Category Archives: Leisure

Tailor-Made Fitness in Luxurious Comfort


No more stuffy rooms where the smell of feet and socks mixed with stale sweat on old stained carpets assail the senses, causing one to hesitate, resist and wonder “do I really want a workout under these conditions?”

Now Ipohites can work out in a sleek and contemporary boutique style fitness club, nestled cozily in the heart of Ipoh city. Located within the Greentown Business District, Sculptfitness enjoys great accessibility whilst still maintaining an element of privacy. Brainchild of owner and group class instructor herself, Suraya Elland Yusoff, the Club in Lebuh Ceylon is a brand new purpose built building, all tastefully outfitted and surrounded by a glassed, green outlook. Three spacious group class studios including Cardio/TRX studio, Spin Theatre and a Yoga Sanctuary occupy the upper floor while the gym floor below comes fully equipped with brand new quality equipment and free weights and is sure to satisfy even the hard to please hardcore gym junkie. Throw in a Jacuzzi, Steam Room, mini outdoor kickbox areas, as well as the numerous cozy relaxation areas that are available and you have a pretty comprehensive set up.

Tailor-Made Fitness in Luxurious Comfort 2

The concept behind Sculptfitness is to go one step further than just being a regular gym by providing multiple facilities under the one roof. With customer service being a priority, Sculpt also provides members with an in-house hairdresser and cafe. Fashion fanatics will love the ‘Lorna Jane’ sportswear boutique, Ipoh’s very first. For those more into natural well-being, aches and pains can be addressed by their Structural Integration Practitioner, or their Acupuncturist who is also a fully accredited TCM doctor who can prescribe herbs.

Group class enthusiasts will be in their element with the exciting range of classes offered including TRX, ZUMBA, JAZZERCISE, Tone Zone, Yoga, Pilates, Step and more. In fact, the most comprehensive range of group classes available in Perak.

All classes are conducted by trained and dedicated instructors. Sculptfitness is also the base for Ipoh’s one and only franchised Jazzercise outlet. Pure Jazzercise packages are available here. For those less inclined towards classes, personal trainers are on hand to tailor specific programmes to meet individual needs and motivate you to reach your target. With the 12 session package and undivided scrutiny of your trainer, you are bound to see results! All in all, a positive new landmark for Ipoh. If you are looking for a great workout with some added perks in a stylish, plush environment, this is the place.

Tailor-Made Fitness in Luxurious Comfort 1

Speaking to Suraya, the doyenne of the fitness scene in Perak, and founder of Sulptfitness, who conceived and designed the layout and all the interiors of the facility, one can sense the palpable passion in her being as her eyes light up, “It has given me immense pleasure to see Sculptfitness grow into a reality whilst doing something I’m really passionate about. Being able to change people’s lives for the better is very rewarding, and all the more so in this fast paced world, where healthy lifestyles are gaining prominence. The provision of wellness-based therapies within our centre provides a welcome alternative for the discerning individual. Ultimately my hope is for Sculptfitness to become a place where people can chill, build friendships, de-stress, improve confidence and reach unimaginable goals with their bodies”.

Sculptfitness offers a range of membership options to suit every lifestyle and fitness aspiration. Coming from a philosophy that  “one size fits all” is wrong when it comes to fitness clubs, their packages are designed to match the distinct fitness goals and lifestyles of their members.

As well as individual month options, quarterly, 6-month and annual saver packages are also available. For those just passing through or unable to commit, non-member options are available in the form of a day pass, a weekly pass, a weekend pass, or a single month pass.

For  all you couch potatoes out there, get up, get in to Sculptfitness and  sign up. As their motto proclaims: Believe and Achieve, your body will thank you. And so will your doctor.

For more information email:; Tel: 05-254 6232 or go to No. 4 Lebuh Ceylon, 30350 Ipoh, Perak. Website:

SeeFoon Chan-Koppen

Banyan Spa with Jon Canas


Beauty is Health made Visible. This is the cornerstone of the Phyto 5 skin care range. Beauty has always been a highly prized element, and almost everyone, man or woman, lives life in pursuit of staying everlastingly beautiful.

The wellness seminar held at the Banyan Spa recently was not just another seminar promoting beauty and health. The skin care line called Phyto 5 is unique and certainly proves to be a product range that can deliver what it promises.

Passionate about the Phyto 5 skin care line, its founder Jon Canas explained the unique method used, which is based on the energetic principles of traditional Chinese medicine called Phytobiodermie. Natural ingredient products coupled with energetic tools provide a progressive, holistic and non-invasive way of creating inner wellness and beauty, hence the ‘Beauty is Health made Visible’ result.

Banyan Spa with Jon Canas

Banyan Spa is dedicated to ensuring its customers are given only the very best there is to offer. I had the pleasure of indulging in just such a therapy session. The session started with a Zen Body Exfoliating Scrub massage, which consisted of tiny non-invasive natural granules from Bamboo and Lotus. The Sunflower Oil and Shea Butter along with the Ylang-Ylang and Guaiac Wood essential oils added to the luxurious feel of the experience. Then my skin was treated to a hydrating milk and full body clay mask. The skillfully done massage coupled with such lovely and relaxing concoctions helped my body to de-stress almost immediately.

A 20-minute steam bath further cleansed and rejuvenated my skin while at the same time enhanced the detoxification process. By now almost all the kinks in my neck and back had melted away, leaving my muscles relaxed and my blood circulation improved. Then came the next wonderful surprise, the 5-element bath oils soak in the Jacuzzi. It was so relaxing that I actually dozed off and floated away to dreamland. Just when I thought my pleasurable experience was about to come to an end (as by now I was already about one and a half hours into the session), my body was treated to another luxurious aromatherapy massage. This Banyan signature Full Body Aromatherapy Massage is designed to incorporate a massage technique that will bring balance and harmony to the body, mind and spirit.

All in all, it was a session I would rate with two thumbs up or more if I had more thumbs.

The experience of going through the different steps within the Phyto 5 range, left me completely happy with the results as I, looked and felt better, right from the first experience. Banyan Spa offers wellness and beauty treatments of Phyto 5 by working on vital energy without risks, thus making it the ideal treatment that has the potential to bring out the very best results.

Visit the Banyan Spa today if you want to stay healthy and beautiful, as you embark on a journey where Phyto 5 can give you the promise of ‘Beauty is Health made Visible’.

Serena Mui

Wine Fiesta


Ipoh’s wine connoisseurs congregated recently for a wine tasting event held at Jeff’s Cellar at The Banjaran. The event was part of Straits Wine Company’s ‘Malaysia Wine Road Trip’ in collaboration with TLLS Sdn Bhd Ipoh to enable wine lovers to discover new varieties of wine.

Wine connoisseurs. (2nd from right) Lee Nyit Fee.
Wine connoisseurs. (2nd from right) Lee Nyit Fee.

This year’s event, the second in two years, featured 39 varieties of wines from six countries whose tasting booths were manned by the winemakers themselves or their representatives.

The event was well attended
The event was well attended

The event was well attended by members of Ipoh’s International Wine and Food Society (IWFS) who made up 50 per cent of the over 120 wine tasting guests.

According to Ipoh IWFS Vice President and Cellar Master, Lee Nyit Fee, a wine tasting event is the perfect opportunity to try out new wines in the market without having to purchase a full bottle.

Good wine is subjective per individual taste and a wine tasting event enables the connoisseur to taste the product and engage the winemaker personally to enquire on how its wine was produced including queries on the type of grapes used.


Nikon Club Members (Perak) Get-together3


Nikon Club Members (Perak) held their 3rd get-together in Taiping recently. Nikon Club Malaysia was launched in July 2011 with the main objective to reach out and to connect with all the Nikon-Owners-Users (whether DSLR or Compacts) and to have a common platform for all members to share, learn, interact and grow. The Members’ Get-together is one of the core events of Nikon Club Malaysia besides other events such as Walkabout, Exhibition, Photo Contest, Photo Search, Photo Challenge, Shooting Stars Mentoring Programs, etc.

Nikon Club Members (Perak) Get-together3 1

More than 100 NCM members nationwide attended the event. The organizer specially engaged 6 talented and beautiful female models for all the enthusiastic photographers to practice, to perfect and to showcase their photographic skills. Goodies such as T-shirts and special Nikon rubber bangles were given to all the participating members of the day.

A photo contest in conjunction with the event was organised with attractive prizes including Nikon Coolpix cameras and other exclusive Nikon peripherals awarded to the 10 best photos of the day.

“We were encouraged by the response of more than 100 members coming from as far south as Kuala Lumpur and as far north as Kedah to meet here to be connected with photography” said Alex Moh, Manager of Nikon Centre KL. “It is through this event that we can also take the opportunity to interact with the members and listen to their feedback on Nikon products,” he added.

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Alex also announced three upcoming events: NCM Ramadhan Walkabout, Photo Challenge and Photo Search, to be held in the month of July, August and Nov 2013 respectively. All members are encouraged to login to for details and updates of upcoming activities.

Since its inception in July 2011, Nikon Club Malaysia’s membership has grown to over 21,000 members. All Nikon users are welcome to join the club for free by registering online at For any other matters or assistance, do contact the Perak State Liaison at Mr Goh Ah Poon at 012-528 7038.

GM Cocktail @ The Bistro


ipoh echo issue 141, Impiana Hotel Ipoh GM CocktailThe Impiana Hotel Ipoh held its third successful “GM Cocktail” or Corporate Cocktail at The Bistro on March 23. Invited guests were served a variety of tasting plates specially created by newly appointed Executive Chef Michael Koh. La Villa wines, red and white were the featured wines for the night. General Manager Mr Mark Rummery thanked all invited guests for their support thus far and encouraged everyone to try out the new menu at the Bistro.

There were 11 lucky winners for the night who went home with dining vouchers, hotel stays and the Featured Wine of the Month. Chef Michael brings his specialty all the way from the Asia Pacific region and Indian Ocean to Ipoh, with a fusion of Japanese, Asian and Mediterranean. It is hoped that The Bistro new menu is sure to satisfy the most discerning palate.

Good Food, Good Wine and Good Fellowship


The International Wine and Food Society (IWFS) Ipoh branch, held their annual AGM at Restaurant Lee How Fook recently. A new committee was elected under the stewardship of incoming President Leong Keng Yuen and Vice President Lee Nyit Fee, who takes on additional responsibilities as Cellar Master.

ipoh echo issue 141, International Wine and Food Society (IWFS) IpohOutgoing President Cheah Chen Kin thanked the members for their participation and support and highlighted some of the memorable events that took place during his term.

IWFS has branches all over the world and in the words of its founder Andre Simon who said in 1933: “The object of the Society is to bring together and serve all who believe that a right understanding of good food and wine is an essential part of personal contentment and health and that an intelligent approach to the pleasures and problems of the table offers far greater rewards than the mere satisfaction of appetite.”

A branch was started in Ipoh in 1996 by SeeFoon Chan-Koppen, who was a member in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur since the 1980s, and under the guidance of its first President Datuk Dr Foong Weng Sum, the society has grown to a membership of 30 and growing. The Ipoh branch welcomes new members. Those interested in good food, good wine and good fellowship, please contact Hon. Secretary Doreen Kam at: 019-5103270.

Banyan Spa Opens Its Doors


A new beauty spa, catering to the needs of discerning Ipohites, has opened its doors to the public recently. Conspicuously located opposite Heritage Hotel along Jalan Raja DiHilir (formerly Jalan Tambun) it is considered an ideal one-stop centre for the beauty conscious.

Bayan Beauty Sdn Bhd was formally introduced to customers after a brief ceremony recently. Present to officiate at the event was Dato’ Hamidah Osman, executive councillor for women’s affairs and tourism. She had for company, Miss Malaysia 2008/2009, Soo Wincci and popular Malay singer and actress, Abby Abadi.

Gary Soh of Bayan Spa Sdn Bhd welcomed the VIPs and guests by extolling on the virtues of spas, dismissing the notion that they were only for the rich and famous. “A massage is a good way to relax and to rejuvenate. It’s a necessity rather than a luxury,” he said.

Dato’ Hamidah, in her opening remarks, praised Bayan Spa Sdn Bhd for opening an outlet in Ipoh. She hoped more would invest in wellness and beauty salons and spas in the city, as there was a demand for them. “After a tiring trip, visitors would want to pamper themselves,” she said. “The state government is willing to promote these centres.”

Managing Director, Penny Lai said that Bayan Spa’s uniqueness was its ambiance. “The kampong-like atmosphere provides customers maximum relaxation while their beauty needs are being attended to.”

As part of the promotion, the spa is offering VVIP membership to the first 30 successful applicants. They stand to enjoy VVIP treatment at a discounted price. For details on this and other promotions on offer readers can call Banyan Spa Sdn Bhd at 05-2426866.


Khadijah Homestay


Nestled in a rustic almost kampong-like environment, a short distance from Ipoh’s airport is Khadijah Homestay, a perfect hideaway for those wishing to seek some peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Its delectable home-away-from-home ambience is well suited for those who have their families in tow on holidays. The compound can accommodate half a dozen cars at any one time.

Khadijah Shahbaba, 62, whose name the homestay carries, is optimistic that business will pick up given time. “I just started in August last year and response so far has been encouraging,” she said. “It’s spread by word of mouth. Hopefully, with some publicity, more will come this way.”

The single-storey bungalow lot has four air-conditioned rooms, two toilets, a kitchen, a dining hall and a well furnished living room. The kitchen is fully equipped and functional.

The house is not meant for staying only. It is a suitable place to hold family gatherings, as its spacious lawn provides such an opportunity. Catering, tents and related facilities can be arranged on request.

It costs RM450 for a day stay and RM200 a day for an extension. Khadijah Homestay is located at 28, Jalan Piper, Taman Lapangan Terbang, 31350 Ipoh.

One plus point – there is no checking-in and checking-out policy. “Hospitality is my forte,” Khadijah remarked.

For reservations call: Khadijah (Kak Jah) at 017-5061127 or 05-3125112.


Most Unique Spa Now At Our Doorstep


By See Foon Chan-Koppen

Ipohites who love 5-star pampering can now rejoice with the opening of the Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat adjacent to the Sunway development and the Lost World of Tambun. Opening very quietly, early this year, the Banjaran has hitherto been a source of mystery and curiosity. Their early policy of not admitting day visitors to their spa and restaurant miffed quite a few Ipohites and since the arrival of new General Manager Linda Pecararo, they have been making amends and soothing many ruffled feathers.

At a recent cocktail party hosted by GM Linda, a group of us were given a tour around the development and treated to cocktails in the most stupendous cellar in the world. Named Jeff’s Cellar, after visionary and tycoon Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah who founded the Sunway empire, this is no ordinary cellar but a huge cave complete with stalactites and stalagmites all in their natural formations; artfully lit and highlighted to create a wonderland straight out of Aladdin’s Cave.

Crystal Cave

Squeals of delight accompanied our group as we gazed awestruck at the tableaux surrounding us. The air was cool and fresh, aided by cleverly concealed air-conditioners; and discreet seating arrangements tucked into alcoves beckon. Meandering from the entrance which is reached by a small flight of stairs, down passageways that wind amidst the smaller limestone formations, a panorama greeted us as we moved into the main cave. Here a giant stalagmite artfully lit in warm hues stood imposingly in a corner with geothermal waters dripping in rivulets into crystal clear catchment pools that in turn reflect the kaleidoscope of colours from the limestone formations. We were all blown away.

Sustenance in the form of delicate canapés orchestrated by Executive chef Rolf Jaeggi accompanied by organic wine from Chile made the evening magical as we listened to GM Linda give us a briefing on the facilities and services offered at the Banjaran.

Spa & Wellness Centre
Geothermal Hotsprings Dipping Pools

Ipoh has always been blessed by its Karst formations or limestone hills hidden amongst which in the Sunway development area is one of the best geothermal hot springs in Malaysia. Ipohites of yore could always avail themselves of these curative waters at a very run down facility for which they paid a small entrance fee. Since the acquisition of the land by the Sunway group, this has been denied them and criticism has since been levied at the developers for having taken away one of their natural treasures and making the hot springs inaccessible to most people; as the prices at the Banjaran are well beyond the reach of a lot of its residents. However, this has been remedied with the opening of a hot spring pool at the Lost World of Tambun where for a reasonable fee local residents can soak to their heart’s content.

The Banjaran has an impressive array of facilities and services spread over more than 16 acres of a sweeping valley floor, surrounded by majestic limestone hills that provide a cocoon-like feel to the whole development. Sixteen garden villas and 9 water villas provide luxurious accommodation with each one providing its own private geothermal dipping pool. Open dipping pools are also available for day spa visitors as is a Thermal Steam cave, an Outdoor Rainforest Shower, a Meditation Cave, a Fitness Centre and a Crystal Cave where guests can experience private energy healing treatments such as Reiki in a unique setting.

The Spa and Wellness Centre offers a mixture of traditional and state-of-the art wellness and pampering treatments including Ayurvedic and traditional Malay massage and facials and body treatments with certified halal and organic products. A special colon hydrotherapy room provides detoxification and colon cleansing and a relaxation area allows the spa guest to unwind before or after treatments.

An unusual treatment originating from Turkey involves dipping one’s legs into a pool of Garra Rufa fish (also known as Dr. Fish). Known for alleviating psoriasis and eczema, the fish actually nibble away at your skin and removes dead skin cells, actually creating rejuvenation of the skin. It felt slightly ticklish the first time I dipped my feet in and the fish swarmed around but after a few minutes, it felt very comfortable and I watched in fascination.

The Pomelo restaurant serves spa cuisine with emphasis on light and healthy dishes that are low-fat, low-salt and low cholesterol but rich in taste.

Around Town with Caroline


Lindee Beauty Centre

63a Jln Medan Ipoh 6

Bandar Bahru Medan.

Tel: 05-5455155 or 012 5075202

Sagging & wrinkled skin can now look youthful again thanks to a non-invasive Accent Radio Frequency procedure that diminishes the appearance of fine lines by stimulating the skin’s collagen production.

Another body treatment, the LPG Endermologie, enhances stagnant blood microcirculation and lymphatic drainage, releasing trapped fatty deposits and toxins, reducing cellulite, firming the skin and resculpting the body.

For radiant skin, their Diamond Peel facial sloughs off dead skin cells, exposing new skin to give a fresh youthful glow.

Kuku Spa

12 Lorong Tmn Ipoh 1, Ipoh Garden South.

Tel: 05-5451899

The best pampering for hands and feet can be found at Kuku Spa. Choose from a spa scrub to remove those dead skin cells on your arms and legs and follow it up with a paraffin wax treatment that will leave your hands and feet silky smooth and glowing. Top it all off with a manicure and pedicure from professionally-trained therapists and add a touch of glam with art nails. All equipment is sterilised.

P Apple Jewellery & Diamond

Lot G-15, Ground Floor, Ipoh Parade.

Tel: 05-2435730

Specialising in white gold jewellery containing alloys of palladium instead of the common nickel which can cause allergic reactions, the pieces are also rhodium plated for more shine and glitter. Imported from Hong Kong and using Italian designs, diamonds under F colour are normally used. A special promotion from September 1 till December 31 will see selected items offered at a 50% discount.