Escape the city: 8 Nature resorts in Malaysia to unplug and unwind

Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city! We’ve put together a selection of 8 of our favorite nature resorts in Malaysia, all guaranteed to rejuvenate an overworked mind and body.
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Known for its bustling and vibrant city life, Malaysia hides a well-kept secret — it is home to some of the world’s best tropical nature retreats. Over two-fifths of the Malay peninsula is covered with tropical rainforests that feature a rich bio-diversity of plant and animal species. Reacquaint yourself with mother nature and indulge in these luxurious nature resorts in Malaysia. From delightful lodges nestled deep in the cool highlands to exciting wildlife reserves, we have curated some great picks for nature-lovers, adventure-seekers, and anyone simply looking to relax.

Nature resorts in Malaysia to unplug, unwind, and reconnect
Image by Iqx Azmi via Unplash

Malaysia is currently open to domestic travel where unrestricted movement between states is allowed. It is mandatory for all travelers to wear a mask in public spaces. Travelers are advised to keep up-to-date with changing restrictions on the ground. We recommend checking with our COVID-19 travel restrictions guide before embarking on your nature retreat.

We’ve carefully selected our 8 favorite nature resorts in Malaysia. Read on to find out where you can enjoy a gourmet dinner for two in a secret cave chamber or see a wild orang utan in its natural habitat.

East Malaysia

Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa, Sarawak

What we love about this resort: The resort’s focus on health and wellness will allow you to truly unwind and reconnect with nature.

This 5-star jungle resort is located just five minutes from Gunung Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built entirely on wooden stilts, three meters above ground, it is a true oasis nestled in the heart of a unique forested setting. Experience total comfort in one of their 188 rooms that overlook the rich surrounding jungles and the Melinau River.

During your stay at the Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa, discover Malaysia’s natural wonders by exploring Mulu’s vast cave system at the Gunung Mulu National Park. Try your hand at adventure caving — discover ancient river passages, stalactites and stalagmite towers, and the grand Sarawak chamber, the world’s largest cave chamber.

Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort, Sarawak

What we love about this resort: This is the perfect resort for anyone on a time crunch looking to book day trips.

The Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort is located in the lush rainforest of Lambir Hills neighboring the renowned Lambir Hills National Park. This tranquil resort is home to a diverse collection of jungle trees and insect species uniquely found in the Borneo rainforest. If you’re looking to splurge, spend a night in one of the resort’s luxurious chalets. Want to experience a more rustic side of rainforest living? Spend time in the authentic longhouse!

Refresh your mind, body, and soul in this lush green haven that is nothing short of exciting activities for all. The resort hosts a multitude of thrilling activities not for the faint-hearted – take a swing from the treetop hanging bridge or kayak to one of the nearby waterfalls. The resort also offers a water park set in the heart of the tropical rainforest, guaranteeing heaps of fun for the family.

Tabin Wildlife Resort, Sabah

What we love about this resort: A truly wild experience! The wonderful guides and rangers here will help you spot a variety of wild animals that call this reserve home.

This exclusive rainforest resort is located in Malaysia’s largest wildlife reserve. With a mission to preserve Sabah’s disappearing wildlife, the Tabin Wildlife Resort is dedicated to educating its guests on wildlife conservation through its unique Borneo safari experiences.

For all you thrill-seekers, the resort offers forest treks to mud volcanos, waterfalls, and even a three-day helicopter adventure for views of lush rainforests and mangrove swamps. The resort offers an array of wildlife packages including its 4-day Tabin Wildlife Safari where animals such as wild orangutans, civets, leopard cats, elephants, and many more can be spotted. At night, take a leap into the unknown on a night safari and be rewarded with rare sightings of enigmatic nocturnal animals.

Bungaraya Island Resort, Kota Kinabalu

What we love about this resort: It’s a beach and jungle vacation all packed into one!

This award-winning island resort offers a deluxe getaway in one of its 48 villas overlooking beautiful white sandy beaches. Located on Gaya Island off the coast of Borneo, this island resort is tucked away on a secluded hidden bay for the most elegant beach escape. Whether you are lounging on the beach or sipping a glass of wine at the Longhouse underground wine cellar, the Bungaraya Island Resort offers an oasis of calm.

Apart from its many wellness-focused amenities, Bungaraya Island Resort also provides guests with the exhilarating experience of zip-lining through the jungle, as well as an incredible canopy walk high up in the trees. End the night with a sunset cruise over the golden horizon as you complete your perfect weekend.

West Malaysia

Awanmulan, Seremban

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What we love about this resort: If in season, try some freshly ripened durians from the durian trees planted right outside your doorstep.

Awanmulan may be the smallest accommodation choice on our list but it is one of our top picks for exclusive hideaway resorts in the midst of nature. This destination prides itself on its outdoor living experience with its luxurious outdoor shower and private pool. The pool here is supplied with water from a mountain stream, making for a cool, refreshing swim.

Fuel your body at breakfast where nasi lemak, a local Malaysian dish, is delivered right to your doorstep in the morning. After your delicious meal, go for a hike in the jungle or swim in the nearby waterfall. You may go on your own or hire a local orang asli guide to take you but be sure to watch out for leeches!

Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya Resort, Pahang

What we love about this resort: Environmental conservation is a priority. The soaps here are made exclusively for the resort and are all purely organic and biodegradable!

An hour’s drive away from Kuala Lumpur, the Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya Resort is located 1,700 meters above sea level in the cool rainforests of Pahang. This gorgeous rainforest resort is excellent to truly escape civilization and be one with nature. In fact, it is only accessible via a 4×4 drive, making it a very secluded place for your retreat — but don’t worry, the resort provides transportation for easy accessibility.

With nature as its focus, Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya Resort aims to reconnect you with the natural environment. Situated just outside one of the resort’s 20 spacious and clean chalets is a river, offering a cool dip for anyone looking to enjoy nature’s own jacuzzi. This is as close as you can get to living in the jungle; a perfect escape for all nature-lovers!

Sinar Eco Resort, Johor

What we love about this resort: It’s family-run! The stay is homely, cozy, and great for families.

Adventure awaits at Sinar Eco Resort! Promising guests a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, the eco resort is dedicated to bringing people closer to the great outdoors.

Great for kids and adults alike, you’ll find a bevy of activities such as horseback riding, river kayaking, eco rafting, and ATV and buggy rides. To experience authentic farm life, try your hand at milking a cow, or feeding the many chickens, ducks, and goats on-site. The resort is also known for its warm hospitality and clean amenities, perfect for a quick getaway from the city!

The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, Perak

What we love about this resort: Exquisite amenities set in limestone caves that seem completely out of this world.

The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat is an integrated luxury and wellness spa resort tucked away in a sanctuary of limestone hills, pristine jungle, waterfalls, and naturally heated geothermal hot springs.

Banjaran takes luxurious to the next level by integrating its natural landscapes with wellness. Its healing thermal steam cave and peaceful meditation caves allow the experience of tranquility in some of Malaysia’s naturally formed limestone caves. For a perfect night out, dine at Jeff’s cellar, a 260-million-year-old cave converted into a bar that serves up gourmet cocktails and an exclusive dinner menu.

Thinking of traveling elsewhere? Check out our handy resource, The Ultimate Guide to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions, to remain up-to-date with COVID-19 travel regulations around the world.

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