Recently I made a trip to a truly
luxurious destination, Idaman, a villa hidden away in the rain forest above
Janda Baik, that’s just 35 kms from Kuala Lumpur. If you are unfamiliar with this location, it’s towards Kuantan, not far after the
exit for the Genting Highlands.
The village has a little fruit and vegetable market that‘s a popular
stop for people traveling along the Karak Highway. Up in the hills behind the village, you’ll find Tanarimba, a
gated community set in over 700 acres of rainforest. One fifth of the area has been chosen for low-density
development with an eco-sensitive philosophy, while the remaining 500 acres is
being maintained as a forest reserve.
After driving through the guarded entrance to Tanarimba, we climbed for about 15 minutes, passing paved roads but very few houses. When
we arrived at Idaman, my first thought was that it was massive, and my second
was to note the wonderful peacefulness of the place. We were greeted by the charming hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Yap, who
went out of their way to make sure that all our needs were met. We were then given a tour of the house,
starting with the imposing entrance hall.
bedroom, and when I realised that I would be sleeping here, I was thrilled. My room had a king-sized bed with
sliding glass doors opening onto a huge balcony. The house, which sleeps 10, is built on multiple levels, and
my room was almost at the top.
was floating amongst the treetops, looking over on a magnificent
view of the jungle stretching way down below then on up to the mountainside
the bathroom was even bigger, with a rain shower, a large Jacuzzi, two sinks and
a bidet along with the WC.
was a back entrance that led to a spiral staircase: up to the highest spot in
the house, the office, and down to the main living room. This room was generously furnished with
three couches, two armchairs and lots of cushions grouped around a large coffee
kitchen were on an in-between level and there was a pretty garden in the very
centre of the house. On the level below there was an open-air
lanai with dining table, lovely for an al fresco meal.
she delighted us with a Thai meal for dinner: Tom Yam Gung, Som Tam (papaya
salad), Thai style Red Snapper, Chicken in Pandan, Kailan and Mixed Vegetables
served with rice, all very tasty and delicious. So much excellent food and fresh
air made me somnolent. It wasn’t long
before I retired to bed with a good book so that I could relish a little quiet
solitude before sleeping.
morning, the tall trees of the surrounding jungle were silhouetted against a
red sky. It was just before dawn,
and the birds of the montane forest were whistling and warbling to welcome
another day. Who could sleep amid
such beauty? I moved to the daybed
on my balcony to welcome the rising sun.
Then I made a quick coffee, and went out for a meander up the hill. I stayed on the road, but there are
numerous trails within the nature reserve, which would be fun to explore.
A Western breakfast was served and the morning passed all too
quickly. We drove into Janda Baik
for lunch, and I discovered why so many people stop there to pick up fresh
produce. I bought passion fruit at
a fraction of the price I’d pay in KL. Back at the house there was still time for a swim and a read, but inevitably it was time to leave. I must admit that it was difficult to tear myself away.
Idaman is filled with beautiful collector’s items –
sculptures, woodcarvings, original paintings and plenty of books. It’s the perfect escape from the city,
a haven in which to relax and gain nourishment for the soul. It gives new meaning to the words, “luxury
tropical retreat”, and the memories of my room in the treetops will lull me to
sleep for many nights to come.
Reason to visit: to luxuriate
in an exclusive rainforest villa that’s within an hour’s drive of Kuala
Avillion Private Collection, an exclusive group of rental properties that
typically exceed expectations. The rental of Idaman is being offered at a
special price of RM2,200++ a night for a limited time only, which includes
breakfast. Other meals are
available upon request.
For further information and reservations,
call 603-2730-9988 or visit the Avillion website