Located 1,500m above sea level, the Cameron Highlands Resort sits elegantly on a lush green mountainscape. From afar, its signature black and white facade, made up of tall French windows with black frames stand out in the crisp fresh air and my excited anticipation goes one notch higher. As our MPV swing into the sloped entrance dotted by pretty flowers, my eyes are riveted by the sheer charm and beauty of its design and structure. It looks like some grand mansion from an English countryside.
I’m told the Cameron Highlands Resort was built as an extension from a 1930s cottage with architecture dating back to the 1070s. Imagine that – the rich history and romance that must have been preserved within its walls!
Jim Thompson Tea Room
The interior of the Cameron Highlands Resort exudes warmth and a definite air of welcome. Beyond the simple reception, the Jim Thompson Tea Room impresses with its casual elegance and comfort. I love the floral cushions propped on the rattan sofas, the timber-beamed ceilings and polished wooden floors – everything spells “welcome & chill”! The elegant décor breathes an old-world charm reminiscent of a bygone era and playing on this, my travel companions and I had an unhurried lunch here, lounging lazily on the comfortable sofas.
At the Jim Thompson Tea Room, the à la carte lunch menu offers a variety of starters, classic dishes and tempting desserts.
Caesar Salad – crisp Romaine lettuce with traditional condiments, grilled prawns and beef bacon
Tomato Mozzarella Hydroponic Platter – Highland tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil leaves with aglandau dressing, extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic
Porcini Mushroom Chowder – scented with truffle oil, morels and crisp chips
Prawn Cocktail – shelled prawns tossed with melon, lettuce and smoked roe in a marie rose sauce
Shepherd’s Pie – slowcooked thyme-scented minced lamb & vegetables topped with golden oven-baked creamy cheesy mash
Lamb Cutlets Rack – pan-roasted served with apple cider braised red cabbage, slow-roasted garlic buttered potatoes and balsamic mustard reduction
Classic Burger – 200g beef patty sandwiched with pineapple fritters served with cheesy fries, homemade slaw, highland chutney
And of course our dessert has to be fresh highland strawberries – lots of them, served with clotted cream! They were really big and juicy – I could eat them all day.
And if you really can’t stand strawberries and want something different…
Sticky Toffee Pudding – warm moist cake with buttery toffee sauce and banana ice cream
Jim Thompson Tea Room bathed in romantic lighting at dusk
Have some drinks at The Bar and check-out the snooker table!
The Jim Thompson Tea Room is so named because it is the perfect place to have an Afternoon Tea treat. Resting a bit after lunch, it’s time to brew some highlands tea and bring out the gorgeous tea set. Cakes, cucumber sandwiches take up the top two tiers but what makes us grin in glee are the just-out-from-oven scones!
Those scones are amazing, quite unlike most others that I have tasted. Most scones I’ve had are crumbly (which is not a bad thing) but the scones here at the Jim Thompson Tea Room maintain a beautiful golden exterior with a light crisp while the insides have a lovely soft and spongey texture with a buttery aroma. Served with fresh strawberry jam, clotted cream, chocolate sauce and strawberries, it’s quintessentially English with a local flair.
There are only 56 rooms and suites in the Cameron Highlands Resort so there’s a prevalent ambience of privacy all round. I love the huge four-poster bed in our room, with its comfortable mattress and smooth bed linen. Although some of the furnishings are a bit dated, there’s a general air of timeless comfort and nostalgia in the room set-up.
With the cool weather, I can spend hours just sitting at my balcony reading, taking occasional long gazes at the beautiful greens of the golf course just across the resort.
Breakfast is served at The Dining Room. The smells of fresh breads, pastries and coffee waft across my nostrils when I make my way to a table by the window. The cool fresh air further whets my appetite as I wait for my crisp buttery croissants. Cereals, yoghurt, fruits, cheeses, salads and juices are all spread out on the food counters while you can order hot items from the menu.
Apparently the Banana Waffle is awesome!
What’s the best thing for dinner on a chilly evening? Why, steamboat of course! At The Cameron Highlands Resort, their restaurant Gonbei specialises in this. You can be assured of the freshest vegetables, succulent seafood and prime meats to dip into that hotpot.
If there’s one experience that should not be missed at this resort, it has to be the Spa Village experience. Just lose yourself in this unique haven of relaxation and rejuvenation. It isn’t any surprise that tea leaves are the foundation of their healing therapies.
Other plants, herbs and flowers with healing powers play complementary roles when employing age-old practices with modern approaches towards health and well-being. Ancient healing traditions, rituals and knowledge from the Orang Asli are incorporated in the therapeutic practices.
I had a wonderful 2-hour “Rose Garden” signature experience at the Spa Village. The first rose garden in Cameron Highlands was cultivated by a Scotsman in the 1950’s and ever since then, roses are a common sight here. My Rose Garden experience started with an “anti-stress” yellow rose tea bath where I got to soak in a whole bathtub filled with roses and tea leaves. That’s followed by a Rose Petals Body Scrub and concluded with a Rose Aroma massage by magic fingers. What bliss. After that, I almost floated back to my room.
At the Cameron Highlands Resort, you can be as busy & active as you wish or just chill and relax the hours away. Join the resort’s “Jim Thompson Mystery Trail” or work up an appetite at the gym if you are feeling energetic.
There are other special experiences which the resort offers. Stay tuned for my next sharing on the Cameron Highlands Resort’s Private Dining and Organic Culinary Journey – I promise, they are really fun things to do!
*Do book directly with the resort to enjoy some exclusive benefits!