Best Western Premier: The Haven Ipoh
Most family getaways involve frolicking on the beach while soaking up the sun and building sandcastles. At the Haven, tucked into the lush greenery on the fresher side of Ipoh, families have a chance to reconnect with nature together. The Haven is Perak’s tallest and most luxurious resort ‘condotel’ (part condo, part hotel) and it caters to three generations of the family by providing child-friendly and senior citizen-friendly facilities. Arrival was like a long-awaited homecoming and I was greeted with the friendliest of service. The cool breeze from the area fills the lobby and beckoned me to check out the pool area.
The first thing that caught my eye was the hotel’s iconic pride and joy, the ‘Rockhaven,’ a 14-storey high, 280 million-year-old limestone cave that sits in the middle of the pristine four-acre lake. The picturesque view was enough to motivate me to jump into the infinity pool. The Haven was clearly built with families in mind – you’ll see parents and children frolicking in the pool, senior citizens going for a stroll on the nature trail and a group of people in the midst of Tai Chi on the meditation deck. The spacious suites range from a one bedroom lake view suite to a two-plus-one bedroom premier suite and all have full facilities including a well-equipped kitchen. They are also very well ventilated and that fresh air which welcomed me in lobby is just as evident in the room - air con is not even necessary. Safety features are wellplaced, like the curved design of the iron bars on the balcony which prevents children from climbing or falling off. Other facilities at The Haven include a squash court, a badminton court, a gym, a via ferrata where you can sign up for an obstacle course package, as well as the option of a fun family telematch. The entire area is wheelchair and stroller-friendly, with elevated slopes alongside stairs and large elevators.
Perhaps the only setback was the food and customer service at Cuisines, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant. For a hotel that prides itself on being prestigious, they could have done much better with their selection as well as the service, which was rather haphazard. If you’re planning a stay that exceeds two days, head out for more food options, after all Ipoh does have quite a name for itself when it comes to food. Sadly, the spa wasn’t ready at the time of my visit. If you’re a family that’s fuss free and keen on just chilling out while enjoying the beautiful scenery and the tranquility of the location, The Haven is definitely a great choice. Carissa Morais Jalan Haven (Persiaran Lembah Perpaduan), Tambun, Ipoh (05 220 9000/www.thehavenresorts.com).
Family fun at Shangri-La Golden Sands
Valid year round except during peak seasons, this is a brilliant deal. Prices start at RM615 per night and the package includes daily buffet breakfast for two adults and two children (under 12 years old) at Garden Café as well as complimentary daily dinner (buffet or set) at the same restaurant with free-flow on soft drinks for kids (and a glass of beer or wine for parents!), daily admission to Adventure Zone for four hours with lunch for the kids, two Polly the Parrot soft toys, an extra bed for a child under 12 years old, one lunch of two wood-fired pizzas per stay, complimentary daily access to the Cool Zone Kid’s Club and two free meals for children aged five to 12 years old, and a complimentary daily shuttle to and from George Town. Jalan Batu Ferringhi (04 886 1911/ www.shangri-la.com).
Shangri-La Rasa Ria family fun
Two adults and two children can enjoy the best that Shangri-La Rasa Ria has to offer on minimum three-day stays until December 30 2016. From RM840 per night, the package includes daily buffet breakfast and dinner for two adults and two children (under 12 years old), recreation credit worth RM100 per room per day, 15 percent discount on spa treatments, free one-hour bicycle ride for two adults and two children (under 12 years old), free admission to the Cool