Weekend Getaway from KL in Nature

The Hill Resort, Janda Baik

The Hill Resort, Janda Baik

Words: Claire Matheson
Photos: Monica Tindall

Nestled in the breathtaking Janda Baik hills overlooking the spectacular Lentang Forest Reserve, The Hill Resort is an isolated sanctuary to soothe the stresses of city life. Perched high on the slopes, feel the full heart-stirring drama of this natural wilderness retreat. Falling asleep under the stars. Waking to the sight of quiet, misty mountains. Breathing oxygen-rich, fresh air. Leave your tension behind and embrace the slow life in this forest hideaway.

Weekend Getaway from KL in Nature
The Hill Resort, Janda Baik

Nothing will prepare you for the sheer natural beauty of The Hill’s awe-inspiring views—the feeling of openness and space seeps into your skin, pervasive in its calm tranquillity. Fresh mountain breezes play and dance across the hillside as a balm for weary city souls. Sit in stillness and appreciate a gentler pace as you gaze out from your cantilevered private balcony or from the edge of the infinity pool. The Hill is the ultimate getaway retreat for spending time surrounded by those you love as you fall in love with this place.  

The Hill Resort Janda Baik wellness retreat
Views from the Chalets of the Janda Baik Hills

Located at the furthest end of Janda Baik’s winding roads, The Hill enjoys more privacy than many of the area’s camping, glamping, and boutique villa accommodations. Tucked into the sloping foothills of Lentang Forest Reserve’s magnificent forested peaks, The Hill is an intimate setting for romantic getaways, family retreats or small group staycations. Bookable for solo travellers, couples, families and groups of up to 18, regardless of whether you book one or all three of The Hill chalets, you will feel like you’ve discovered a protected little mountain enclave all of your own. 

Weekend Getaway from KL in Nature
On the Way to The Hill Resort – Peaceful Retreat in Janda Baik

Lacking the light pollution of Kuala Lumpur, here, the stars come out on a clear night. Even in the wet season, we’re shown glimpses of the starry sky as fresh breezes part the clouds for a few hours in the evening. Venus graces us with her presence early while some of our group plays at identifying various constellations before the layers of condensation resume their moonlit cloaking of the densely forested slopes. We marvel at the stillness and the complete lack of traffic noise and listen to the serenade of cicadas and the orchestra of frogs in the pond at the bottom of the hill. 

Weekend Getaway from KL in Nature Retreat
The Hill Resort, Janda Baik – A Green Retreat

The Hill Resort, Janda Baik

Owner-operators of this bed-and-breakfast style hideaway, Deep and Lisa, have been coming to the area for many years. Their dream was to establish a haven for togetherness, where a stay is as much about the location as it is about forming lasting memories with your closest friends and family. Designed for those of us who love being in nature but would prefer not to give up the little luxuries that make a weekend getaway easy, relaxing and restorative; The Hill has all the freedom of nature travel, with all the comforts and conveniences of home. Between the two of them, they have thought of everything. Each chalet, along with the communal dining and pool area, is stacked with everything you could need to make your stay memorable. The only exception is the WiFi. Purposely lacking in this department, a getaway at The Hill is a great excuse to unplug and disconnect. Instead, pack some board games, art or craft projects, and a good pair of hiking shoes. 

We also recommend packing a portable cooler box with your favourite treats. Before coming, we visit our preferred butcher and deli, packing cheese platter tidbits, gourmet cuts of meat, and a bottle of wine or two. Shared between the three chalets, the kitchen not only comes with all the kitchenware you could need but also has two large grill barbeques and countless other appliances for budding master chefs in your party. 

Here, the weather can turn quickly, so pack for sunny days, cooler nights, and the chance of misting rain. Out of the stifling KL heat, here you can wrap up in sweatshirts and blankets. It’s a great excuse for cuddling into someone whose body heat you’d like to share.

Nature Getaway from KL
Road Past the Resort

The Chalets

Set amongst mature kampung durian trees, The Hill has three chalets built on stilts into the hillside. Their sturdy, cantilevered steel beams extend into the sky, giving you the feeling of floating. From every aspect of the chalet: the beds, the dining table, the balcony, even the shower, you look directly out at the views. Stretching to the mountainous horizons on three sides, the photos do not do justice to the awe and magnitude. Safe and private, the worries and stressors of daily life seem inconsequential with a newfound perspective.

The Hill Resort Janda Baik group retreat near KL
Inside a Chalet – The Hill Resort Janda Baik

Each chalet sleeps up to six people. The plush king bed is the perfect balance of firm support and soft luxury. Each of the four bunk bed berths comes with comfortable pillows and silky tencel bedding. In the morning, we all wake feeling well-rested and refreshed. A six-seater dining table or tatami-style dining setting is provided for meals in your room, along with a three-seater couch. Deck chairs on your private, covered balcony are the ideal spot for a morning coffee, afternoon beer, or evening glass of wine. 

The Hill Resort Janda Baik - group stays near Kuala Lumpur
Rooms Sleep up to Six People

Each private, skylit bathroom comes with a separate shower and toilet, complete with open-air window in the shower, giving you premium vistas with your steaming hot shower. Deep and Lisa’s attention to detail anticipate your every need. There is a decent-sized bar fridge stocked with beers, coffee and tea-making facilities, reasonably priced snacks, and a stash of instant noodles for those needing supplies without leaving their room. There are umbrellas in your wardrobe and disposable raincoats available for a small fee if you forget to bring wet weather gear. Fans and air conditioning add to the cosiness. Thoughtful storage is at hand in every corner, with numerous hooks for towels and toiletries in the bathroom, and bedside caddies for holding water bottles, books, and anything else you need to have at hand. 

The Hill Resort Janda Baik retreat near KL
Private Balcony Overlooking Janda Baik Hills

The spectacular views do come at a price, and that price is the burning in your legs as you climb the steep stairs that cut through The Hill’s steep incline, leading to the lofty chalets above. Be warned; you may need to stop and catch your breath halfway up. But take solace in the little markers on the path showing you how many calories you’ve burned, and think about the extra treats it will allow you to eat that evening. A back driveway is available for you to drop your luggage at the top if the additional weight proves too much of a challenge when you arrive. Otherwise, the stairs are a welcome warm-up to a weekend of hiking and adventuring. 

Shared Facilities

Stretching out alongside the pool at the base of the property are the shared kitchen and dining facilities. Despite the lower elevation, you are still granted a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The very well-equipped kitchen comes stocked with a full collection of cooking, dining and serving kitchenware. There is a spacious fridge in addition to the bar fridges in your room, and bulky cooler boxes if you need more room. A hot and cold water filtration unit will keep you hydrated, while a microwave and air fryer are convenient extras. At the end of the kitchen are two huge gas burner barbeques, itching to be put to use. Next time we come, it will be with some quality thick-cut steaks, sausages, lamb chops or marinated chicken skewers. 

Weekend Getaway from KL in Nature
The Hill Resort Janda Baik Pool

The dining area contains multiple table and chair setups, as well as multiple choices for reclining, sunbathing, recharging and lazing about. Haven’t reached your peak relaxation yet? Put your feet up in the double seater swing chair, or chase an afternoon nap in the hammock. Toilets and an outdoor shower are near at hand, saving everyone the challenge of the hill climb whenever nature calls.

The Hill Resort Janda Baik
Dining Area – The Hill Resort Janda Baik

While the views are undoubtedly the star feature of The Hill, the pool is nothing short of spectacular. Long enough to accommodate multiple groups without encroaching on each other’s space, in-pool seating options run alongside the dining area for optimum all-day pool lounging. The mermaids of our group keep themselves wet while maintaining conversations with other group members who prefer to stay dry. Snacks and drinks are shared, and laughter held in a space that is designed to make everyone in your group or family happy.

Pool at Sunset
Pool as the Sun Sets

A stay at The Hill is ideal for the self-catering aficionados. For the Master Chef wannabe gourmets. The foodies who like to show off their own culinary delights. Made for sharing, the beauty of The Hill is not limited to the gorgeous mountains surrounding you but is also to be found in the togetherness you will find here. 

The Hill Resort Janda Baik
Platter by the Pool

The Location

A not-so-hidden secret, Janda Baik has long been a haven for KLites wanting to escape the city. Yet often, with city escapes and staycations, you end up sharing the space with every other person who has had the same idea. Amongst the bed and breakfasts and glamping tents, The Hill stands apart. A true sanctuary of calm and respite, the limited number of accommodations means you will likely share your visit with only two other small groups or couples if booking a single chalet or will have it all to yourself if booking all three for a small group break. An escape within an escape, this hillside piece of mountain paradise provides the ultimate seclusion. 

A five-minute leisurely stroll from The Hill’s gate will have you situated at Kupi Tunggal, a small, brick coffee stall directly next to a burbling creek. Sitting in camper chairs listening to the gentle sound of water over rocks, we are pleasantly surprised at the quality of coffee, with flavoured syrups and other non-caffeinated options available. We begin the day slowly, stretching our limbs as we let our kids rock-hop and wade through the shallow, whirling pools. The serene backdrop is incongruous with the rich brew evocative of hipster city cafes. We chat and laugh as we watch a group on an ATV tour attempt a creek crossing further up. Each driver pauses to gather their nerves before making it across the slippery stones. We give them a rousing cheer in the quiet morning as they proudly grin at their accomplishment. ATV tours aren’t the only adventures available in the area. Local operators also run river trekking, horse riding, paintball and archery activities. Plenty of local farms, cafes and guided wellness workshops are also on offer.

Weekend Getaway from KL in Nature
Barista-brewed Coffee Down the Road

Meandering back to The Hill along quiet, traffic-free roads, we pass trailheads for a number of hiking routes. Appetites awakened, and we are greeted by Deep and Lisa with fresh nasi lemak. Fragrant and aromatic, I have not tasted it’s equal. Lisa shares the secret, revealing it comes from her favourite local vendor, “The best in Janda Baik!”. She explains, “There’s something about the air up here, the water. Food just tastes better.” Or perhaps it’s locally raised kampung chicken, allowed to roam free in the pristine forest undergrowth, that produces a taste KL’s most elite degustation restaurants would envy. 

The Hill Resort Janda Baik
Nasi Lemak Brekkie – The Hill Resort Janda Baik

Later on, we explore a number of other creeks in the area. Deep and Lisa show us their preferred swimming holes, the cold water startling and refreshing against the skin, as we swap stories of the cardiovascular health benefits of cold water swimming. Wildlife abounds, with groups of gibbons sending their whoops through the afternoon air. A loved-up pair of hornbills are frequent visitors to The Hill and can often be spied in the upper branches of the durian trees. Electric blue dragonflies dart across the water’s surface. You may also see boars and shrews in the undergrowth and hawks and owls in the skies or trees above. Birdwatchers will not leave disappointed.

The Hill Resort Janda Baik green retreat near KL
Nearby Creek

If you choose not to self-cater, there are a number of warongs within a short drive, with a couple offering grab deliveries. Twenty minutes away, the village of Bukit Tinggi has a handful of small restaurants, including wan tan mee and curry mee breakfast spots, and Fantasy Valley restaurant, with a deck overlooking the river. Famed farm-to-table restaurant Little Farm on the Hill is also only twenty minutes away by car, offering gourmands and foodies something a little more special. 

The Hill Resort, Janda Baik Review

The Hill Resort at Janda Baik is a retreat for the mind. A pinnacle of relaxation, the intense feeling of freedom hits from the moment you drive in the gate. If you are needing to escape the chaos and stress of the city, this is a patch of tranquillity that will soothe your soul. There is a sense of romance present here. Not only is it the ideal getaway for some romantic alone time, but it is impossible to stay here without it impressing a sense of romance for life upon you. The view reveals the beauty and power in the world around us. 

The Hill Resort Janda Baik green retreat day trip from KL
Swing by the Pool

The Hill Resort Prices

Until the end of the year, the owners of The Hill Resort Janda Baik, in partnership with their other property, The Locker & Loft bar in Damansara, have a duel promotion happening. For any guests of Locker & Loft who spend over RM500 in a single receipt, you are eligible for 20% of your stay at The Hill. 

The Hill Resort Janda Baik at sunset
The Hill Resort Janda Baik

The Hill Resort
PT 21090, Jalan Kuala Lurah Ulu Chemperoh
Janda Baik, 28750, Pahang, Malaysia
+6012 600 6244
[email protected]

Find more things to do in Janda Baik here and stay up-to-date on the latest gourmet and travel happenings around Malaysia here and here.

One Comment

  1. I love being up in the hills, the cooler temperatures, the serenity, the breathtaking views and all.

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