Damansara Heights (or Bukit Damansara), also commonly dubbed as the Beverly Hills of Malaysia, is an affluent suburb located in western Kuala Lumpur. Development began in the 1970’s initially as a residential scheme for government servants. However, due to its strategic location, Damansara Heights has since become one of the most highly sought after place in Klang Valley for both residential and commercial properties. It was even included in Lonely Planet’s list of “10 of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods to visit right now”.
On that note, it is the only Southeast Asian neighbourhood on that list. It takes only a visit to this suburb to see why it very much deserves this recognition. This suburb maintains its private, neighbourhood feel even though it is next to several highways. Local amenities are not far away and residents are spoilt for choices when it comes to food. Given these factors, it is no surprise that the property market in Damansara Heights stayed fairly stable, even in spite of poor economic conditions.
The neighbourhood in Damansara Heights
The demographic of this suburb is made up of primarily Chinese and Malays, followed by expats. As mentioned above, this is an affluent suburb. This is reflecting in the high cost of the properties here, regardless whether it is for sale or for rent. In fact, it is probably one of the most expensive places in Malaysia. Unsurprisingly, a quick drive around the suburb would reveal that most of the properties here are either low-density serviced condominiums, villas, semi-detached houses or bungalows. Some of these landed properties even have their own jacuzzi and swimming pool.
Examples of the condominiums in the area are:
– Damansara City Residency
– Damansara Villa
– Clearwater Residences
– Desa Damansara
– Desa Damansara 2
– Sri Murni
– Peninsula Residence
As for landed properties, some examples are:
– Iconic Views
– East Residence
– Semantan Villa
Despite the high cost of the properties here, it has not prevented further development in the area. There are always new projects being developed, such as Aira Residence and Damansara Fifty6. Another new project is Pavilion Damansara Heights by Pavilion Sdn. Bhd. which would develop not only serviced condominiums but more office spaces as well as a premium lifestyle mall. This would definitely be a bonus to an already self-sustaining suburb.
Accessibility in Damansara Heights
Damansara Heights is located at a strategic location between Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. Residents could access TTDI, Bangsar, KL Sentral, Damansara Uptown and even the heart of Kuala Lumpur within 10 minutes of driving. This suburb is also connected to several major highways, namely Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP), New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) and SPRINT Highway, including the Penchala and Kerinchi Link. Through these highways, residents can also connect to the North-South Expressway within 10 minutes.
For residents without a car or for those who do not want to endure the traffic congestions, they have the convenient option of taking the public transport. One only needs to take a taxi ride to either the Semantan or Pusat Bandar Damansara MRT stations and they can easily go to any other stations via the MRT. There are also RapidKL bus stations at different parts of the suburb but if one is short on time, it might be a safer bet to take a taxi to the MRT stations.
Amenities in Damansara Heights
This suburb is a self-sustaining one with many amenities, all within a short driving distance. There are many banks, such as CIMB, RHB, Public Bank, Maybank, OCBC and HSBC, to cater to the need of the residents. Shell, Petron and Petronas petrol stations are in the area as well, so residents would not need to travel far if these are their preferred petrol stations.
While there is not a hospital in Damansara Heights itself, there are specialty clinics such as a fertility clinic in the area. Having said that, given its location and accessibility, residents could go to a neighbouring township, such as Sri Hartamas, to see a doctor. Muslims would be glad to know that there’s a mosque named Saidina Umar Al-Khatab in the suburb as well. Other basic amenities include police stations and youth parks as well.
As for schools, there are also a variety of options for parents to choose from kindergarten until high school. There is Cempaka International School Damansara Heights in the suburb but residents can consider the international schools in Mont Kiara, namely the Garden International School Kuala Lumpur and Mont Kiara International School, which is only about 10-15 minutes away. Also, there is a HELP Academy for teenagers to further their study.
For those who enjoys shopping, there are 2 malls in the area, namely Plaza Damansara and Plaza Batai. There is also an interesting and unique modern general store called Merchant & Sisters, which contains not just a retail shop but a tattoo parlour and barber shop as well. Having said that, if residents are not satisfied with these choices, they can always go to Bangsar Shopping Centre and Bangsar Village in Bangsar, Midvalley Megamall, Hartamas Shopping Centre or 1 Mont Kiara, all of which are within a 20-minute drive.
Food places are abundant in this place and some are quite impressive too. Some of these are located in Plaza Damansara and Plaza Batai. The Humble Chef, a food truck business which turned into a restaurant, is a popular choice among the locals for its lamb-filled pita bread and its lamb-stuffed omelet. While some of the other dishes are pretty average, there’s little to complain given most dishes cost around RM5.
Other restaurants include Sitka, a farm-to-table restaurant that sources their ingredients from handpicked local producers in order to prepare dishes with the freshest ingredients possible. Flour, a North Indian restaurant, is well known for its mouth-watering nasi briyani cooked with fragrant spices. Huckleberry Food and Fare is a cafe-restaurant which bakes their own bread, up to almost 20 different varieties.
Not only that, bars and pubs are not lacking here either. Some examples include Jack Rose, JungleBird, Sid’s Pub, Blue Elephant and The Sticky Wicket. There’s also a speakeasy bar named Skullduggery. For those who would like some barbecued meat to go with their drinks, Torii is a yakitori and whiskey bar.
Coffee enthusiasts can consider the Yellow Brick Road, a great place for brunch and coffee. Music lovers, on the other hand, can consider the Gaslight Cafe. This cafe, which exudes a 60’s vintage vibe from its design, occasionally hosts musicians and poets. However, the choice of music performed is strictly only jazz, blues, soul, folk and country. If that’s not enough, there’s Mezze, a restaurant which provides a wide range of dishes, from burgers to Spanish, Italian, Greek, Moroccan, Vietnamese and English dishes, accompanied by contemporary mainstream and jazz music in the background.
For vegetarians or those wanting healthier options, Raisin’ the Roof is a restaurant that prepares vegan, raw, gluten and dairy-free food. They also have desserts and grab-and-go lunches. For food connoisseurs with more delicate palate, Babe is the place to go with their exquisite and delicious dishes prepared by the Michelin-starred Chef Jeff Ramsey.
Things to do in Damansara Heights
Aside from shopping and dropping by the restaurants, it is not uncommon to see quite a number of people actively jogging or walking their dogs, whether it be in the mornings or evenings. It is understandably so given that most properties here have low density. Having said that, there are other things that the residents can do and other places to visit. There are several fitness centres, pilates studio and dance studios in the area. Not only that, there is a Bukit Damansara Community Centre which acts as a sports complex and a multipurpose hall.
The National Science Centre, which is located in Damansara Heights, has recently relaunched with a fairly cheap entrance fee. It is RM6 for an adult and RM3 for children. However, the people that went noted that the exhibits and interactive stations seem to be more suitable for younger children. For older children (or even adults), a 15-30-minute drive into the heart of KL to visit the KLCC Petrosains Science Discovery Centre may be more worth it, even though it is more expensive. Those who prefers golfing or equestrian-related hobbies, there is the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Resort. For runners, whether it is just casual or training for a trail run, there is a trail leading up to Bukit Kiara which would be worth the time.
As a whole, Damansara Heights is a lovely place to stay, with beautiful low-density properties and amazing amenities nearby. It does not come with a cheap price tag though, and potential buyers or renters should be aware of this. The price of a landed property here could easily reach several millions. Nevertheless, if tenants are willing to pay the amount on the price tag, they will quickly see why the Beverly Hills of Malaysia is listed in Lonely Planet’s list of “10 of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods to visit right now”.
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