Ipoh is now highly accessible for the lazy driver, a train ride is a skip hop and jump, and with Uber in Ipoh now, it's even more convenient to hitch a ride from the train station to wherever. I enjoyed my ride on the Platinum Train, (which comes with "food service" and non stop journey) and two hours later, KL seemed like a distant dream. Mind you, Ipoh is just as hot, if not hotter than KL.
The staff of Haven were at hand to greet us at the station, and we were ferried to the resort. Location wise, it's located after Tambun Lost World and Banjaran, if you're travelling in that direction towards Tanjung Rambutan.
Some interesting facts about THE HAVEN
- It's Perak's tallest and most luxurious resort Condotel
- It's operated by the Best Western INTERNATIONAL (not to be confused with the other local one) family chain of hotels, and is BWI's finest eco resort in Asia
- The centrepiece is an iconic 14 storey high, 280 million year old limestone outcrop named "ROCKHAVEN".
- It is surrounded by tower karst hills, which is rare.
- The owners have gone to great pains to preserve the virgin rainforest within its grounds
- The natural 4 acre lake is constantly flowing and provides a stunning view for rooms with the lakeside view.
- The Haven is amongst the pioneers in Malaysia to harvest all availble renewable energy sources, like rainwater, solar power, windmill turbine.
- Do you see a Seahorse? Well, The Haven has specially designed and trademarked its own 60 metre seashorse shaped swimming pool
The Seahorse pool is actually divided into various sections, as they pride themselves for catering to 3 generations, ie, parents, children and grandparents. The tail is the wading pool, whilst the main body is the main pool, and one of the sections is a jacuzzi. The gorgeous see through glass really makes the pool quite unique....and when viewed from the opposite side of the property, it looks like a wonderful large aquarium.
Ideally, when staying here, one should have a car, because it is quite far from civilisation, even to get some basic stuff is not easy. There is a shuttle service provided, but it's not gratis. As we had not had lunch, we adventurously ventured out to seek out some food, but the scorching heat made us give up our food quest after 20 minutes.
The F&B outlet, Cuisines, does serve a comprehensive menu, but as we were going to be dining there at night, I thought I'd try something else, but ended up at Cuisines anyway and guzzled a couple of cold beers and burger. (one burger). More on the food later.
We had the honor of being briefed about the development, and the Founder, Mr Peter Chan was also present, and told us of the challenges faced during the development. It was indeed a rather visionary and bold move to undertake a project of such proportions, but the site itself is remarkable, and whilst its arguable that such a site should not fall into the hands of a private owner, in many ways, it's better for the site to be within the control of a responsible owner, than being plundered and quarried as seems to be the fate of many limestone sites in the area.
The project consists of 3 blocks, A, B, and C, Acacia, Banyan and Cycas respectively, with the corresponding tree planted in front of each block.
The suites types comprise:
1 bedroom Lakeview Suite
2 bedroom Horizon View Suite
2+1 bedroom Lakeview Superior Suite
2+1 bedroom Lakeview Deluxe Suite
3 bedroom Lakeview Executive Suite
3 bedroom Lakeview Executive Deluxe Suite
3 bedroom Lakeview Premier Suite
3+1 bedroom Lakeview Ambassador Suite
We were taken on a brief tour to view the various configurations. All the suites are amply spaced, most notably the one bedroom is huge!!!
Aptly named, Cuisines, for now the only F&B outlet, really does have a wide variety of cuisine. From burgers to Ipoh Hor Fun.... a very multi talented chef they must have.
Dinner started with a middle eastern platter of Pita Bread served with Hummus, Baba Ganoush and Tabbouleh. We noted the Pita bread was remarkably tender, unlike the hard commercial stuff you sometimes get.
As night falls, the view becomes even more spectacular, with Rockhaven lighted up, likea stage with the spotlight on the main star. We were there on a weeknight, so the night lighting was kept to a minimum, but I've seen pictures of the place fully lit at night and it looks spectacular.
Photo courtesy of press kit
Photo courtesy of press kit
As a new day dawned, it was time for breakfast at Cuisines.
After breakfast, a morning stroll around the grounds, to check out the flora and fauna...
For the uninitiated, there's lots to do in Ipoh, as we discovered, after we finished our time at The Haven, and the Haven staff very kindly brought us on a looksie looksie tour of the surrounding area. The itinerary originally was to cover Ipoh town, but having been there so many times, it was unanimously agreed that it would be better to check out the sights nearer to the hotel, ....from the hotel, on the horizon view, in yonder, one could see a temple perched on a hill, which was interesting.
And finally the famous Perak Temple, nestled in the huge limestone caves.
For more information, call
BEST WESTERN PREMIER THE HAVEN
or email email@example.com