I’ve been wanting to visit the famous Banjaran Hotspring Retreat for a while now and finally got the time and chance to stay there for 2 nights during my recent trip to Ipoh.
The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat is nestled in a 16.59-acre valley, cradled by 280 million-year old towering Paleozoic limestone hills, verdant rainforest, rejuvenating geothermal hot springs, natural caves and cascading waterfalls. Your getaway to regain balance and rediscover your sense of true self, this unique hideaway is designed to luxuriate in, with therapeutic value in mind.
Reservation was made through the phone with Tharshini (one of the communication agents in the retreat). A few emails were exchanged after that confirming our time of arrival and getting some of the other details/special requests for our stay. Just a few hours before our arrival, I received another email from Tharshini requesting for our car plate number so that the security could let us in directly into the retreat.
We were greeted by Raymond (the Room Division Manager) and Felix (the retreat’s Executive Chef) right after we arrived at the lobby. A few other staffs helped us with our bags and luggage, Raymond even offered help to park our car for us and Felix showed us the way to the reception. We didn’t even have to introduce ourselves – we were greeted and addressed by our names after seated at a table by the reception. We saw a few staffs with familiar names (Shini, Cheryl and Kitman) at the front office (after dealing with them several times through phone and emails) and did a bit of talking for a while before Jocelyn (our butler for the day) informed us that our Garden Villa was ready for check-in. Jocelyn then drove us in a buggy and showed us around the retreat (with brief introduction and a simple tour) before dropping us back in our Garden Villa.
We did a bit of unpacking and then we heard the bell rang – and I realized that it must be the afternoon tea! We booked ourselves into one of the best packages available, with all meals and even a spa package included! The afternoon tea was served in our villa (patio on the first day and in the bedroom on the second day!)
During our first day at the retreat, we had a few monkeys coming into our villa, snatched our food and tried attacking us. We tried calling the reception for a few times, but they sent security only after 20 minutes later. We were a bit annoyed and made a complaint through the phone, questioning their level of service. Around 4 staffs came after that, did a bit of cleaning the patio (after the monkeys made a mess). Lucia (General Manager) and Felix (Executive Chef) came to our villa after that, and very genuinely apologized to us about what happened. Lucia was very professional, she showed empathy and even noticed that my face was a bit pale (because of them monkeys!). Felix is the retreat’s Executive Chef – also Lucia’s husband was trying to understand the situation, and tried comforting us. Before leaving our villa, Lucia asked us to join both of them for dinner that night to make it up to us.
We had an amazing dinner that night. Both Lucia and Felix came to our table several times, making sure that everything was alright. Raj (one of the food and beverage staff members) came to us and presented us a bottle of white wine, and told us that this is a gift from the management. The review of the all the dining experiences can be viewed on a separate link (here).
We went around the retreat the next day for photos and was amazed by the dramatic natural settings.
We had all three meals in the retreat the next day – review on a separate post (here). Throughout our stay, we felt very pampered and well taken care of by the hotel’s staffs. Some of the amazing staffs (I just have to mention their names because of the wonderful service) Raj, Patrick and Vin at the F&B, Mimi and Hui and the Spa Centre, John, Jocelyn and Alex from the butler/front desk team. But most of all, Lucia and Felix exceeded our expectation the most. During the first night at the Jeff’s Cellar, Lucia joined us for a bit of wine. We were talking for about an hour, at least. She told us about her (and Felix’s) resort back in Switzerland, her travel adventures, and we shared some other stories along the way (did so much talking – couldn’t really remember the details!) I felt like I was talking to friend the whole time. We bumped into both Lucia and Felix a lot of times in the retreat, and they never fail to greet and address us by our first names, which made us feel extra special. Felix would drop by at our table after every single course every meals during our stay there at the retreat. Both and them and the team perfectly captured the true definition of providing personalized customer service.
Some other pictures taken around the retreat:
Everything that makes a positive guest experience stems from a genuine, customer-focused culture in which employees feel empowered to go above and beyond their normal duties to make guests happy. Every single one of the team members in the retreat pampered us, constantly going all out to help us with our requests. By focusing on not just being attentive and responsive, but pro-active, inclusive, engaging, and by offering simple utilitarian things free you build a lot of goodwill which goes a long ways towards improving the guest’s stay. All in all, we had a highly personalized experience at the retreat, starting when we made a reservation and extending throughout our stay. Lucia (GM), Felix (Executive Chef), and the whole team provided very personalized, genuine services and I would have to say that the stay at Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat was definitely my best hotel experience I’ve ever had so far!
- Parking: 10/10
- Value: 8/10
- Location/Surrounding: 8/10
- Cleanliness and sleep quality: 9/10
- Service: 10/10
- Wifi: Yes (throughout the retreat)
For more information, please visit The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat’s official site.
No.1 Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3,
31150 Ipoh, Malaysia