Cameron Highlands Smokehouse Hotel and Restaurant

Cameron Highlands Smokehouse Hotel

The Cameron Highlands Smokehouse Hotel and Restaurant is one of the must-visit places when you make a visit to the highlands here. Built back in 1937 following the English Mock-Tudor architecture, this nostalgic place still remains as original as it was from back in the day, catering to the traveler who is seeking good old English charm in the cool highlands of Malaysia. This is also one of the few remaining British structures which are being fully utilized till today. 

Ye Olde Smokehouse PhotoYe Olde Smokehouse plaque

Ye Olde Smokehouse as it is know to many has magically maintained the look and feel of this place for 80 years where it was owned by four different people. Overgrown plants dominate the landscape of the well manicured gardens, you can see a variety of lovely highland flowers here.

Cameron Ye Olde SmokehouseMain entrance

The Smokehouse is also strategically located in between the towns of Tanah Rata and Brinchang and is just off the main road. This English cottage is very popular with the tourist as most of them would come here to either take pictures of this beautiful place or drop by for some tea and scones, the Cameron way.

Smokehouse Cameron Highlands

Inside the restaurant, there is a covered patio area for you to enjoy your tea and scones which cost about RM25.00 (US $7.00) for a set.


 A white piano as part of the decoration

Various plants and a white piano is found in this patio with a few tables scattered around. This portion of the building is connected to the main hall and also the restaurant area. This is the cooling area where you can light up your pipe or cigar.

Photo Cameron Highlands SmokehouseThe beautiful interior

Making my way inside, the entire collection of eclectic furniture and fittings are purely English cottage style caught my eye everywhere I looked. Every detail you see in here seems to have been naturally set from back in the day. Even the ceiling is noticeably exposed with black wooden beams across following the original English Tudor designs.

Menu Cameron Highlands SmokehouseThe Smokehouse Restaurant menu

If you look at the menu, you will see that a dinner for two would cost around RM120.00 (US $35.00) and this is without wines. But it is a good experience if you want to try good old English food here.

Restaurant Cameron Highlands SmokehouseThe restaurant dining area

I pretty much found the dining area very well set up with lots of details. Wooden tables and chairs with napkins and cutlery all tidily arranged against the checkered black and white floor with black beam across the ceiling.

Photo of Cameron Highlands Smokehouse
Smokehouse Restaurant

Some interesting facts about the Smokehouse was that it was originally opened on Christmas of 1937 by Englishman Douglas Warin. It was called Ye Olde Smokehouse Inn back then and had only six rooms which was mainly meant for homesick British expatriates based here in Malaysia.

All in all, there were four expatriate owners, Mr. Douglas Warin, Mr. MacDonald (A Scotsman), Mr. Cowling, Lt.Col. Stanley Foster and finally Mr. Peter K.H. Lee a Malaysian businessman who bought the Smokehouse in 1977. The Lee family has been running this business ever since.

Photo of Ye Olde Smokehouse Interior
Smokehouse Living Room

As for rooms, the hotel has multiple suites in this three story colonial Tudor building, some of them doubles and triples while they have a honeymoon suite called Squire. Unfortunately I did not manage to photograph this room.

The traditional fireplace

A nice traditional fireplace is also located in the main hall but I do not know if they actually use it but I did read somewhere that guests or walk in customers would order a pint of Guinness and sit by the fireplace slowly absorbing in the lovely ambiance.



One thing I noticed is that the traditional English antiques and memorabilia around the Smokehouse are absolutely fascinating if you love all things English. Every nook and cranny will have something interesting for you to discover while in here. 

Ye Olde Smokehouse flowersBeautiful flowers at Cameron Highlands

For a photographer, this would be a great place to explore your photography skills. I was informed by a worker at the Smokehouse that a number of people have their wedding photography done here. Please note that you can visit the hotel and it's surroundings but you are not allowed to go inside for your photography unless you are a guest or have approval from the management.

Cameron Smokehouse PhotoMock Tudor Architecture in Malaysia

I must admit that when I was a child aged about seven, my parents brought me to Cameron Highlands for a holiday and we visited the Smokehouse to get some pictures taken. I remember this as I have a very old picture of me here. (Sorry, I couldn't find it to post here)



Outside the beautiful manicured gardens lies an octagon shaped brick and glass hut. Apparently there was a lot of junk inside it and I wonder what this place used to be. Nearby, there is an old English red telephone booth in the area for those wanting to take some photographs.

The Smokehouse Hotel PhotoThe Smokehouse Hotel at Cameron Highlands

On a personal note, if you are expecting one of those SLH (Small Luxury Hotels), The Smokehouse is not one of them. It is more of an English themed Bed and Breakfast (B&B) but priced higher than the ordinary hotel. If you want to experience this English charm then try it out. Mind you that the place needs a major makeover in all areas.

Most of the locals would simply visit this place for the excellent Tea and Scones or simple have dinner for the experience and soak in the ambiance. The only reason it is an attraction is because there are only 2 of these kinds of Tudor Styled hotels in Malaysia. The other in Frasers Hill which is also called The Smokehouse and run by the same management.

There is another Cottage styled hotel nearby which I wrote about called Bala's Holiday Chalets if you are into these kind of boutique hotels and for the food lover or food traveler, you can read my story on Tea and Scones at the Bharat Tea Plantation which is actually on your way up the highlands.

Room rates at the Cameron Highlands Smokehouse
  • Room Rates range from RM400.00 to RM680.00
  • Rates are inclusive of full traditional English Breakfast
  • Weekday and Weekend rates are different.
Address and Contact:
The Smokehouse Cameron Highlands
P. O. Box 77, Tanah Rata 39007
Cameron Highlands,
Pahang darul Makmur,
Malaysia.
Tel : 605-491 1215
Fax : 605-491 1214

Email: cameron@thesmokehouse.com.my
Or you can visit the Smokehouse Cameron Highlands Website

Getting to the Smokehouse in Cameron Highlands
  • From the NKVE Highway to Ipoh, turn off at the Tapah exit
  • Keep left after the toll booth
  • Follow the winding road 60 kilometres all the way to the top
  • First town - Ringlet, then Tanah Rata then Brinchang
  • Smokehouse is in between Tanah Rata and Brinchang town on the right as you head up
For those seeking something different when heading here, I would recommend you give this place a try as this is one of the last remaining true English concept lodge and restaurants in Malaysia. Though you may not need to stay here but it would be very worth while having a lunch or tea experience here at the Cameron Highlands Smokehouse Hotel and Restaurant.


Cameron Highlands Smokehouse Hotel and Restaurant Cameron Highlands Smokehouse Hotel and Restaurant Reviewed by David Jr on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 Rating: 5

15 comments:

kenwooi said...

really nice cozy cottage! =D

kenwooi.com

Tony Wan said...

Wow.... Very nice... I wanna go there and have a try.... But..it's too expensive for me LOL

Robo said...

Hmm...at least they allow photography inside the building...
Nice shoots! :)

David Jr said...

Ken, yes - cost but at a cost.

Tony, just go for tea only? Cheaper than staying there.

Robo, actually they do not allow unless you are a guest. For visitors, you are only allowed to shoot outdoors.

Regards,
David

J2Kfm said...

this place is so cool, we spent the whole evening sitting down, chatting, by the 'fireplace'
and sipping on english tea and nibbling on scones.

bliss. plus it was drizzling on the outside, perfect.

David Jr said...

Trenddude, it is a nice place when you are there.

J2Kfm, that sounds very romantic, I hope you were with a loved one when you sat there by the fireplace. Thank you for sharing.

Regards,
David

Monica said...

I have been there once and I love this place!! :)

David Jr said...

Hello Monica, that's nice to know you have been there. It is a really beautiful place, just that some serious attention is needed to upkeeping it now.

Regards,
David

Hugo Lim said...

the view is great but seriously not with the people who run it.

they talked to me arrogantly when i was walking inside as if i'm some gangster begger who cant afford to spend my money in there.

once i walked in, a lady came to me and says "only guests are allowed here, please leave" rather than "how can i help you" first then latter politely stating their only-guest policy.

the way they treat the potential customers like me will make them run out of business soon!

David Jr said...

Hugo, sorry to hear you had a bad experience there. On the other hand, as I mentioned in my writing, they really need to improve on a lot of things and this is one of them which had badly affected much of their reputation.

Next trip, Lake House instead?

Regards,
David

william Chua said...

I agree with Hugo Lim.

I just returned from Cameron Highland yesterday with my family of 5 persons. We were staying at the Hotel Equatorial at a 3 bedroom apartment. We went to the Olde smokehouse to check out the place with intention to stay a night or for future trips.

When we arrived at the smokehouse, the 2 male receptionist had their back facing the reception and were not even aware that we were at the counter. We had to attract their attention. We told them that we came from Fraser hill and had stayed at the smokehouse Fraser Hill and would like to have a look at their hotel. The guy told us that we cannot go into the hotel as it's only for hotel guest. Are we not potential guest? Maybe we were in bermudas and did not look as if we can afford the rooms there. Arrogant is the word to describe them. I swear we will NEVER want to step into that place again .... They have just lost our business FOREVER.

On the other hand, just 3 days ago, we stayed at the Olde smokehouse Fraser Hill. We had 3 suites for 2 night... 1 for my son and 1 for my daughter and the other with jaccuzzi for ourselves. We had a wonderful experience there. The staffs were very hospitable. When we arrived, the manager, Mr Haviz, personally showed us all the rooms for us to decide. ( A far cry from Cameron Highland) Similarly, we did not make any prior booking. We had stayed at Smokehouse Fraser Hill a fews years before and the service was just as good. Thumbs up for Smokehouse Fraser Hill...

If you are looking for a nice place to stay at Cameron Highland, I would recommend the Hotel De La Fern... http://www.hoteldelaferns.com.my ..... Although we did not stay there, we went to have a look as it looks very new from the outside. We were met with very hospitable staffs and the manager came to greet us. Told him that we want to have a look at the hotel and he showed us all the different types of rooms.. We were particularly impressed with the penthouse suite and the junior suite. The pensuite is a 2-storey room with a wonderful view... The manager told us that if off-peaked seasons, he could give us a hefty discount.. Our next trip to Cameron Highland, we will definately book the Pensuite and the junior suites....

As for Smokehouse Cameron Highland ........ IT SUCKS!

David Jr said...

Hello William, thank you for your post and I hope that someone in the highest management from the Smokehouse or Tourism Malaysia sees this as well.

I will be honest with you as I have hear similar complaints about this place for many other travelers. Such a shame and I am glad that the Fraser's Hill Smokehouse was excellent.

Regards,
David

fatboybakes said...

the common areas are quite nice, fireplace and all, but gawd, the rooms, at those exorbitant rates, you might as well bring me to an abbatoir and slit my jugular there and then la. i dunno if they have recently renovated, but the rooms were musty, and the plumbing, probably remnants from the japanese occupation are still floating around innit.

David Jr said...

Hi Fatboybakes, thanks for the comment and apart from the natural beauty surrounding the building, you may be right about the interior needing some major renovations here. As mentioned, lets see if something gets done but then again, this is a great place to Visit.

Regards,
David

David Jr said...

Thanks 'Steve' for the comments but please keep the four letter words out next time you want to rant about a place. :)

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