It is possible to experience a cold tropical Christmas in this part of the world in Southeast Asia – if you head to Cameron Highlands.

Earlier this month, I celebrated Christmas early at Cameron Highlands Resort in Malaysia, joining the heritage hotel for their annual Christmas Tree Lighting weekend from 11 to 13 November.

Cameron Highlands Resort

Cameron Highlands Resort

More details about the event is available in my previous post or on their official website. If you missed the event this year, the resort does this every year – be sure to book your accommodation early next time so as to join in the festive joy!

The gorgeous room that I stayed in:

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This year, there is the addition of a Christmas pop-up market to offer guests a spot of shopping, on top of a hearty Christmas feast, choir singing and other Yuletide festivities:

Christmas market

Christmas market

Choir carolling

Choir carolling

Christmas punch

Christmas punch

Personalised gingerbread cookies

Personalised gingerbread cookies

Christmas gifts on sale

Christmas gifts on sale

Stall selling plants and flowers

Stall selling plants and flowers

Colourful cactuses

Colourful cactuses

Gifts

Gifts

Handcrafted soft-serve ice creams

Handcrafted soft-serve ice creams

I bought one

I bought one

Gift hampers and cards

Gift hampers and cards

Chocolates and other tidbits

Chocolates and other tidbits

Strawberries

Strawberries

Jams

Jams

Chestnuts

Chestnuts

Honey

Honey

This was my favourite - strawberry Santas!

This was my favourite – strawberry Santas!

The heritage hotel which exudes old English charm experienced a Christmas makeover, featuring towering Norwegian Pine Trees adorned in glittering lights and ornaments, transforming it into a whimsical Christmas wonderland. Coupled with the cool climate, I clean forgot I was still in Southeast Asia and felt like I was transported to an utopian Christmas village in Europe for a beautiful, romantic celebration.

If you missed the Christmas lighting this year, be there next year to see for yourself how cool everything was. Check out some of the pictures I took of the resort’s Christmas transformation:

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Other than the beautiful decors and cool climate, there are lots of other wonderful things to experience at the resort.

Other parts of the hotel: cameron-highlands-resort-193 cameron-highlands-resort-191 cameron-highlands-resort-190 cameron-highlands-resort-145 cameron-highlands-resort-131cameron-highlands-resort-81 cameron-highlands-resort-71 cameron-highlands-resort-69

The F&B offering was quite delightful, starting with an outdoor steamboat dinner at the hotel, buffet-style:

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The resort also offers a wide menu selection for lunch and high tea, featuring fresh strawberries harvested fresh from the highlands:

Caesar salad with traditional condiments, cherry tomato and bacon

Caesar salad with traditional condiments, cherry tomato and bacon

Fresh, pure strawberries juice

Fresh, pure strawberries juice

Farmhouse-style chicken pie served with mash, peas, vichy-style carrot and mushroom cream sauce

Farmhouse-style chicken pie served with mash, peas, vichy-style carrot and mushroom cream sauce

Pouring on the sauce

Pouring on the sauce

Spaghetti Aglio Olio

Spaghetti Aglio Olio

Highland strawberries served with chocolate soil, chantilly cream and vanilla anglaise

Highland strawberries served with chocolate soil, chantilly cream and vanilla anglaise

Wagyu beef burger

Wagyu beef burger

Tomato soup

Tomato soup

Sweet and sour fish with rice

Sweet and sour fish with rice

Beef bolognese

Beef bolognese

Pudding with banana and vanilla ice cream

Pudding with banana and vanilla ice cream

High tea set

High tea set

Top tray

Top tray

Middle tray

Middle tray

Lower tray

Lower tray

Enjoying the taitai lifestyle

Enjoying the taitai lifestyle

Breakfast at the resort is buffet-style, with the option for a few ala carte orders as well. There are quite a few ways the kitchen can serve up your eggs in the morning:

Six ala carte options from the breakfast menu

Six ala carte options from the breakfast menu

Curry mee

Curry mee

Fishball noodle

Fishball noodle

Sunny side up with hash brown, sausage and baked beans

Sunny side up with hash brown, sausage and baked beans

Egg Benedict and omelette

Egg Benedict and omelette

Waffles

Waffles

Pancakes

Pancakes

Morning buffet spread

Morning buffet spread

Breakfast hall

Breakfast hall

My big breakfast

My big breakfast

If you enjoy nature, be sure to join in for the resort’s Jim Thompson Mystery Trail, named after the American businessman famed for his revival of the Thai silk industry and his mysterious disappearance in 1967. The trail was the location where the man was last seen. There are lots of interesting flora and fauna to see along the trail and the hotel’s designated guide is a fantastic storyteller, engaging with his tales of Jim Thompson myths, legends, facts and hearsay.

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For relaxation, the resort offers a luxurious spa experience at the award-winning Spa Village Cameron Highlands. You have to try their spa service if you are staying at the resort. This is one of the best spa treatment I have personally experienced and would give them a five star rating for the service and attention to details.

Prices for individuals start from RM235 for 50 minutes  to RM700 for 3 hours. I went for the 2 hours Rose Garden spa treatment, starting with a rose bath, followed by a body scrub and finishing with a full body massage.

Price list for the spa

Price list for the spa treatments

The treatment at Spa Village Cameron Highlands feature healing therapies based on produce sourced from the surrounding jungles and ancient tea rituals. This is combined with knowledge drawn from the Orang Asli, the indigenous people of the Malayan jungles.

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Circling back to the main events for the trip, the dinner leading up to the Christmas lighting was a formal, pretty affair, with the staff decked in their best suits, lined up to provide the best service and food offerings:

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The highlight for the trip was the Christmas lighting, officiated this year by Dato’ Mark Yeoh from the YTL Corporation. To make the occasion more memorable for guests, a guest at the resort was chosen from a random draw t

o join the Dato in launching the lighting.

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There you have it, a really beautiful early Christmas up Cameron Highlands at Cameron Highlands Resort. If you are interested to book a stay, visit the official website for more information.