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MERLIN INN
 

Cameron Highlands Resorts
Merlin Inn
Ye Olde Smokehouse
Heritage Hotel
Cameron Highlands Attractions
Old Route: Tapah-Ringlet
New Route: Ipoh-Kg. Raja
Sg Palas Tea Plantation
Boh Tea Centre
Brinchang Tea Valley
Mt Brinchang
Strawberry Farm
Kea's Farm
Cameron Golf Course
Bharat Tea Plantation
Brinchang Town
Tanah Rata Town
Ringlet Town
Sultan Abu Bakar Lake

 
 
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LOCATION:
After the town of Tanah Rata, or 10 minutes before the town of Brinchang. The hotel is located in front of the Cameron Golf Course.

Note: This review was done when the establishment was still known as Merlin Inn, operated by Faber Group Bhd, which has since went under liquidation. Now, the establishment is known as Cameron Highlands Resort operated by the prestigious YTL Group.

DESCRIPTION:
The hotel stays away from the ubiquitous English-inspired design which prevails throughout the highland towns of Ringlet, Tanah Rata and Brinchang (which can be somewhat lame). Rather, Merlin Inn opts for a more European-inspired touch. Nonetheless, the lobby and the lounge looked fairly English with a fire place, extensive wooden furniture and red brick walls.

The hotel itself is located some 1,600-meter above sea-level, providing the area with cool and crisp air. My room did come with heated water, but there was neither room heater nor air conditioner, which you will need neither anyway. The temperature was fairly cool in the area, with occasional mists and drizzles.

The Inn seems to have a swimming pool which was covered with canvas for some reason - perhaps because of the seasonally cool weather. My morning breakfast was served at the hotel's only café - a nice dining place with views of the surrounding greenery and the golf course.

Basic information on the re-branded Cameron Highlands Resort by YTL: The hotel has been extensively refurbished to become a boutique resort. The number of rooms was reduced to 56 units only, inclusive of suites. As a result, each room is definitely more spacious than the previous Merlin Inn. To give you an idea, the Deluxe Room measures at 410 sq ft which almost like a normal studio size that comes with either king- or twin-sized poster beds. Yes, timber-strip floors are included (as opposed to Merlin Inn's regular carpeting). For bigger rooms, the resort offers either 2-bedroom Suite (670 sq ft), Junior Suite (555 sq ft) and Jim Thompson or Cameron Suites (both at 825 sq ft with two bedrooms). Now there are four F&B outlets in the resort, as compared to two outlets in Merlin Inn. Cameron Highlands Resort features the Dining Room, Jim Thompson Tea Room, Gonbei (a Japanese restaurant) and the Highlands Bar. Official rates are quoted in USD, which probably to make the price looks "affordable" in foreign currency terms. Deluxe Room goes for USD200++ per night, Junior Suite (USD230++ per night), 2-Bedroom Suite (USD380++ per night) and Cameron / Jim Thompson Suite (USD560++ per night). If you really want to know the rates in Malaysian Ringgit, it is about RM800 per night to stay here, so it is probably out of range for many.

REVIEWED ON:
Jan 2004

MY VERDICT:
A surprisingly nice hotel for the cool weather and the highland attractions. Great European-inspired architecture.

MY RATING:

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