Ye Olde Smokehouse in Fraser’s Hill is an wonderful old fashion english style inn.
Make sure you are careful in contacting them as another lodge has a very similar name.
The service was excellent.
I very much enjoyed the treehouse cabin at the Permai Rainforest Resort. The reviews on Agoda for the ground level lodgings there were not great, but I was extremely pleased with the treetop cabin I stayed at. The Permai Rainforest Resort is in Damai, about 30 km outside Kuching.
The treehouses all are along the forest edge where it meets the beach. You hear the wonderful sound of waves crashing and winds rushing through the forest trees.
They were quite cool, with the shade and wind, but also offered AC if you wished to use it. The cafeteria wasn’t anything fancy but offered tasty food and a decent wifi connection (no wifi is available in the rooms).
Prince Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur is a luxury hotel in downtown KL. I don’t stay in such places often but I splurged (and also had a big, well over 50%, discount through Agoda – the links here go to Agoda which provides a big discount and I am given a reward for bookings that come from links on my site) and it was very nice. It is very close to Petronas towers, KLCC park and the convention center.
The check in is a bit chaotic (they have a very sloppy process, no queing strategy…) but the location and rooms are fantastic. Grand Deluxe rooms are significantly better in my opinion (more room and fantastic huge windows and views); if you want that view it is easily worth $30 more a night.
The other option I have used in KL is The Bodhi Lodge, which is very inexpensive. The rooms are small (maybe 10 feet by 8 feet?) and clean with a mattress on the ground and a small table and chair (wifi is available in the room). The person that checked me in was wonderful and has great ideas for tourists in KL. The common areas are very nice (TV and computers and wifi).
One of the many advantages of living in Malaysia is the number of great tourist destinations that are fairly easy to travel to. The plane trips are so much better than the horrible system now in place in the USA (much better service, no TSA security theater, many fewer delays…). Prices are reasonable also. I will gladly pay $50 US to fly on the airlines like Malaysia Airlines (which I flew this time) and Singapore Airlines over some of the budget airlines. I just don’t want to deal with companies that are going to try to rip you off any chance they get and have much less reliable flights (cancelling them more often, etc.). I will fly Firefly.
The flights from Johor Bahru are not very good, pretty much you have to go through Kuala Lumpor, which is fine, but you can be stuck with long waits which I don’t like. Still often it is preferable to flying out of Singapore (though not always). On this trip, to avoid that long delay I was able to fly JB to KL to Siem Reap and then on the way back fly Phnom Penh to KL to JB. These both had short layovers but Siem Reap to KL to JB had over 4 hours wait. I took the bus from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh.
The Siem Reap airport is nice, new and small. You need a passport photo for your visa (which I just happen to carry with me from my memories as a child of needed them, but I hadn’t read anything about needing them). Those with passports from many countries you can get a visa at the airport (you don’t need one in advance) but you should make sure this is true for your country in advance. The cost was $20 US. I would imagine that you can get the photo there (for a high price, I would guess) but even more annoying is probably the delay it would add of waiting in another line).
Today I went to the Islamic Art Museum, Bird Park, Little India and the Aquarium in Kuala Lumpur. I am staying at a great hotel, with a very nice view (even free internet in your room). You can book for great rates using Agoda – I am becoming a big fan of Agoda as I use it on my travels. Here are some photos from the day (and one from last night).
I spent some time researching hotels in Johor Bahru, Malaysia that are reasonable/cheap priced and provide good value.
[updated Aug 29th, 2011]