There are many choices of accommodations, ranging from the expensive quaint Tudor country homes to standard Cameron Highlands hotels, good mid range and budget ones to suite the various types of travelers. For the family travelers, there are many well furnished hotel apartments with cooking facility. Nothing like a private family meal in the comfort of your own room. For the budget conscious solo backpackers, there are the no frills dormitory style accommodation.
My usual place is the Strawberry Park Resort Hotel Cameron Highlands for a period anyway. That’s because my wife got a special discount when she used to work with a bank! It is a good place to stay, and we return to this hotel often! And yes, for those who are working in the Malaysian banking industry, they do get some special staff privileges staying at hotels and bungalows at very special rates! It was good while it lasted, and like the rest of us, well, have to hunt around and see which accommodation can fit with our wallets.
If you can afford it, choosing a hotel resort provides the best facilities and amenities. And in some cases, like the Lakehouse Cameron Highlands Hotel, the ambience and atmosphere is just simply superb!
Different towns with different types of apartments
After carefully considering your budget, now comes the question: which town to stay – Tanah Rata or Brinchang? Or how about staying at the country side?
For those without transportation, Tanah Rata would be the recommended choice. As the township is bigger, you can access to more shops and amenities. The taxi stand and bus terminal is located here, so you can easily move around.
Brinchang town is smaller. If you came up with your own vehicle, parking will be problematic due to limited parking space. If you can afford to stay at pricier hotels, they have their own parking facility available.
With a car, staying at top hotel resorts like Cameron Highlands Resort, Equatorial Cameron Highlands Hotel, Strawberry Park Resort Hotel, Ye Olde Smokehouse Hotel, and The Lakehouse Cameron Highlands should not be a problem. Though the Lakehouse is rather further away from Tanah Rata, the relaxing environment more than make up for it!
Abundance of Budget hotels
Many of the simple hotels in Tanah Rata and Brinchang are simply just shop houses converted into hotels. Don’t expect too much out of the rooms but it should include all the basics of beds, bathrooms with heated water, TV, phones, etc. Prices normally range about RM$100 or so per night. But not all shop house accommodations are created equal! Some are pretty clean and decent while others are shabbier (I experience once many years ago, where the bed sheets and towels are in a bad shape and the windows cannot be fully closed. Hopefully they have improved the room condition by now.).
And for the very budget conscious who are just looking for a no frills place to stay the night over, try out accommodations that are priced below RM$50. Though personally I have not stayed in these places, so I can’t really comment about them. You will have to check out their room condition before you decide to stay in one of these places.
Watch out for peak season! Rooms can get heavily booked during the Malaysian School holiday breaks and prices tend to rise; and if a public holiday happens to fall by the weekend, it will be quite difficult to get a room at short notice. You may need to book at least one month in advance to reserve a place to stay.
For the rated 4-5 star class Cameron Highlands hotels, reservation is just a simple phone call away. But they need your credit card details to hold your reservation, and you can cancel your booking provided it is not too near your arrival date. You may be charge for a no show or if your cancellation is too near the cancellation dateline.
For the tourist class and budget class accommodations and hotels in Cameron Highlands, you will need to pay in advance. If you are already in Malaysia, it is a simple matter of banking in the amount into their account and faxing the banking slip over to the hotel in question. You could probably do the same if you are residing outside of Malaysia but the banking charges will probably cost more. No online booking for these types of accommodations. Price range between RM60 to RM120 per night or so.
Or, you could always get your local travel agent to do all the arrangement for you. The choice of accommodation available will depends on who they partner with to provide the accommodation.
For those of you who plan your whole family clan for a retreat, apartments would be a better choice. There are commercial ones as well as private apartment that one can rent. Prices ranges from RM200 to RM500 and above per night. Though I did spot some hand made advertising sign offering RM120-RM150 per night. No idea where this cheap apartment is located, just a rate and the contact handphone number on the sign!
And last but not least, there are also bungalows dotted all over Cameron Highlands that offers rooms to stay. They are usually privately owned and probably people who stay there found out by word of mouth. Since the available rooms are pretty limited, I guess there is no need for them to advertise so much. Staying at bungalows have the added advantage of breakfast, lunch or dinner prepared by the owners! If one really wants to laze about all day long and not go anywhere, this will be the place! Unfortunately I don’t have much info about them, but will list them down when I do come across any.