15 nature retreats within a two-hour drive from KL

When was the last time you connected with nature? We mean really connect, like breathing in the fresh scents of flowers, swimming in pristine rivers, and lying on the grass while gazing at the clear blue sky. If you’re a nature lover, this pastoral setting is perhaps the closest thing to paradise.

Malaysia is blessed to have so many beautiful jungles and lush rainforests, and we’re lucky that a handful of them are still alive and thriving. While most of us city folk typically get our nature fix through short weekend treks in the nearby forests, we reckon it’d be even more relaxing to have a full on staycation at a retreat surrounded by verdant trees and colourful flora.

If that sounds appealing to you, we’ve created this list of 15 nature retreats that are within a two-hour drive from KL city. To be consistent, we measured the time and distance of these places from the same starting point — Suria KLCC, the heart of the city itself. Of course, these are just estimates and the actual journey durations will vary according to traffic conditions.

Most of the retreats offer guided jungle treks, have nearby waterfalls and barbecue facilities. Some even have one or two luxurious infinity pools as a special feature, while others can be a little more rustic. There are also plenty of other activities to do including organic farming lessons, visiting a nearby deer park, white water rafting, night trekking, Rafflesia trail walks and even a photography course for those interested. So take a trip to the forest, and embrace your inner zen at these 15 nature retreats near KL city.

Post image Related: 5 best Klang Valley staycations for Labour Day weekend

1/15

Templer Park Rainforest Retreat

The view is really something, isn’t it? Great for larger groups, choose to stay in the Villa (16 persons maximum) or the Container (30 persons maximum). Meditate on the viewing decks while taking in the amazing scenery of the Kanching Rainforest Reserve, before going for a dip in the infinity pool, which comes with a jet spa and a 600mm deep splash pool.

Cooking utensils, fire starters, barbecue pits, steamboat pots and gas stoves are provided for guests to use, and the nearest Tesco is only eight minutes away. Nature photographers should look out for the colourful tropical birds, monkeys, monitor lizards, squirrels and large butterflies who call the surroundings home.

Estimated drive time: 45 minutes

Templer Park Rainforest Retreat, 22, Jalan 3/2, Templer Heights, Templer Park, 48000 Rawang, Selangor, Malaysia, +60 16 203 8562 (Han)

(Photo: Templer Park Rainforest Retreat)

2/15

Balik Kampung Villa

Under an hour’s drive away from KL city, the peaceful Balik Kampung Villa is a good choice for a short weekend staycation. There are two villas in total — Kala Villa for up to seven persons and the more intimate Jane and Tarzan Villa for two. Hike up Gunung Nuang, jungle trek at Sungai Congkak, or climb to the top of the waterfall at Gabai Falls, with each being a close distance from the villas.

Room rates include breakfast grocery items such as eggs, milk, cereal, bread and fresh local fruits, as well as barbecue equipment and utensils. Amenities-wise, towels, toiletries and bathrobes are provided so all you have to do is bring some clothes, food for barbecuing, and yourself.

Estimated drive time: 50 minutes

Balik Kampung Villa, 49, B52,Batu, Jalan 17, 43100 Hulu Langat, Selangor, Malaysia, +60 12 212 1711

(Photo: Balik Kampung Villa)

3/15

Sekeping Serendah

The picture shows a Glass Box room type, where it’s literally a glass box in the jungle. Amenities and furnishings are purposely kept to a minimum so guests can immerse themselves in the natural surroundings as much as possible.

Rooms vary in sizes and the largest space can take up to 14 persons at most — ideal for a quiet group getaway if that’s on your agenda. There isn’t an on-site restaurant, but there are barbecue pits available for you to cook your own meals. Otherwise, take a short drive out to the nearby local restaurants.

Estimated drive time: One hour

Sekeping Serendah, Jalan Ipoh, Kg Orang Asli, Serendah, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +60 12 324 6552 (Coordinates: N3.368050, E101.631150)

(Photo: Sekeping Serendah)

4/15

Sailor’s Rest Resort, Janda Baik

Sailor’s Rest offers several room type options such as bungalows, chalets and actual tents, but we’d opt to stay in the boathouse for the novelty of it. Great for a team-building excursion, there’s a conference hall, field (dubbed by the retreat staff as a “playground”) and 10 unexpectedly stylish public toilets fitted with rain showers.

The dining hall is a modern wooden structure in the middle of the pond, and is great for group gatherings. The retreat also features a well-kept garden with mangosteen and durian trees — guests are welcome to pick and eat the fruits.

Estimated drive time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Sailor’s Rest Resort, Lot 8592, Lorong Dato Panglima, Kg. Sg. Lurau, Janda Baik, 28750 Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia, +60 3 4292 7036

(Photo: Sailor’s Rest Resort)

5/15

The Shorea Seremban

The Shorea introduces itself as a boutique eco-resort located in the Berembun Forest Reserve in Negeri Sembilan. The resort is split into two wings — The Shorea Estate and The Shorea Resort with a total of eight villas comprising 15 rooms with a maximum capacity of 40 persons.

Choose to stay in duplex air-conditioned villas with individual pools, or naturally-ventilated wooden villas. There are two shared infinity pools across the whole resort, with views of the lush rainforest.

Estimated drive time: 1 hour 15 minutes

The Shorea Seremban, Kampung Kolam Air, Mukim Pantai, Jalan Jelebu, 71770 Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, +60 17 300 5600 (Roza)

(Photo: The Shorea)

6/15

The Dusun, Negeri Sembilan

The Dusun comprises five beautiful houses (four wooden and one Japanese-styled modern villa) and two shared infinity pools overlooking the serene rainforest. Each house has its own private kitchen and barbecue area, and the resort can provide you with charcoal, wires, and even light the barbecue for you for RM20.

Don’t worry about doing the dishes as room rates include daily housekeeping. Alternatively, you can pre-order food from the resort and dine at the Dining Patio, where daily breakfast is served. While staying here, you can jungle trek to a nearby waterfall, get a massage, visit a local deer park, go on a guided bird discovery walk, or even take a short photography course by professional shutterbug Nikt Wong.

Estimated drive time: 1 hour 15 minutes

The Dusun, 3437, Kampung Kolam Air, Mukim Pantai, 71770 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia

(Photo: The Dusun)

7/15

Dusuntara Jungle Retreat

Available for a minimum of 12 persons, this jungle retreat provides catered meals. Choose from delicious local delicacies such as chicken rendang and briyani with mutton, or do your own cooking for a fee of RM100 per day to use the equipment and utensils provided.

Located at the foothills of Genting Highlands, some things you can do here include jungle trekking, fishing in the retreat’s own fresh water lakes (it has two), swim in the saline water-filled pool with a jacuzzi, take a drive to the Batang Kali Nature Hot Springs, or even visit the nearby Orang Asli village.

Estimated drive time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Dusuntara Jungle Retreat, No. 1, Dusun Drive, Batang Kali Estate, Kg. Sungei Kamin, 48300 Batang Kali, Malaysia, +60 19 318 4189

(Photo: Dusuntara Jungle Retreat)

8/15

Awanmulan

Awanmulan is a collection of individual houses sitting on the green hills of Negeri Sembilan. There are eight rooms in total which can accommodate up to 30 persons at a time. A local breakfast is included, but guests can cook their own meals as each house has a fully-equipped kitchen.

Go for a leisurely stroll by the river, which is a 15-minute walk down the hill. For the more adventurous, take a one-and-a-half-hour hike into the jungle to reach some short cascading waterfalls. Remember to let the staff know in advance if you plan to bring your pet, as only certain rooms can accommodate them.

Estimated drive time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Awanmulan, Seremban, 71770 Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, +60 13 367 0767

(Photo: Awanmulan)

9/15

Casabrina Vacation Villas, Pahang

We can’t see why anyone would want to leave this gorgeous place, but if you’re looking for other things to do, you’re spoilt for choice. The retreat staff can arrange for you to participate in activities such as white water rafting, Rafflesia jungle trekking, a elephant and deer sanctuary tour, a waterfall picnic, a Kuala Lipis heritage tour, Melaleuca spa session, golf and even paintball sessions.

There are only two main villas — Villa Aranya, which has two suites, and Villa Amertani, which has four. All are fully-equipped and beautifully decorated with wooden furnishings.

Estimated drive time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Casabrina Vacation Villas, Lot 1460, Jalan Tras, Mukim Tras,, 27600 Raub District, Pahang, Malaysia, +60 16 980 3222

(Photo: Casabrina Vacation Villas)

10/15

Cabinz Ecottage Retreat

Located next to the Berembun Forest Reserve in Negeri Sembilan, the place is on a hillside and has a decent-sized infinity pool. As with all the other retreats on this list, jungle trekking is the most popular activity. If you’re unfamiliar with the nearby trails, the kind folks at the retreat are able to arrange for an Orang Asli (indigenous tribesman) guide to bring you on a trek.

There’s also a lovely, large pavilion area with a weights machine, where you can work out, practise yoga, or meditate.

Estimated drive time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cabinz Ecottage Retreat, Lot 3124 Pantai Hills, Jalan Kolam Air, Kampung Pantai Baharu, 70100 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, +60 16 644 8236

(Photo: Cabinz Ecottage Retreat)

11/15

Selepas Hujan

‘Selepas Hujan’ translates to ‘after rain’, bringing to mind the fresh, earthy smells and tranquility that comes with it. Located at the Berembun Virgin Jungle Reserve and by the Batang Penar River, the retreat promises a peaceful and relaxing stay. Trek to a secret spot 45 minutes into the jungle and enjoy a leisurely picnic, birdwatch, relax under a waterfall,  go fishing, or sit down for a chat with the Temuan orang asli people.

More suited for couples or small families, there are two houses that can accommodate a maximum of six persons. There’s also an infinity saltwater pool with grand views of the surrounding forest.

Estimated drive time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Selepas Hujan, 43A (Lot 3154) Pantai Hill Orchard Resort, Jalan Kampung Pantai, 71770 Pantai, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, +60 12 931 5147

(Photo: Selepas Hujan)

12/15

Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya Eco Tourism Resort

Being in close proximity to three waterfalls, the last 10-minute journey leading up to the resort is only accessible by 4×4 vehicles — which are provided and included in the room rates. The space is large, housing 21 chalets and dorms which can accommodate a whopping 185 people. Time to plan that company-wide team bonding trip, maybe?

Free guided treks, morning walks and night walks are included in the room rates, and you can also request for team building activity proposals from the resort. Programmes include jungle paintball, flying fox, an adventure race, and organic farming lessons.

Estimated drive time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya Eco Tourism Resort, 8, Jalan Tras, 27600 Raub, Pahang, Malaysia, +60 16 609 0493

(Photo: Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya)

13/15

Sarang by the brook

This retreat is located at nearby Kuala Kubu Baru, a popular destination for KL folks to go on weekend morning treks at. Cute and slightly quirky, all the rooms are painted a bright turquoise on the outside and furnished with simple furniture with a slightly hipster vibe. There’s a saltwater pool accessible 24/7, a fully-equipped kitchen for guests, barbecue pits (though you can get them to cater food for you, too) and a small function area for that birthday surprise you’ve been planning.

The place has also teamed up with Primal Wilderness Experience, which offers several guided activities such as day and night jungle treks, and white water rafting. For those who prefer to go on your own adventures, there’s plenty of options too — go on a river picnic, play golf at a nearby course, practice archery on Sarang’s grounds itself, or even go paragliding (the take-off area is just 10 minutes away by car from Sarang).

Estimated drive time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Sarang by the brook, Jalan Seruling 20, Kuala Kubu Bharu, 44000 Selangor, Malaysia, +60 19 3322 448

(Photo: Sarang by the brook)

14/15

De Serenity

De Serenity has three individual units with a maximum capacity of 12 persons. We like that the pool is large and long enough to do some actual swimming — 35 ft long and 16 ft wide. There’s also a 20 ft long children’s pool, and the conveniently located poolside barbecue area is a great feature.

Of course, there’s a guided, three-hour-long jungle trek that leads you to a stunning waterfall. You can also choose to lounge around the verandah for amazing views of the Berembun Forest.

Estimated drive time: 1 hour 30 minutes

De Serenity, Kampung Pantai, Jalan Jelebu, 71770 Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, +60 12 660 9525

(Photo: De Serenity)

15/15

Adeline Villa & Rest House

Muslim friends take note! This is perhaps the only retreat we’ve come across so far that’s been awarded a halal certificate, so sit back and enjoy the food with ease. All meals are included in the accommodation packages, and rooms will be assigned to guests depending on how large or small your party is.

Being in the limestone-rich state of Perak, there are also packages to go caving in Gua Tempurung while other activities include riding ATVs through a waterfall trail, kayaking, flying fox, wet abseiling, body rafting, river boarding and even going on a guided Rafflesia walking tour.

Estimated drive time: Two hours

Adeline Villa & Rest House, Lot 13302, Mukim Teja, Kampung Geruntum, Sungai Itik, 31600 Gopeng, Perak, Malaysia, +60 5 359 2833

(Photo: Adeline Villa & Rest House)