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Reviewed 11 August 2015

There comes a time in your life when you just want to quickly get away from where you are, just for a while, to unwind and recharge your batteries before you join the hustle and bustle of city life again. On this occasion, The Haven, Ipoh came to my rescue.
Located a convenient 2-hour train ride away from Kuala Lumpur, the condotel managed by Best Western chain comprises three towers facing one of the limestone hills that traverse through the state of Perak. A lake that could belong to the tin mining days forms the centre-piece with a 280 million-year-old limestone outcrop rising out from one end. If green is your colour, this is the place for you. The suite facing the lake is so comfortable, especially the breezy balcony with the stunning views, that I could be happy permanently cocooned up here.
In the mornings I am accompanied on my walk along the jogging track, by birdsong and the greetings of The Haven's friendly staff who are always happy to share their experiences of wildlife and insect spotting with me.
The hotel also has a good sports club with a well-equipped gym and badminton, squash and table-tennis facilities. If you're lucky, its GM, Jean Michel might let you beat him at table-tennis. The infinity pool which overlooks the lake is amazing not to mention the jacuzzi with its powerful jet sprays that can beat a Thai massage anytime. (This is highly recommended after Jean Michel beats you at table-tennis.)
As for the food, coming from Penang, the culinary capital of Malaysia, I view my favourite food outside my hometown with great scepticism but The Haven's assam laksa and char koey teow didn't let me down. I also enjoyed the Mediterranean offerings of chicken shawarma, tabbouleh, baba ganoush and hummus.
Oh, yes, the wifi is great too (well, even hermits might need Facebook sometimes).

Room tip: Ask for a lake view room. The view at any time of the day is simply stunning.
Date of stay: August 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Nooraini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JBaradei, Manager at The Haven All Suite Resort, Ipoh, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2015

Dear Nooraini,

Thank you for your encouraging feedback and recognition of our services from your stay at the BEST WESTERN PREMIER The Haven Ipoh.

We appreciate you spending your precious time to write such wonderful lengthy comments of our condotel. I have shared your comments with the entire team and we all look forward to welcoming you back to BEST WESTERN PREMIER The Haven Ipoh.

Kindly spread the word around to your friends and family.

Once again, thank you.

Best Regards,
Jean Michel Baradei
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2015 via mobile

Came here for company team building. The apartment units were nice, beds were comfortable, all toilets sufficiently stocked with towels and amenities.

The surrounding is peaceful, quiet and serene. The pools looks wonderful even though I did not take a dip in it. Other facilities such as gym, ping pong, badminton, squash available. However, please do bring your own balls or you may have to purchase one at premium price (RM 5 for a ping pong ball).

Location is probably not so ideal due to distance from town, but bring some food along since they have a proper kitchen with hob, big fridge and cutleries for 4.

Price during weekend is around RM 800. Just think of it as paying for 3 separate rooms.

One thing though, food served throughout our time here was mediocre, and often insufficient. Service in terms of clearing plates is fast though.

Date of stay: August 2015
Trip type: Travelled on business
2  Thank GanYY2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JBaradei, Manager at The Haven All Suite Resort, Ipoh, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2015

Dear Mr. Gan,

Thank you for your excellent feedback from your stay at the BEST WESTERN PREMIER The Haven Ipoh. We are delighted to hear you enjoyed your stay with us during the recent teambuilding event organized by your company.

We appreciate your evaluation on your dining experience. For your info, we only use high quality food ingredients and wherever possible, fresh and non-frozen ingredients. We do not use artificial additives. Healthy food to complement healthy lifestyle here. You may also be pleased to know that we have recruited a 5 star chef from KL who will be joining us in September.

Once again thank you for sharing your feedback on Trip Advisor, and looking forward to welcome you soon at BEST BESTERN PREMIER The Haven Ipoh.

Best Regards
Jean Michel Baradei
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2015

The hotel is situated in a fabulous area. Mountains, water and serenity. Unfortunately the hotel is not close to restaurants meaning that you have to rely on the meals that the hotel offers. That's not great. It's also unfortunate that the hotel can't serve wine in the restaurant. This seems to be a new policy. Near the swimming pool you can drink wine which is pretty weard.

Room tip: We had a room with lake view which was astonishing.
Date of stay: August 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank 732snowy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JBaradei, Manager at The Haven All Suite Resort, Ipoh, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2015

Dear 732snowy,

Thank you for your excellent feedback from your stay at the BEST WESTERN PREMIER The Haven Ipoh.

We would like to share with you that our restaurant has only recently been certified Halal and we have been advised against serving alcohol for the time being until a demarcation between halal and non halal location can be determined. However, you may consume alcohol anywhere outside the restaurant.

Once again thank you for sharing your feedback on Trip Advisor and we look forward to welcome you soon at BEST BESTERN PREMIER The Haven Ipoh.

Best Regards
Jean Michel Baradei
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2015 via mobile

I had to lower down my rating to fairly poor after the below experience.

It was a cloudy day with occasional rain. The wedding supposed to be an outdoor function. However, due to heavy rain it was shifted to a small banquet hall.
How come no contingency??
Initially, the guest were at the lobby chit chatting.
Later on, the guests moved on to crowd the small banquet hall which was not well prepared even after an hour.
My first thought was that a majority of the guests had to stand for dinner??
Thus, some of us had to instruct the hotel staff to get chairs for other guests to sit..after a long wait, the chairs came and some guests had to dine with wet chairs!!
Amazingly, after a very long wait, the food finally arrived and was served without plates, table settings and drinks.
These had to be requested for a few times..as we were hungry initially, we had to eat without any drink in the early part of the dinner.. wow, such an experience..
The only good comment was that the hotel staff were friendly and helpful.

Above all, the guests were commenting..this must be their first time organizing a wedding function!
The hotel management should apologize to all esp.the nice wedding couple and have to make up for the event and lastly to buck up!
Sincerely
Well wisher reviewer
Selangor

Date of stay: August 2015
Trip type: Travelled with friends
9  Thank Wellwisherreviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheHavenIpoh, Manager at The Haven All Suite Resort, Ipoh, responded to this reviewResponded 12 August 2015

Dear Well wisher,

I refer to your review dated 8/8/2015 regarding your experience at our 5-star hotel.

You were understandably harsh as you, and the majority of guests, were unaware of the background and communication between the organiser and The Haven Ipoh before and throughout the event. We appreciate the opportunity to clarify what had actually happened.

1) When the organiser booked a garden wedding, our Event Manager advised him on the requirements which included tents, platform (for the ground) and contingency plan. The organiser was to deal with the tent contractor directly.

2) The organiser was informed that if the guests numbered 200 or below, they could book the ballroom for both the Marriage Ceremony and the Dinner as their contingency plan The organiser declined, insisting that he was willing to take the risk of possible rain.

3) Approximately five days before the event, the Event Manager showed the organiser the location of the garden / meditation deck. He also showed him the ballroom where he was recommended to hold the Marriage Ceremony in case of rain. A quotation was given to him for the contingency plan. He decided not to have the contingency plan.

4) Hence, the finalised plan was to hold the Marriage Ceremony at the garden / meditation deck and the dinner at the lakeside garden. The organiser declined all other locations.

Chronological series of preparation on the Wedding Day – 8th August 2015

12:00 pm All setup completed, complying with the organiser’s wishes, at both the Marriage Ceremony at the meditation deck and dinner at the lakeside garden. Additionally, we recruited 12 extra part-time staff to assist the function.

2:00pm Started to drizzle. Our Event Manager warned the organiser that a heavy downpour was expected, and recommended to change the Marriage Ceremony to the Ballroom. The organiser agreed then, and the ballroom was set up accordingly.

3:30pm Drizzle stopped. The organiser immediately changed his mind and decided to go back to a garden wedding instead. Following this decision, the Hotel Events staff quickly moved all the decorations from the Ballroom to the garden location.

4:00 pm Sky was threatening rain. The Event Manager strongly recommended that the organiser agree to relocate the Marriage Ceremony to the Ballroom as the weather was indicating a storm. The organiser did not agree.

4:20pm The Event Manager again advised the organiser to change the venue of the Marriage Ceremony to the Ballroom. The organiser insisted to hold it at the garden / meditation deck and the dinner at the lakeside garden. He said, “I will risk it.”

5:00pm At about 5 pm, the Marriage Ceremony was conducted and concluded amidst strong winds, but no rain.
6:00 pm By this time, the setup at lakeside garden was completed and servers were ready to serve beverages to guests. However, the weather began to turn nasty and heavy rain and strong winds commenced. All waited for the rain to stop.

7:00pm All hope vanished with the continuing heavy rain and strong winds.
The Event Manager asked the organiser to delay the dinner so that they could set up the Ballroom for a sit down dinner. However, the organiser disagreed due to a shortage of time. So, he agreed to a hurried setup -- 50% of the Ballroom for sit down guests and 50% for standing guests.

7:20pm The General Manager visited the organiser in his suite as a last attempt to persuade him again to allow for 45 minutes to set up for a “compact” sit-down dinner as we wanted his guests to have the best possible experience. However, the organiser refused as his guests were already arriving.

7:40pm Setup was quickly completed as per the organiser’s requirements. However, due to the rain and urgent relocation of the dinner setup, all hands had to be on deck to move the tables and chairs in the rain. Hence, welcome drinks could not be served. Also, unfortunately due to the relocation, some of the dishes that were prepared for 7:30 pm had to be served just after 8 pm, due to these conditions that were beyond our control.

We hope this clears the air about what had happened that day. We pride ourselves on doing our best for each and every guest, at all times. This explains why although the organiser refused to commit to a contingency plan despite being urged several times, the hotel decided to provide it, even to the extent of not charging the organiser.

Our aim was to help make the wedding as successful and enjoyable as possible for both the organiser and the guests.

We thank you for your feedback and would like to assure you that we have learned a lot from this episode. We have improved our Standard Operating Procedures and will no longer accept future requests from organisers who do not install a platform or who refuse to commit to a contingency plan for outdoor events.

We hope we have fully clarified this matter to all concerned. We hope to welcome you back at The Haven Ipoh to enjoy our hospitality.


Yours sincerely,
Jean Michel Baradei
General Manager

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Reviewed 8 August 2015

For a 5-star hotel I don't think our experience was anything near 5-star. It was way too expensive for a tiny two room unit - even though it was well-designed and we all slept well. Room service took forever to get to our unit, and all we taste in our mushroom soup was salt (we eventually called for a replacement which they kindly did and did not let us wait for too long). Pools were crowded and there are no hot water showers available after we swim. The environment outdoor however was lovely. The breakfast buffet was disappointing and wifi service was slow. The only positive experience we had was the comfortable beds, the environment and the service at the reception.

Room tip: Units that face the mountains can be pretty but the noise from the kids at the pools may not be pleasant.
Date of stay: July 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Joyce L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JBaradei, Manager at The Haven All Suite Resort, Ipoh, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2015

Dear Joyce,

Thank you for your feedback from your stay at the BEST WESTERN PREMIER The Haven Ipoh.

We appreciate your evaluation on your dining experience. We wish to share with you that we only use food of high quality, and wherever possible, fresh and non- frozen ingredients. We do not use artificial additives. Healthy food to complement healthy lifestyle here. You may be pleased to know that we have recruited a 5 star chef from KL who will be joining us in September.

We thank you for your valuable comments and our team will take the necessary corrective action to ensure that we deliver our best service at all times.

Once again thank you for sharing your feedback on Trip Advisor, and looking forward to welcome you soon at BEST BESTERN PREMIER The Haven Ipoh.

Best Regards
Jean Michel Baradei
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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