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Malaysian Jungle Retreat: A Destination for Mind, Body and Spirit

Marilyn JonesTwo hours north of Kuala Lumpur is Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, consistently rated as one of the best spas in Malaysia. “Abandon all worldly concerns and stresses of life,” their website instructs. “Surrender to absolute serenity and harmony amidst a landscape of wondrous, eternal beauty.”

 

geothermal hot springs and swimming pool
At the center of the resort are the geothermal hot springs and swimming pool.

The retreat certainly deserves its accolades and delivers on its promises: the jungle setting is something out of a book or movie; the personnel friendly, helpful and professional.

Friendly and attentive staff
Friendly and attentive staff takes care of everything at the resort and spa.

The resort is located in a valley surrounded by towering Paleozoic limestone hills with mysterious caves, jungles and waterfalls. At its center is a geothermal hot springs and expansive swimming pool. Along the perimeter are 25 villas – each with such luxuries as private swimming pools, hot tubs, and living room and dining areas.

living and dining room

private swimming pool
Resort villas include a living and dining room area, and a private swimming pool.

The facility offers special treatments including massage therapy, facials, pedicures and manicures; and traditional Chinese medicine consultations and acupuncture.

Several options are available to choose from that are included with villa rentals. In the Thermal Steam Cave, you can enjoy a natural sauna followed by an ice bath that is said to improve blood circulation, reduce blood pressure and strengthen the nervous system.

The Meditation Cave encourages relaxation and contemplation while the Crystal Cave, lined with amethyst and quartz crystals, is designed to help restore and balance natural life force energy.

My favorite option is the Garra Rufa Doctor Fish Pool. Sitting on the edge of the crystal clear pond, I dangle my feet and legs into the water. Within moments, tiny Garra Rufa fish are nibbling at my feet. Each little nibble evokes a tiny tingle and feels wonderful. This therapy is a natural form of exfoliation and relaxation, eliminating dead skin cells and rejuvenating the skin.

Tiny Garra Rufa fish
Tiny Garra Rufa fish nibble at guests’ feet.

Nearby are geothermal hot-springs dipping pools arranged around a large pond fed by the three million liters of naturally heated water that billows up daily from the ground below. The water feels wonderful and the view of the rain forest, jutting cliffs and waterfalls is otherworldly. The outdoor mineral-rich geothermal-heated swimming pool isn’t as hot, but just as relaxing.

A marked jungle walk is also a ticket to relaxation. “Lost World of Tambun” takes guests along pathways lined with grandly landscaped gardens, past waterfalls and caves, and the overwhelming limestone hills and forests.

tropical flowers
Pathways are lined with tropical flowers.

There is a restaurant on site and, in the evening, whether you want to have a drink or simply marvel at your surroundings, visit Jeff’s Cellar, a wine bar tucked into one of the caves.

restaurant

wine cave
The restaurant and wine cave offer culinary and exotic food choices.

For more information, visit the retreat's website, and for more information about visiting Malaysia, click here.

Disclosure: My stay at The Banjaran Hotsprings Resort was part of a trip sponsored by Malaysia Tourism, Tourism Authority of Thailand, and Thai Airways.