Mountain resorts in Malaysia


The COVID-19 pandemic has upended many people’s travel plans. Although our country’s borders are still closed, there are plenty of spots to explore in our homeland. A good place to start would be close to nature within the mountains to get some much-needed fresh air now that we no longer have to be cooped up at home. From East Malaysia to the coast of Langkawi, here are 8 Malaysian mountain resorts worth checking out for a rejuvenating staycay. 


1. Ranis Lodge in Langkawi, Kedah


mountain resorts malaysia - ranis lodge
Image credit: Ranis Lodge

Located on the foothills of Bukit Sawak Forest Reserve, this sequestered retreat offers an intimate experience, with only 5 villas built and operated by husband and wife Reinhold and Anis.  

Visitors will enjoy swimming in their infinity pool while taking in the views of the forest and paddy fields down below.

Ranis Lodge has gotten impeccable AirBnB reviews, mostly filled with comments about the couple’s outstanding hospitality and the passion they show towards their resort.

mountain resorts malaysia - ranis lodge
Image credit: Ranis Lodge

You can rent a car from Langkawi International Airport for around RM100 a day and drive a short 10-minute ride or simply take a Grab to get there.

Price per night: From RM345
Address: Ranis Lodge, Lot 1261 Kampung Nyior Chabang, Mukim Bohor, 07100 Langkawi, Kedah
Phone: +011-3358 8900

Website


2. Ambong-Ambong Rainforest Retreat in Langkawi, Kedah


mountain resorts malaysia - ambong ambong Image credit: Ambong Ambong Rainforest Retreat

Langkawi has no shortage of ultra-luxurious resorts that are undoubtedly a treat, but those who prefer a more pocket-friendly, but still comfortable stay can head over to Ambong-Ambong Rainforest Retreat.

Ambong-Ambong is a boutique resort with only 11 suites, studios, and cottages. Most rooms offer lush forest views, but those who prefer a view of the ocean can go for the Canopy Studio. The room sleeps 2 adults complete with a view of the Andaman Sea.

mountain resorts malaysia - ambong ambong
Image credit: Ambong Ambong Rainforest Retreat

Guests can also sign up for activities organised by the resort such as yoga sessions and cooking classes.

To get to Ambong-Ambong, simply book an airport transfer for RM80 from the resort. They also provide shuttle services to Pantai Tengah and to neighbouring restaurants along the stretch of Jalan Teluk Baru, so it wouldn’t be a hassle for you to venture out for food and excursions. 

Price per night: From RM455
Address: Ambong Ambong Rainforest Retreat, Jalan Pantai Tengah, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Phone: 04-955 8428

Website


3. Mountain Valley Resort in Kundasang, Sabah


mountain resorts malaysia - mountain valley resort
Image credit: Mountain Valley Resort

Mountain Valley Resort offers views with Mount Kinabalu in the backdrop that make for an incredible picture that you truly can’t get elsewhere. 

Located at the foothills of Mount Kinabalu in the tiny town of Bundu Tuhan, Mountain Valley is a fairly new boutique resort that opened in 2019.

mountain resorts malaysia - mountain valley resort
Image credit: Mountain Valley Resort

Sitting on a hill 1,200M above sea level, they have 15 rooms set on different levels with varying rates. The rooms located on the highest level come with floor-to-ceiling glass windows that give you an unobstructed view of the mountain.

mountain resorts malaysia - mountain valley resort
Image credit: Fiq Abdul

The resort also has a glass restaurant serving local and Western food, and a bistro offering light bites such as coffee and cakes for diners to enjoy while enjoying the cool breeze coming in from the outdoors – no air-con needed.

mountain resorts malaysia - mountain valley resort
Image adapted from: Yusuf bin Mohd Amir

You can get to Kundasang from Kota Kinabalu by renting a car for around RM100 a day. The journey will take approximately 2 hours on steep and winding roads, so do practice extreme caution when navigating. 

Price per night: From RM360
Address: Mountain Valley Resort, Jalan Tenompok Bundu Tuhan, 89300 Bundu Tuhan, Sabah
Phone: 017-777 6750

Website


4. Borneo Highlands Resort in Kuching, Sarawak


mountain resorts malaysia - borneo highlands resort
Image credit: Borneo Highlands Resort 

A resort surrounded by vast nature, Borneo Highlands Resort is an hour’s drive from the city of Kuching and accessible by renting a car for around RM90 a day. 

The resort is nestled 1,000M above sea level on the Penrissen Range amongst Borneo’s rainforest, which is also one of the oldest rainforests in the world.

Its surrounding areas are home to magnificent biodiversity because of how close the resort is to the rainforest. Nature-loving guests can go for a hike or trek to the Kalimantan View Point and try to spot multiple species of birds, insects, and plants. 

mountain resorts malaysia - borneo highlands resort
Image credit: Borneo Highlands Resort 

They also have an 18-hole golf course, a well-known regular spot for golfers, while guests looking to indulge in a little pampering can go for their traditional Bidayuh massages at their Jungle Spa. The Bidayuh massage uses a homemade massage oil made from herbs, coconut, pepper, and ginger, while their technique follows local massage methods aimed at improving blood circulation and skin healing.

mountain resorts malaysia - borneo highlands resort
Image credit: Borneo Highlands Resort 

Their Albatross Suite is also known as their honeymoon suite, perfect for couples who want to spend their vacay with a view of the mountains.  

Price per night: From RM230
Address: Borneo Highlands Hornbill Golf & Jungle Club Bhd Jalan Borneo Heights, 94200, Padawan, Kuching, Sarawak
Phone: 019-829 0790

Website


5. The Lakehouse in Cameron Highlands, Pahang


mountain resorts malaysia - the lakehouse
Image credit: Booking.com

Fans of English architecture will enjoy staying at The Lakehouse, a Tudor-style boutique resort built by the late British colonel Stanley J. Foster in 1966 in Cameron Highlands. The interior, furniture, and overall ambiance will make you feel as if you were in a medieval English countryside.

mountain resorts malaysia - the lakehouse
Image credit: Booking.com

You can even up your staycay game and book the Foster Suite – a room that comes with a traditional log wood fireplace – for an unconventional hotel stay.  

mountain resorts malaysia - the lakehouse
Image credit: Booking.com

Don’t forget to order their classic English Afternoon tea available from 12PM 6PM at RM78 per set, and dine on the resort’s terrace in the chilly weather to complete the whole English experience.

You can opt to drive to The Lakehouse, or book a private taxi from them. The rates vary based on your pick-up location and the type of vehicle. 

Price per night: From RM504
Address: The Lakehouse Cameron Highlands, 30th Mile Ringlet, 39200 Cameron Highlands, Pahang
Phone: 05-495 6152

Website


6. The Acres Resort in Bentong, Pahang


mountain resorts malaysia -the acres
Image credit: The Acres Resort

Unlike the usual woody theme of most nature resorts, The Acres Resort’s architecture and interior design lean more towards minimalism, a refreshing change for those who appreciate sleek buildings.

mountain resorts malaysia -the acres
Image credit: The Acres Resort

But don’t let its chic grandeur fool you as The Acres prides itself on being a family-friendly resort, with a number of amenities suited for children. These include a mini-farm where kids can pet and feed animals, a playroom, bicycles for children to cycle around the resort, a karaoke room, and more.

mountain resorts malaysia -the acres
Image credit: The Acres Resort

In fact, their Starry Chalet can occupy up to 10 guests, with a built-in rock climbing wall for kids to play around with. 

The Acres is only a short 40-minute drive from Kuala Lumpur and around 30 minutes from Genting Highlands, Bentong town, and the French village Colmar Tropicale so there’s plenty to do for a full weekend escape. 

Price per night: From RM450
Address: The Acres Resort, Lot 28431 Kampung Bukit Tinggi, 28750 Bentong, Pahang
Phone: 012-223 5866

Website


7. Danau Daun Chalets in Janda Baik, Pahang


mountain resorts malaysia -danau daun chalets
Image credit: Rileklah

For a more rustic staycay completely surrounded by greenery, head over to Danau Daun Chalets that are also located in the hills of Janda Baik. 

The resort has a total of 6 chalets and cottages, giving you the option to either pick the hillside chalets or the cottages by the river. 

Danau Daun is best suited for groups of friends who are looking to spend time together in their own space – each chalet has its own barbecue pit, while the two-bedroom and three-bedroom chalets are equipped with a private pool.

mountain resorts malaysia -danau daun chalets
A mini-chalet available for Danau Daun Cottage bookings
Image credit: @maasssssssssss_

Those who book the 4-person Danau Daun Cottage (from RM230 a night) can accommodate an additional 2 guests in the nearby mini-chalet, which is a compact pod consisting of 2 single mattresses and an adjoining bathroom starting from just RM70 a night.

Price per night: From RM230
Address: Danau Daun Chalets, Lot 5851, Kg. Sum-Sum Hilir, Kampung Janda Baik, 28750 Pahang
Phone: 010-239 7400

Website 


8. MaliHom Private Estate in Balik Pulau, Penang


mountain resorts malaysia - malihom private estate
Image credit: Booking.com

As its name suggests, MaliHom Private Estate offers a stay that is as private as it gets. This family-owned retreat is a nature sanctuary tucked away in a secluded hill in Balik Pulau and surrounded by 3,000 trees that they planted themselves.

There are 2 accommodation types to choose from – the Hilltop Chalets or Foothill Homes. The former consists of quaint little huts perched on a hill – some of these, such as the Jhana and Khanun, are furnished with semi-outdoor bathrooms. 

mountain resorts malaysia - malihom private estate
Image credit: Booking.com

While the Hilltop Chalets cater to couples, families and bigger groups can opt for their Foothill Homes instead. These homes are co-living spaces that can sleep up to 6, and are each equipped with a kitchen, deck, and barbecue amenities.

MaliHom is only accessible by car, and is just a short 20-minute drive from Balik Pulau town where you can try the local hawker food such as brown sugar pau, mee rebus, and pasembur salad.

Balik Pulau may not be as well-known as Georgetown, but there are actually plenty of things to do. You can cycle along plantations, paddy fields, and fishing villages, feast on rare durians, visit a goat farm, or go on a hike to Titi Kerawang Waterfall, just to name a few. 

Price per night: From RM450
Address: MaliHom Private Estate, Kiri NT 168, Jalan Bukit Penara, Mukim 6, 11000 Balik Pulau, Penang
Phone: 012-428 5191

Website


Best mountain resorts in Malaysia


The saying “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side” rings true for Malaysia’s travel destinations – even though travelling abroad is a dream for many of us that can’t happen for now, we’re already abundantly blessed with many of nature’s wonders.

From stunning beaches to remarkable rainforests, lavish hotels to unique homestays, you can really do and see so much when you take time to explore our country. 

For more travel guides, check these out:


Cover image adapted from: Ranis Lodge, Ambong Ambong Rainforest Retreat, Mountain Valley Resort, and The Acres Resort