Looking to escape from the hustle and bustle in the city and relax in a quiet jungle setting or unique staycation experience? Check out our favourite “back-to-nature” hotels in some states in Malaysia, from minimalist accommodation to green villages and luxurious getaways.
With more eco-conscious travellers around the world, many hotels have incorporated numerous sustainable measures that go beyond planting a few extra trees on its compounds. A stay in a hotel with lush, solar-powered gardens is no longer a dream as many hotels transform their once ordinary common spaces into tropical wonderlands that are pleasing on both your eyes and the environment.
The Element Kuala Lumpur
Holding the title as the tallest eco-friendly hotel in Kuala Lumpur at 275 metres (902 feet), The Element has a total of 252 spacious rooms. The interior has a modern design with marble bathrooms while its facilities include an on-site restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre. Anyone looking for comfort in the heart of Kuala Lumpur but is conscious of the environment should consider The Element.
With a Green Building Index certification and a stone’s throw from the city centre, the hotel uses environmentally friendly ways to create luxury and comfort. The hotel carries out eco-friendly practices on a day to day basis. Rain water harvesting, indoor air quality CO2 monitoring, and energy efficient LED lighting are just some of their many environmental efforts. The one that most people love most though, is their effort to reduce plastic wastage. It does not provide plastic mineral water bottles. Instead, they equipped each room with filtered drinking water that is certified by NSF International.
It is worth mentioning that this hotel is just a stone’s throw away from commercial districts, surrounded by shopping malls, trending eateries and tourist destinations. Guests can have a stunning view on iconic Petronas Twin Tower on the 39th floor where a 200 sqm indoor saline pool located.
Address: Jalan Binjai, Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, 50450, Malaysia.
Phone: +603 – 2771 3388
The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa
The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa Overlooking the tranquil Andaman Sea and an archipelago of over 104 islands, the Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa is located by a pristine, white sandy beach. The resort remains close to the bustling Cenang Beach, yet retains its natural charm as secluded hideaway as the two beaches lay parted by a cliff, accessible only by road. Over the years, The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa has garnered a number of prestigious awards, including the ASEAN Green Hotel Award 2014, as well as Tripadvisor’s Top 25 Relaxation and Spa Hotels for Malaysia. In 2018, at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart, Frangipani Langkawi Resort won the PATA Gold Award for Environment – Environment Education Programme.
The Frangipani Langkawi prides itself as an eco-friendly resort and has developed over 300 green practices to promote responsible and sustainable tourism. These include numerous ways to reduce and recycle waste, monitor the usage of energy, water saving measures, using environmentally-friendly detergents, in-house environment education department, eco-walks to engage guests in environment issues. Filtering the resort’s ‘grey water’ through a wetland and working with the local authorities to reduce the amount of rubbish that goes to the island’s limited landfill is also one of the measures introduced to go green. The resort heavily promotes resource efficiency by selling all recyclable items to the recycle contractor (paper, aluminium cans, tins plastic bottles). Organic waste is processed into compost. Fish and chicken intestines are buried as fertilizers near fruit trees. Fruit peels are processed as enzyme which is cleaning agent. Items that can be recycled such as wine bottles are used as feature wall, lamp and vases.
Guests have the chance to adopt plants and have their names displayed The 118-room resort offers spacious rooms, villas and suites with modern amenities. Enjoy breath-taking sunsets while sipping cocktails at the Coco Beach Jam bar at the resort. The resort’s other facilities include two swimming pools, outdoor jacuzzi, reflexology path, meeting room, recreational activities, room service, babysitting laundry, tour desk, transport services, souvenir shop and internet facilities. Pamper yourself with warm Malaysian hospitality, as you lose yourself in the beauty of Langkawi, The Jewel Of Kedah.
Address: 138, Jalan Teluk Baru,
Pantai Tengah, Mukim Kedawang,
07000, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia.
Phone: +604 – 291 3141
Terra’s Tree House
Terra’s Tree House is an indigenous-themed budget hotel hidden deep in the rainforest surroundings of Brinchang, near the farmland area of Sungai Mensun.
Getting to Terra’s Tree House requires a 4 wheel drive off-road journey for 4 km. The journey may take up to half an hour drive passing through numbers of farms and orchards, via a very narrow and bumpy trail. Guests will need to hike on a 100-meter wood-tiled track through the forest before reaching the actual site.
Accommodation is provided in thatched huts of authentic Orang Asli (Aborigine) architecture, composed of bamboo, rattan and palm leaves. Each tree house is perched on stilts for a view of the jungle canopy, but come with lighting and attached bathroom. Finally, organic food is provided from the hotel’s farm for guests to cook themselves breakfast and dinner.
That’s why guests appreciate Terra’s Tree House even more! Not only do they practice biodynamic farming, the people who run it are actively involved in the conservation of Cameron Highlands. We learned that the owner, Ng spent a year to conceptualise the design of the place. Actual construction took another 1.5 years without the use of any heavy machinery, not even for leveling! They wanted to preserve this wonderful Mother Nature!
What you see at Terra’s Tree House is what the Orang Asli (indigenous people) built with their own hands. The kitchen is well equipped with ingredients from Terra’s bio-dynamic farm and homegrown vegetables from just 200m away.
All meals provided are vegetarian. You could bring your own food but make sure that it’s halal and preferably sans meat. Being in the jungle means that anything with meat attracts wild animals at night. Not fun. For additional food (e.g. yam or corn for BBQ), bring your own or make an early special request to the staff.
Address: Jalan Sungai Mansion, Brinchang, Pahang, 39010, Malaysia.
Phone: +6012-661 3299
Tabin Wildlife Resort
For a minimalistic and eco-friendly hotel in Borneo, check out Tabin Wildlife Resort located inside Tabin Wildlife Reserve. The reserve, Malaysia’s largest by area, on the eastern tip of Sabah near Lahad Datu.
The Tabin Wildlife Resort has 20 units of lodges. 10 units of river lodges and 10 units of hill lodges. Each lodge comes with a twin-bedded, double-bedded or triple bedded room with en-suite bathroom & hot-water shower, air conditioner, ceiling fan and private balcony overlooking hillside forest or Lipad river.
Constructed from timber on the River Lipad’s banks, guests have the chance to stay in the middle of the rainforest. Tabin Resort offers a range of activities including tracking orangutans and hiking. One of the highlights of Tabin being the active and mineral-rich mud volcanoes, attracting frequent visits by wildlife for their mineral intake and present an ideal platform for wildlife observation and bird watching.
Created in the year 1984, Tabin has been declared a Wildlife Reserve primarily on account of the large number of animals inhabiting its forests, some of which are highly endangered. The three largest mammals of Sabah, namely Borneo Pygmy Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros and Tembadau are all found within the reserve; nine species of primate are present, as well as three species of cats all of which are on the protected wildlife list. Of bird species, 4 families representing more than 300 species have been recorded.
Since the opening of the award-winning Tabin Wildlife Resort in 2004, Tabin Wildlife reserve has gained popularity to be one of the best places in Sabah to observe the rich bio-diversity of nature and to part-take in nature-based activities. Amongst the popular things-to-do in Tabin are jungle-trekking, night safari, night walk, wildlife-spotting, birdwatching and rainforest education.
To practice sustainable responsible tourism initiatives such as to observe wildlife and nature in their natural habitats and to reduce impact by human on wildlife, it is restricted to maximum 5 pax per guide.
Address: Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia
Phone: +608- 826 7266
Aiman Batang Ai Resort and Retreat
Set on the edge of the world’s most ancient rainforest on the mystical island of Borneo, Aiman Batang Ai Resort & Retreat provides the ideal getaway for those seeking a one-of-a-kind escapade that is adventurous yet fully relaxing and pleasantly satisfying at the same time.
Housing 100 fully furnished Standard Rooms and Duplex Suites, the resort’s setting is inspired by Sarawak’s traditional Iban longhouse design with spectacular view of the Batang Ai lake. It offers pristine surroundings not only inhabited by the local community but also wildlife who have made Batang Ai their home.
An outdoor swimming pool next to the jungle is a highlight as well as the cocktail bar overlooking the lake. But the environment isn’t the only way Aiman Batang Ai offers an eco-friendly retreat. Motion-sensitive light bulbs reduce their energy consumption in common areas. Resort activities range from visiting tribes and longhouses to fishing, trekking and canopy walks.
Address: Empangan Batang Ai Lubok Antu, Sarawak, 95900, Malaysia
Phone: +6019 – 336 8033