Ever heard of that city in China which had the world’s major architectural landmarks built onto it? That’s what I thought when I heard of this French-themed resort in Bukit Tinggi, an hour drive away from Kuala Lumpur.
Personally, I don’t fancy visiting themed resorts but when I saw the pictures of the people who had been there, the call is hard to resist. A much needed break from work prompted me to spend overnight in Colmar Tropicale, a resort owned by Berjaya located 2600 feet above sea level on the hills of Bukit Tinggi. The resort is modeled after Colmar, the wine capital of Alsace in France, which is also a huge tourist draw in that part of the globe.
The travel is a convenient 1 hour travel from KL. I paid for the van service of the resort and the pick up point is in front of Berjaya Hotel along Jalan Imbi. A fee of 60RM is needed for the round trip which also includes the entrance to the resort.
Shortly before I arrived, I already saw the French castle from the base of the mountain. The hillscape was transitioning from tropical trees to pine trees. When the van eventually stopped, the familiar facade beheld before us like a carnival attraction.
It did look like in the pictures but let me describe how it looks like topographically. The village is shaped like a very long rectangle. There is a gate that resembles like a castle gate which leads you to the bricked alley with the Colmar themed hotel reception/lobby, restaurant or souvenir on the sides.
A few meters ahead is a fountain, in the center of what seemed like a town plaza – quite a huge activity area. After the fountain are more “houses” which are actually hotel rooms, and also some more restaurants and a bar. The alley ends with a tall bell tower on which you can climb to see the entire view of the village.
Gourmet or Not?
The resort has several eating places: La Flamme, which serves pizza and pasta; Le Poulet Roti, which serves Western and Malaysian chicken dishes; Boulangerie which is a bakery; Le Blason, and some obscure ones that I am not aware of. I had the chance to try La Flamme, Boulangerie and Les Blason so I’m going to talk about them here.
First of all, the food here is above average expensive (Tourist trap flag raised… ching!) and a bottle of 350ml water costs 5RM (ching! ching! ching! …) So bring your own water.
I had a dessert in Boulangerie and ordered an almond pie with brewed coffee. The taste was ok – texture, a bit dry. It does not even look appetizing but it costs a whopping 15RM. The brewed coffee tastes good though.
The food in La Flamme ranges from RM30 and above. At dinner, I ordered a chicken pesto cream pasta which tastes really good. So, I am not complaining on this one. The buffet breakfast that was part of the accomodation package is served by Le Blason which is also one of the restaurants in Colmar Tropicale.
For hotel standards, the food is quite average bordering to awful, actually. It’s not that bad but it’s something you wouldn’t want a second serving after. Hopefully the resort management could improve on this one.
I spent the late afternoon, strolling the grounds outside resort. It was decent and clean but not that well-manicured which is just fine as it gives you a rustic nature feel.
The resort spa, Le Chateau was just in front but as of writing it is closed for renovation. Le Chateau’s architecture resembles that of a typical French castle, making it looking huge and grandiose. Further down the road were Pine trees but nothing much to see afterwards. I went back to the resort before it got dark.
Aside from the French Village there is also a nearby Japanese Garden which is also worth the visit. Overall, my stay was pleasant. A good place for a change of scenery to freshen the senses, to break from the routinary urban lifestyle. My only qualm was the cost of food which is absurdly expensive. I might return here with some friends or with my family.
The best way to go here is having your own private car or rented van. But if you wish to commute, the only way is to avail of the van service offered by Berjaya Resorts. The round trip costs 60RM, which includes the entrance to the resort and the Japanese Garden.
For more details and contact information, you may view the site here.
How to avail of the van tickets
1. Make a reservation by clicking on the link above. A staff of Berjaya Hills will e-mail you asking for your preferred departure/arrival day/time. You may pay via bank transfer or bank deposit. Once they confirm your reservation, you may collect your tickets at Berjaya Resort office on the 8th floor of Berjaya Times Square along Jalan Imbi.
2. Go directly to Berjaya Hills office on the 8th floor of Berjaya Times Square. If your departure date is on Sunday, make sure to go/claim your tickets on Saturday as they are closed on Sundays .
3. Departure pick up point is in front of Berjaya Hotel, the far side, near to monorail.
One thought on “A French Town in Malaysia?”