Lots of my friends have been posting aesthetically flamboyant footage of their themed birthday events, picnic dates, and even proposals. Staycations are additionally on the rise, and we at Vulcan Put up have personally been to a number of workcations because the pandemic started to enhance.
These primarily happened in lodges round KL metropolis, which was nearer and extra handy to entry. Most not too long ago although, we skilled a staycation that’s not simply discovered within the metropolis: glamping.
The thought of glamping may be interesting to those that need to expertise tenting with out the complete dedication of sleeping outside and cleansing up with out fashionable plumbing.
However our glamping staycation was completely different due to the contact of luxurious offered at Castra by Colony (Castra).
An experimental area
Situated within the coronary heart of KL’s Golden Triangle, Castra sits on the backyard rooftop of Star Boulevard KLCC. It was created by the identical staff at Colony, the coworking area model identified for its lavish places of work and occasion areas.
In-built 2019, Castra was created as an experimental area and idea after its staff witnessed a major demand for glamping spots in Malaysia. On the time, glamping locations had been largely across the outskirts of cities.
Castra’s staff realised they might carry the thought of a fast getaway with the mandatory conveniences of glamping with out going too far out.
We had first visited and reviewed Castra in early 2020, proper earlier than the pandemic, and my colleagues who went fairly loved their time there, save for the mat rempit ruining their sleep previous midnight.
They acknowledged that the place itself was spacious, stunning, and well-stocked with nearly each necessity you possibly can consider, be it for cooking or cleansing (the area and your self). This made Castra a super spot for households and buddies to staycation at, or simply host intimate occasions.
Once we returned with extra individuals on the finish of Might 2022, my colleague famous that not a lot has modified since her first time there.
Castra’s staff acknowledged the identical too, in spite of everything, the staff shared that due to the two-year lockdown, it’s nonetheless too early to inform what enhancements or modifications must be made. Not sufficient individuals had staycationed for them to gather ample suggestions and information, we hypothesised.
Whereas the place itself hasn’t modified a lot bodily, Castra did make enhancements to different features of the glamping expertise.
Castra’s Efficiency Advertising and marketing Specialist, Trina, shared that they’ve partnered up with numerous distributors to supply extra companies to visitors (with extra costs, in fact). These embody a day tea package deal with a mani-pedi, barbeque catering, sound baths, and occasion styling companies, since Castra is particularly designed to cater to teams and occasions.
We opted for a easy staycation in a single day, eager to host our personal BBQ and play easy video games. Whereas we had been there, it was clear how well-kept and clear the area was, contemplating its steady publicity to outside components.
Considered one of my colleagues even extensively walked barefoot on the fake grass, tiles, and cement, and the soles of his toes remained spotless.
The outside seating areas within the area, together with a hammock, had been properly cushioned with Bohemian-style pillows and blankets. A number of massive umbrellas offered shade and got here geared up with tables and chairs.
In line with Castra, the 4,510 sq ft area can host as much as 80 pax for occasions and events, and every of the 2 tents can comfortably host as much as 5 pax (in whole, 10 pax can keep in a single day).
The tents had been additionally embellished with plush pillows, numerous rugs, footstools, and different furnishings, impressed by Moroccan influences that Castra and Colony’s co-founder, Audrey, liked.
The principle mattress in every tent apart, there have been extra stacked on one facet, and relying on how many individuals had been staying over, you possibly can rearrange the tent’s insides to accommodate them.
Our one and solely gripe with the place was in all probability how there was solely a single toilet-bathroom stall. Whether or not it’s simply 10 pax for an in a single day keep or as much as 80 pax for a celebration, we felt that it undoubtedly wasn’t sufficient.
Even our intimate group of 9 needed to line up or plan to make use of it, for instance, anybody who wanted it for an prolonged period of time would inform everybody else to get their fast “enterprise” finished first, lest they find yourself struggling whereas ready.
Bringing this remark as much as Castra’s staff, Trina stated that they may take it into consideration when planning to enhance the area.
Though, the toilet has its strengths, because it’s very well-stocked with toothbrushes, toothpastes, soaps, towels, sanitary pads, a primary assist package, and a lot extra.
When mom nature joined the get together
Previous to our keep, the staff had been actively updating us on the climate forecast to arrange us for what to anticipate. On the day of our check-in, we had been anticipating rain, however it didn’t come till a lot later.
And when it got here, it got here quick and all of a sudden. We scrambled to huddle in our tent, not earlier than grabbing the outside Bose speaker offered by Castra and rescuing the numerous pillows from the outside seating, with the assistance of a Castra staff member who swiftly appeared to our assist.
Earlier than it bought too heavy, we additionally rapidly grabbed a number of umbrellas by Castra’s entrance simply in case anybody wanted to go away the tent. Contained in the tents, numerous raincoats are offered too, a testomony to Castra’s hospitality and thoughtfulness in case you forgot to seize umbrellas.
As soon as inside, we determined to play a card recreation that we had introduced alongside, and who knew that bonding in a tent whereas a storm raged exterior might make for such a enjoyable time?
After the climate cleared up, we might lastly start our BBQ get together as deliberate. Required BBQ tools equivalent to fireplace starters, charcoal, tongs, and instruments for consuming like cutleries and utensils in addition to cleansing tools like dishwashing cleaning soap and sponges had been offered on-site by Castra.
It’s nonetheless greatest to talk to a staff member forward of time in regards to the availability of assorted tools and instruments although simply to ensure that your get together received’t be disrupted.
Meals, components, and drinks (past what’s already stocked within the fridge) are on a bring-your-own foundation, however even if you happen to neglect to buy some gadgets, shops and malls are only a fast stroll (or drive) away, due to Castra’s prime location.
The outside, with indoor luxuries
After our BBQ get together that lasted from about 7PM to 10PM (cooking took up the majority of the time, and shoutout to our colleagues Rikco and Keegan for manning the pit tirelessly), it was time for these of us who had been staying to scrub up and head to mattress.
My colleagues reported little problem with bunking within the tents, although a few of them discovered the mattresses offered a bit of too delicate for his or her private preferences, to no fault of Castra.
When it comes to sleep high quality, it’s nonetheless the outside, so that you’ll hear something from site visitors to birds and folks shouting, even via the thick tent canvas. Nevertheless, everybody nonetheless slept slightly nicely, the one factor waking a few of us up all through the night time being a colleague leaving and getting into the tent for the bathroom.
Those that want to keep up later and revel in some digital leisure collectively can plug their gadgets into the a number of sockets across the tent’s ground. You could possibly additionally choose to make use of the offered Netflix entry on the widescreen TV within the tent.
All through our time there, the WiFi was constantly quick, sturdy, and dependable.
An expensive get together possibility
All in all, staying the night time at Castra would set you again RM2,000/night time for weekdays, and RM2,500 on weekends, pre-SST, with out promo costs.
If visitors need to host an occasion for weddings or different particular events, the beginning worth is RM4,500 for a half-day (six hours) on a weekday, or RM6,000 on the weekend, with full-day choices (12 hours) out there for each weekends and weekdays too.
You could argue that there are different cheaper choices for glamping websites, lodges, and Airbnbs to host events in a single day.
Whereas I’m inclined to agree, I’d additionally rebut by saying that Castra is actually an intimate, versatile occasion area that gives the majority of requirements with out the necessity so that you can rent a third-party planner. To not point out, the Castra staff is extraordinarily hospitable and communicative, and there’s nothing too huge or too small that they received’t strive that can assist you with.
For now, Castra’s sole location stays the Star Boulevard KLCC one, with Trina including, “As occasions bookings had been closely affected from the previous two years, we don’t have any future enlargement plans for Castra in the meanwhile, however we haven’t swayed from our goal of constructing Castra one of many hip locations in KL.”
However issues are trying up for the staff. “Apparently, we acquired encouraging enquiries when Castra reopened again in October final yr, and fortunate for us, everybody was gearing to have a bodily marriage ceremony and proposal by December 2021. So, our income coated up the losses we had been unable to make throughout Q2 and Q3 2021.”