Relaxing at Banjaran Retreat Ipoh Malaysia

I’m not the sort of person who normally seeks to be pampered. I don’t mind a bit of luxury every so often, but going to a spa and having the full treatment really hasn’t been on radar. However, now that I have had the opportunity to sample the delights of the Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, which is just outside of Ipoh, the capital of Perak State, Malaysia, I have changed my views somewhat.

Perak has some very interesting scenery, much of it is comprised of rainforest-wrapped karst limestone pinnacles that are similar to those found around Guilin and Yangshuo in China. These formations re riddled with caves, some of which are very impressive, many of which feature underground rivers and streams.

The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat is nestled amid this type of setting. It is located within a valley that is surrounded on three sides by massive limestone sentinels that are about 280 million years old. The resort is a five star eco-luxury wellness centre that has been built around a natural geothermal lake which, at 80° Celsius, is far too hot to enter.

The Banjaran is pure luxury as accommodation consists of 25 private villas, each of which contains a private plunge pool and outdoor jacuzzi that has natural geothermal water on tap.

A wellness village is also on site, offering authentic Asian wellness and spa treatments. I opted to try the full body massage, and was led to a private room where I was offered the choice between soft, medium or hard massage. Deciding to opt for the medium, I was truly pampered and left the wellness centre truly relaxed, with instructions to use either the plunge pool or jacuzzi upon my return to the villa as the complete immersion in water following a massage is said to be good for the body.

I did as I was told and wallowed in both, and it was like being in nirvana.

There are natural caves throughout the retreat that are used as meditation and yoga rooms. One cave is used as a steam room as it is the place where the geothermal waters rise from the ground, and it really does cleanse you. There is a mediation room in a cave behind a waterfall, and the bar occupies a large, long cave which is complete with, natural, stalactites and stalagmites. It also contains a cellar which holds a large collection of fine wines.

Ipoh is just two hours north of Kuala Lumpur by road, and it is well worth the trip to experience the pure pleasure of Banjaran. I found the retreat to be totally relaxing, and the grounds to be fascinating to explore. It is certainly an indulgence to stay there, but one you would not regret once you had made that choice.

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