EQ – the iconic Equatorial Hotel is back in Kuala Lumpur!

I can’t believe 7 years can just zip past so fast.

That’s the time taken for the new EQ to reappear on the Kuala Lumpur skyline. Many of us know the Equatorial Hotel which opened back in the 1970’s and had remained very popular until it closed in 2012 for a massive redevelopment. The hotel is now back and rebranded as EQ, as part of the spectacular soaring 52-storey Equatorial Plaza occupying the same prime location along Jalan Sultan Ismail.  Its sleek sparkling facade is impressive – an ingenious play of cascading stainless steel strips set against dark glass wall panels… from afar, it looks like a pattern of shiny falling rain.

Like the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes, the rebirth of the 440-room EQ is poised to resume its sterling standard of service and hospitality. It’s back and it’s now bigger, bolder and trendier! Despite it being Kuala Lumpur’s latest vibrant sanctuary, the spanking new premise keeps a dash of the original hotel’s DNA right at the entrance. Three bronze sculptures made by Malaysian artist Nizam Abdullah grace the pathway and the bronze was cast using metal salvaged from the original Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur building.

Besides preserving a bit of history, EQ has also been awarded the Green Building Index accreditation. The hotel recycles its water, conserves energy with natural sunlight in all rooms including meeting rooms and has a highly efficient magnetic chiller.

Welcome to EQ!

Walking towards our room, we noted the doors were recessed behind the corridor, streamlining the decor aesthetics as well as giving it an extra dose of security – a nice thoughtful touch indeed. There’s lots of sunlight pouring in from the huge glass windows in our Deluxe Room equipped with advanced entertainment system (great choice of in-room movies!), complimentary wifi and a very comfortable king-size bed. Little intimate touches like providing a conventional alarm clock at the bedside console adds on the charm. Even the room safe is very canggih – flat horizontal drawer-like device unlike the conventional type.

The spacious bathroom comes with his & hers vanities and rain shower. The rooms are fitted out in stylish contemporary design in cool tropical earth tones, livened up with floral patterns on the carpet. As our room was on the 44th floor, there’s a splendid commanding view from our window!

As Club Room guests, we got to experience EQ’s Equator Club. And what a dizzying experience that was! Perched high on the 50th floor, the Equator Club provides a high level of privilege and exclusivity like express check-in/check-out at the dedicated concierge, buffet breakfast, all-day beverages & snacks, afternoon tea, evening cocktails with canapes… all these enjoyed with a panoramic view of the city! Heck, I can lounge all day here and be completely happy with the lovely ambience and top-notch personalized service!

View from the Equator Club

The entire 29th Floor is called Sanctum Wellness. As befitting any 5-star hotel, recreational facilities like a well-equipped fitness centre and swimming pool are standard installations. EQ’s 25m infinity pool with a large adjoining vitality pool, is partially shaded with pretty frangipani trees and an inspiring view of the KL Tower.

Within the elegant confines of the hotel, the Sanctum Spa on the 29th floor is a calm and soothing sanctuary. I spent a wonderful hour here, pampered by skilled fingers in a relaxing yet invigorating massage.

Choose your oils

With a hotel this size, there are several function rooms and spaces to hold events but special mention must be made for their unique 2-tier Diamond Ballroom, inspired by famous opera halls.  Furthermore there’s landscaped outdoor function lawn – just the place to hold a wedding ceremony!

Let’s talk about dining in EQ.

Guests are spoiled for choice when it comes to food, whether it’s Japanese fine dining at Kampachi (read about our Kampachi dining experience here) or local favourites at the all-day dining restaurant Nipah and pastries at the contemporary street café Étoile.

Just like in the old Equatorial Hotel, Nipah showcases pan-Asian cuisine and culinary culture in all its glorious variety in this bright and cheerful restaurant. We enjoyed the breakfast buffet here – there’s a good variety of food at the food stations and the bustling open kitchen.

Nipah dishes up some awesome fares all day!

Besides buffet, must-order a la carte items here are their popular signature Curry Noodles, Mee Mamak, Nasi Goreng and Beef Satay.

The stunning Bottega Lounge at the lobby floor exudes charm and conviviality. It’s stocked with fine wines from around the globe and premium beers, including the world-famous Paulaner beer. We enjoyed a delicious lunch in this cosy and chic lounge. Do try the incredibly fragrant freshly made mushroom soup – it’s insanely good – I had to restrain myself from a 2nd bowl! There’s fresh succulent oysters and the breads are really good.

On the 51st Floor, there’s Sabayon and Blue Bar where fine continental dining and bespoke cocktails are enjoyed with some breath-taking views from the rooftop.

So, yes, EQ is back and what a dazzling return it is.

 

EQ
Equatorial Plaza
alan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 – 2789 7777
info@kul.equatorial.com

Website

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A Revitalizing Stay @ THE WESTIN KUALA LUMPUR

Taking advantage of a long weekend recently, we had an opportunity to enjoy a staycation at The Westin Kuala Lumpur. It’s not often that we do a hotel stay in the city on a weekend as on most weekends, we are either out of town or are tied up with domestic activities at home.

Located along the pulsating Jalan Bukit Bintang, The Westin Kuala Lumpur stands proudly right in the middle of Kuala Lumpur’s busiest street. But the moment we stepped into its elegant cool interior, we’re transported to an oasis of calm, welcomed with warm smiles and impeccable service. Check-in was quick and efficient and before long, we were whisked up to the 23rd Floor to our Westin Suite.

The 75 sqm suite is crazy spacious, for sure. Besides the huge bedroom, there are living spaces to chill in: sitting area with sofa and tv, dining table for 6 and a corner working table. There are 2 bathrooms in the suite, one en suite in the bedroom and one more outside. The en suite in the luxurious bathroom with marble flooring has a deep soaking bathtub to pamper guests. And while soaking in a warm bath there, there’s a pretty skyscraper view to look at through the glass!

It’s all about “Wellness” at The Westin, in any location. Each of their signature offering, be it the Heavenly Bed, their exclusive Eat Well Menu dishes or their energizing Fitness Studio, everything is designed with wellness and “a better you” in mind. I can’t rave enough about their world-renowned Heavenly Bed which really promotes restorative sleep, thanks to the lush 400-threadcount sheets, goose down comforter and patented pillow-top mattress. I love it so much that I’m actually contemplating getting one for my home!

 

Westin Club

Guests staying in Club Rooms and Westin Suites are given access to the Westin Club Lounge. The luxurious Club Lounge makes business travel more rewarding and leisure travel more relaxing. Business travellers will find the Business Centre Services within the Westin Club Lounge very convenient and useful. Fully equipped private meeting rooms and workstations are available if you need to put in some work during a stay here.

Evening snacks and cocktails at the Westin Club

There are the other usual privileges like personalized check-in/check-out, evening cocktails from 6pm-8pm, complimentary non-alcoholic drinks throughout the day and the complimentary Westin Eat Well Menu buffet breakfast. We enjoyed our evening cocktails and leisurely breakfast at The Westin Club where immaculate service ruled. Range of breakfast food was not as extensive as at The Living Room, but the spread covered lots of healthy choices.

Stay Well and Eat Well!

 

WestinWORKOUT®
As a hotel that promotes wellness, you can be sure the gym contains state-of-the-art equipment complete with a sauna to relax in. Known as the WestinWORKOUT®, the gym overlooks the city skyline with a great view for a more invigorating workout.

If you are travelling light or forgot to pack your exercise gear, worry not. Westin has partnered with New Balance® to provide athletic shoes and apparel to use during the stay for a nominal fee. Isn’t that great? This “Gear Lending Program” has proven to be ever so convenient!

Within the same level, there’s the sparkling salt-water swimming pool and Kids Club to keep the young ones happy and occupied.

 

DINING
Now let’s get to that integral part of any hotel stay – the food! While The Westin Kuala Lumpur is located in a very ideal spot, surrounded by shopping malls, entertainment and many local attractions where food is abundant, the hotel’s F&B outlets offer an excellent repertoire of tasty and revitalizing cuisines. We had some memorable meals in the hotel’s signature restaurants during our stay.

The Living Room
As the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant, the Living Room is a cosy and comfortable dining space. We love their Breakfast Adventure buffet with its huge selection of local and international nutritious breakfast items. From freshly pressed juices to local favourites (Masala Corner for Indian delicacies, hot noodles station, nasi lemak stall etc) to freshly baked breads and pastries and nutritious Superfoods, the selections are amazing.

We could see the guests happily browsing and choosing food from the many food stations located all over this spacious oasis of culinary delights. This is definitely our favourite place for breakfast – we lingered ever so long here just to savour the delicious spread and absorb the happy vibes!

I think we started off the day really right!

During weekends, there’re classic hi-tea and dinner buffets to indulge on.

 

Five Sen5es
The Westin Kuala Lumpur’s popular Chinese restaurant – Five Sen5es needs no introduction. We’ve had many a happy meal at this elegant restaurant with its lovely contemporary decor mixed with touches of oriental splendour. Read about our earlier reviews here and here.

Recently there’s been new items added on to their menu – check out our review here. Five Sen5es serves a wide array of Dim Sum and authentic Chinese dishes personifying the five human senses: Sight, Taste, Scent, Touch and Sound. Dining here is never boring as I always find my attention drawn to the animated activities in their “Open Wok Kitchen” right there in the restaurant.

For our stay, we just wanted a simple meal of the restaurant’s popular offerings. Roast duck, double-boiled soup, steamed cod fish and a small claypot of braised fish paste made up our delightful dinner here.

Mooncakes to round off dinner!

443 Bar Lounge
Just a few steps down from the main lobby is the welcoming 443 Bar Lounge, a nice “hideaway” sanctuary to chill-out. The “443” here represents the number of rooms in The Westin Kuala Lumpur and it signifies the attention to be given to each and every guest in the hotel. The lounge is a perfect spot to snuggle in and unwind with some great wine, superior whiskeys, crafted cocktails and premium cigars. Love the warm rustic feel of the decor, oozing nostalgia and classic comfort in the deep plush seats.

Prego
Prego is the hotel’s well-known Italian restaurant. A separate post will be published soon to highlight the memorable meals we had here during this staycation – so stay tuned!

As an established brand, The Westin Kuala Lumpur does live up to expectations of a 5-star hotel. The service, welcome and comfort levels are faultless as we encountered nothing less than first-rate experiences during our revitalizing stay.

 

THE WESTIN KUALA LUMPUR
199 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-2731-8333
Website: click here

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A Revitalizing Stay @ THE WESTIN KUALA LUMPUR

Taking advantage of a long weekend recently, we had an opportunity to enjoy a staycation at The Westin Kuala Lumpur. It’s not often that we do a hotel stay in the city on a weekend as on most weekends, we are either out of town or are tied up with domestic activities at home.

Located along the pulsating Jalan Bukit Bintang, The Westin Kuala Lumpur stands proudly right in the middle of Kuala Lumpur’s busiest street. But the moment we stepped into its elegant cool interior, we’re transported to an oasis of calm, welcomed with warm smiles and impeccable service. Check-in was quick and efficient and before long, we were whisked up to the 23rd Floor to our Westin Suite.

The 75 sqm suite is crazy spacious, for sure. Besides the huge bedroom, there are living spaces to chill in: sitting area with sofa and tv, dining table for 6 and a corner working table. There are 2 bathrooms in the suite, one en suite in the bedroom and one more outside. The en suite in the luxurious bathroom with marble flooring has a deep soaking bathtub to pamper guests. And while soaking in a warm bath there, there’s a pretty skyscraper view to look at through the glass!

It’s all about “Wellness” at The Westin, in any location. Each of their signature offering, be it the Heavenly Bed, their exclusive Eat Well Menu dishes or their energizing Fitness Studio, everything is designed with wellness and “a better you” in mind. I can’t rave enough about their world-renowned Heavenly Bed which really promotes restorative sleep, thanks to the lush 400-threadcount sheets, goose down comforter and patented pillow-top mattress. I love it so much that I’m actually contemplating getting one for my home!

 

Westin Club

Guests staying in Club Rooms and Westin Suites are given access to the Westin Club Lounge. The luxurious Club Lounge makes business travel more rewarding and leisure travel more relaxing. Business travellers will find the Business Centre Services within the Westin Club Lounge very convenient and useful. Fully equipped private meeting rooms and workstations are available if you need to put in some work during a stay here.

Evening snacks and cocktails at the Westin Club

There are the other usual privileges like personalized check-in/check-out, evening cocktails from 6pm-8pm, complimentary non-alcoholic drinks throughout the day and the complimentary Westin Eat Well Menu buffet breakfast. We enjoyed our evening cocktails and leisurely breakfast at The Westin Club where immaculate service ruled. Range of breakfast food was not as extensive as at The Living Room, but the spread covered lots of healthy choices.

Stay Well and Eat Well!

 

WestinWORKOUT®
As a hotel that promotes wellness, you can be sure the gym contains state-of-the-art equipment complete with a sauna to relax in. Known as the WestinWORKOUT®, the gym overlooks the city skyline with a great view for a more invigorating workout.

If you are travelling light or forgot to pack your exercise gear, worry not. Westin has partnered with New Balance® to provide athletic shoes and apparel to use during the stay for a nominal fee. Isn’t that great? This “Gear Lending Program” has proven to be ever so convenient!

Within the same level, there’s the sparkling salt-water swimming pool and Kids Club to keep the young ones happy and occupied.

 

DINING
Now let’s get to that integral part of any hotel stay – the food! While The Westin Kuala Lumpur is located in a very ideal spot, surrounded by shopping malls, entertainment and many local attractions where food is abundant, the hotel’s F&B outlets offer an excellent repertoire of tasty and revitalizing cuisines. We had some memorable meals in the hotel’s signature restaurants during our stay.

The Living Room
As the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant, the Living Room is a cosy and comfortable dining space. We love their Breakfast Adventure buffet with its huge selection of local and international nutritious breakfast items. From freshly pressed juices to local favourites (Masala Corner for Indian delicacies, hot noodles station, nasi lemak stall etc) to freshly baked breads and pastries and nutritious Superfoods, the selections are amazing.

We could see the guests happily browsing and choosing food from the many food stations located all over this spacious oasis of culinary delights. This is definitely our favourite place for breakfast – we lingered ever so long here just to savour the delicious spread and absorb the happy vibes!

I think we started off the day really right!

During weekends, there’re classic hi-tea and dinner buffets to indulge on.

 

Five Sen5es
The Westin Kuala Lumpur’s popular Chinese restaurant – Five Sen5es needs no introduction. We’ve had many a happy meal at this elegant restaurant with its lovely contemporary decor mixed with touches of oriental splendour. Read about our earlier reviews here and here.

Recently there’s been new items added on to their menu – check out our review here. Five Sen5es serves a wide array of Dim Sum and authentic Chinese dishes personifying the five human senses: Sight, Taste, Scent, Touch and Sound. Dining here is never boring as I always find my attention drawn to the animated activities in their “Open Wok Kitchen” right there in the restaurant.

For our stay, we just wanted a simple meal of the restaurant’s popular offerings. Roast duck, double-boiled soup, steamed cod fish and a small claypot of braised fish paste made up our delightful dinner here.

Mooncakes to round off dinner!

443 Bar Lounge
Just a few steps down from the main lobby is the welcoming 443 Bar Lounge, a nice “hideaway” sanctuary to chill-out. The “443” here represents the number of rooms in The Westin Kuala Lumpur and it signifies the attention to be given to each and every guest in the hotel. The lounge is a perfect spot to snuggle in and unwind with some great wine, superior whiskeys, crafted cocktails and premium cigars. Love the warm rustic feel of the decor, oozing nostalgia and classic comfort in the deep plush seats.

Prego
Prego is the hotel’s well-known Italian restaurant. A separate post will be published soon to highlight the memorable meals we had here during this staycation – so stay tuned!

As an established brand, The Westin Kuala Lumpur does live up to expectations of a 5-star hotel. The service, welcome and comfort levels are faultless as we encountered nothing less than first-rate experiences during our revitalizing stay.

 

THE WESTIN KUALA LUMPUR
199 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-2731-8333
Website: click here

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Halcyon Days at RIMBA ALOR ORCHARD VILLAS, Melaka Pindah, Alor Gajah

Melaka Pindah – have you ever heard of this place? Literally translated from Malay, it means “Malacca Shifted”? Shifted from where, to where? See, that’s the natural response whenever this name is mentioned.

Well, according to legendary folklore, a certain high-ranking officer retreated upriver to evade the Portuguese forces in 1511 (which subsequently captured and colonized Malacca). So the high-ranking officer, together with his followers settled at this place and named it “Melaka Pindah” as he believed he had shifted Malacca away from the invaders. Interesting piece of folklore or even history and that’s how Melaka Pindah got its name. But why all this interesting information? That’s because I happened to spend a glorious weekend in Melaka Pindah recently in a sublime green haven known as Rimba Alor Orchard Villas.

It’s just a 1.5 hours’ drive from Kuala Lumpur along the North-South Expressway and once we exited the Alor Gajah toll, it’s a short and easy drive to Rimba Alor. So, Melaka Pindah is actually in the vicinity of Alor Gajah. The moment we drove through the gates to Rimba Alor Orchard Villas, we immediately fell in love with this kampung retreat! It’s hard not to – I mean, just look at this…

The impeccably-maintained 1.7 acres plot of land houses 2 lovely traditional kampung houses, a fish pond and a variety of fruit trees. My good friend, Mr Kaspur, was all welcoming in his usual super-friendly bubbly self and after a barrage of warm greetings, I just could not wait to check out the surroundings!

So easy to pick these sweet juicy rambutans!

Rambutans & coconuts on the house 🙂

Try your luck fishing some ikan keli, haruan and tilapia in this fishing pond!

This piece of land has been in the owners’ family for generations. Initially, there was only one small wooden house and a well amidst the abundant fruit trees. Kaspur proudly told me that some of the existing durian trees there are more than 90 years old! Rambutans, mangosteens, mangoes, pink guava, bananas, avocados and chempedak trees grow and thrive in this piece of green paradise.

Chempedak tree laden with countless fruits!

For many years that had been sufficient but recently the owners decided to spruce it up and build a couple more houses. Being nature lovers and out of respect for the land, they were careful to construct and size the houses without much damage to Mother Nature.

As a result, there are now two beautiful wooden villas built on the property which offer guests a great feel of heritage and tradition. Built along typical Malay kampung-style design with raised walk-up steps to the front door, Villa Rimba is slightly different from Villa Alor but both are equally charming in their own unique set-up. Colourful tiles, wooden carved banisters, stained glass with touches of “Peranakan” influences all add up to the quaint appeal.

Each villa has 4 spacious bedrooms to accommodate a maximum of 8 persons very comfortably. This can increase to 10 people with the addition of 2 single rollaway beds upon request. Bedrooms are fitted-out with nice bedlinen and comfy beds and the modern bathrooms have all the necessary toiletries. The villas are fully-airconditioned and complete with well-equipped kitchens. We had such a lovely and super comfortable stay!

As we wanted to have the whole kampung-stay experience, Kaspur very kindly arranged for breakfast, tea and dinner catered in the villas. We totally enjoyed the delicious local fares cooked by local makciks nearby. Guests can request for this meal arrangement (separately charged by the caterers) – just let Kaspur know and he will take care of it. Another option is BBQ – there’s a nice BBQ pit built at the outdoor dining area – perfect for that private gathering here!

Delectable local favourites can be catered for your meals at Rimba Alor

Al fresco dining surrounded by lush greenery – food tastes much better!

Jom makan – so sedap!

You won’t believe the immensely restful sleep we had at this quiet retreat. The only sounds we heard were birds chirping and the morning call from the neighbour’s cockerel! While waiting for our breakfast, we made some coffee and chilled out at the verandah, breathing in the fresh crisp air all around. If air has colour, it’s definitely green in Rimba Alor!

Durian trees bathed in morning sunlight

There’s a gazebo built on the property, with the main purpose: relaxation. With a ceiling fan thoughtfully installed and facing the pond, it’s a perfect spot to just chill – curl up with a book, enjoy a yoga or meditation session or do what we did: have a massage! Yes, local masseuses are available with prior booking (Kaspur would be happy to arrange this!) and I must say I had a darn good massage that day!

As I look back at the collection of photos taken and the short stay at Rimba Alor, I can’t help but be reminded of the halcyon days of my childhood. Although I wasn’t brought up in a kampung, I used to live in a small town in an area that was abundant with local fruit trees and there’s always a sense of “running free” then.

I can sit here all day!

Do check out Rimba Alor Orchard Villas if you are looking for that little green sanctuary for a quiet idyllic sojourn or a private celebration with family and friends. The friendly folks there would be happy to organize it for you.

Tranquility

Just give Kaspur a tinkle at +6019-325-6582 or click here for more information.

 

RIMBA ALOR ORCHARD VILLAS
Batu 15 ½ Jalan Haji Abdul Rahman
Melaka Pindah
78000 Alor Gajah
Melaka

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Staycation at WEIL HOTEL IPOH

Whenever I go back to Ipoh, I don’t stay in hotels.
Why should I, when my family is still there and I have some perfectly comfortable accommodation to stay? Someone asked me the other day “Well, if you have to book a hotel to stay, in Ipoh, where would you choose?”  That can be quite a difficult question to answer – there are so many hotels that have sprouted in Ipoh in the past few years – many of these are old buildings converted to “boutique hotels” in and around the city. I must say some of them are very tastefully designed too.

Weil Hotel Ipoh’s impressive lobby with high ceilings and clusters of chic contemporary chairs & sofas

OK, if there’s one hotel I would book to stay in Ipoh, it would be Weil Hotel and mainly for two very good reasons: excellent location and super-comfortable set-up. Perched on a quiet side of Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, Weil Hotel has an adjoining shopping mall, Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre and its central location makes it easy to get to any part of Ipoh town quickly. Guests can just walk over to the mall next door – easy shopping without having to drive out! Shops and restaurants are also easily accessible nearby – right across the road and just a few minutes’ walk away. It’s perfect for business, leisure and pleasure. The hotel is fitted-out along contemporary lines, casting an ambience of modern chic-ness which allows one to just lounge back and enjoy its cozy comforts in style.

The name “Weil” is actually meant for “Liew” (spelled backwards)  – owned by the Liew family who founded the famous Ipoh Pagoda groundnuts.

Our room gives an immediate sense of relaxation, thanks to the soft earthy hues of the furnishings and relaxing spaciousness. The large bathroom comes with strong rain shower and a stand-alone bath tub for that luxurious touch. We love the bed – the bedding is really comfortable and we had some blissful sleep here. From our room, we enjoyed a pleasing vista of the sprawling city and the roll of picturesque limestone hills in the distance.

Spacious room with cosy sofa corner and a big bathroom complete with bath tub!

Note the Pagoda groundnuts!

Beyond the standard, deluxe and premier rooms, the hotel does offer several other premium-tiered rooms and suites with interesting concepts based on Ipoh’s unique heritage.

View from our room

Swimming pool and gym – work off the calories after all the good food in Ipoh!

Weil Hotel has four F&B outlets: The Deck, Yuk Sou Hin, Tiffin Restaurant and Tea Lounge.

The Deck is the hotel’s rooftop gastrobar – a cosy spot for chilling out and taking in a breath-taking sunset from up high on a good clear day. We had a simple western-style dinner here on a quiet romantic evening.

The Tea Lounge is a cool place to relax and catch-up with friends over tea and coffee. In the evenings, if you are feeling peckish before dinner time, I hear they serve a very decent Afternoon Tea spread.

Tiffin is the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant. The restaurant’s relaxed and casual ambience is perfect for leisurely dining. In the mornings, buffet breakfast is served and there’s also buffet dinner on a daily basis. Complete with live cooking stations, food selection at the buffets is wide and varied.

Entrance to Tiffin

Curry Mee here is really good!

Fine Chinese cuisine reigns in Yuk Sou Hin, helmed by a Hong Kong Masterchef. A separate post will be done for this restaurant – stay tuned!

Weil Hotel Ipoh has extensive function and ballroom space, making it one of the top choices in Ipoh for events hosting. With its strategic location and more than 2,500 sqm of function space spread over two levels as well as a stylish ballroom, there’s always something happening in Weil Hotel. During our stay, there were quite a few events happening in the hotel – from meetings, private parties and even a wedding!

So, the next time you are heading to Ipoh and need a place to stay, Weil Hotel is a good option due to its excellent location, comfortable rooms and facilities at reasonable rates and warm hospitality.

 

WEIL HOTEL
292 Jalan Sultan Idris Shah
30000 Ipoh
Tel: +605-2082228
http://www.weilhotel.com/

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A magical stay at ANANTARA HUA HIN RESORT, THAILAND

The Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa is the very first resort developed under the Anantara brand. We had a short stay in this resort recently and were charmed by the rich traditional design from its historic heritage surrounded by natural beauty all around. The name Anantara in Sanskrit means “without end” – an indication of the freedom of movement flowing in harmony throughout the resort, from design to nature.

The resort’s mascot!

Built in 2001, this resort gave birth to “The Anantara Experience” with the aim of bringing guests closer to the rich culture and history of Thailand. We get the distinct feeling of being in a traditional Thai village the moment we stepped into the main lobby of the resort. Checking-in was a breeze and we were then whisked off to our Deluxe Room with a balcony overlooking into the lush greenery of the resort.

Our comfortable Deluxe Room with Garden View

Walking through the resort, we could see that much of nature has been preserved. The lush grounds are shaded with the canopy of huge trees, walkways are carved out along natural lines and everywhere there’s the sound of water – in lotus ponds, fountains and natural streams. It’s totally relaxing being cocooned in this green haven.

The Anantara Hua Hin Resort caters to everyone, from honeymooners to families and bigger groups for events and functions. Children can totally immerse themselves in lots of fun activities at Baan Pla Noi Children’s Club like art & crafts, sports, cooking and Thai language classes. For the adults, there’s yoga, muay thai, tennis and a well equipped fitness centre for the gym bunnies. Oh did I mention there are 2 lovely pools in the resort?

The resort plants its own organic herbs 

Welcome to the Spa!

The beachfront is incredibly calming, with wide stretches of fine sand rolling into the sea. We totally enjoyed chilling out here, especially at sunset when the whole environment took on an ethereal feel. One of our most memorable meals was a dinner at Sai Thong, the resort’s oceanfront restaurant. There was a cool gentle breeze that evening as we indulged on grilled seafood and lusciously tender pork ribs.

Our delicious dinner at Sai Thong!

Rim Nam is another signature restaurant at the Anantara Hua Hin Resort. It’s listed on Trip Advisor as the No.1 Thai restaurant in Hua Hin. The quaint elegant Thai-style pavilion restaurant serves traditional family-type Thai food. We enjoyed Mieng Kam, various Thai salads, green chicken curry and a perfectly steamed seabass with chilli-lime sauce.

Authentic Thai cuisine at Rim Nam

Breakfast is a delightful affair at Issara Cafe. The open-air white-washed pavilion setting is the perfect venue for a leisurely meal to start off the day. We love the many live stations where chefs prepare orders a la minute. But what really made our breakfast complete was their huge selection of fresh tropical fruits. And the coffee was really excellent too!

Glorious breakfast at Issara Cafe!

There are several other dining outlets in the resort which we didn’t get to experience – Baan Thalia (Italian fine dining), Sala Siam (contemporary lounge), Loy Nam (poolside refreshments) and their Lagoon Bar. So, there’s really nice dining options for guests in the resort, should they choose to dine in.

We didn’t do too badly at the Thai Cooking Class, eh!

Throughout its landscaped sprawling grounds, immersed in its laid-back luxury, we can’t help but be enchanted by the Thai culture in this beautiful resort – from the gardens, the food, traditionally carved wooden structures and even attending a Thai cooking class!

With Air Asia now having direct flights from KLIA2 to Hua Hin, it’s so easy to get to this seaside resort town. With a flight duration of less than 2 hours, Hua Hin is a very attractive destination and the Anantara there is a topnotch option. We will be back!

 

ANANTARA HUA HIN RESORT & SPA
43/1 Phetkasem Beach Road
Hua Hin
Thailand
Tel: +66-32-520-250
Email: huahin@anantara.com

Visit the website for more & latest information!

 

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AVANI+ HUA HIN RESORT, Thailand

When Air Asia started direct flights to Hua Hin in mid 2018, I knew I had to make a trip there. I enjoy Thailand and Hua Hin was definitely in my radar. However, my travel schedules were crazy last year and before I knew it, the year was out. Once 2019 dawned, I made my Hua Hin plans and finally got to this stylish coastal town last month. It’s a short flight from KLIA2, just under 2 hours and after a quick shut-eye onboard, it was time to land.

Clearing Immigration at Hua Hin Airport was a breeze and before long, I was whisked away heading to Avani+ Hua Hin Resort. It’s just a short drive – the resort is about 6km from the airport. In a matter of minutes, I arrived at the open lobby/reception of the resort and checking-in was done very quickly.

My stay was in a Lagoon Pool Villa which is located towards the beach end of the property. It’s a sprawling property, mind you but worry not, there are buggies to transport you to anywhere in the resort! Avani+ Hua Hin has 196 rooms, suites and villas.

My Lagoon Pool Villa is gorgeous – king bed overlooking the lagoon pool! A split level from the bed is a lounging space with a long cushioned seat, coffee-maker and dining table. Just open the sliding door, there’s a cool patio for sun-lazing and for a cool dip, just jump straight into the lagoon pool. Ahhh…that’s the life! Perfect for honeymooners or just about anyone who wants a cosy stay in a luxurious villa. I checked out the other rooms and they all have the same contemporary decor of elegant light woods and classy fit-outs (just different sizing of space!)


 

I wanted to just stay in my Lagoon Pool Villa all day! But then, need to eat, right? Guests at the villas have access to the Avani Club, just a few steps away from my villa. There’s buffet breakfast and sundown cocktails served here. I like the special breakfast dishes for order – their Prawn Omelette was so good that I had that every morning!

A whole leg of jamon ham for breakfast!

Sunset canapes at Avani Club

Guests can also opt to have breakfast at Staa’s, the resort’s all-day dining restaurant serving Thai and international fares. Personally, I prefer breakfast at the Avani Club as it’s more relaxed, exclusive and service was really attentive.  But the breakfast spread at Staa’s was pretty phenomenal – in addition to the usual bacon, sausages, eggs, breads and pastries, there’s also a huge selection of Thai street-food like noodles, pork skewers, fried mini crullers and Thai desserts.

Breakfast at Staa’s

I got a taste of diversified dining at Avani+ Hua Hin. On the first night, I tried Indian cuisine at Staa’s. Thali Sets (both vegetarian and meat sets) are hugely popular – biryani rice with a good selection of Indian favourites. I must say the curries were really very appetizing and I ate more biryani rice than I should have.

Thali Sets for dinner at Staa’s

On another night, I had barbequed seafood and Thai dishes at Brezza, their beachfront restaurant. I chose to sit outside as the weather was fine – it was al fresco dining at its best with a cool sea breeze blowing in and the soft lull of ocean waves breaking on the shore.

BBQ Seafood at Brezza, ocean-front dining is the best!

With 2 swimming pools, a lagoon pool, a well-equipped gym (AvaniFit), kids’ centre (Avani Kids) and yoga classes, there’s no lack of activities at the resort. For me, my favourite is their Avani Spa of course, with its spa therapies and authentic hammam experience. Oh did I mention that there’s a jazz bar in the resort too? Blue Biscuit is the perfect spot to chillout in the evenings as the ocean view from the bar is really something!

Avanifit: well-equipped gym

Yoga, anyone?

AvaniKids – kids will definitely love it here!

AvaniSpa: my favourite corner!

Blue Biscuit – jazz bar

With its vast grounds and beautifully landscaped rolling gardens facing the ocean, Avani+ Hua Hin is great for hosting events as well. While I was there, the beachfront was beautifully set up for a corporate event – guests were thoroughly enjoying themselves dining under twinkling stars in elegantly laid out tables.

Lovely sea-facing grounds set-up for events

Besides the physical activities, guests at the resort can also sign-up for cooking classes to learn to cook some traditional Thai dishes.

Results of our cooking class – impressive?

Hua Hin is definitely a destination to head to, now with short direct flights there and Avani+ Hua Hin is suitable for all kinds of getaway – romantic stay for couples, fun vacation for the whole family or group event of any sort. Beach weddings and honeymoons … totally fit the bill here!

 

AVANI+ HUA HIN RESORT
1499 Petchkasem Road
Cha-am, Hua Hin
Phetchaburi 76120
Thailand
Tel: +66-32-898-989
email: avaniplus.huahin@avanihotels.com

Avani Reservations Team:
+66 2 365 9110 or
reserveavani@avanihotels.com
(English, Chinese, Thai only)

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