Written by Beverley Lennon
As much as the islands around Malaysia get me excited, I also have a thing for European-like sceneries and sometimes (just sometimes), we all need to escape the constant humidity and heat of the city and explore somewhere a little bit cooler, up the hills, am I right?!
Well, friends, that’s when it’s a good excuse to go on a quick getaway to the nearby Cameron Highlands. And maybe it’s just me but I like to call it the little England of Malaysia.
Just a short 3-hour drive from KL, this is where you get to enjoy picking your own strawberries, sipping on hot tea with a delectable collection of scones while basking in endless green views of the nearby tea plantations, and so much more!
And what better way to enjoy all of this with your best group of friends/family? You can find a good bunch of affordable stays in Cameron Highlands that have rooms for groups! And like everything around you, they’re so charming and bound to bring you to the chilly European-like mountain retreat you’ve forever been dreaming about!
P.S Also, if I were you, I’d pack a bottle of wine (I had the best of times enjoying a warm bath with a glass of vino and sweet chocolate-enrobed strawberries on a rainy evening in Cameron Highlands. I know, sounds heavenly, isn’t it?).
Packing list: And don’t forget to pack some warm clothes, you can check out the outerwear collection available on Shopee for quality products and fast delivery!
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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. There’s even an Eiffel Tower in Cameron Highlands! – Kea Garden Guesthouse
Located in Brinchang, or should I say in Cameron Highlands’ top iconic spot and surrounded by strawberry farms and other not-to-be-missed attractions, you will find Kea Garden Guesthouse; or pretty much a “candy land for the eyes”?!
In here it’s a fun world – a splash of colours, funky props and pretty blooms adorn the gardens during the day. And talking about gardens, the ones at the homestay will even lead you to a sheep sanctuary!
Once night time comes by, the place isn’t any less magical as little fairy lights lead you back to your room while you pass by their charming European-like fountain. A scene that might transport you to an old Italian town… Rome in the 80’s if I may say.
What seems to be their latest additions are the cute mini chalets in which you can actually sleep in. Some of them even offer views over the mountains and surrounding highlands, making you feel as if you just woke up in Switzerland (almost).
And forget about having to queue out to buy strawberries at the nearby ever-so-popular farms as your homestay has its very own strawberry garden where you can pick your own red juicy goodness!2. Gardens filled with flowers just like in Europe! – Tiny Boutique Habitat
Besides castles, when I think of Europe, I picture the beautiful flower gardens that can be found pretty much everywhere but especially in the Netherlands. Well, good news you don’t have to actually go that far to feel like you’ve gone to Europe and walked through vast gardens filled with fresh blooms.
Take a look at Tiny Boutique Habitat that’s boldly European-influenced! In fact, the stay is best known for its remarkable wood-fired pizzas (possibly the one and only in Cameron Highlands)!
I mean with pretty gardens, chilly weathers, old English cottage aesthetic, a mini zoo filled with fluffy rabbits and warm delectable pizza slices, who would think you’re in Malaysia?! You’d probably need a pinch to get back to reality.
Being located in Tanah Rata makes it super convenient, close enough to plenty of options when it comes to restaurants – don’t miss on a feast at Singh Chapati (probably the best Indian food I’ve ever tried).
3. Escape to a cosy old-English era – Strawberry Park Resort
Morning tea on the balcony is the first thing you need to experience at Strawberry Park Resort. The stay is nestled in lush greenery which might well transport you to places you’ve never been before, not even in your dreams.
With looks like it’s been airlifted straight from an old English era, the resort comes as a great option for families with kids. And although all room categories are deemed to be comfortable, their Fresno Family Suite with two bedrooms is highly sought-after for its unique themed corner (Under the Sea or Dragon Fantasia or Treasure Island or Wild Safari).
And for the best part, how about their swoon-worthy heated indoor swimming pool and Wild Orchidaceae Spa that overlooks the forest nearby?! Yep, that’s possibly the closest you can get to experiencing life like the royals do!
Note: Swimming pool is closed until further notice.
4. Up above the clouds and by the riverside – Heahtitude
Okay, so there’s a cute little 90s-inspired bed and breakfast in Cameron Highlands and we have never come across it? Hummm?! And for the best part – it overlooks a river?! Sign me up!
Holy swoon!! Filled with antiques and everything vintage, this place is bound to make you travel through time. The old-school vibes are of course charming but what’s truly special about this stay is the view it has on offer. Forget about the tea plantations as from here you can relish a flowing river while enjoying a hot cuppa!
Refurbished from agricultural quarters, the small and cozy inn has retained most of its classic interior, but rest assured, furnishings and amenities make it comfortable and modern at the same time!
5. Up here it’s a magical world! – The Fairy’s Cottage
Come meet Tinkerbell at this boho sanctuary where you can wake up to magical mountain views! Fairy’s Cottage is where you can live your dreams of experiencing the countryside right in Cameron Highlands!
Artist, nomad, free-spirit, gypsy, wanderer – whichever moniker you identify with, you’ll feel right at home at this one-of-a-kind stay. It’s a little bit rustic, a little bit tropical, a little bit colonial, and of course…a lot bohemian! The interior and balcony setup alone are a work of art which we believe, only a free-spirited could have come up with!
A little bit of magic dust here and there, you will be charmed by this cozy abode, especially at sunset time when the skies outside your balcony come up with a beautiful cloud show! Sleeping up to 8 guests, you won’t even need to step outside as there’s a kitchen for you to cook up some amazing comfort food and enjoy it on the little couch setup on the balcony while basking in views and chilly weathers!
6. A fairy tale house like in Hansel and Gretel! – Bala’s Holiday Chalet
It doesn’t get much merrier than Bala’s Holiday Chalet. Well, of course it does not snow here but you still can get your festively chilly temperatures alongside Christmassy chalets!
The stay is not any less magical when it comes to its history – it opened initially as a boarding school in 1934 for children of European expats. After the school closed down, its present owners, Mr K. Balakrishnan (a local) and Peter Blumbach (a German businessman), bought over the property.
They turned it into this guesthouse you see today, retaining its original Tudor decor, that even when former students returned for leisure visits, they could still recognise the old music room, dining room and more.
Considerably more affordable than other similar-themed guest houses in Cameron Highlands, The Bala’s Holiday Chalet (now also known as Planters Country Hotel) is a pretty value-for-money stay if you want to indulge in old English countrysides, traditional afternoon teas and a comfortable stay without forking out too much!
7. Cameron Highlands’ biggest windmill! – Smurf Inn
Not just a windmill but Smurf Inn is also Cameron Highlands’ unique stay that features an indoor theme park (as of 2020)! Smurf Inn is pretty much a little village on its own, even more with its latest addition – Smurf Inn Fun Park! Yep, in case you’ve missed it – there’s an indoor theme park in Cameron Highlands now!
For families or groups of friends looking for some real fun besides just tea plantations and strawberry farms, the scene at Smurf Inn is cinematically festive as of late. Fun carnival games and rides, giant dinosaurs props and so much more to keep the fun alive (even in times like 2020)!
And if you get lucky and manage to book one of their suites, you even get to enjoy a jacuzzi! Doesn’t that call for a low slow morning in a bubbly warm bath before all the fun that awaits outside?
8. A blue-themed smurf town – Pfordten Cottage & Cabins Cameron Highlands
Cute little blue cabins hunkered down in the highlands’ widescreen emptiness – this is an Instagrammable stay option when in Cameron Highlands with family and friends!
Probably where you’ll enjoy curling up amidst the chilly weathers of the highlands; each cabin accommodates up to 3 guests.
Not that it is located in the middle of nowhere though as the stay is conveniently sitting in Tanah Rata, surrounded by a collection of strawberry cafes. But don’t expect any signs of nightlife, or even any life past 5pm, you’ll have to keep yourselves entertained – a BBQ in the night maybe?
The rooms are kitted out in charming vintage curtains but modernity gets a look-in too so rest assured, you’ll feel comfortable here!
9. Check out this down-to-earth glamping experience – The Backyard Glamping
Take a break from the norm. If you’re looking for a unique accommodation besides English-style cottages in Cameron Highlands, this one’s pretty cool! Have you experienced glamping (glamorous camping) before? You can do so for an affordable rate at The Backyard. Not too luxe, not too rough – that’s probably how we can describe this stay.
A night or two here amounts to burrowing down in the vast wilderness of the highlands without living the nightmares of traditional camping. In the tent, little fairy lights flicker, making the atmosphere a tad more magical. And with a family in tow, youcan enjoy endless activities like a trek to the nearby waterfall or a cosy campfire at night!
Now, you know you don’t have to go as far as Europe to enjoy such Instagrammable stays! Let your friends know where you’re heading to next!