Tiarasa Escapes at Janda Baik only opened for business in May, and was overwhelmed by the response from the guests. Booking a stay during the early days was difficult, and when I did finally manage to book our stay for mid-July, I felt like I’d won the lottery. With only 26 units for rent (a fact l learned after we checked in), I can empathise with the difficulties they had at the beginning.

Our drive to Tiarasa Escapes took us 40 minutes from town. We used Waze to guide us but once you reach R&R Genting Sempah (the one with the stand-alone McDonald’s), there are signs to guide you to Tiarasa Escapes (the old fashioned way!). Upon arrival, you feel like you’re in another world, secluded and serene. As our stay was during the week, there were only three other families at the resort!

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I was greeted by name at the reception as I’d done an online check-in and they were expecting us. I had booked us into a Hornbill tent, which has an extra living area with a sofa bed. It was fab! Clean, comfy and luxurious. The tent comes with an en-suite bathroom, has mosquito netting, electrical and USB outlets, ceiling fans and a portable a/c.

Unfortunately for us, the electrical outlets in our tent didn’t work (as the compound was currently running on generators apparently) so we had to swap tents. We got one further in and facing the stream, that turned out to be even better because of it’s location: it was quieter and more private!

 

I simply love the fact that they have Malaysian entertainment – congkak, Lepak Game and Kampung Boy in the tent. My boy and I went multiple rounds on the congkak throughout our stay.

While the staff was sorting out our change of tents, our boy hit the pool. There are two pools connected by a mini slide. The pools are more wading pools, but that didn’t stop him from spending the rest of the afternoon in them.

Their tea by the stream – picnic style, which is included in your stay, is a marvellous affair. Everything was laid out perfectly for you to while the hours away. Tea time snacks were decidedly local flavours, (teh tarik, keropok and popiah) which were truly my cup of tea!

 

On our first night, we opted for a BBQ dinner by the pool instead of having it privately at our tent (which would’ve meant that I’d have to cook our dinner). The BBQ is an add-on option not included in your stay. The meal came with a few BBQ meats (chicken, sausage, meatballs, beef) on top of pasta, fried rice, mashed potatoes and fruit. The dinner was alright, nothing to shout about. For MYR80 per adult and MYR45 per kid, you’d be better off eating out. There wasn’t an option to top up the BBQ meats.

After our meal, they lit the bonfire and the kids got to toast marshmallows! Though we did find the skewers provided weren’t long enough to get the job done as the heat from the bonfire kept you from going near enough to it to toast your marshmallows properly. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop the kids from having fun and who says marshmallows have to be toasted to be eaten anyway? Haha!

 

As we turned in for the night, it was really cool and we didn’t use the a/c (though when the sun’s out and blazing, we couldn’t do without it in the tent). Mornings here are the same. Cool and refreshing. No a/c needed.

Breakfasts (included in your stay) here are simple, but oh so lovely. They send them to your tent in baskets and the food are local favourites too, with cereals, juice and milk for kids. Having breakfast sitting out on our little patio, inhaling fresh clean air, hearing the birds chirping and being so close to the babbling brook, it was such a great way to start our days.

They offer a bird and nature walk which last between 30 – 45 minutes within the compound in the mornings after breakfast. Everyone (including kids) were given a binocular to use while on the walk which made our boy super excited.

I have to say the best part of Tiarasa Escapes was the Moonlight Cinema. As we didn’t want the BBQ dinner again, we drove out to get a takeaway a meal so that we could have dinner and watch the movie at the same time. When we got back, it was so lovely to see that they had laid out a mat, complete with cushions and throws, along with crockery and cutlery for us! As we were the only guests (the other families had already checked out on our second day there) we got our pick of movie. After our meal, a staff came along with a bowl of freshly made popcorn! Watching a movie out in the open, under the night sky was such a splendid way to end our night.

Tiarasa Escapes is truly luxurious glamping at its height and we had a fantastic stay. As the resort isn’t fully operational yet (a restaurant’s coming up so that they can provide meals on site other than breakfast, tea and the BBQ dinner and arts & crafts sessions too, is on hold) they’re offering 30% off for stays from now until December 2018.

Tips:

  • As the restaurant isn’t ready yet, they have extremely limited wine (a bottle of red) and beer (only Carlsberg) options on site. So if you intend to imbibe, do bring along your own.
  • Bikes and scooters are great for the kids to ride on to get around the compound so bring them along if you have the space.
  • Nets (to catch fishes in the stream) and magnifying glasses (for exploring) would be great to keep the kids occupied too.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen and mosquito/bug repellent (though strangely enough, I didn’t see any mosquitoes but plenty of other insects and bugs).
  • Plenty of food options just a mere 5-10 minutes drive away. Check out TripAdvisor for options.

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