Updated: Jan 24
This month, we feature an amazing lodging located next to the Berembun forest reserve in Seremban. Just like many other vacation homes and lodgings that we have featured on our site, Spyder Hill is a place that you will fall in love with if you’re looking for nature get-away.
When you reach Spyder Hill, you’ll see a huge wooden lodging overlooking a vast forest. As you enter and make yourself at home, you’ll see that the surroundings are peaceful, comfortable and calming. Initially built simply by chance, the home had since turned into a big space for more than just a lodging.
Visitors who come by can take part in activities along the jungle tracks, have their portraits taken with a jungle backdrop, host their own get-together with friends and families, and so much more!
Below, our hosts, Nikt and his wife Q share with us just how Spyder Hill came to be, and the unique features, facilities and everything else that you can expect when you stay in this nature-focused lodging.
1) Please tell us about yourself and the story of how you came to be an Airbnb host.
Looking back, I’ve always directed my life towards something more personally rewarding regardless of societal pressure. I studied economics. but moved on to become a tech entrepreneur and eventually a photographer.
The opportunity to build my own house came only by chance. My wife and I made the decision to go in that direction even though it looked a little risky at the time. The house that we built was a little too large for two people!
After 4 years of just hosting friends for free, we decided to make some income out of it. We wanted to do something together, so doing an Airbnb business was ideal for our needs - something small and right.
2) Why did you choose to build a house at the edge of the Berembun forest reserve?
My friend introduced this place to me back in 2010. When we first came to check it out, we were immediately impressed with the place.
The area was located right next to a 4000-acre forest reserve, a pristine river, a waterfall and it is still only just an hour away from KL! Within months, we bought the land and put our place in KL for sale. We were also lucky to have the opportunity to explore a ready-built house in that area.
A few houses were already built there back then, and to actually experience how it would feel to have a home there - let’s just say that it’s a very different experience from just standing on an empty piece of land in the jungle and deciding if it is a good feeling.
3) What is the story or meaning behind the name of “Spyder Hill”?
My wife has an affinity with spiders. When her friends played with dolls and tea sets she handled spiders caught in the wild. She also used to keep several pet tarantulas. This was the basis of the name Spyder Hill.
4) What is the hardest part in the progress of construction of the house in the forest?
The most challenging part was the process of finding a suitable contractor who is dedicated to the building job. We wanted the contractor to be willing to experiment and stay flexible at the same time too.
We went through a few contractors before the one we hired came along. Building on a jungle slope with a makeshift access road was challenging.
There was little space to store building materials. We had to find a contractor who had experience with this type of building conditions and is willing to be adventurous.
5) What inspired you to have this incredible open walls concept?
While performing our research, we came across several similar designs set in tropical countries and we found them attractive.
When you have a 180 degree forest cover like we do, well, the interior is enhanced without needing much effort, so we capitalised on it. The forest cover also aids with the cooling of the house and of course, saved us a lot in building cost.
6) There are a lot of recycled/restored furniture and decors in Spyder Hill. Which one is your proudest work and why?
The interior design is mostly done by my wife. She loves antique junks and has a great eye for matching items. We would scout junk shops and junk yards all over West Malaysia where they sold used wood and furniture from old kampung houses or from old shop lots that were torn down.
In the early stages, we bought things like doors and windows without knowing where we would use them.
We would also buy bits and pieces of stools, benches, chairs, tables - all kinds of second hand glasses and ornaments. Most of all these items really fit the house design we have, so we just stuck to the formula.
7) There is a little library in the house, can you share with us what type of books you keep in there? Where did you collect the books from?
The books here are related to topics of interest we both have. Honestly, there’s nothing great about them. Most of them are non-fiction. The books’ topics range from art, photography, design to spiritual and metaphysical and reference books on plants and animals.
You will also find some fictions, manga collection and short stories. Most of our recent reads are not there because of the digital revolution and have ended up in kindle. Others are kept upstairs in our loft where we live.
8) What is the most challenging part in maintaining the house and furniture well in the rain-forest?
The rainforest is damp and it rains quite a lot. Wood that does not get proper ventilation remains damp and rots easily. Certain parts of our deck requires constant changing.
Furniture inside the house keeps well and our old clay-tiled roof also keeps well - to my surprise. However, mold develops easily in the closet, so we need to have several humidifiers to keep things under control.
Keeping the house at a certain level of cleanliness requires some hard work. With an abundance of insects, there are many lizards here and they produce droppings on the floor and on ledges. We also have to deal with bat droppings.
We have toads that live on our ground floor which also leave droppings for us to clean in the morning. At night insects and moths are attracted to the lights and sometimes they ‘kamikaze’ themselves.
9) We’re aware that your wife and yourself are pet lovers. Can you introduce your lovely pets to us and their roles in the house?
We have 2 indoor cats and 3 outdoor dogs. They are great companions and help keep the house pest free and alerts us on movements around the immediate exterior.
Our cats, Cheeto & Skye, literally keep the mice away (there are many varieties of jungle mice which can be a nuisance). They also warn us when snakes enter the house.
Meanwhile, our dogs Donnie, Darkko and Walker are our protection outside. They bark at anything that lurks around in the day and night. They also alert us to snakes and surprise visitors. Our dogs also act like our outriders leading the car as we leave the house and welcoming us home. They are familiar with the jungle trek and the nearby stream and often can show guests the way.
10) Have you met any special guests that make a great story to Spyder Hill?
We get some good reviews, social media postings and recommendations from guests. There was one time when our guest introduced a journalist to do a write-up on our place. We are always grateful for such interest.
11) When do you think is the best time to visit Spyder Hill for a forest adventure and why?
It’s Malaysia, so it’s good all year round. If you are looking for cooling weather, then I’d recommend you to visit from October to January when it rains the most. It’s also particularly pleasant from June to August as there is less rain and it’s also fruit season.
We have all the local fruits like langsat, rambutan, mangosteen and durian. There are several places where we can pick these fruits for free, and our foreign guests especially enjoy that experience.
12) Any hidden gem that we should not be missed surrounding your place?
The most popular activity is trekking to the waterfall and natural swimming pools. That is a great spot where we bring a picnic lunch spread for our guests.
If you are more adventurous, we recommend going for an overnight trek to a crashed British supply plane that was shot down by the communists in the 60’s.
13) What is your recommended food in your area?
We usually give several options to our guests. They can either walk a little over 1km or drive 2mins away to a jungle cafe for BBQ, western and local dishes, or drive out 15min to a very nice local Chinese restaurant. For breakfast we offer home cooked nasi lemak with chicken rendang, prepared by a local lady in the village.
I think we would be happy to visit around the fruiting season just as much as the next foreigner visitors do! Spyder Hill sounds like an amazing place to be when you long for some peace and quiet in a tropical holiday get-away.
Next time you want to have a vacation with a view of the forest reserve, consider planning a vacation in Seremban. Then, you can consider Spyder Hill as your lodging for the holiday period!
You can book either room in Spyder Hill at RM350 per night, with a minimum of two nights booking. As such, you can expect your two-night stay in your selected room to cost RM700, with a one-time extra charge of RM70 as cleaning fees.
Check out the links below to learn more of Spyder Hill and their offers:
Already an Airbnb user? You can also book on Nikt's Airbnb now.
New to Airbnb? Sign up for Airbnb with the link here will get RM138 off!
P.S. This is not a paid advertising, all the interviews are done by invitation only.
P.P.S Check out our collection of unique lodgings and add them to your wishlist!