With so many long weekends this year, there can only be one more thing left to do – to plan quick getaways. The weekends are probably not long enough for anyone to go far, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a mini holiday to unwind and just catch up with yourself. Or, you know, with a loved one, or friends, or family. You get the drills. As such, we’ve found a few places that are optimum for you to do just that, ranging from the secluded resorts surrounded by greenery to the quaint little gems within civilisation. Best of all, these places are mostly within reach as you can get to them by car!

You ready for some R&R? Here are our “totally zen” picks:

1. Villa Samadhi

Villa Samadhi
Source: Villa Samadhi

One of Kuala Lumpur’s best kept secrets! Hidden within an upscale neighbourhood and discreet from street view, Villa Samadhi feels more like one big private villa rather than a boutique hotel. The entire residence is designed to look and oriented to evoke, in all essence, your own private villa in the city. Its modern-Asian design and ambiance makes it a unique boutique residence. Hence, be it a holiday retreat for those from afar or just a special weekend getaway, a long-term or temporary stay for those on business, Villa Samadhi is the holiday home away from home, located only 10 minutes from the vivacious parts of KL city centre, like KLCC and Bukit Bintang.

For more information, visit their website.

2. Calanthe Artisan Loft

Calanthe Artisan Loft
Source: Calanthe Artisan Loft

A natural home concept for “home away from home”, the Calanthe Artisan Loft in is a place where tourists are just as comfortable and contented as if they were at home. The loft is fully furnished and self contained, with self-service comfort and privacy with one mezzanine bedroom plus beans beds at ground floor of AV room. Best of all, it is located right in the heart of the Historical City of Malacca, at Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Heeren Street) and within a walking distance to the UNESCO Historical Sites. In fact, the highly talked about Chinatown with night market of Jonker Walk, shopping, and entertainment districts are right at its doorstep!

For more information, visit their website.

3. The Shorea

The Shorea
Source: The Shorea

The Shorea is an architect’s family retreat, built within a tropical forest reserve. Its secluded villas are set on natural terrains, with meandering paths leading down to a jungle stream, a waterfall within the Berembun Forest Reserve; it is the ultimate forest getaway. The name “Shorea” is a genus of about 196 species of rainforest trees which include Balau, Chengal, Merangti, Keruing, etc. The resort is constructed by using mainly the shorea timber species which is sourced locally. Most of the resort is also constructed using recycled shorea timber, including main roof beams, timber pillars, staircases, balustrades, and timber bridge.

For more information, visit their website.

4. 45 Lekiu

45 Lekiu Malacca
Source: 45lekiu.com

45 Lekiu puts a modern spin to the concept of guesthouses by offering a luxurious accommodation with a distinctive design sensibility dedicated to you alone. The guesthouse draws its inspiration from the rich tapestry of Malacca and captures everything Malacca stands for – heritage, culture and history. Located in the heart of Malacca’s UNESCO World Heritage site, the 1941 pre-war art deco building has been painstakingly restored into a stylish abode epitomising a “new luxury”. Generous in size and stylish in every detail, the breathtaking environment offers an inspired fusion of beauty, luxury and comfort with a haphazard combinations of contemporary pieces and centuries-old furnishing, subtly textured brick walls, luxurious bathroom, and a soothing lap pool.

For more information, visit their website.

5. The Banjaran Hotsprings

Source: The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat
Source: The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat

Got dough to splurge and ultimate relaxation in mind? Head on over to The Banjaran Hotsprings retreat in Ipoh. Set against limestone hills, The Banjaran provides a peaceful wellness retreat with its geothermal hot springs and a naturally heated swimming pool. A steam cave and ice baths are also available. As for the accommodation, well, the spacious villas come with a private pool and outdoor hot tub. The spacious living rooms are also equipped with a 40-inch LCD TV and free Wi-Fi (not sure why you’d be needing Wi-Fi here though). Butler services and in-villa spa treatments can be arranged. Believe it or not, the retreat is only a 15-minute drive from Ipoh city.

For more information, visit their website.

6. Ren I Tang

Source: Ren I Tang
Source: Ren I Tang

Ren I Tang is the result of a 2 year long restoration project on a 19th century Early Straits Eclectic Styled Building located within the core zone of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Penang Island: Malaysia. Located at the junction of China Street and Penang Street, the building now hosts a variety of activities as well as its beautiful heritage inns. Its prime location also means that many of Penang’s attractions are just around the corner such as the Kwan Yin Temple, Mariamman Kuil, Tua Pek Kong Temple, China St Art Gallery, Penang Peranakan Museum, and Penang Heritage Trust. And of course, in true Penang epicurean culture, food is an abundance and just a stone’s throw away from Ren I Tang. Also, while you’re there, you may want to check out these other Penang hidden gems 😉

For more information, visit their website.

7. The Dusun

Source: The Dusun
Source: The Dusun

A 12-acre orchard resort on the edge of the undisturbed Malaysian tropical rainforest, The Dusun is an hour from Kuala Lumpur and its airports, but it sure does feel like a world away. It’s located 800 feet above sea level in the foothills of the Titiwangsa Main Range, so you can expect cool and quiet nights. Next door is the Berembun Forest Reserve, which is 4,000 acres of protected virgin forest rising to 3,900 feet. From as low as only a few hundred ringgit a night, you can opt to stay at one of their beautiful “houses” e.g. Berembun, Perling, Tembusu, Emas, or Sora, and be one with nature for a long weekend.

For more information, visit their website.

8. Bamboo-Village

Source: Bamboo-Village
Source: Bamboo-Village

The Bamboo-Village in Hulu Langat embodies resort-style made of bamboo somewhere in the jungle near the KL city centre. Whether you’re a traveler or on a business trip, or just on a little weekend getaway, the accommodation offers comfort and convenience in the arms of nature minus the long hours of travel. The Bamboo-Village has a selection of bungalow, cottage, dorms, and event tents complete with standard hotel amenities and facilities such as Wi-Fi (in public areas), refrigerator, shower, complimentary bottled water, and more. It’s the perfect quiet retreat to “disengage” from the hustle and bustle of the city.

For more information, visit their website.

9. Awanmulan

Source: Awanmulan
Source: Awanmulan

Awanmulan is a collection of small homes in the hills located in Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan which is an ideal getaway from the bustling Kuala Lumpur located only 2 – 3 hours’ drive away. A sanctuary in the hills, the houses on stilts sit on a hill slope overlooking a lush valley and surrounded by hills of green forests. There’s really nothing much to do at Awanmulan except to sit here upon the wooden deck and watch the rain come in over the hills and the mist that rises from the valley below, or lounge by the pool or go for a dip in the refreshing river pool, piped directly from the upstream river in the forests, or watch the beautiful sunsets over the Straits of Malacca light up the sky in hues of red and yellow. It’ll entertain you for hours in its therapeutic movements.

For more information, visit their website.

10. Taman Sari

Source: Taman Sari
Source: Taman Sari

For city slickers, being in the city 24/7 can be horribly mundane and because of that, a quick getaway for a breath of fresh air can quickly change things up after a stressful week. Venture 45 minutes’ drive away from Kuala Lumpur and you’ll find yourself an oasis of calm at Taman Sari in Hulu Langat, with fresh air and greenery to recharge you, mind, body and soul. At Taman Sari, they offer a unique retreat experience with bed and breakfast for those who love open air, gardens, and a natural environment with a breathtaking view. The retreat is located close to a village where time has almost stood still, where you can sample local cuisine in the village or go exploring the rivers and waterfalls that are famous with city folk during the weekend.

For more information, visit their website.

11. MaliHom Private Estate

Source: MaliHom Private Estate
Source: MaliHom Private Estate

The MaliHom Private Estate is a luxury private estate in the hills of Penang, offering the perfect blend of natural surroundings, intimate service, privacy and seclusion. Surrounded by greenery, it boasts an outdoor pool and private rooms with rustic décor, and the rooms eature private grounds or deck with beautiful views of the natural landscapes. Each room comes equipped with an electric teakettle and minibar, and private bathrooms come with essential oil toiletries and a hairdryer. MaliHom Private Estate guests can enjoy a relaxing massage or read a book at the library, while afternoons can be spent soaking up the sun by the pool while taking in the beautiful mountain views.

For more information, visit their website.

12. Sekeping Kong Heng

Source: Sekeping Kong Heng
Source: Sekeping Kong Heng

Sekeping Kong Heng, in the charming old town of Ipoh, is the latest addition to the Sekeping family of retreats. Testimony to Ipoh’s decadent past, Kong Heng was used as a hostel to house theatre performers who performed in the adjacent theatre building that was burnt down in the 50s. Now rejuvenated, it is hoped that Sekeping Kong Heng will be able to offer guests a slice of history within a real old town setting which is alive, working and real. It is located in a 3-storey neo-classical building which also houses a famous coffee shop of the same name on the ground floor that serves great coffee and the best local dishes in town. All effort has been made to preserve as much of the character of the existing building as possible in contrast to the surrounding new architectural interventions. In addition, an extension has been added at the back, tucked away to reveal an inner courtyard with a dramatic stairway to take guests up to their rooms.

For more information, visit their website.