Sunday, March 2

Chill At The Hills: Avillion Villa Idaman, Janda Baik

After a crazy, crazy week of last minute rescheduling, we finally found a place that can fit all of us- Avillion Tanarimba, Villa Idaman. 

Located at Janda Baik, a quaint village near Bukit Tinggi and Genting Highlands, it is just an hour's drive from Kuala Lumpur. 

It takes another 10mins to reach the villa, and the whole journey is filled with greens! The weather was so hot, that cool hilly breeze were not detected until evening falls. 

Tanarimba was an interesting place. Well, I never knew such a secret getaway available so near us. The place is filled with trees, and buildings like villas were scattered along the hills. Everything looked exclusive and private. At the entrance of Tanarimba, there's a wedding    luncheon being held in this picturesque hall made of wood and glass. 

We went up some slopes and finally arrived. Villa Idaman was really impressively huge and spacious! We were welcomed by two housekeepers, and given a house tour. Overexcitement empowered me, all my photos taken during the house tour were blurred! Here comes a wordy blogpost again! Haha!!!

So this villa has 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and 2 living rooms. The masterbedroom is as large as my house (damn embarrassing to reveal this) with an attached bathroom so huge (like my living room) with a minipool sized bathtub jacuzzi! The master bedroom has a sliding door with balcony overlooking the forest! So expect to be awakened in the morning with a view of the misty forest! Amazing! But, no, I didn't stay in the master bedroom T.T because we had too many of us and we drew lots!

Then the other rooms are fitted with queen sized canopy beds. Each, decorated with its own theme. Everybody was happy with their spacious bedrooms! This guarantees a comfortable sleep at night!

Me and hubby, got... a kids-bedroom! So we had a double decker bed! =.=' 

The living room was massive and enough for all of us to linger and play games. It also has and attached balcony where we opened up its doors and let the cold wind blow in. 

In a short while, the whole place is filled with laughters, as we had turned it into a private casinos! 

We fully utilized the huge coffee table! Haha!

We played until exhaustion kicks in and then we all hopped into the poolside. Even the pool is surrounded by lush greeneries. I feel so blessed at the moment because during recent years, the pollution in KL was terrible and smell of smoke fills the air. Here, we played the water and was serenade with sounds of monkeys, cikadas, birds and some other sounds which I cannot decipher. 

Location is perfect, ambient is perfect, but something is amiss about this villa. Firstly, the pool pump is not running. We were informed that the pool pump has just 'recently' malfunction. Secondly, there is no lights by the pool. So it means that we cannot swim at night! 

How can this happen!!! We plan for a bbq and as everyone knows bbq is a hot process. Eating chicken wings and drinking beers while chilling by the pool is a fantastic plan for bbq but because there's no pool light, the whole place looks eerie and no one wants to go near there! Fix the pool pump and light up the pool, Avillion!!! 

Our arrangement for dinner is bbq, and there is a bbq pit available for us. But then, we were told right before bbq'ing is that, there's only 2 packs of charcoal! 2 small packs!  And I was told that the housekeeper says it's really far to get charcoal, so this means we have to grill our food carefully! I didn't expect this at all! Is if a cost saving tactic by the Avillion? Or are they just badly prepared? How can they not know when we have informed that we are going to have bbq for dinner! Luckily a friend of mine brought her gas operated cooker and we fried the cocktails, sausages, chicken breasts and crabsticks. And we even baked chicken wings with the oven provided. Honestly, I'm disappointed by the service provided. The housekeepers could have provide us plates, cups and forks at the outdoor table, but instead we had to request every single thing from the kitchen. 

On the plus side, we were provided mosquito coil, so at least it was a peaceful, non-itchy dinner! 

I was awaken by the bright sun. And I went to walk around, we practically messed up the whole place already haha!
There were some family photos in the villa, and this makes me wonder, is it someone's home previously? It was a family of 4, an foreigner husband and chinese wife with a son and a daughter. I think most likely they were really wealthy to build such a massive house like this. This must be their vacation palace because it is impractical to stay here, there's no school nearby. 

The interior of the house were minimally decorated, but has a few Buddha statues. 

And then breakfast is served. So i rushed to the dining hall and saw this!

A western breakfast consists of 2 sausages, 2 sunny-side up eggs, a platter of fruits, a jug of milk and a jug of orange juice. Again I am disappointed! I've been to Avillion resorts and I had high expectation for this one. Instead...oh my, the breakfast setting is fine, but we had to toast the bread ourselves, we had to make our own coffee, and oh boy, what the heck we were given a large chunk of chilled 500g of butter! It is really inconvenient because the butter is hard. I've got a couple of suggestions here:

1) Make coffee or tea and serve the guests. Then we do not have to walk all around the dining table to make our own coffee/tea and truely enjoy breakfast.

2) Toast the bread for us. You have a large oven in the kitchen, you can mass toast bread for guests, say 2 piece/person. And if the guests need extra, they can use the toaster. Otherwise our eggs on plate are all cold while we wait for our bread to be ready. And imagine how many rounds do we need to make to the toaster when theres 10 of us and only 4 toasts were made each round? 

3) I am not Chef Wan but I can say that the western breakfast looks 'telanjang'. Put some baked beans, cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes! 

It was also disappointing when milk and fresh juice cannot be refilled much because there's not enough! Although the housekeeper apologised, I feel quite sad because it's just some basic stuff lacking there.

A little extra effort can make this place a sought after holiday destination. Seriously, I would recommend this place to friends who want some weekend getaway, but I suggest they be mentally prepared or maybe call to inform that charcoal should be prepared for bbq. An extra added value in hospitality will be a boon here as well. You'd want to make guests feel 'sad' to leave, and will come again because they miss this place. 

It's a lovely getaway overall. I miss the chilly hills already now as I'm drenched in sweat! 

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