For a low-key stay, check-in at Sekeping Jugra in Old Klang Road. Eight sun-filled courtyards surround a quaint single-storey house built in the 1950s, and the semi-private living and work spaces are connected via narrow alleyways, gardens and courtyards. There’s a glorious pool too, and while it’s no infinity pool with a backdrop of gleaming skyscrapers, it’s a serene change. While the kitchen’s equipped for light cooking, you’ll definitely want to eat out sometimes; after all, you’re in OUG, land of good, unpretentious food. Make your way to Happy Garden’s Mun Kee during dinner for steamed fish head and then pop by Steven’s Corner later for cheese naan and deep-fried quail for supper. With these places located about ten minutes’ drive away, you’ve got your staycation meals sorted.
From RM200 per night.
Located in the small town of Hulu Langat, Taman Sari is a bed and breakfast for those who seek to escape the hectic city and recharge their batteries. Here, guests can choose from two different rooms, The Bothy or The Cottage. The Bothy provides more solitude as it’s located away from the main house. The unique thing about this room – which fits two people – is that the bedroom only has three walls with the fourth completely open, allowing you to wake up with a breathtaking view of the sunrise with the forest in the foreground. The Cottage on the other hand is a much larger space with its own kitchen, dining and lounge area, making it more suitable for families. Apart from relaxing in the garden surrounded with exotic plants and chickens running around, you can also take a swim at the nearby Sungai Gabai Waterfall.
The Bothy, RM350 per night; The Cottage, RM400 per night.
A staycation at Villa Kuang is similar to a balik kampung experience – you’ve got the wooden kampung-inspired house complete with a chicken coop and a goat’s pen right outside. However, Villa Kuang is more than just a kampung-styled bungalow; it’s an homage to Malay architectural heritage. Designed by award-winning architect Almaz Salma Abdul Rahim, the house was built with natural kempas, balau timber and stone salvaged from a palace in Kuala Lipis, Pahang. She also used decorative tiles found in old Melakan houses in the open air bathroom. Villa Kuang has three bedrooms and can accommodate up to six people, and the high ceilings in the living room combined with the large windows allow for maximum relaxation with a natural breeze. Plus, there’s a plunge pool outside to dip into.
From RM1,350 per night.
The slightly secluded location of Fraser Residence brings high-end comfort for a city getaway. Decor is simple yet sleek here: think contemporary wood and glass accents in common areas, hallways and rooms. Amenities-wise, units come with a sizeable kitchen, a microwave oven, a washing machine, an impressive home entertainment system, a spacious bathroom and more. Take a plunge into the outdoor pool that’s complete with a pool bar so you can knock yourself silly with drinks. But save some space for meals at Relish, Fraser Residence’s in-house restaurant that serves a menu that includes Western and local cuisines. When you’ve finally got your fill of relaxation while lounging around the serviced apartment, walk to nearby Quill City Mall for quick shopping trip, or cab it to ILHAM Gallery to catch an exhibition if you’re feeling artsy.
From RM310.50 per night.
If you want a relaxing weekend getaway but don’t want to stray too far from the city, The Signature Hotel & Serviced Suites in Desa Sri Hartamas fits the bill. Go for the Signature Suite, a spacious two-bedroom apartment good for groups of four. Entertainment’s sorted with a LED TV and an Android TV box so you can stay in all day catching up on your favourite shows. Wind down at the infinity pool with a view of the city skyline, or have dinner at Marta’s Kitchen, which serves excellent Spanish food. After dinner, explore the nearby Hartamas area and get scoops of alcoholic ice cream at The Ice Cream Bar, or if you’re looking for booze, walk along Jalan 27/70a and you’ll find a flurry of shops peddling alcohol such as Tree House and The Wine Poetry. Just remember not to throw any wild parties as that’s frowned upon here.
From RM220nett per night.
Picture this: a private retreat surrounded by a wraparound view of the verdant Kanching Rainforest Reserve, and it’s only a 25-minute drive from KL. Better still, this serene three-acre land can be exclusively yours, and yours only. The air is crisp, and the view, gasp-inducing – Templer Park Rainforest Retreat is such a hidden gem, offering the rare option of renting out the entire house complete with amenities such as an infinity pool, jet spa, semi-open kitchen and a viewing deck overlooking the majestic Bukit Takun. The two-storey house, built from Merbau and teakwood, consists of four bedrooms that can sleep up to 16 people at a time. Leave your iPod at home – snag one of their hammocks and let the soundtrack of rustling leaves as well as chirping crickets lull you to sleep.
Rates per night for first six guests: Sun-Thu, RM1,000; Fri-Sat, RM1,200.
The byword here is ‘stay for less’ but, boy, the three-storey Sebelas (also a co-working space) has many more perks up its sleeve: a swimming pool for you to cool off; a cushy reading area bathed in natural sunlight; and a rooftop deck for stargazing. If these don’t already spell ‘dream staycation’, the hosts at Sebelas throw a brunch session for all the guests on occasional Sundays. Our advice, arm yourself with a good read, and a fully-charged phone because every nook and cranny – decked out with minimalist furniture and industrial decor – is an Instagram opportunity. Bonus: Sebelas’s neighbour is the very cool Mario & Luigi. Nightcap, sorted.
Rates upon request.
Hulu Langat is a hot favourite among city dwellers, and understandably so. This oasis of green is swathed with thick forests and there’s no place better to soak in the laidback vibe than at Uluhati, a farm set amid the hills of Hulu Langat. Located just an hour’s drive from KL, the 2.8acres land is a huge draw for families who wish to enjoy the wilderness without committing to anything too extreme. Pitch a tent, pluck fresh fruits from Uluhati’s orchard, trek a mountain, go river rafting, or explore the grounds on a saddle (there are ponies for the kids too). If your body quits on you, put up at their Uluhati Lodge modelled after the longhouses in Sabah and Sarawak and call it a day.
RM150 per room per night; tents, RM30 per pax.
For a resort experience in the heart of KL, head over to Villa Samadhi, which operates on the ‘villa-in-a-room’ concept with contemporary, Asian-inspired accommodation. Depending on the villas you choose, this urban retreat offers an outdoor Jacuzzi, showers and private gardens, all essential to an upscale way of life. It’s hard to believe that the hectic city is just outside the gates, but at Villa Samadhi, it’s exactly the kind of thing you expect.