Ong Chin Huat visits the Club Saujana Resort in Kuala Lumpur

Ong Chin Huat visits the Club Saujana Resort in Kuala Lumpur

The Club Saujana Resort Kuala Lumpur is a hidden luxury urban retreat nestled amidst 160 hectares of lush tropical gardens. Ong Chin Huat spends a weekend getaway and re-emerges completely recharged and revitalised from one of the best-kept secrets in town.

Approaching The Club Saujana Resort Kuala Lumpur is a unique experience which very few city dwellers have the opportunity to indulge in. Located just 30 minutes from Malaysia’s capital city centre and nestled among 160 hectares of manicured gardens and lush tropical greenery, not to mention two 18-hole world-class golf courses, this gem of a place must be one of the best-kept secrets in Kuala Lumpur and the ideal urban retreat for a weekend getaway.

The main lounge at the Club Saujana ResortAs my car turns off the highway and veers onto the slip road leading up to The Club Saujana Resort, I felt an immediate sense of ease and comfort, the shady and sprawling trees lining the road providing visual relief from the hustle and bustle of the city as well as a nice view. With the Subang Skypark Airport and the private jet aviation hub only five minutes away, this place is easily accessible by both air and land and it’s no surprise that it’s a hit with locals and overseas visitors alike.

Located adjacent to its sister property, The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur which has just undergone an extensive renovation, I was lucky enough to be invited to the relaunch party held recently on its sprawling grounds. As soon as I arrived, I was ushered into The Restaurant, a luxurious and tastefully decorated award-winning outlet which offers contemporary Asian and classic European cuisine. Chef de Cuisine Ryan Arboleda just came on board but he wowed us with a three-course luncheon consisting of Sweet Corn Velouté, Masala Spiced Atlantic Cod and Salted-Chocolate Cremeux. Hosted by Peter Hourigan the resort’s Vice President of Operations and Roland Jagge, the Executive Vice President of Worldhotels, the global marketing and sales company affiliated with The Saujana Hotel, both of them were kind enough to give a short talk on the reinvented, refurbished and revitalised look of the adjacent property.

Executive room at the Club Saujana ResortAfter the delicious lunch, I was escorted to the Executive Room, which was warm and inviting with a minimalist-inspired décor yet made homely with contemporary Asian touches. Split into two sections – the bed and bath areas and the living room, the 78 square metre room was spacious yet I didn’t feel solitary or too secluded, possibly due to skill of the interior design and décor and the fact the bedroom had a divider which houses a plasma TV and thus separated it from the rest of the space into a cocoon of bliss and comfort. Decorated with luxurious granite, cool terrazzo and warm Burmese teak wood flooring, the rain shower in the shower enclosure is worth a special mention as it is such a refreshing experience to indulge in it after stepping in from the warm tropical weather outside.

With the bathtub beckoning, I decided to draw a warm bath with bath salts since I had a few hours of R&R before the relaunch party. With lighted candles and an essential oil burner emitting a calming and relaxing aroma, lying in the warmth of my bath and listening to music seemed like such an indulgent, yet befitting thing to do on a Friday afternoon.

The releasing of the sparrows at the Club Saujana Resort in Kuala LumpurWhen the appointed time came, guests arrived at The Lobby of The Club Saujana Resort where cocktails and canapés were served to the specially invited guests on this happy occasion. The sleek and chic VIP guests arrived in dribs and drabs and most wandered around the Terrace and mingled with each other while live music, parrot reading and Chinese calligraphy were some of the entertainment offered.

At around 5.30 pm, we were led to the tent set up on the grounds of The Saujana Resort by the poolside. 24 drummers officiated this special occasion and a speech was made by Peter Hourigan before sparrows were released into the air.

A vibrant and colourful Malaysian extravaganza consisting of modern and ethnic dance performances, as well as an electrifying performance by electronic violinist Dennis Lau and a lively Beat Box performance by Koujee certainly added a fun and lively dimension to the party. A lavish buffet of Asian food was laid out and everyone was seen to have a fabulous time. Belly dancing, a tribal fire eating performance and mind-boggling magic tricks performed by Edison Lim added to the enjoyment of all those present. Top models Amber Chia and Thanuja Anathan arrived just in time for the fireworks display over a cloudless night sky and afterwards, those who wanted to party into the night adjourned to RP Entertainment Centre to dance the night away.

Ong Chin Huat enjoying the celebrations at the Club Saujana Resort

After that excitement of the previous night, it was hard to say the least to wake up the next morning for breakfast at The Restaurant but the tempting breakfast fare on offer provided the necessary incentive to roll out of my super comfy king-size bed. With local and European offerings, an egg station with a choice of differing styles was my first stop. I opted for the Eggs Benedict with smoked Salmon which provided the fuel I needed for my morning activity – working out in the gym. There’s also a yogurt station and a variety of fresh fruits, pastries, bread and cheese on offer. But if a local Malaysian breakfast is what you are after, then you won’t be disappointed as there’s tantalizing Malaysian fare such as nasi lemak and mee goreng to fill you up for this important meal of the day!

After breakfast, I was off to the The Spa where the fitness centre is located. Walking into the spacious and well-appointed gym, I was confronted with possibly one of the most tranquil yet stunning views any gym this side of the equator possesses. An entire wall with floor to ceiling glass faces a lush and peaceful garden with a reflection pool where hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies and bees fluttered and whizzed around and added to its charm. All the treadmills and cycling machines were placed to face this serene scene and it was such a pleasant experience working out with this peaceful backdrop.

The Club Saujana Resort Spa is set in this natural tropical setting and there are eight spa villas built around this reflection pool where all the spa treatments are carried out. Looking at the beautiful surrounds of The Spa, I couldn’t wait for my session later that evening!

The dining terrace at Club Saujana ResortAfter a quick shower, it was time for my lunch in The Restaurant. Although the alfresco terrace overlooking the cascading pool and well-manicured gardens looked tempting, I opted to sit indoors. The Executive Power Lunch was my choice for my mid-day meal. With a choice of two starters and two main courses, I chose the Oriental Poached Prawns with cucumber petit salad and Soy sesame dressing for my starters and crispy Spiced Cod with Wok-fried Asian Vegetables for my main course. With a light touch and just the right portion, I didn’t feel over-stuffed in any way. Dessert was Vanilla Panne Cotta accompanied by exotic fruit salad.

I was looking forward to dinner which was at the Kogetsu Japanese Restaurant. As new dishes were just added to their menu, I was doubly excited. Built on stilts on a man-made lake, it overlooks the lake and the golf course beyond making its location a standout winner. Kogetsu, which means “reflection of the moon on water,” is designed in the style of a traditional Japanese ‘ryokan’ or traditional Japanese inn. With Chef Taketoshi Minami heading this much-lauded restaurant, Kogetsu features Japanese cuisine that stays true to its roots using only the freshest seasonal ingredients and prepared with a respect for tradition. I ordered the California Roll for starters and Hotate Mentaikoyaki (baked scallops and fish roe) Gingara (Codfish with Teriyaki Sauce) and Nabeyaki Udon (Wheat Noodles served in Clay Pot) for the main course. Of course, no meal in any Japanese restaurant would be complete without sashimi and I opted for the Shake Toro or Salmon belly. Fresh, delicious and totally satisfying, Kogetsu and Chef Minami certainly lived up to their reputation.

The Spa at Club Saujana ResortAfter dinner, my van was waiting for me outside to ferry me to The Spa for my Mineral Escape Treatment. Waking into this sanctuary of bliss, I was taken aback by the subdued lighting, soothing ambience and gentle manner of the staff who attended to me. Being the ultimate in indulgence and pampering, The Spa offers a selection of indulgent massages, body treatments and facials such as The Tibetan Hot Stone Massage, Javanese Garden Skin Polish and the Timeless Anti-Wrinkle Facial to name just a few. I chose the New Mineral Escape Treatment, a head to toe indulgence package which included a steam bath, a Dead Sea Salt Foot Bath followed by a relaxing Balinese massage and a full body exfoliating and mineralizing anti-ageing treatment, Spa Find Dead Sea Mud Envelopment with Hair and Scalp massage which lasted 150 minutes. After the treatment, I was left alone in my villa to enjoy the remaining minutes of solitude. Lying on the warm and well-padded massage bed while sipping a cup of hot ginger tea, it just occurred to me that I was in the perfect place at the perfect time doing the perfect thing. This is how being on cloud nine feels like.

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Ong Chin Huat

Luxurious Magazine Reporter

Having been the social editor of the Hong Kong edition of Tatler and as well as writing a twice-weekly column in Hong Kong’s leading English-language newspaper, the South China Morning Post, Chin has met and interviewed a variety of people including business tycoons, supermodels, movie stars, royalty and world-class athletes. He also considers himself privileged to have attended some of the most talked about events and parties around the world. Chin counts art, fashion, food, interior design, literature, painting and travel among his passions.

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