The Haven Ipoh Part 1: Gorgeous wedding by the lake

As my Facebook and Instagram followers will know, I visited Ipoh last December to attend a wedding. Jeffrey Tan and Syvonne Loo got hitched on 21 Dec 14 at BEST WESTERN PREMIER The Haven Ipoh , and it was the most beautiful wedding destination I’ve ever been to. Behold this vision of matrimonial magnificence:

Look at this gorgeous wedding set-up, against the backdrop of limestone hills and a natural lake!
Look at this gorgeous wedding set-up, set against the backdrop of limestone hills and a natural lake!

So pretty, I want to walk down that aisle too. (Don’t worry Syvonne, I won’t steal the groom!)

Every bride knows how hard it is to plan the biggest party of your life. Syvonne, a medical rep who met Jeffrey, a hospitality operations manager, three years ago, says she didn’t want the usual traditional Chinese dinner banquet with the yamseng toasts and the same old dishes. (I totally understand that which is why I held my wedding banquet at the Jurong Bird Park. True story.)

As soon as the couple saw the location in The Haven that could be their wedding location, their mind was made up. That The Haven serves good western nosh was an added bonus. “We really wanted something outdoors but we also wanted to serve our guests a classy western meal in comfort,” says Jeffrey.

Luckily for them, BEST WESTERN PREMIER The Haven Ipoh just in time for Syvonne’s dream garden wedding. The 5-star resort condotel, who is managed by Best Western (the largest hotel chain in the world) under their ‘Premier’ branding, is flanked by its own natural lake, limestone hills and a Jurrasic-era 280-million rock that is 14-storeys high. No kidding. They actually found fossils of vegetation that dinosaurs ate gazillion years ago. Once upon a time, T-Rex may have roamed here.

Back to the wedding. The gorgeous view was picture perfect for the pre-wedding album shoot. And on the big day, their guests were merrily taking selfies against the lovely backdrop all day. “It’s exactly the kind of garden wedding I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl,” says a blissed out Syvonne, who was pleased as punch to tick all the boxes. She got her garden wedding, the banquet ball room served up a feast featuring roast lamb, grilled meats, salads and more, AND best of all, their guests from overseas (including Jeffrey’s Singapore-based auntie and of course, me) could just book suites in the condotel.

This was the view from my hotel balcony at 7am in the morning. The hotel staff were hard at work setting up for the solemnisation and reception, due to start at 830am.

Staff setting up for the wedding. Check out that giant rock! It's called RockHaven.
View from my balcony: The staff busy setting up for the wedding. PS. Check out that giant rock! It’s called RockHaven.

I took a walk around the lake in the morning before the wedding started.

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This gorgeous view is the perfect setting to test out the Panoramic feature on my iPhone.
A quick stroll around the lake before the wedding. In the background are 2 of the 3 blocks of condotel apartments. I stayed at a unit on the 22nd floor, in Tower A (left).

Spotted lots of pretty flowers and even some colourful birds but they flew off too quickly for pics.

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Amazingly fresh air, courtesy of the tree-topped limestone hills surrounding the resort condotel.
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Pretty flowers everywhere. They water the plants here with the water from the freshwater lake. I need to bring some of this magic water home for my plants.
A meditaion pavilion for you to reflect on the meaning of life and love. Or just sit down to rest your feet, in my case.
A meditation pavilion for you to sit at and reflect on the meaning of life. Or just sit to rest your feet, in my case.

 

The wedding colours were purple and white. I love all the little details and effort that the hotel staff put in to keep to the elegant theme. So many pretty things to admire everywhere.

Check out the fresh rose petals along the aisle -- and they made sure it was a mix of colours (spot the blue petals) too. Such attention to detail.
Check out the fresh rose petals along the aisle — and they made sure it was a mix of colours too (spot the blue petals). Such attention to detail!

 

Announcement of Jeffrey and Syvonne's wedding, framed, propped on an easel and decorated with fresh roses.
The announcement of Jeffrey and Syvonne’s wedding, framed, propped on an easel and decorated with fresh flowers.

 

Wedding portraits for guests to pick and keep.
Mini wedding portraits for guests to pick and keep.

 

The purple and white wedding cake cum cupcakes.
The purple and white wedding cake cum cupcakes.

 

Corsages for the wedding entourage.
Corsages for the wedding entourage.
Flowy drapes at a pavilion for the solemnisation ceremony make it much more romantic than just signing papers at the Registry of Marriage!
Flowy drapes at a pavilion for the solemnisation ceremony make it much more romantic than just signing papers at the Registry of Marriage!
Sorry, couldn't resist a selfie. Check out the cute pair of bears that will hold the rings for the ring exchange.
Sorry, couldn’t resist a selfie. Check out the cute pair of bears that will hold the rings for the ring exchange.
Wedding guest filling up the seats. A few came from out of town and we heard they booked an entire floor at The Haven Ipoh. Fun!
Wedding guest filling up the seats. A few came from out of town and we heard they booked an entire floor at The Haven Ipoh. Fun!

 

Before the bride and the groom walk down the aisle, this pair of cuties (they're siblings) give it a practise run first.
Before the bride and the groom walk down the aisle, this pair of cuties (they’re siblings) give it a practise run first.

And now come the real bride and groom!

Exchanging their vows. Syvonne started tearing at one pont and almost got me crying along with her.
While saying their vows, Syvonne started tearing up at one point and almost got me crying along with her.

 

Exchanging rings. Isn't that lace gown just beautiful? So elegant and suits her garden wedding theme to a T.
Exchanging rings. I love Syvonne in that lace gown! So elegant and suits her garden wedding theme to a T.

 

Celebrating their union with bubbly.
Celebrating their union with bubbly.
pool guests
Guests and residents at the condotel watching the wedding from the infinity pool. By the way, the pool is shaped like a seahorse.
The Chinese tea ceremony is probably the most traditional thing about this wedding. Having it outdoors by the giant Rockhaven definitely makes for better pics.
The Chinese tea ceremony is probably the most traditional thing about this garden wedding. Having it outdoors by the giant RockHaven definitely makes for better pics.
The couple's traditional tea set.
The couple’s traditional tea set.
The couple prepared bubble sets for the kids, who added a whimsical touch of fun to this unusual wedding.
The couple prepared bubble sets for the kids, who added a whimsical touch of fun to this unusual wedding.
The happy couple with the groom's Singapore-based auntie and Mr Peter Chan, the developer of The Haven Ipoh and the man responsible for this beautiful resort.
The happy couple with the groom’s Singapore-based auntie and Mr Peter Chan, the developer of The Haven Ipoh and the man responsible for this beautiful resort.

While the tea ceremony was ongoing, guests relaxed, strolled around or helped themselves to the reception with hot and cold beverages, and finger food like sandwiches, springrolls and samosas.

And then it was time for the wedding lunch, held at the Ballroom at Tower B. The spread was really sumptuous, with a leg of lamb, grilled meats and fish, pasta, an awesome home-made mushroom soup and more. Sorry, no photos because the guests were hungry and so was I!

But I managed to sneak in a quick photo with the beautiful couple.

Congrats to the happy couple again! Most beautiful wedding I've attended so far.
Congrats to the happy couple again! Most beautiful wedding I’ve attended so far.

And one last selfie at the wedding site.

I'm seriously tempted to renew my vows and hold a celebration here. Not even joking.
I’m seriously tempted to renew my vows and hold a celebration here. Not even joking.

It’s, hands down, the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever attended. In fact, I’m even thinking of renewing my vows here so as to make a vacation of it with my loved ones. It’s really affordable too, especially with the favourable exchange rate for Malaysian ringgit!

How much does a wedding at The Ipoh Haven cost?

Jeffrey and Syvonne, who’ve already done all the research, say that for a high-end 5-star resort like The Haven Ipoh, the prices are very competitive compared to regular restaurants and hotels in town. In any case, they felt that there’s no other hotel in Ipoh that matches up to The Haven Ipoh’s standards.

The Wedding Package can be customised according to your needs. As a rough guide, a Classic Wedding Package (a Garden Wedding or at The Haven’s Ballroom) costs RM4,500+ while the Elegance (Garden Wedding + The Haven’s Ballroom) costs RM6500+. Food, with options like International Buffet, Malay Hidang, Chinese Set or Western Set, starts from just RM75+ per person.

Really, really affordable, especially for us Sngaporeans. We’ll pay easily double that at a not-too-fancy restaurant in Singapore!

In recent years, I’ve heard of many friends who hold weddings in exotic locales like Bali, Phuket or in one extreme case, even in Europe. Pity the loyal friends who have to shell out thousands for the expensive air tix and hotel rooms. (The unwritten rule these days is guests have to pay their own way.)

Personally, I think that The Ipoh Haven is as pretty, or even prettier than many of these done-to-death wedding destinations. Being such a new resort condotel, you also get bragging rights that you are among the first few to hold a wedding here.

How far is The Haven Ipoh from Singapore?

It’s a reasonable 7-hour road trip away (it’s between KL and Penang). You can even book a whole tour coach if you have enough people going up together.

Last April, my family booked a 14-seater travel van. It cost us just S$1,000 over a three-day period (less than $80 per person) — it ferried us from Singapore to Ipoh, and all around town, at our disposal. Or you could fly up on Firefly airline.

Hotel accommodation is also very affordable. A two-bedroom suite starts from RM600+ per night. and there’s an ongoing promotion with 10% off. Check out http://thehavenresorts.com

Full disclosure: I own a unit at The Haven Ipoh (it’s a condotel, meaning it is both a condo and a hotel).

I’ve zipped up and down several times so I’m pretty familiar with Ipoh. However, Ipoh is a small-ish town so it’s not hard to get around, even for first-timers. It’s very much a Chinese town like Penang and Melaka, with lots of amazing food — Ipoh white coffee, Ipoh hor fun, Ipoh chicken rice with crunchy beansprouts… all good. So good.

Want to plan a wedding or renew your vows at The Haven Ipoh?

The highly sought-after wedding specialists and partners at The Haven Ipoh will go the extra mile to make your dream come true. Various customized wedding packages, indoor and outdoor are available. Contact their Sales Team at +605 220 9000 or email sales@bestwesternhaven.com.my for help.

Great destination for a romantic get-away, honeymoon or babymoon!

The Haven Ipoh makes a great romantic spot and I met several couples there on a weekend getaway. We reckon it’s a great place to celebrate an anniversary (or month-versary). The seahorse-shaped pool is amazing with a jacuzzi where you lie down on individual ‘beds’. They also have a well-equipped gym, tennis court, squash court, 2 restaurants, and of course, the scenic lake where you can take romantic strolls. Plenty of greenery and space to unpack a picnic and make a day of it.

Plus! Win a one-night stay at The Ipoh Haven!

Because I believe that good things must be shared, here’s a great contest to try out for. BEST WESTERN PREMIER The Haven Ipoh is currently running a contest on their Facebook page, till 8 February 2015. They’ll be giving 10 lucky winners the chance to win a night’s stay at their 3-bedroom suite. See https://www.facebook.com/thehavenresort for more details. No purchase required.  Good luck!

Next post, I’ll share more tips about what to do in and around The Haven Ipoh (plenty of food involved).

Meanwhile, I’m starting to look at wedding gowns again… I blame it all on you, Jeffrey and Syvonne. Congrats again to you beautiful people!

Stella

3 Comments

  1. Kevin Chee said:

    Hi Stellar
    I was born in Ipoh but now resides in Australia. I too like you own a unit at the Haven and was witness to Jeffery’s wedding on that day as well. I just happened to be there during my December vacation.

    Great write up and photos. Wait for your next installment. :).

    As residents, we should catch up get to know each other if we happen to be at the Haven at the same time in future.

    Regards
    Kevin

    January 24, 2015
    Reply
    • admin said:

      Hi Kevin,
      Glad to know a new neighbour! And thanks for the kind words, I’m glad you caught the wedding too and liked my post!

      Yes, we should definitely catch up if we are in town at the same time :) I don’t go up that often but am planning a trip during the school holidays in June. Hope we get to meet up! Part 2 coming up pretty soon :)
      Stella

      January 24, 2015
      Reply

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