Former Malaysian actress, film producer and musical theater producer Tiara Jacquelina has just opened a new staycation spot in Klang Valley, overlooking the Kota Permai Golf & Country Club. Here, she reveals more about the ultra-villa, complete with top-notch facilities.
Options: We just got wind of your latest project. Congratulations. What can you tell us about Tiarasa Luxe?
Tiara Jacquelina: It looks like I am turning into, not a hotelier, but a resort-ier. This will be our second property under the Tiarasa group of resorts and Tiarasa Luxe is going to be very different from Tiarasa Escapes. The latter, in Janda Baik, offers a glamping experience, with accommodation comprising safari-style tents and treehouses. Tiarasa Luxe, on the other hand, is a seven-bedroom ultra-villa with a mini cinema, a 25m swimming pool and an Arnold Palmer-designed golf putting green.
Where is Tiarasa Luxe located?
Truth be told, Tiarasa Luxe was my former family home, which my husband and I built over the years. It overlooks the Kota Permai Golf & Country Club and the villa offers the most stunning sunset views in the Klang Valley. Our kids grew up there and it was such a special home for us, filled with so many memories. We thought we would move back in one day but the kids grew up and life just happened. So much of my inspiration came while living here, including the creation of Puteri Gunung Ledang, and I thought it is a shame to just leave it empty. So the time has come to share it with people.
Tell us more about it.
Tiarasa Luxe is split into two main wings: the main house with the seven bedrooms, pool and mini cinema is in the main wing, while the other is a retreat pavilion, which I envision will be perfect for events and weddings. There is one bedroom there as well. I used it as my yoga studio and it was also a dojo when the kids were into aikido. Meals can be arranged from the many restaurants and cafés nearby — all my favourite old haunts. Oh, and we officially open for bookings on Oct 10!
Working in resorts and entertainment, the pandemic couldn’t have been easy. Can you share with us what you learnt from it?
I learnt humility. I thought I knew everything … I don’t. Covid-19 was just a big fat slap on the head and made me rethink hard about all the businesses I was into. It also showed me how so many things I thought were important are actually not; for example, going out, being seen, attending parties, shopping and dressing up!
Which tech tool helped you most during this time?
Zoom! My entire business was run on Zoom during lockdown.
How did you stay calm and focused during the tumultuous past year and a half?
I am the wrong person to answer this as I developed hypertension during lockdown! I did, however, get myself a hammock. I lie down in it, Zoom in it and I am so in love with it that I would love to be the sole distributor in Malaysia for it. Even looking at it makes me feel relaxed. I guess there’s something about sitting outdoors, feeling floaty and buoyant. It definitely does something good for the senses.
How do you usually unwind then?
Working with resorts, it is truly an occupational hazard staying in nice places as I just can’t switch off! I keep looking at how things work, be it the service floor or the lobby décor. My brain never stops and anything can trigger a business idea or a story, from a single word uttered to reading an in-flight magazine. The only time I can really unwind is when I perform my nightly ritual of soaking in the Jacuzzi. That is half an hour of the ultimate “me” time. I told my husband he doesn’t need to give me anything … just a Jacuzzi! It’s the only way I can sleep at night. Oh, but I also go to sleep with earbuds and a hypnosis app on. It’s all Delta Waves and talking to my subconscious.
What destinations did you miss most in the past year and a half?
Japan! I had such a memorable ski trip there before the pandemic struck. I had actually booked to go again in March 2020 but I was still hemming and hawing, worried about it all. I really regret not making that trip now. Another journey I’d wanted to make badly was to Japan and Hawaii on Air Asia X’s Kansai-Honolulu route, scheduling multiple stops to and fro. En route, Kyoto; on the way back, Kobe so we could eat all the wonderful beef! Oh, and Universal Studios in Osaka too.
Describe a perfect weekend for you.
Working at Tiarasa Escapes! I am a workaholic but also a nature girl at heart. Nothing makes me happier than being out in the fresh air and soaking my feet — even lying down — in the little stream we have on the property. My favourite tree — which I call the Mother Tree — is my preferred spot on site. Simply sitting beneath this beautiful old tree fills me with all the positive vibes I need to face another week.
Call 012 886 7777 to book a stay at Tiarasa Luxe.
This article first appeared on Oct 11, 2021 in The Edge Malaysia.