Perak.
GPS Coordinates: N 04° 51.474′ E100° 45.720′

Tel: +605-8051000 / +6013-5931000
Fax: +605-8051001
Email: sentosavilla@live.com
Web: www.sentosa-villa.com

To read more about each property, click on the link that I have provided at the title.

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With love

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