Friday, 21 November 2014

【Penang Accommodation】The Hidden Retreat In Balik Pulau Not Known To Many | Malihom Retreat

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang
Malihom Private Estate at Balik Pulau

Click for Chinese Version

Few months ago, I have participated in Seeties Getaway Treat Campaign. And yes! The luck was on my side! I have won the campaign! The winner get to choose one out of the eight gorgeous hotels and enjoyed a 2D1N stay for free! Taking into account the transportation and location issue (but I was actually attracted by their nicely shot photos. XD), I have chosen to stay at the Malihom Retreat located at Balik Pulau. Thus, during last weekend, me and a friend have went to this beautiful place together and enjoyed the life of "rich people"!

Once we arrived, one staff came out and greeted us smiling. He asked us "Check-in?", then we said "Yes". He then went into the house and came out with two glasses of juices for us. Wow, I have never been treated so nice before! All the staffs at Malihom were all super friendly, just that it was a bit hard to communicate with them as I find myself having difficulty in understanding their English (they don't look like local, most probably are from Thailand).

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

Malihom was originally built as a family retreat, which the construction started in 2000 and took seven years to complete. It was opened to the public two years later (2009) after the completion. Basically, the idea of the Malihom's building came from the traditional Thai rice barn (which is the National Heritage nowaday). These rice barns are converted into one-bedroom 'villas' with modern comfort and each barn has a private garden or a deck.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

This is where we stayed on that day. The barn has two floors, the upper floor is the bedroom while the ground floor is the bathroom.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

Each and every barns has their own unique name. Our barn has the name "Sripatum", which means source of knowledge. There are altogether eight barns for rental. Below are their name and respective meaning.

Baanma | House in the Wood

Aloun | Sunrise

Khanun | Jackfruit

Dhamma | The State of Nature

Sankhara | Progress

Sanook | Happy Fun

Jhana | Concetration

Oh ya, Malihom itself actually has the meaning of 'village of the fragrant rice'.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

Each barn has their own unique design. Though Sripatum has a very small balcony, yet this is definitely the best place to see the sunset. The sun just sunk into the sea right in front of us!

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

Looking down from the balcony is the deck shared by three barns, namely Sankhara, Sanook and Sripatum.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

Each room is equipped with one refrigerator (with two bottles of water inside), one safe, one heater, one hair dryer and some coffee powder (the volume is available for two persons only).

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

There is a small toilet in the bed room. As shown in the photo above, it is really a super small toilet! I find it very inconvenient to change my cloth inside the tiny toilet.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

Basically, most of the space in the bedroom is occupied by the Queen size bed, so the bedroom is actually quite small that fits just two persons. That night, I was sleeping on the floor with the linen on it. My friend is actually a girl so it wouldn't be appropriate for us to sleep on the same bed (I mean we are not that kind of relationship).

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

Hibiscuses can be seen in various places in the bedroom and the bathroom. It made me feel that I was close to nature (though the fact the retreat itself in the jungle is already nature enough). The hibiscuses were blossom in the beginning but they wilted as the night approached.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

This is Sripatum bathroom (it is different from the photo provided in the Malihom website, most probably they have done some renovation work). Well, this is my first time bathing myself in a bath tub, and guess what? The next morning I was enjoying myself in the bath tub for an hour long! The round thing beside the bath tub is the place for us to wash our body, there is a big shower head on top of it.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

Bath tub with flower petals on it. For me, this kind of scene can only appear in a drama. I felt like I have become the drama protagonist the moment I bathed myself in the bath tub..haha.. Indeed, I felt relax when I closed my eyes lying down in the warm water.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

Same as hotels, body shampoo, hair shampoo, lotion, comb, razor and so on can be found in the bathroom, but too bad, they don't have toothpaste (I thought I can "steal" the toothpaste from them XD).

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

Three meals are included in the room rate. Originally, the lunch is provided for the take off day. However, I have things to do on that day so I called beforehand to change our meal to the first day during our arrival. The check-in time is supposed to be 2 PM but from the call I made earlier, the manager told me that our room is ready and we can check-in earlier. Thus, we made our departure earlier and reached Malihom on 1 PM sharp. After dealing with the procedure, the staff lead us to our room and then he asked for our lunch time. We decided to take our lunch on 2 PM so that we can have some time for us to prepare ourselves.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

The surrounding of Malihom are the barns for rental while the middle centers the reception, dining and living areas. The dining area is further divided into upper and lower floor and our lunch was on the upper floor. From there, we can see the city view and there is a small green pool right beside. Overall, the environment is great!

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

This is the appetizer for our lunch. Prawns!!! Oh gosh, out of so many things, why does it have to be prawns?! Anyway, despite my allergy towards seafood, I forcefully swallowed the three big prawns. Hmm, strange though, in the end nothing seems to happen to me, maybe all the allergy thingy from before were just my psychological effects? By the way, this is my first time peeling off the prawn's shell!

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

This is our main dish for the lunch, the duck. Earlier on when I called the manager, she said that I get to choose from salmon, chicken or duck for my lunch. I have chosen the duck as I feel that chicken is too normal and I don't really eat fish. As for how the duck tastes, personally think that it was normal only but the sauces they provided were definitely nice! The green one is quite unique in fact.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

After we have finished our main dish, the staff present us the dessert. This is the Malihom homemade lime cake. At first, the taste was kinda weird to me but after eating a few try, I started to get use to the taste and it actually tastes quite nice!

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

Once we have finished our lunch set, the staff came and asked us for our dinner time. He also politely asked us whether we are allergy to any food and whether we eat spicy food or not. Of all criteria, if the environment of Malihom came in the first place, then I would said that the second place will be their friendly staffs. Really, all of them are so nice and really care for you. The only thing you will ever see on their face is a happy smile!

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

The staff started to get ready for the dinner soon after the lunch time is over. We spent our time walking around and exploring different parts of Malihom.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

This is the green lake that I mentioned just now. It is located at the center of Malihom.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

The main area of Malihom is not that big actually. The distance between each building is quite near. Beside the dining area is the living room while the other side is the bar.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

This is the living room and should be the only place with WiFi connection. Though WiFi is available here, but don't put too much hope in it as the internet connection is quite unstable. Even if we get to connect to the WiFi, yet we practically cant load anything in the webpage. However, this might not be a bad thing at all, we should get away from the cyber world and enjoy the mother nature!

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

There are books available to read in the living room and there are some games and DVD as well.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

There is a tower behind the living room. This tower itself is actually made up of two toilets. It is quite unique, don't you think?

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

The whole Malihom and the Penang's view can be seen from above the tower. However, extra care is needed when come here at night as there is no light around it.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

Malihom has a massage room which provide the traditional Malay massage. If you wish to pamper yourself with the massage, you have to book it in advance. Please refer here for the details and prices of the massage.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

A friendly reminder by Malihom.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

The barns at Malihom are facing two different views respectively, one is the sunrise view and the other one would be the sunset view. These are the barns facing the sunset and they are closer to each other.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

This is the room facing the sunrise and the tenant get to enjoy the city night view as well.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

Some of the barns have their own hammock, too bad our barn don't have.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

However, Malihom do prepare a hammock for the public. When I saw this public hammock, I quickly lie on it, closed my eyes and enjoy the moment. I felt like floating in the mid-air, really nice! =)

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

There are two "bridge chair" not far from the public hammock. It is kinda an enjoyment to see the natural view from here. One bad thing is that this place has no light at all, so it is not safe to see the night view at here. It maybe a good idea if Malihom can light up some candles on both side of the bridge. It is quite romantic, don't you think?

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

Walking around Malihom was like walking in a big garden and this garden is planted with many rare plants that I have never seen before.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

The founder of Malihom is actually a Thai people. Thus, it makes sense to see the Thai Buddha statues at some part of Malihom. The fact is, the unique name of each barn was actually taken from the Thai words.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

This Thai Buddha head statue is located near the entrance. We also saw the other two Thai Buddha statues at the swimming pool.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

After finish exploring Malihom, we decided to take the walking trail as suggested by the Malihom manual. According to the manual, the walking trail is approximately 2 KM long and the walk will take about one hour. The map on the manual showed that the walking trail is actually just rounding the mountain. before we departed, we didn't do a double check on the route and we followed the route where we came from (which it is the opposite direction suggested by the map!). We walked along the path and we came to this fish pond.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

There is a gallery beside the fish pond. All these wood carving were the artwork by the Japanese wood artist, Katsumi Mukai. Though this land here is the property of Malihom, yet it still have some distance before we can reach our barn. Upon our arrival, we were supposed to wait here for the staff to pick us up, but we drove all the way up to the barn as we don't know that this is the waiting area.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

The road to the hilltop is quite a narrow one and it only allows one car to pass through at a time. Thus, Malihom has erected a traffic light at both the gallery entrance and the barn entrance to avoid cars going up and down at the same time. When the traffic is light up, it means that there is a car coming from the opposite way. When we arrived, we didn't noticed the existence of this traffic light and we went up to the hill without lighting up the traffic. Luckily there is no car coming from the opposite way. Well, we have decided to end our walking trail here as we have no idea which route to take further. On our way back to the hilltop, we started to feel regret as the route is actually quite steep. We had our hard time going up the hill!

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

We reached the hilltop at 5 PM something and we took a little rest in our room before we went to swim in this beautiful swimming pool. There is no lifeguard on duty so we have to swim at our own risk.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

By the way, the water in the swimming pool is freezing!

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

This is the edge of the swimming pool, where the water flow down like a waterfall. We spent about one hour in the pool and then we get up and bathed ourselves to welcome the sunset with our most comfortable condition.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

I wanted to bath myself in the bath tub but the sunset waits for no one, so I have to save the bath tub for tomorrow. By the way, do I look handsome in this bathrobe? XD

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

We see the sunset at the small balcony of Sripatum. The orange sun slowly went down to meet the sea and the colour of the sky changed accordingly. I must say, the view is truly breathtaking!

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

My friend told me that was her first time seeing a sunset, not to mention in such luxury place! Unfortunately, the sky were cloudy so we didn't get the chance to witness the moment the sun kissing the sea.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

We have our dinner at 7.30 PM. Once we were seated, the staff lighted up the candle on the table. The staff also ignited a mosquito coil beside our table so that our candle light dinner wont be interfered by the irritating mosquito.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

We were being served the Burmese food for our dinner. The dinner consists of chicken, beef, vegetables, preserved egg and soup and the quantity is enough to feed four persons! We like the Burmese food they served so we finished each and every dishes on the table with our stomach fully occupied.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

This is the dessert for the dinner, can you guess what is it? This dessert is actually an orange. We weren't sure about what are the slices on the top (cant taste it out, but probably is not the orange skin), but the one inside the cup is definitely the orange.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

After having our dinner, we chatted for a little while and then we went to the living room to play some games. Due to the unstable internet connection, we didn't managed to access the internet, and thus we went back to our room and called it a day. We woke up quite early in the next morning as we wanted to see the sunrise.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

Unfortunately, the sky was heavily clouded in that morning so we didn't get the chance to see the sun. It's fine though, at least we get the chance to see the sunset. :)

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

We have two choices for our breakfast, one is the western style breakfast and the other one is the Burmese cuisine. We were having the Burmese food the night before so we have decided to have a western breakfast. The photo shown above is the fruit with yoghurt.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

This is the scrambled egg that I ordered. It tasted normal to me.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

My friend has ordered this Basil egg. The egg is cooked together with the basil leaves and mushroom and the resulting taste is quite nice! Malihom do provide us some jams and butters for us to paste it on the toast.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

Though there are already plain water on our table, the staff still politely asked us whether or not we would like to have some coffee. Overall, I am quite satisfy with all the meals they served, but one thing that can still improve is the dining environment. There are actually flies flying around us when we were having our meal. Perhaps Malihom can install some anti-fly tools.

Malihom Balik Pulau Penang

After finished our breakfast, we chatted for a little while, enjoying the few minutes left of being a "rich people". We checked-out at 12 PM and bidding our goodbye to Malihom.

**********************

  Awards
(by Trip Advisor)
Top 10 Small Hotel in Malaysia
Top 25 hotels with Exceptional Service - Malaysia

  Address
Kiri N/t 168 Bukit Penara Mukim 6, Balik Pulau, Pulau Pinang

Contact
Phone/Fax:+604 2610 190
Mobile Phone:+601 2428 5191
Email:reservation@malihom.com

  Official Website
http://malihom.com/

Facebook Fan Page
Malihom Retreat




This post was originally written on 31 October 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

就是我啦 · It‘s Me

My photo

家在砂拉越,人在槟城。一名热爱自由,热爱探索的小伙子。不想被工作绑死的他立志成为一名流浪汉。随心所欲,自由自在,四处游荡的活着是他的生活方式。摄影是他的爱好,相机是他的伙伴,双脚是他的交通。他把生活上值得记录的小小故事拍摄下来,通过「我的故摄生活」与大家分享。这,就是我的故事,我的摄影,我的生活!

Born in Sarawak but live in Penang. A guy who love freedom, exploring and photography. A wanderer he is and he is still jobless. Just follow his heart and do whatever he want is his way of living. With just a camera and his two legs, he wrote his story via blog. This is his story, "My Life Via Lens". This is my story.

Google+ Followers

Tour Directions Penang