In Search of a Golden Lifestyle for Seniors

This post was written by Chad Merchant

One of the great truisms of life concerns the value of money versus that of time. “Money comes and goes,” the saying suggests, “but time, once spent, can never be bought again.” The idea is that during your life, you’ll earn, spend, and re-earn money, over and over again. But we’re all given a finite amount of time, and no amount of money can reclaim what’s already been spent. The belief here is that time, not money, is ultimately the most valuable commodity we possess, and as we age, the quality of that time becomes more and more important to us.

Many people don’t fully appreciate this until later in life – if ever at all. As they enter the so-called “third age” of their lives, they realise that while they may have a nice little nest egg in the bank, what they really want is an enriching, fulfilling life. An enjoyable lifestyle. More quality time to spend with loved ones. New challenges to embrace. And a way, perhaps through mentorship or volunteer work, to build a meaningful legacy to pass on to future generations.

These days, the traditional three-phase model of our lives (i.e., childhood/adulthood/old age) has evolved to a four-phase model, as improved healthcare and awareness contribute to longer, healthier lifespans. The third age is no longer considered old age, but is now a younger, more active golden age that precedes the fourth age, that new third age sometimes lasting 20 years or more. So how to best use that time? Adults in this new third age want a vibrant, healthy, engaging lifestyle, as they are finally able to fully enjoy the fruits of their lifetime of work. And of course, they want to make the most of this time – and even extend it – before progressing to the final phase. More and more people are making the most of that time by spending it in a foreign country, and programmes like MM2H have been implemented specifically for those people.


With this in mind, an entirely new senior lifestyle community, build from the ground up on the idea of active, holistic, resort-style living, is taking shape in the forested hills of Bukit Tinggi, located in Bentong, Pahang, just a short drive from Kuala Lumpur. Brilliantly encompassing the pillars of social vibrancy, excellent healthcare, and meaningful legacy-building, the all-new Aurel Sanctuary is like nothing that’s ever been seen in Malaysia.

With immaculately maintained four-star-plus resort accommodation and amenities, year-round activities, an eclectic and like-minded international community comprising locals and expats alike, and the facilities to allow short- and long-term guests to continue working and learning while ageing, Aurel Sanctuary is set to be Malaysia’s pioneer for active senior lifestyle communities, with some calling the incredible concept “Club Med for Seniors.”

The resort, which will maintain its accreditation and star rating from the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, offers a stunning palette of amenities and activities for resort guests to enjoy, ensuring they keep their minds, bodies, and spirits engaged and healthy. “We are building Aurel to help people make the most of the new ‘third age’,” Aurel CEO Joseph Chong explained. “The community is built on the four pillars of home, health, happiness, and hospitality. We believe that if seniors are healthy, happy, and engaged with social pursuits in a place they love to call home, they will have a truly golden lifestyle and enjoy a remarkable, worry-free quality of life.”

That quality of life is underscored not only in the ethos of Aurel Sanctuary, but on the very site where the community is located. Amid beautiful rolling hills, surrounded by fruit trees, ginger farms, and a feeling of life, there is a peaceful contentedness here that just exudes wellbeing. Nature in all its splendour abounds, yet the resort is an easy 40-minute drive to Kuala Lumpur. For those who crave the pastoral bliss of an idyllic rural setting, but don’t want to give up the convenience and excitement of the big city, this really is the best of both worlds.

Couple that with the international accolades Malaysia has earned as Asia’s best place to retire and the worldwide recognition of Malaysia’s top-quality healthcare, and for both locals and expat seniors from around the world, the appealing thought of those golden years being spent here is undeniable.

So although Aurel Sanctuary is a resort that offers a breathtaking scope of comfortable amenities and appealing activities in an unrivalled setting, at its heart, it’s a community that allows – and actively encourages – seniors to age in place and do so in a gratifying, enriching, and meaningful way. It’s a carefully planned and masterfully realised community that empowers resort guests with self-actualization, fulfilment, and invigorating challenge.


Aurel Sanctuary comprises 287 resort suites and a fantastic array of shared community facilities in a pair of connected 23-storey towers which afford incredible views of bucolic hills and jungle-clad vistas. Two different resort suite floorplans are available, each with two bedrooms and two baths, along with carpark and storage space.

The concept will no doubt be particularly attractive to MM2Hers, as resort guests staying at Aurel Sanctuary need not burden themselves with looking for a property to buy, spending time and money to renovate and furnish it, and then deal with ongoing maintenance and upkeep. All of Aurel’s suites are beautifully designed to be senior-friendly, and completely furnished and comprehensively kitted out – from appliances and furniture to crockery and cutlery – with guests needing to bring along nothing more than their luggage and personal effects! (What’s more, the furnishings carry a lifetime warranty, as well.) And the resort guest-stay model is as fresh and unique as the appealing lifestyle it offers. Resort guests pay a fully refundable lease deposit to secure their space, and then, upon moving in, pay a modest monthly resort facilities fee that covers nearly everything, including four-tier 24-hour security, resort facilities and services, healthcare facilities, daily shuttle transport services, and plenty of scheduled community events. What sets Aurel Sanctuary apart is that everything here from the senior-focused layout of the suites to the stimulating activities on offer has been thoughtfully and purposefully designed to facilitate safe, health-conscious, engaging, and enriching community living so that seniors can confidently enjoy this phase of their lives and comfortably age in place with dignity, wellbeing, and happiness.

The resort facilities and services, meanwhile, go far beyond expectations, and include concierge services, a heated swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, steam room, a state-of-the-art gymnasium, café and dining spaces, a fully equipped co-working business centre, a 350-seat banquet hall, a rooftop Sky Lounge and sunrise/sunset exercise decks, library, mini cinema, community-wide Wi-Fi, and more. Even weekly housekeeping and plant care services are included!

Having visited the resort site and met the remarkable, passionate group of people behind it, we can say Aurel Sanctuary is a resort which certainly lives up to its tagline: “A Lifestyle for the Golden Years.” To learn more, or for those currently in or planning to be in Malaysia, to schedule a no-pressure visit to this beautiful and easy-to-reach site, just visit