The Haven is a fairly new hotel on the outskirts of the city of Ipoh, close to the stunning limestone cliffs that Ipoh is so well known for. The Haven is managed by Best Western, and it is a beautiful five-star hotel. The complex is actually a combination of a hotel and a condominium, people can either stay long term or just for a short visit (hence the full name The Haven Lakeside Resort & Residences). The hotel is located in a prime location amidst a beautiful tropical backdrop, and especially from the higher floors, the view is breathtaking.
In the morning, you can enjoy walking or running in the fairly large nature reserve surrounding the hotel. If you are traveling with children, this hotel is highly recommended. Not only is it an all suites hotel with large apartments with a choice of one, two or three bedrooms, it is also only located a few minutes’ drive from the popular water park “The Lost World of Tambun”.
The hotel only offers suites with one or more bedrooms. The standard 1-bedroom suite was already enormous and well equipped. The view from the balcony is breathtaking from every floor though the lower floors have a better view of the beautifully lit up pool at night. Rooms are tastefully furnished and include at least two air conditioners, a huge refrigerator, a kitchen, a microwave (but should only be used by guests staying for a longer period), a dining table, lounge sofa, safe, LCD TV, a modern shower and a balcony. The temperature in the suite was quite pleasant with a nice breeze in the house once you open the gate at the front door, along with the balcony door. The rooms all feature free Wi-Fi. If you’re traveling with children, you can request an extra bed or a baby cot to be placed in the bedroom.
The breakfast is fine and there was plenty of varieties. The coffee was tasty and was from a coffee machine with fresh beans. Breakfast choices are listed on the special breakfast menu. Your breakfast order is collected by the staff and is brought to your table after a few minutes. The eggs that we ordered were delicious. The extras you could grab yourself at the breakfast area inside the restaurant. The breakfast area consists of an outside terrace with several tables overlooking the pool and the lake, and an inside restaurant section.
In the clubhouse at the ground floor, you have Cuisines, the restaurant where you also have your breakfast in the morning. Here you can enjoy a delicious dinner if you prefer not to eat outside of the hotel. During the day, you can order lunch along the edge of the sparkling pool. They have a range of tasty dishes such as burgers, BLT’s, salads and a variety of local dishes (I enjoyed the stay very much). Later I was told they do not use artificial substances in the preparation of the food, an important thing to us and many others.
As Ipoh is known as the food Mecca of Malaysia, you can also enjoy a magnificent meal at one of the many great restaurants in the city. Within the city center, you have several neighborhoods with restaurants and food stalls. Parking is free in the evening. Ipoh Parade is a major shopping center which is open daily until 22:00 and also has several nice restaurants. It is easy to drive to the center of Ipoh. Exit the hotel to the left, then left again onto the main road. Ipoh’s city center is just straight ahead for a few kilometers.
Swimming pool and other facilities
The infinity pool is gorgeous and not often can you enjoy a pool that is so enormous. It has the shape of a seahorse and all looks wonderfully tropical. There is also a Jacuzzi area, besides that there are several special whirlpool seats. The pool is open daily until 22:00, so you can still enjoy a swim after a long day of activities. There is a nice children’s pool, located near opposite Cuisines restaurant. There is a small water slide for the little ones. From the pool, you have a stunning view of the limestone cliffs and mountains in the distance.
Hotel guests can further do the following activities: badminton, squash, table tennis and fitness (in the gym located above Cuisines restaurant). There is also a small playground for the children and an indoor play area for toddlers. Jogging enthusiasts can run on special jogging trails spread out along the premises. The path that runs around the whole site is suited for wheelchairs and strollers/buggies.
Other attractions in the area
Ipoh is becoming an increasingly more popular destination among travelers. The town itself has several nice attractions such as cave temples, an interesting historical center with attractive buildings, a vibrant art scene, with fantastic murals on various buildings and more. Within the old town, you have many nice restaurants and trendy coffee shops.
Travelers who visit Ipoh with their children will probably enjoy The Lost World of Tambun, a fun water park located just a stone throw from the hotel. Older children (from 10 years onwards) will find the Extreme Park Ipoh especially cool. Here you can enjoy activities like carting, quad biking, paintballing, archery and more.
In the immediate vicinity of Ipoh, you also have various attractions such as the Tempurung caves at Gopeng, Kellies Castle, rafting on the river Kampar near Gopeng and, of course, the very popular Cameron Highlands.
The hotel itself also offers team building activities such as mountain climbing in a climbing park (including a genuine Via Ferrata), an adventure trail, and a zip line tour. Hotel guests should reserve this advance.
As the city grew more and more popular among tourists, a lot of new hotels were built in only a short time. The Haven is a good example.
How to get there?
The Haven is easy to find. If you drive to Ipoh over the E1 from Kuala Lumpur, you take the 1st exit into Ipoh (after Gopeng), then you end up on the main road AH2 that runs parallel to the E1 highway. This is the road you need as the E1 doesn’t contain anymore exists in Ipoh, it just goes straight on towards Penang with the first exit about 50km further on the highway. One of the first exits is named Tambun, signposted with The Lost World Of Tambun. You then drive along Jalan Tambun, past The Lost World of Tambun, until you see signs indicating The Haven. At Persiaran Lembah Perpaduan, you turn right, and after a few hundred meters you are at the main gate of the hotel. Here you can notify staff of your arrival. You will receive some directions on how to drive to the main lobby area. If you are visiting Ipoh without a car, you might be better off staying at one of the well-rated hotels in the city center. Naturally, the hotel is much less accessible without your own rental car. However, you can catch a bus or train from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh, and then take a taxi to the hotel.
Our final verdict
The Haven is a superb eco-hotel. It is wonderfully peaceful and quiet. We had a really fantastic time there. Rooms are large and fairly affordable considering the luxurious interior and the massive size; the view is truly unique. The pool was one of the nicest ever, you will be amazed by its jaw-dropping size. It is usually nice and quiet so you can have a relaxing swim. In the evenings the pool is beautifully lit, which makes it the best time for a pleasant swim. Furthermore, they use a green policy, and no poison is used regarding pest control.
The atmosphere is pleasant, especially since it is usually pretty quiet (in Ipoh tourism is still in its infancy stage). The staff was very well trained, we were pleasantly surprised by their promptness and their kindness. You have free Wi-Fi everywhere, from your room to pretty much any other location within the premises. If you visit Ipoh mainly for the water park The Lost World of Tambun, then this hotel is highly recommended due to its close proximity to the water park. During the day, you go to the amusement park, and afterwards you are back at the hotel in less than 5 minutes. It is also one of the few 5-star luxury hotels in the city. It is located outside of Ipoh’s city center, but it is only a 10 minutes drive from the hotel (it’s actually one long road that takes you all the way to the city center).
The hotel is also perfect for those traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Penang and are looking for a place to stay overnight. Ipoh has a lot to offer. The city has a beautiful historical center and many other interesting sights. We expect the city to become on of the premier travel destinations in Malaysia over the next few years. We found The Haven really a wonderful hotel and would gladly stay there again.