After UK Farm, we drove three hours to The Dusun in Negeri Sembilan. This resort is about 1 hour from KL and we first heard about it from Journey Malaysia, a travel website recommended by Sharon Cheah of Malaysia Bagus!.
The pictures of The Dusun on Journey Malaysia looked great, but I was cynical--after all, hotel website pictures sometimes look better than the actual hotel! However, we were pleasantly surprised by the beauty of The Dusun, its rustic nature and how well it had been upkept.
While it is not a luxurious resort, like The Banyan Tree, it was clean, decent and aesthetically beautiful. The Dusun is family-owned and run. It has been around for 25 years and the chalets and villas were built one by one. Each house/villa is different--the Emas House, where we stayed, is designed as a Malay House, and the owner incorporated materials she gathered, e.g., vintage Malay doors & windows. Pictures of the beautiful Emas House can be found here.
In addition, the Fong family stayed at the Sora House--architecturally, this was such a different house. It was modern, clean, elegant, with a soaring ceiling & an outdoor bath. Pictures can be found here.
Each house came with a master bedroom, plus a loft where three extra beds could be fit. This was perfect for our families! Each house was also fitted with a kitchen and a huge balcony area where there was a BBQ pit.
There were two swimming pools but no restaurant service, so we decided to bring up our own dinners to cook. We had a BBQ every night--chicken wings, bulgogi, hotdogs, plus fresh veggies. The hotel made rice for us, and utensils and cutlery were provided in each kitchen, so that was not a problem.
This kind of arrangement made the holiday feel a bit like a self-catering holiday, but it worked out well for the kids. We made spaghetti for them. I think overall, we ate healthier than if we had had a breakfast buffet every morning and a full hawker/restaurant meal every night.
Would I recommend The Dusun? Yes! But it's not for everyone. Elderly folk, for example, would find the steep staircases challenging. Plus, there were little to do in the Berembun Forest Reserve area except take nature trails, and these were tough trails, not recommended for kids below 4/5. We left Esther with the Fong family's helper while the rest of us trekked. Jonathan was also left behind because he was younger than Esther. At the end of our long trek, Daniel had the honour of being the only child who had been "leached" upon--he found a leach on his hip (under his T-shirt), but thankfully, our guide removed it before it started to suck blood, so there was no bleeding involved. Husband had the honour of being the only adult who had been "leached" upon--he found his leach in the bathroom while showering after the trek. This leach did suck his blood and left him bleeding for quite a while! Of course, Husband took it in stride and spent a lot of time photographing his bloodied leg. He even kept the leach in a box for a while! Ughs.
I suppose if you're not the kind of family who wouldn't mind this sort of thing happening, then The Dusun is not for you. However, if you are okay with such things, then I would totally recommend The Dusun--I loved the Emas House. The views were stunning and the kids had so much fun checking out each other's lofts, being explorers in the surrounding hotel gardens, and having NASI LEMAK for breakfast (breakfast is provided) every day! They also loved the pools. More pics from Our Dusun days can be found here.