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Planters Country Hotel & Restaurant
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Reviews (344)
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Reviewed 28 July 2007

Every room in the Bala's Holdiay Chalet has similar problems: bad ventilation, musty smell of old furniture, damp bed linen and carpet.
All rooms are not air-conditioned and most of the rooms are old and run down.
As the windows are just next to the bed, we didn’t feel safe to leave the windows opened while we were sleeping. Walkway is just outside the windows, you can hear everyone walking outside while you are trying to sleep. Not only the musty smell in the room made us difficult to fall into sleep, the loud chanting from the loudspeaker of the nearby mosque at 5 to 6.30 a.m stole our precious sleep.
The above are what every guest must experience in Bala’s. But we had some more frustrations during our stay. The electricity power of the whole chalet chipped off three times during our one day stay. Throughout the night, we had no power supply. At one time, cooking gas leaked into our room for a while.
In the chalet, the only two areas you can roam around are the garden and the tea house where you can be charged with expensive tea and scones, RM19 for one person. Cleaning was the excuse for not letting the guest to stay in other areas, such as the lobby (lobby?? I can’t sit there? I can’t believe my ears!) and the library where the floor is warping and it may collapse any time.
On top of that, the service attitudes of the owner and the managers of the place are bad. They are commanding their guests rather than serving. I regretted very much not to forfeit the deposit and spent one night there. For twenty years of travelling experience, Balas chalet is the worst place that I have ever stayed.

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2  Thank pingapple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2007

I was so looking forward o my holiday in the highlands and staying at this wonderful sounding hotel. The website enchanted me with images of cosy log fires, fresh cream scones, beautiful rooms, views, and friendly staff.
I have never been so disillusioned in my life.
The fun started on arrival when we were told we could stay in the superior room we had actually booked, or pay more for a deluxe room. That's strange, we thought. So we thought ok let's go deluxe. We paid another 40 rm a night and were taken to our 'deluxe' room'. It was utterly disgraceful. Small, damp with a ceiling covered in mildew. The television was tiny and might as well not have been there as there were only 4 channels with poor reception. The shower was a hand shower and a bucket!!!. The hotel is next to a mosque which starts wailing at a very early hour of the morning and goes on for ages. The room is freezing at night as there is no heating, just damp blankets.
The restaurant was very poor value indeed with the scones that we ordered far from being 'the talk of the town' as advertised on their website, but stale and with a cheap jam and pathetic excuse for cream.
I tried to confront the manager about this but he just stood in front of me, folded his arms and with a huge smile just kept saying 'yes I know, yes I know' He then said that we were racist foreignerswho did not understand his culture and that we thought we still ruled the world!!! I was so shocked at this tirade but felt I couldn't do anything as he is such a big man.
The only plus point about the place is the garden, which is quite relaxing. The rest of the hotel is an utter disgrace.

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
6  Thank Bryan_Bannister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2007

We are 2 friends who decided to escape the heat of KL and visit Cameron Highlands for a weekend. On recommendation from friends, we found Bala's Holiday Chalet and decided to stay for the night. We do not regret this decision. The hotel, which is built in traditional British Tudor style, is beautifully located with an excellent view, a great English Tea Garden where afternoon tea with scones are served. The rooms we had were large, very clean and with a small "garden" outside from where we could enjoy the view. The restaurant was typical English and was even equipped with a fire place. The food was quite English but we have tasted better. This is was really our only negative experience but still rate the Hotel as excellent. It was well worth RM220 per room/night.
Harald(Norway)

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank brutusOslo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2007

The situation and initial appearance of this hotel are wonderful. After that it's all downhill. Our room was damp and the en suite shower room comprised a toilet, washbasin, handshower and bucket. Yes, bucket. The bucket came in very handy when my husband was taken sick with food poisoning shortly after eating undercooked chicken in the hotel's British India restaurant. The manager showed no interest in our complaint nor sympathy for the distress we'd been caused and even had the temerity to add the cost of the chicken meal to our bill. Subsequent discussion had this removed.
This manager gives Basil Fawlty a bad name.
It's such a pity because the setting is stunning but the hotel looks worn out; the room towels were ragged and threadbare, the bedding was ancient and grey, the bedroom carpet was stained and ill-fitting. All in all it's a waste of a good opportunity.

Stayed: February 2007
3  Thank Woolywanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2007

On a 3D2N trip to Cameron Highlands, a group of three other friends and myself selected Bala's Holiday Chalet as our choice of accomodation, after reading and hearing about it offering an English-countryside, French-Colony style atmosphere.

1. SERVICE

Almost non-existent. The service crew, including the owner, Mr Bala himself, seriously needed a crash course in service etiquette as well as basic courtesy.

Arrived at the hotel at around 10.00a.m. Even though there were rooms available, we were told curtly by the owner that "check in is only at 12noon".

We asked if we could wait around the dining area for our rooms, but subsequently got chased out because they didn't want us lurking around the area while they did their cleaning

Thus, we were forced to roam around the hotel exterior - which was beautiful, I must add. But one can only roam around the beautifully-designed but SMALL landarea for some time before getting sick of it all. After all, this was a two hour wait we are talking about.

After the painful wait, we headed back to the reception at 12 sharp, but were again told to wait further because according to them, "our room was not ready". Just as we were about to head to the sitting room for the remaining wait, we were chased out by another staff member, who claimed that they needed to clean up.

On the whole, the staff there are unsmiling (what a lovely welcome - sarcasm induced), curt, and downright rude. They walked around with stoic, overconfident expressions that seemed to imply that it is a priviledge to be served by them.

2. THE ROOM

a) FURNISHING

We reserved and checked into a ramily room which provided only the basic necessities a room should have.

The beds were dusty, and a musty smell lingered in the room. The wooden floorboards creaked, some parts of which were sticky. The carpets were stained but (thankfully) were not smelly.

The towels were stained - which made me regret not bringing my own towel because I needed to save space in my baggage. I had no other choice but to still use it anyway.

We had a very small television in our room which is only about the size of my computer screen - and provided a grand total of four channels only. My group and I had to contend with the HBO channel for all three days of our stay there.

Room provided basic coffee and tea making facilities - normal for every hotel I've been. So it was nothing special. Although I was surprised that it was there considering how run-down the room was.

Cupboard was dusty, as if it hasn't been used for aeons. Hangers provided were in various colours, and were the type that are sold in neighbourhood stores in bundles. Some of the hangers were in very bad shape - bent and rusty.

No central heating system - so the room has a tendency to become very very cold especially in the middle of the night. The blankets provided were insufficient and so I had to pile on layers of jackets just to keep myself warm.

Rooms weren't soundproof either, so it was easy to get disturbed by the screams of the kid in the room next door. Likewise, they banged at our walls continuously, yelling at us to keep the sound of the television down when it's volume was already nearing it's minimum.

And OH MY GOODNESS - the toilets.

b) TOILETS

Cobwebs dangled from the ceiling, the sink was small to an extent that it was impossible to balance my toothbrush, toothpaste and soap on it's edges - even more so with three other people in the room.

The shower hose was faulty. For some reason, the hot water supply seems to be getting clogged up quite frequently - so one minute, you are having a nice warm shower as a reprieve from the cold air outside. Suddenly, all the hot water disappears, leaving icy cold water gushing out from the hose - leaving a screaming girl in the bathroom.

My sinus condition was aggravated because of this.

Additionally, the water supply seems to be shared among several rooms. So as long as another guest in a nearby room is utilizing the shower, only a trickle of water comes out from our hose - which can be very frustrating especially when there are four people in the room waiting to shower.

3. THE DECOR

The decor of the place was very much worth it. There were beautiful landscaped gardens almost everywhere we looked, lined with colourful flowers and beautiful fauna. The chirping of the birds added on an already pleasant atmosphere.

The interior of the dining room was tastefully furnished. The lamps that dangled above added on a rather romantic feel to the dining area. A fireplace sat in one corner, and the furniture looked as though it was made from rather expensive rosewood. It is such a pity that the staffs' attitude did not complement the place's atmosphere well at all.

The reading and tea rooms looked ordinary - like my grandmother's living room, if I want to make a direct comparision. The seats and tables were dusty and so, I was unable to remain in there for long without sneezing.

On the whole, Bala's Holiday Chalet looks rather majestic from the outside, but lacking very badly on the inside - especially when some of it's facilities and (especially) the guest rooms are concerned.

Then again, considering the price - you pay peanuts, you get monkeys, so why am I not surprised?

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank brendalogy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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