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The review of the The Chateau Spa and Organic Wellness Retreat in Malaysia.
We were on the way to Malaysia to review the world’s first organic spa and wellness resort, tucked away almost three thousand feet above sea level, in the highlands of Pahang, Malaysia, The Chateau Spa and Organic Wellness Resort. Booming since its independence from the British Empire, Malaysia is an astounding country climbing the world market with a GDP of over six percent for the last five decades. We were about to land at Kuala Lumpur International Airport looking forward to warm temperatures, having left northern Europe already draped in fall mood. Malaysia’s weather benefits from a tropical climate with relatively high temperatures and humidity throughout the year, but as you ascend into the highlands, very pleasant temperatures and low humidity. Landing at Kuala Lumpur was like landing in a palm tree orchard, right and left from the runway was greenery with exotic trees as far as the eye could see, carrying the green theme right into the arrival halls. It was evident that the airport personnel and customs officials treated all arrivals with friendliness and respect and they guided us quickly to a private helicopter landing port while welcoming us.
The Chateau Spa and Organic Wellness Resort is easy to reach from Kuala Lumpur International Airport; it’s about ten minutes by helicopter and circa an hour and a half by limo. Limo rides to and from The Chateau Spa and Organic Wellness Resort are included in all the spa packages. Seeing Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers from the perspective of the helicopter was fascinating. ‘According to the CTBUH’s official definition and ranking, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 until surpassed by Taipei 101.’ – says Wikipedia.
While Kuala Lumpur seems to be one of the ‘must see’ cities of Malaysia, Putrajaya is the actual seat of Malaysia’s federal government. We were told that the ‘Head of State’ is the ‘Yang di-Pertuan Agong’, a monarch elected from the hereditary rulers of the nine Malaysian states, which changes every five years. The head of the government is the Prime Minister. Malaysia’s parliament and legal system is comparable to Westminster’s. As soon as The Chateau Spa and Organic Wellness Resort, which is inspired by the 18th century medieval Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg castle, came into sight, we had to remind ourselves that we were actually in Asia.
The original Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg is located at Orschwiller, Alsace in the Vosges Mountains of France. It’s hard to imagine that just nine years ago, there was nothing here except a lush and untouched tropical rainforest, growing freely on unspoiled lands. Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun, the Chairman of the Berjaya Corporation Berhad had visited Colmar, France and decided to replicate the medieval French village at home in Malaysia. Today ‘Colmar Tropicale’ is located within walking distance from The Chateau.
We landed smoothly on a helicopter port that was located somewhere on the lushly manicured grounds surrounding The Chateau and the Colmar village. The skilled pilot had been in contact with the service director and expecting us was the driver of a new Rolls Royce limo. After we stepped out of the helicopter we inhaled deeply the fresh, warm mountain air and sensed the tropical greens. Within a couple of minutes we drove through the large stone gates and approached the main entrance of this towering Malaysian dream castle, surrounded by unusually large pine trees. We received a royal welcome with grand smiles by Ms. Teh Ming Wah and her well-rehearsed, international team.
Entering The Chateau’s formal arrival hall was like a breath of this amazing fresh mountain air, with the light and airy modern interiors ever complementing the bright and warm smiles of their charming front desk personnel. One’s eyes were instantly drawn to the impressive, round Swarovski chandelier which was matching the equally sparkling wall sconces. We were told that the ‘Mantra Design firm’ was responsible for The Chateau’s costume-designed furniture, decorations and most of their architectural elements. We are predicting that ‘Mantra Design’ will receive a well-deserved recognition from the decoration and architectural professionals of the world for their expert method of marrying French Château with modern contemporary design.
The Berjaya Hills company has invested close to RM1.2 billion in this mountain resort which includes the development of the Colmar Tropicale Resort, The Chateau Spa and Organic Wellness Resort and its state-of-the-art organic spa La Santé, the Japanese and Botanical Gardens, the Japanese Tea House, the Tatami Spa, the Ume Tatami Suite the Organic Farm, Horse Trials, the award- winning 18 Hole Golf Course, The Flying Fox, the 4-faced Golden Buddha and the development of the entire surrounding area of circa 16,000 acres. Our check-in was pleasantly informal and done in our accommodations.
My suite featured a spacious layout, a large terrace with comfortable lounges, a raised outdoor Jacuzzi, outdoor massage tables and stunning views of these spectacular mountains and the rainforest. My elegant accommodation was dressed in relaxing colours and décor, build-in closets with ample space and large flat-screen cable/satellite TVs. The luxurious bathroom featured a deep bathtub and a separate shower room with tiled bench and excellent organic toiletries. The bedroom as well as the living room doors granted easy access to the terrace allowing natural, cool morning air to come in, as well as the cooling air of the precious monsoon rains in the afternoon, clearing the mid-day heat.
Our natural and organic travelers might like to hear that this reviewer needed no AC during my stay in mid October. Malaysia faces two monsoon seasons, with March and October forming transitions between the two monsoons, ideal to discover and explore as well as indulge in adventure and / or golf in the morning and then disappear within these amazing organic spa facilities in the afternoon.
We loved the turn down service at The Chateau, presenting healthy, organic little treats with charming bookmarks, which were remind us in numerous different ways that healthy organic food holds the cure to many of our common ailments. I always slept with my bedroom doors wide open, allowing me to listen to the whisper of the tall pines while my body was covered with these amazing organic sheets, a unique feeling.
Waking up at the Chateau was always breathtaking, with the sunlight trying to peak through this beautiful morning mist that was surrounding the mountains and valleys of these evergreen highlands. We were always looking forward to a delicious breakfast at the Belle Vue Restaurant and the caring and attentive service directed by Mr. Subra. The organic eggs and pan roasted fingerling potatoes as well as the grilled purple tomatoes were out of this world. What else can one wish for? Several of the houseguests attended a Yoga class at 8 am every morning with Mr. Kenneth Rego – Yoga Siromani Teacher of Yoga, International Sivananda Yoga Vendanta Centre Madhyama Yoga Siksha, Academy of Yoga, The Yoga Institute of Mumbai India, and afterwards had their breakfast at the Belle Vue Restaurant, which is located above the main lobby.
Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Vincent Tan had placed this resort on unspoiled grounds, raised with organic material whenever possible and he intends to keep it that way. We swam in the saline resort pool which is filled with water that comes from the resort’s own wells and is ‘sanitized’ with nothing but organic salt from the ocean. What is important for today’s traveller is the wireless accessibility of his or her destination; not everyone is into reading a book at the pool. However while I was relaxing at this wonderful salt pool and sipping on a delicious, organic fruit drink, I Googled ‘salt pools’ and found out that a ‘natural salt’ pool does not entirely eliminate but rather reduces the risk of hair discolouration and eye irritation, just as if one was swimming in the ocean.
The Chateau developed an effective marketing concept which grants the overseas guests an all-inclusive spa programme that includes transportation to and from the airport, while Kuala Lumpur residents can book a quick therapeutic get-away from their hectic city life. The Chateau guest may choose from a dozen different spa programmes inclusive of organic meals and consisting of tailor-made individualized therapies and programmes including Stress Relief, Body Sculpt, Wellness Getaway, Fit for Life, Beauty Essence, Body Pamper, Total Beauty, Couple Retreat, Body Cleansing as well as Pre Natal Therapy and Post Natal Remedy and For the Men programme.
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Although the above information was accurate at the time of publication, it can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all pertinent information with the companies in question before planning your trip.