Written by Beverley Lennon
Co-written by Veyroniqa
Previously, we brought you a bunch of chilly retreats to escape the heat and routine of KL’s typical shop and cafe-hop.
Now, what if we told you we’ve found a good number of weekend group retreats in Janda Baik and Bukit Tinggi, just an hour’s drive from the city itself – these are perfect for all those long weekends where you thought you’d only go out for brunch or dessert with your BFFs (booooring)!
Well, you don’t have to anymore; you can now grab your besties and family to enjoy a whole villa (sleeps at least 6 of you) with a private pool yet be close enough to the city so you don’t have to ever curse the drive back (you know those post-holiday feels).
Plus, these are so close to KL that you won’t even have to book in from your annual leave (save them for island escapes) – a 2D1N weekend getaway could easily fit in!
10 Large villas/retreats in cool weather near KL for your weekend staycation with family and friends (3 BR, with 6-10 pax)!
16 Affordable Airbnb stays in KL for big groups (6-12 pax) near shopping/dining hotspots (KL city centre, Bangsar, Bukit Bintang, PJ and more!)
Note: The prices reflected below are the low season rates, and they exclude tax and service charges. Accommodation rates often change with room availability, and low or high seasons. We recommend double-checking for the final prices before confirming your booking.
1. The most popular of them all – Summer Residence at Rainforest Sanctuary
Instagram has created renewed interest in Summer Residence, thanks to its beautiful infinity pool and capacity to accommodate up to 30 guests (with extra mattresses).
Of course, the downside to it is that chances are, you’ll have to book way in advance to secure a stay here as it seems to be a popular option for groups of friends and families who come over for special occasions like weddings, proposals, yoga retreats, new year celebrations and even company annual gatherings!
They can’t be blamed though as we can certainly see why it’s a popular choice – the sanctuary is set on a hilltop amongst the mountainous range of Genting Sempah, just a short 1-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, where you can retire amidst chilly weathers and a sea of clouds!
The stay knows nothing but expansive spaces so you’ll never feel clustered even though you are here with 20 other people. And besides the swimming pool, there’s a large yoga deck which can serve as a viewpoint, a billiard table and even tranquil areas for when one needs his alone time!
P.S. Rainforest Sanctuary has other similar properties in the same compound area too, so if this one is sold out, you have other IG-worthy options!2. Swim up to the mountains – SaufiVille Boutique Resort
We mentioned the presence of a pool, but wait until you see the one at SaufiVille Boutique Resort; one where you can swim on the edge and come up close with the surrounding mountains.
If you ask me, this could well be your kind of inspiration when it comes to having a vacation house away from the city; at least, the infinity pool and the view that goes with it resemble the ones on my Pinterest!
Inside, you’ll find a mix of vintage and contemporary blending together so perfectly to make you feel at home. Their group packages come inclusive of a BBQ dinner and breakfast for up to 20 guests (6 rooms in total).
Though comfortable, we’re sure you’ll be spending most of your time outdoors and making the most of the pool and expansive grounds the resort is set on. With its location on the hills, one gets to enjoy the fresh cool air, which comes in great need when you spend most of your time in the city. Just be mindful of the mosquitoes as we’ve heard there’s quite a number there!
3. Pool but also a bunch of outbound activities (great for families!) – Fifty4ferns
Ever since I started travel writing, my family has assigned me as the official trip planner. I have to admit that it’s not the simplest task, especially when you have to plan something that’ll make everyone happy – from the little ones to the elderly.
Luckily, once in a while, you come across places like Fifty4ferns. It is located not far from Kuala Lumpur, nicely tucked on the foothills of an impressive mountain range.
Reaching there though might be a challenge as you’ll be required to drive through narrow roads with ravines on both sides, so do assign a family member or friend who’s more familiar with off-road driving as the driver.
Once you reach paradise, you’ll find the retreat surrounded by lush forests; an almost-oasis away from the city, with rivers running through beautiful gardens dotted with unique flora.
The 5-units cabin is what attracts most families, but that isn’t it all as there’s so much to do at Fifty4ferns that both kids and the older folks are sure to be entertained – natural activities are aplenty, you can enjoy the tranquillity of the pools (one for adults and one for kids) or relax in a hammock tent hanging above the river, make use of their bicycles and explore the area (free-of-charge and on a first-come-first-serve basis), they even have an expansive outdoor playground with a trampoline, canopy walk and mini animal farm!
In the evening, you’ll also be invited to feed the fish in the ponds and lakes that surround the chalets. It’s hard to believe that this is the kind of scene that awaits just a bare 1-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur!
There’s also the convenience of a surau (prayer room) for Muslim guests and you are encouraged to bring your own food as restaurants are exactly near; unless you’re keen to pre-book their special BBQ dinner which the staff will arrange for you.
TripCanvas Tip: We’ve heard that phone reception is pretty poor and Wi-Fi is only available in certain areas so be ready to disconnect!
4. Stay on a durian farm!! – The Waterway Villa
With meals and activities included, what better way to escape from city-life routine than checking into The Waterway Villa? Besides an exciting pool which features a slide, this is where you also get to sign up for a bunch of nature activities like jungle trekking, river tubing, waterfall hikes and more!
Whether you’re here with family, friends or colleagues (it’s a great team-building location), everyone is bound to find something to their taste, whether it’s an ATV ride or a paintball session, but wait until you find out that there’s a durian farm too! You can enjoy your favourite Musang King, served fresh from their gardens (only during the durian season).
The biggest villas available are the Bali Villa, which is rightly named as it is a Balinese-style home and the Family Suite (Stone Villa), perfect for any kind of reunion and accommodating up to 12 people.
5. Check into little cottages in the highlands – Danau Daun Chalets
There’s something special about Danau Daun; it somehow stands out as a charming back-to-nature stay with feels of Ubud, Bali.
And whether it’s a view over the scenic fish pond or having a private pool, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to accommodation at Danau Daun Chalets; but I have to confess that the Hillside Cottage – their three-bedroom chalet with a private pool overlooking the jungle-covered hills of Janda Baik, stands out among the rest!
If you opt for a cottage without a private pool, you can still take a dip in their main pool! Here on a group reunion? Why not pre-book their barbecue pit for a fun night to remember?
Now, as compared to other stays in the area, Danau Daun has its own cafe. That means you won’t have to worry about going out for a meal or packing enough snacks. Kopi n Kraf, their on-site cafe, is set in a beautiful jungle ambience and serves light dishes. Besides, Southeast Asian craftwork from Malaysia, Bali, Indonesia and Cambodia are also for sale at the cafe.
6. For all your Insta-friends (super photo-worthy stay!!) – Eighty Seven
Update: This villa is now permanently closed.
What’s a stay nowadays if it isn’t photogenic and worth being on your social media feed? If your group of friends is all for the likes, they’ll definitely be up for checking out Eighty Seven! It’s no wonder that the location is often rented out for special occasions and events like weddings and yoga retreats.
With floor-to-ceiling windows, you can take in magnificent views of the surrounding lush greenery right from your room and wake up to a sea of clouds traversing the mountains.
You’ll also find plenty of communal spaces to reunite with your group; whether it is in the main infinity pool during the day or the living room that’s decked out with several bean bags. My favourite spot is the small plunge pool that looks perfect for an end-of-day wine session with the girls.
With 7 bedrooms, a total of 10 bathrooms and accommodating up to 28 guests, you can opt to rent the entire villa, or if you’re coming with a smaller group, simply book the ground floor with 5 bedrooms for up to 16 guests; time to crash that long-awaited pool party with your besties!
7. Rustic huts in the cool hills – Chengal Retreat
Besides being less than 1.5 hour’s drive from KL city centre, Janda Baik boasts of cool temperatures, with a handful of unique luxury stays. For big families and groups, Chengal Hill Retreat is the perfect choice.
You can choose between the Water Chalet (hidden by the trees with semi-open bathrooms), Dorm Style Chalet or Prime Chalet. There are also super cute Apachis that can sleep two per unit (with external shared bathrooms).
Go swimming in the fish pond or have a picnic under the trees (just come equipped with insect repellent!). And if you’re here with outdoorsy teens, they would love activities such as ATV, archery, 4×4 ride, jungle trekking and cycling, which are provided at an additional cost. Perfect for some family bonding, no?
Also, make sure you bring your own food (no pork or alcohol allowed) for the grill because you won’t find any restaurants in the area. Charcoal provided 😉
8. Secret retreat in the highlands – Enderong
A popular wedding destination, Enderong Resort is nothing short of picturesque. Paired with the cool and crisp air, you might forget that you are still in Malaysia.
Take a nature walk around the compound and try your hand at archery, feed the friendly fishes down at the pond or simply go for a refreshing dip in their pool.
You might find that your cellular service is often weak, but why waste time on your phone when you are surrounded by spectacular views and people? 😉
The cafe is open to the public, so if you’re planning to swing by, make sure to try their Italian and Japanese fusion cuisine.
Note: This stay is not very accessible for the disabled or less athletic as you’ll need to climb a lot of stairs to get to the resort.
9. Where misty mornings await – Sum Sum Falls
Waking up to a sea of clouds is a common occurrence at Sum Sum Falls. But what will bring you here is the suspended infinity pool with panoramic views of Tanarimba rainforest.
Nearby, one can take short walks to the river which features a series of cascading waterfalls, to fully immerse in nature.
On the highest floor of the villa, you’ll have access to a private store room to keep all your belongings; this comes in great use when traveling in a group!
Their six bedrooms come with a sleeping arrangement for 12 guests and up to 10 extra beds are available at an extra cost, just make sure to make a special request prior to your staycation.
Past guests have also thoroughly enjoyed the BBQ corner, though some mentioned the lack of lighting at night. And for all of those who enjoy some good old fun with a karaoke session, you’re covered – a karaoke system is also provided at the villa!
10. Down by the river – Happy Paradise
Regardless of your age, you’ll find your little piece of heaven at Happy Paradise. Unique bird species, ponies and other animals call this retreat home so we can reassure you that the kids will have a ball of time here! And you know who’s happy when the kids are? It’s mommy and daddy!
Sitting on a 5-acres plot of land, Happy Paradise is where you’ll want to run free from the city. It’s got a mini farm, swimming pool, all the while being surrounded by lush greenery, with a scenic river running through its grounds.
Get your hands dirty with a fishing session or join your teens on the basketball court, while your little ones get to enjoy the playground and older folks can take a walk in the fruit garden or go back in time by reuniting around a board game.
When you’re here with family and friends, their Big Family Room is the ideal choice to spend the night at – it can accommodate up to 6 guests. All prices include room stay with breakfast, usage of facilities and animal farm visit.
Looking for a day trip from KL? Happy Paradise welcomes you for only RM 25 per adult and RM 15 per child (includes entrance fee to animal farm and one horse/pony ride).
Not particular about having a pool? Need an option for a really big group or for a special occasion? Don’t mind forking out a little more on this staycation? These options below might be for you!
1. One that can accommodate really BIG groups! – Remember The Villa
Previously, we brought you some splendid honeymoon resorts and villas in Malaysia. But what about the wedding day, you asked?
One way to save up is to opt out from the idea of planning a destination wedding (ahem, Bali). I mean, why would you really want to go that far when there are stunning venues so close to KL? One of them is Remember The Villa. And the name couldn’t be more apt as you’re sure to “remember” it!
With its L-shaped infinity pool that steals the show, Remember The Villa is where you’ll want to say yes to the love of your life. What’s best is that it can accommodate over 40 of your loved ones to mark this special day! More precisely, the stay sleeps up to 48 guests in 11 bedrooms, nestled in a lush green forest.
2. Admire nature from every corner of this glasshouse – Glasshouse 325
If you’ve ever dreamt of sleeping in a treehouse; a night at Glasshouse 325 could well be something you’d want to try out first. It’s a lot less rustic, yet gives you all the feels of being up above a tree as it has got floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the jungle it sits within, and that allows plenty of natural lighting to come in.
Now, that’s not all as past guests highlight the sense of mystery that comes with Glasshouse 325. You’d never think how beautiful and modern it is once inside – you can’t help but be awestruck by both the decor and the view on offer from every corner of the villa; yes even from your bedroom!
Wait till you get to know that you’re located on a hilltop, above the Sum Sum River which contributes to the chilly feels and charm of the place. Not to worry though as the venue features a fireplace in the living area which makes it ideal for a cold night in with your loved ones, around some board games (also provided by the stay). Air conditioning is also available in all rooms for warmer days.
You’re also welcome to wander outdoors, outside the glasshouse, where you’ll find streams of waterfalls and treks through the jungle. Meals (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner) are also available at an extra cost.
You may also do your own cooking by bringing ingredients and supplies. The nearest provision shops are within 5-10 minutes’ driving distance. However you must observe the no-pork policy at the venue’s kitchen.
Note: No swimming pool is available at the stay.
3. A stay à la Crazy Rich Asians! – Villa Nadiah
Let’s be honest, we’ve all drooled over living the taitai life like what we’ve seen in “Crazy Rich Asians” at the mansion-looking Tyersall Park (which is in fact located in Malaysia and not Singapore, did you know?!). Well, what if I told you that Villa Nadiah located in Janda Baik could give you a pre-taste of life à la Nick Young and Rachel Chu?
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not aaaaas fancy as the one sitting on a land valued at $3.5-billion, but hey, it’s got the looks! The villa features 7 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms and can accommodate up to 28 guests.
I mean, hello, who needs to escape to a private island when you could sign up for this on your bachelorette party? You’ll feel as far flung since you’ll be set in the middle of nature, away from the hustle and bustle.
For your entertainment, a karaoke system is available, there’s also a beautiful swimming pool but as compared to the other ones on this list, you’ll definitely have to splurge a little to enjoy all of it!
Who’s always complaining about having nothing to do during the long weekends? Tag him/her below and plan your next big group reunion where you can enjoy cold weather near KL!