Sunday, November 06, 2016

Copthorne Hotel - The Former Equatorial Hotel @ Kea Farm, Cameron Highlands [Malaysia]

While making the last minute arrangement to Cameron Highlands for my recent trip, i was stuck in a dilemma; should i continue to stay in Brinchang as i did in the past few trips or should i take on an area i am less familiar with?

I opted for the latter and booked the Copthorne Hotel at Kea Farm which was within the Brinchang district although it would be a journey of no less than 35 minutes (likely even more) if i ever want to walk to the main town.

One deciding factor - my sister had stayed in Copthorne Hotel before when it was still known as Equatorial and i don't remember she highlighted any negative feedback. By the way, that thermometer replicate (5 meters in height) was listed as the tallest The Malaysia Book of Records 2015.

Stepping into the humongous hotel lobby was akin to walking into a medieval castle; state flags adorned the walls, iron-wrought chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, wooden beams criss-crossing each other and stone-laid foundations on top of nicely-tiled flooring.

There's even a working fireplace! Having a cushion sofa would be too common; add in a few electronic massage chairs for that extra comfort. p.s. usage of those massage chairs would be chargeable.

Looking for a game of pool to compete with your friends? There were a few tables for you even though i didn't want to take it up; wouldn't want to bear the ridicule from Alex who played pool rather well.

A gift shop was available in the hotel and it sold items not ordinarily seen outside of the hotel; like batik shirts, straw hats etc. Things i wouldn't bother buying as well.

Check-in was from 3 pm and given that the time was just a little past 10 am, i might as well request for the password to tag onto the free WiFi!

Time to explore the hotel - an indoor swimming pool which was kept at a temperature of between 20 - 28 degrees celcius; not exactly optimal and in my opinion, too cold!

Rules and regulations for your reading pleasure; don't understand why the specific articulation for the dis-allowance for glass containers.

The fitness centre on level two was sufficiently fitted out and we actually utilised the centre for two days running! Absolutely love the full set of weights and the availability of the hammer strength machine!

As we had no inkling when the room would be ready, we left our luggage with the hotel and made our way to the tea plantation; in order to get out of the hotel, we had to walk pass the Side Garden!

Coupled with the nice highlands temperature, it was relaxing to have the myriad of flowers smiling at us as we strolled out. Do be mindful to take the path rather than the road as motor vehicles, coaches inclusive, continued to drive past us.

Copthorne Hotel was situated at 1,628 meters (5,300 feet) above sea level and the view at this point was impressive; i couldn't wait to check out the room as i believe it would be much better!

Flora encountered along the way; Alex said the flowers from the third one appeared similar to carrots, albeit mini version.

Not even sure if you would consider this a flower but they do look like....... rambutans, green ones! For those who think otherwise, you have a darn dirty mind.

Sunflowers - the one flower that would never fail to make me smile!

Loyal readers still remember where your sunflower seeds came from?! If the above few photographs don't give you an answer, click here.

This garden was nearer to the low rise apartments; those travelling with a bigger group can consider the apartments as it can cater up to three bedrooms and there's a sense of exclusivity.

Back to the hotel and appended above is the list of  F&B outlets in Copthorne; one was missing and it's the 18° Celsius Cafe where you can indulge in a cup of hot chocolate and a slice of cakes.

We had wanted to try the steamboat semi buffet (RM 35 nett) at Millennium Garden but it was closed as they had been engaged for a wedding dinner in one of the ballroom. Fret not, there were other steamboat options just a short walk from the hotel!

Got our room; no 705!

Frankly, i wasn't expecting much and reviews online had already pointed to rather dated furnishing which i can accept. As some of you are aware, i am not very particular when it comes to accommodation so long beds are clean and there's an attached bathroom; anything extra is a bonus!

Television was small compared to the giant i have at home but it served its purpose of providing us some noise; necessary for Alex who requires some noise throughout the night and my snoring doesn't happen on a daily basis.

No further clarification required for the electric kettle, the free sachets of coffee and tea and the two complimentary bottles of mineral water.

List of TV channel and instructions on connection to the free WiFi! Step 4 was wrong in a way as the password wasn't "guest". For the password, just check out your paper holder for your hotel key card.

There's a reason why i am putting up this photo; we actually wasted quite a lot of time trying to find out how to switch on the lamps (there were four) and it simply didn't hit us to check the base! How did we know then? We asked the housekeeper.

I am more interested to check out the balcony!

Breathtaking isn't it?! I did regret not sitting outside the balcony late at night while sipping a cup of hot coffee / tea. I did that a long time ago with my secondary school friend, Yongde, even though at that time, we were at the more remote Strawberry Park Hotel.

Balcony wasn't well maintained and i would think twice before stepping in barefooted. I doubt the insect is a bee but it is, i am sure i will get a rather nasty sting on my feet! 

A glimpse of the low rise apartments.

I sent a similar photo to my sister and her reply was that the hotel had aged significantly since her visit five years ago with Jerald! Jovyn wasn't borne yet and i thought we should arrange for a family trip to Cameron Highlands! I honestly don't mind going back again in the near future!

Toilet with a hair dryer; some items were missing and if you haven't realized by now, there isn't any bottles of shampoo and shower gel! A phone call to the housekeeper settled it; i understand from the apologetic housekeeper that there wasn't sufficient manpower and she alone had to cover five floors! 

Rainfall shower - i would have been more enthusiastic if there's a better way to control the water heater; it's either too hot or too cold and i have had better chances with the shower head instead. And you know what the best thing is? One of the three glass panels was removed and that inadvertently translated into water on the dry section of the bathroom! 

Door that was chipped at the bottom and it almost cut my leg! The last few paragraphs detailing my experience were shockers in my opinion since the hotel was listed as a four-starred hotel and i believe many people would have much higher expectations than me.

Just in case you are wondering why there's a need for fan in the highlands; the hotels in Cameron Highlands don't come with air conditioning (natural one comes in from outside) but some people will close the windows and it might get a tad stuffy; hence, switching on the fan would help in air circulation. 

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Location
Kea Farm, Brinchang, Malaysia 39100
(200 meters from main road)

Map of Hotel
As above

Pricing
One Superior Room - S$86.71
(booked through agoda.com)


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