Four days in Cameron Highlands and we hadn’t made any hotel reservations. The plan was to check out a few places and make a decision once we’d seen Bala’s Chalet. I had taken a look at their website and it seemed intriguing.
After making a few enquiries, we came to Bala’s.
We drove up the steep road, set our eyes on the cottage and that was it.
An old Tudor-styled building with an ivy clad façade greeted us. Pots of gay petunias hung from the eaves, while impatiens grew in abandon below. Green moss and lichen grew rampantly on the tiled roof as ficus scrambled up to join the fun.
We walked into the charming reception area. This was essentially English with plump fabric sofas and bay windows edged with clinging ivy.
“Do you have a room for us?” we asked with bated breath. They did. In fact we were given choices. My heart sang.
Bala’s was an old colonial boarding school in 1934. I spied more than a couple stocks in the garden and wondered if that was how they had punished mischievous children of that era. I don’t envy the poor kid who was caught misbehaving in class!
Elsewhere, I found an old discarded bathtub, a cobwebby chandelier – remnants of the yesteryears. If only these things could talk.
I couldn’t wait to explore the gardens. There were medinilla, fuchsias, abutilons, and geraniums.
I spied ipomoea and thunbergias grandiflora and mysorensis trailing down from the ledges above. There were even a couple of mysore raspberry canes.
I loved the flamboyant blooms of the tibouchina and brugmansia, as well as the more sedate roses, calla lilies and begonias that graced the gardens.
There was even a wooden bird house with a resident dove. I walked up close, but the ‘dove’ remained impassive and still. Birdlovers may have to wait forever to hear it coo. 😛
There was much to see and to savour.
Near the main building, we saw a steep road and a flight of steps.
At the top, we found more rooms. Some of these had lofts and if the photos in the reception were anything to go by, they would be ideal for small families as long as one was prepared to walk up and down the steps to get to the rooms.
Set on higher ground, these rooms had a picturesque view of the place. I could sit up there all day.
Some of the rooms at the chalet are named Balmoral, Edinburgh, Windsor … after the English castles, while others are named Anne, Catherine, Elizabeth … after the queens. Ours was Evening Rose.
Our room opened out to the lovely front garden. Wrought-iron tables and chairs beckoned invitingly, and we sat there beneath the starry skies on more than one occasion.
With just a handful of guests during the low peak period, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. To me, this was bliss.
This English Tudor hotel sits in a beautiful cottage garden complete with a tudor dovecote, a wooden bridge and an old English telephone booth.
More information about Bala’s Chalet:
Bala’s lies between Brinchang and Tanah Rata.
Facilities provided with our ensuite room:
– hot shower
– shampoo and shower gel sachets
– jug kettle
(there was neither bar fridge nor phone in our room but we didn’t really miss those)
Services provided include:
– Free shuttle to and from Tanah Rata
– Reading room and library
– Recreational activities include:
– Daily countryside tour
– Daily adventure tours, tea plantation, Gunung Brinchang
– Guided jungle trekking
– Orang asli experience
– Jim Thompson’s trail from hotel grounds
For more information about Ye Olde Smokehouse: