Rainforest hotels for luxurious Tarzans
The highlands, islands and coastlines of Malaysia are all blessed with expansive rainforests and tucked snugly between the trees are amazing resorts that offer intimate experiences with nature. You get to unleash your inner Bear Grylls in the day and soak in a spa at night!
Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or merely wish to escape the realities of modern day life, a stay at one of these rainforest retreats will have you in awe of nature’s raw beauty.
1. Malihom – Dip in the IG-worthy infinity pool
Malihom is a luxurious retreat set in the hills of Balik Pulau Penang made up of 8 Thai rice-barns, converted to provide accommodation with modern comforts and traditional charm.
Each barn is embellished with thoughtful touches, and being secluded gives you the sense of owning your own private estate. You can enjoy picturesque views of this 16-acre hilltop property from the comfort of your barn or admire the rolling hills in the distance whilst you chill out in the infinity pool that faces the greenery.
2. Sekeping Serendah – Host parties in the forest
As a luxurious glamping destination in this list, Sekeping Serendah stands in stark contrast to the 5 acres of forest it is surrounded by. With its minimalist interior and glass panel walls, the retreat allows you to be comfortably close to the environment, whatever the weather.
Sekeping Serendah, located just an hour north of Kuala Lumpur, is ideal for a quick escape from the city and has 10 ‘sheds’ with rooms for couples and groups of 6 to 10. The huge accommodation space means party games can be played here too!
3. Tabin Wildlife Resort – Get up close and personal with the thriving wildlife
At the Tabin Wildlife Resort, you’ll experience the Sabahan wilderness and be greeted by the many sounds of the area’s residents such as gibbons, pygmy elephants and exotic birds.
There are 20 rustic and cosy timber lodges, surrounded by a forest reserve – half located by the river, while the other half on a steep hillside. All cabins are spacious, cosy and have en-suite facilities and air-conditioning.
Admire the surroundings from your private balcony, amble along one of the numerous nature trails, or abandon your humanity and live the sludge monster life by indulging in a natural mud bath.
4. Time Capsule Retreat – Stay in a minimalist cylindrical pipe
Anyone looking for an unusual place to spend a night will certainly be delighted with the Time Capsule Retreat in Kuantan. This unique family-run retreat located in Kuantan is a two- minute drive/10- minute walk from Sungei Lembing town. We’d encourage you to walk over to take in the scenery first!
Stay in a capsule – a snug 7 X 10 ft concrete cylinder pipe complete with a queen-sized bed (not ideal if you are claustrophobic) or one of the larger Parallel rooms within a reflective glass windowed shipping container.
Whatever the accommodation, at the very least, this place is a source of creative Instagramming! Also, make the most out of your location by exploring the Rainbow Waterfalls – the highlight of many guests’ visit.
5. Awanmulan – Hang out on the hammock that faces the forest
Awanmulan is made up of several homes uniquely designed to ensure you fully appreciate its lush setting. Breathtaking panoramic views of Seremban’s greenery can be enjoyed from the privacy of your own bedroom, from the jungle pool and sky pool, or the balcony’s hammock – you’re basically surrounded by it lor.
Tip: It’s a good idea to stock up on food and drinks before you head to the hotel – apart from breakfast, you’ll need to organize your own meals and there aren’t any restaurants nearby. However, you’ll have a fairly well-equipped kitchen and can also arrange to have a barbeque provided.
6. Belum Rainforest Resort – Enjoy a hike to Ruok Waterfall
The Belum Rainforest Resort sits on a narrow island within Banding Lake, Perak. The largely untouched environment that fringes the resort is perfect for exploring – take a hike along Banding Forest Trail to Ruok Waterfall or kayak around the island.
Whether you’re floating about in the infinity pools, dining in one of the resort’s restaurants or playing pool in the evening lounge, a relaxing view of the lake follows wherever you are – ahh, bliss!
7. The Datai Langkawi – Go on a marine adventure
Away from Langkawi’s main tourist drag and encompassed by greenery, the Datai is a fantastic place to disconnect from the rest of the world for a breather. As one of the most luxurious stays on the island, its biggest draw is its lush setting – 750 hectares of rainforest in its back garden.
With a bit of luck, you can catch a glimpse of hornbills in the trees beside the pool area – make sure your Instagram is always ready! Join one of the guided nature walks and be captivated by the many tales of the forest and its inhabitants.
You can also swim in nearby streams, snorkel in the Andaman Sea or splurge on a chartered cruise – Naga Pelangi, The Datai’s signature traditional schooner.
8. Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa – Relax in a 5-star forest resort
The Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa is a serene and secluded getaway nuzzled within pristine Sarawak rainforest. This ultra luxurious five-star resort is just a short ride from the local airport and popular sites such as the Mulu National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Unwind at the Balinese-style spa or outdoor pool and gaze upon Mulu Marriott’s tranquil views of the Melinau River, best enjoyed on the room’s private balcony.
9. Fig Tree Hill Resort – Stay in a kampung-like villa
The Fig Tree Hill Resort is a charming green sanctuary tucked away in Sungai Ara, Penang. Surrounded by towering trees in a lush green valley, the Fig Tree Hill Resort is a little pocket of paradise and a soothing spot to rest your weary mind.
This secluded resort has 6 spacious and luxurious kampung-like villas, all of which come complete with a living room, dining space and private balcony.
10. Borneo Rainforest Lodge – Join the Canopy Walkway trek
Sabah’s largest protected lowland rainforest, Danum Valley Conservation Area, hosts Borneo Rainforest Lodge – a charming nature lodge that’s no longer a stranger to wildlife and tropical flora. The lodge hosts 30 rustic wooden chalets and luxurious villas with private balconies and outdoor tubs!
The Tree Top Canopy Walkway (300m long and 26m above ground at its highest point) is part of the activities in your vacation package, offering multiple viewing platforms that promise unobstructed views of the surrounding virgin jungle canopy.
Go on a forest holiday
When life gets too hectic or a break is in need, we automatically turn to nature as a soothing remedy. Given that green is one of the most restful colours for the human eye, a forested holiday could be just what we need to unwind. Walk your worries away by joining a land expedition or release the tensions of the city by dipping in a pool that faces the forests!