As someone who was born and bred in Ipoh and with family still there, naturally I don’t have to stay in hotels whenever I “balik kampong”. So when an invitation was extended to me to check out The Haven, a luxurious condotel resort on the outskirts of the city, I was curious and did not hesitate to accept it.
If you are entering Ipoh from the North-South Highway, The Haven is just about 5 minutes away after exiting the Ipoh toll booth. Just make your way to Jalan Tambun, drive on straight and The Haven is right after the Lost World of Tambun and The Banjaran.
Welcome to The Haven!
This eco-resort is operated by Best Western International (BWI) under its “Premier” (5-star) status and The Haven is BWI’s finest eco-resort in Asia. You have to get through two security check-points before reaching the resort and that speaks a lot about the importance of guests’ security here. The moment I stepped into the lush and picturesque surroundings of The Haven, I felt an immediate sense of peace and relaxation. The virgin forest and the ancient limestone hills surrounding the “constantly-flowing” 4-acre lake exude tranquillity and serenity that only Mother Nature can conjure.
Of course the main attraction in this tropical playground is the iconic 14-storey high 280-million-year-old limestone outcrop named “Rockhaven”. The arresting sight of this outcrop standing majestically at one end of the lake is something that guests at the resort love gazing at, from their lake-fronting rooms.
Lovely and refreshing blend of colours
We also love how the buildings are painted in various shades of blues and greens, to blend in with the natural surroundings. As CEO Peter Chan explained it: “The green at the bottom represents the vegetation/forest, the blue represents the air/sky and it gradually lightens to white space above and beyond!”
In giving back to nature, the developers of The Haven harvest all available renewable energy resources like rainwater harvesting, using solar energy and windmill turbines within sustainable budgets to reduce carbon footprints. The resort is also wheelchair-friendly in their outdoor and indoor facilities. Certain suites have been outfitted specially to cater to wheelchair needs – guests can request for these wheelchair access suites at time of booking.
Accomodation in The Haven is in suites, starting from the 1-bedroom Lakeview Suite to bigger ones like the 3+1-bedroom Lakeview Ambassador Suite. Our 2+1-bedroom Lakeview Superior Suite was spacious, bright and thoughtfully designed.
The contemporary decor of our suite slanted towards a warm colour scheme (lots of wood features) accentuated with dashes of bright cheerfulness in the chairs and we loved the clean polished marble floor. Clutter-free and fuss-free, the suites are ideal for a restful respite, easily catering to guests from 3 generations: kids, parents and grandparents! In fact, there were many such families enjoying their time at The Haven when we were there.
The seahorse-shaped 5-level designer swimming pool is the centre of activities. One end of the pool has unique transparent walls and it looked as if the guests were swimming in a fish tank! All along the circumference of the lake are well-built jogging/walking tracks – perfect to enjoy the fauna and flora spanning the property. There are also meditation decks under the ancient trees for some soul rejuvenation!
Explore the property on these tracks
Besides the pool and jogging tracks, there’s a gym and children’s playground and indoor playroom to keep the young ones occupied. If you need to work up some sweats, head to their squash and badminton courts.
With such spacious grounds, The Haven is also able to provide team-building programs to companies using their natural landscape fitted with customised obstacle structures. The lush greenery is also a perfect background to hold events and weddings and they have the capacity to host big numbers.
The resort has a restaurant – Cuisines which provides all-day dining, starting with buffet breakfast. Besides local and western items, the menu lists some Mediterranean delights, too. We enjoyed the hummus and moutabal as well as the curry noodles, chicken rice and that decadent chocolate cake!
Chicken rice with Ipoh’s famous beansprouts
This urban resort actually has the best of both worlds: it’s enclaved within a paradise-like natural pre-historic site and yet just only about 10 minutes’ drive away from Ipoh city. It’s an ideal place for a family getaway if you are looking for some place not too far away. It’s a great place to relax, refresh and rejuvenate.
It looks quite surreal at night!
Currently with 35 outstanding awards under its belt, The Haven stands tall in Ipoh’s Hall of Pride. It has come a long way, germinating from Peter Chan’s extraordinary vision to build an eco-friendly complete resort from where an old farmhouse used to be. For more information about this amazing place, do check out their website and Facebook Page listed below.
BEST WESTERN PREMIER
The Haven Ipoh
Persiaran Lembah Perpaduan