The Shorea Retreat is one of the most beautiful resorts I’ve ever visited in Malaysia. It is located in Jelebu, Seremban which is just an hour away from Kuala Lumpur and convenient for city travellers looking for a short weekend getaway.
The resort wasn’t that hard to find. I simply followed Waze and it took me straight into the heart of the forest with long winded narrow lanes. I realised straight away that there was no way I could drive down at night due to unavailability of street lights, so please make sure you have everything before heading there as you definitely won’t be able to go down after twilight hours! (I’ve also heard stories from a staff at The Shorea about how he met a wild boar as big as a cow on the road to the resort. It sounded scary, but I was quite excited to hear about it haha).
The Shorea Retreat is split into two parts: the Resort and the Estate. The Estate is a much more modernised version of the Resort, equipped with air-conditioners and spacious pools, and of course, more expensive than the Resort. But both are designed with stunning architecture that will leave you in awe! I was really impressed to hear that the owner himself designed this Retreat. Everything was very thoughtful and well-detailed, and all I wanted to do once arriving was to just jump into the infinity pool and swim in bliss. You can find out more about the rooms and rates here: The Shorea
We stayed in the smallest villa, located in the highest part of the resort called Villa Kemboja. It was a very comfortable, cosy room fit for 2 people. I loved this room because there was also a balcony overlooking the entire resort and forest. It also came with a bathroom and open-air kitchen.
And this is my view from above! 😀
I set off to explore the rest of the resort. It wasn’t a big resort. In total, there were only 4 villas, with a communal kitchen, infinity pool, and a smaller pool like you can see in the above picture reserved for Villa Kemboja guests. So I would expect the resort to be quite noisy if the villas were fully booked. It did state on the website to keep the noise down in respect of other guests, but I think that would be difficult to manage especially with kids around. Luckily for us, only Villa Shorea was occupied, so we pretty much had the whole resort to ourselves. We were very respectful to one another. By some unwritten code, we took turns getting into the infinity pool and we didn’t invade into each other’s privacy. I noticed though that the other guests were very curious to see my aunt going round taking loads of pictures of the resort and myself, so they asked the manager there whether if I was some sort of a celebrity. The manager played along and said yes, I was an artist from Singapore or Brunei haha 😀
Anyway, I head back to my villa for lunch, which Mr. Roslee and the other staff kindly prepared for us. There were a list of set menus available for me to choose prior to our arrival, and I picked the Sea Bass (Ikan Siakap) set which included white rice, sweet and sour sea bass, crackers, tofu beancurd in soy sauce, king prawns cooked in sambal and petai, and omelette.
Mr. Roslee preparing our lunch:
I was just wondering how to finish all this. I have a stomach as small as a tomato, but I ate a lot. The fish was very fresh and delicious, including the rest of the dishes. The only thing I couldn’t stand eating was petai. They were just too smelly! (and now you know I also don’t eat durian haha).
Flat laying our food. They were all absolutely yummy.
So after lunch, what’s next? Swimming! I know I shouldn’t swim straight away after eating, but the weather was pretty hot, and the pool looked so inviting… so yes, I caved and jumped straight into the pool. The depth of the water is only up to my neck, so if you can’t swim…well you don’t need to (unless if you’re smaller than 5ft2!)
The water was clean and beautifully cool. It was sourced from the waterfall in the forest somewhere (you would see this should you ever decided to go for jungle trekking, which we didn’t go because we were too lazy).
Thinking about my life as I soaked in the cool water, with the hot sun on my face, surrounded by trees <3
I quite like this shot for some reason. It looked like I had wings made of light 😀
Tea time! The manager Afiq got us the local kuih-muih for our afternoon tea. I particular liked the kuih keriya, it was very full of flavour (normally the ones I tried in KL tasted too much flour and less sweet potatoes).
This is Afiq. He was nice enough to entertain us for the whole day, and taking us out for a tour around the resort and the estate. Mr. Roslee also gave us another tour from his perspective the next day and I had a chance to explore the rooms in The Shorea Estate.
Overlooking The Shorea Estate. I was told that sunrise would be awesome from this view.
Taking a tour around The Shorea Estate! They have an edible garden (I saw chillis there and some herbs).
Isn’t the estate so pretty? 😀
Nighttime was also very stunning with dim lights illuminating the whole estate. I think the lights will automatically close at a certain time of the night, so you can still take a dip into the pool if it’s not too late.
My aunt took this picture during sunrise. I was blissfully asleep in bed, unaware of everything.
This is the library in the Shorea Estate. I could spend the entire day lounging on the sofa typing away on my laptop.
This is the living room of the most expensive villa in the estate: Rafflesia. It can fit like…8 people? This is a favourite amongst the VVIP people. They received guests such as Neelofa and Che Ta occupying the villa.
One of the rooms in Rafflesia I think (I’m losing track of the villas I visited haha).
Kitty! This cat was so friendly and adorable and I just wanted to hug it for the whole day. I wished I could adopt and take it home with me.
Our complimentary breakfast: traditional nasi lemak and ayam goreng, and a cup of coffee.
Overall, I had a really fantastic time. The staff were extremely helpful and friendly, and the food was also delicious. The only small thing that I would criticise was the heat. There was only a fan ceiling in our room and during the day, the heat could be unbearable to stay in the villa, hence why I spent most of the afternoon in the pool, or rest in other shaded areas like the communal kitchen. Nighttime was a lot cooler though, and I had to cover myself with a blanket to stay warm. I was surprised I didn’t get bitten as much! There should be an army of mosquitoes in the forest but I was hardly bitten (and insects normally loved to suck my blood -_-). Thank god for the mosquito net because there were other bugs that came in uninvitingly into the room. Wifi was terrible, but who cares? It’s a nature retreat, go back to nature! I would suggest if you are interested to stay in this resort, it would be more affordable if you guys go in a big group. Seriously, a lot cheaper and worth it.
A big thanks to The Shorea for making this trip beautiful and fun 🙂