My eyes feasted on the fascinating picturesque half timbered style houses with colourful array of flowers hanging in the windowsill. Am I in the beautiful city of Colmar in Alsace? Where Germanic and French architecture are combined to make the city lovely? Mon Dieu! I wish I was but I was referring to Colmar Tropicale – a French theme resort situated in Berjaya Hills formerly Bukit Tingi in Pahang. France is my dream country and ever since I am a little girl I collected Eiffel tower stuff or anything that has something related to France. When I received an offer to work in Malaysia, the first thing that came to my mind was where the hell I can go aside from the infamous Petronas Towers. So I did a little research and I’ve seen a lot of attractions on the web. In fact a vast of tourist spots which I am unaware of because in the first place, Malaysia wasn’t part of my bucket list. One of the attractions I’ve seen online that caught my attention was “Colmar Tropicale” for one obvious reason, it looks like Colmar France.
Despite the bad reviews I read online, I still booked a superior room through Agoda. I enlightened myself that I need to see the resort first before I conclude that it’s really a horrible place. It wasn’t! To be honest, it is something that you can’t think that it’ll ever exist in a Muslim country like Malaysia. It’s charming how this resort stands out on the top of the forest in Berjaya Hills. Me and my partner headed to the receptionist area to check in, we were greeted by Gregoria – the friendly receptionist. “Ma’am pwede na po kayo mag check in, actually yong check in time is 2:00 Pm pa po, pero since available naman po yong room. Pwedeng pwede na.” we were suprised and so happy to be assisted by such a nice Pinay. She told us that there are several Filipinos working in the resort. She also provided us the instructions on how to get to our room and if we get lost, we can just refer to the Map she gave us. They got an A for the early check-in.
We were able to find our room with the help of a Filipino guy which I totally forgot his name. The superior room looks average, the floors are made of wood, comes with twin bed, one table, a small TV, a toilet with a little rust on the bath tub, towels but no disposable slippers and one window overlooking to the square. I didn’t mind the rust on the bath tub and sink since I am not really choosy when it comes to room. The only down part for me in the hotel was probably the wifi, there was wireless connection available but it was not free and I did not bother to ask the charges. Actually I didn’t care if there is no wifi as long as I have 3G so I can work on my time sheet online but unfortunately at that time there was no 3G detected in any areas of the resort.
We walked around the square and stepping on the cobble-stone streets with a great view of the tudor style houses feels like we were in Europe. The small canal with white and black swans makes it more delighted to the eyes. There were restaurants with french names on it. We had roasted chicken with mixed herbs with black pepper sauce and butter rice at Le Poulet Roti served by a Filipino Guy named Marvin. We did a little chitchat and he advised us to take the free shuttle to Japanese Village. Marvin can’t spend too much time talking to us because there were bunch of people waiting for him to take their orders. There were some stage presentations in the square while we were eating. We thanked Marvin and headed to Japanese Village. I think the Japanese Village deserve a separate post.
The french theme buildings looks romantic at night. It was drizzling and a bit cold that night. It was midnight when we hunted for food to eat, I know it was too late to crave for something meaty and spicy and i couldn’t blame myself for engaging into short naps that leads to oversleeping and totally missed our midday meal. We checked almost every restaurants but most of them were closed. Just when we were about to give up, a guy suddenly realized what we were looking for. “Makan Makan?” the local guy asked. My eyes were like full of sparkling diamonds when I heard the word. I understood what Makan Makan is because it is widely used in our little town in Cyberjaya. Makan means Eat in Bahasa. Horay! Le Bistro saved our hunger stomach. There were only few food to select because they were about to close too! The only available that time that enticed me was the Thai crispy chicken with beef/chicken satay, mixed veggies and a nazi goreng rice with sunny side up egg on top of it. Again, we met another Filipino Guy, his name was Roland. Gregoria was right! There were a lot of Pinoys in the resort and most of them were really very friendly and helpful. That night was stomach overload!
The next morning, we redeemed our free breakfast buffet at Le Bistro. We then checked out the pool area, they provided us towels after we wrote our names and our room number. It was a typical pool but the pastel colorful houses background makes it look special. We dipped unto the pool and spent a couple of hours there to kill time. There wasn’t much to do there anymore. The resort is just small and there were sports like flying fox but we weren’t on the mood. We leisurely walked along the Le Chevalier building just across Colmar Tropicale. It’s a brick building with parking lot at the second floor. The parking lot looks nice though. Then stroll unto the threshold to “Chateau” a spa and organic wellness Resort but unfortunately we can’t get inside for sightseeing because only guest are allowed to enter. I like the design, its like a lovely castle in the middle of the forest.
We kept on walking and walking until our feet gave up. Our van schedule to depart to KL should be 6:00 PM but we were bored already and we agreed to go back to KL at 2:00PM, good thing the driver has only one passenger at that time. Will I ever go back to Colmar? Of course yes. On a day tour only! I realized i dont need to spend the night there as there isn’t much to see. Colmar for me is a heaven for those who wants to feel the european vibe. It is also a place for great photo Ops. Visit Colmar Tropicale, experience it’s france like themed building, it’s definitely a nice get away and only 45 minutes from the metro! If you don’t want to spend big bucks for the room. A day tour will do! I’m sure you’ll love it. 🙂
How to get there?
From Berjaya Times Square Hotel (right side), take a 45 minute ride via shuttle van to Colmar Tropical. I suggest you purchase the ticket the day before your desired date because when we purchase the ticket it was fully booked.They only allowed 9 persons in the van. Tickets are available at Berjaya Times Square Mall Colmar tropical office at level 8. Two way ticket is 55 Ringgit. You can take the 9:00 Am trip or 2:00PM trip. The van left 15 minutes before departure so make sure to come early.
WHAT TO EXPECT?
– This is great place for photographers. More photo opportunities.
– the food is expensive, normally starts with 24 ringgit excluding drink and tax, you might consider bringing your own food.
– I suggest to take a day tour instead of spending a night there. There isn’t much to do and you can tour the whole place within a day.
– If you are getting a room, request for new room as most of the rooms are old.
– Expect some rust on the sink/bath tub.
– Wifi is not free
– The Free shuttle to Japanese Village is every 45 minutes. Set your alarm.
– You can rent a 20 ringgit Kimono dress at Japanese Village
– There are outdoor activities like horse back riding, flying
fox and the like. You may check out Colmar Tropicale.