CALM and collected, Felix Tee is not someone you would expect to have once been an overworked corporate figure battling hypertension.
The 61-year-old founder of the six-star luxury resort Casabrina in Raub, Pahang, had an established business in the manufacturing industry.
He was rich and successful, yet, he remained in his own words, a “pharmaceutical drug addict”, relying on medication to maintain his blood pressure.
This was not the life he had envisioned for himself, so with the help of a Balinese architect, who inspired Tee to slow down and learn to live a more balanced life, he established the environmentally-friendly resort.
Five years on, Tee believes he has found much-needed healing through Casabrina, where nature is at its finest.
He believes in an ancient Indian philosophy that healing comes from contact with nature, by walking among lush forests and along flowing rivers.
Casabrina helps people reconnect with nature.
“We are part of the solar system; we depend on the moon, sun and Earth.
The negative ions and the crisp oxygen here helps improve physical health.
“It helped my grey hair turn black again!” he said.
Tee is greatly concerned by the low quality of life many people have, and through Casabrina, he has helped many busy corporate types heal, after he himself realised that the most valuable asset one can have is health.
The way to healing, according to Tee, is not through constant medication or medical procedures.
“The greatest doctor is yourself,” he said.
Silence and solitude are crucial to self-healing, explains Tee.
The quiet atmosphere provided by the resort allows guests to relax and unwind from the fast-paced life they lead in the city.
Everything else, save for the sounds of insects and birds, is blocked out by the forest surrounding it.
Upon entering the compound, one’s heart is immediately calmed. Problems and worries no longer press heavily on the mind.
This healing aspect of Casabrina is the very same one Tee experienced more than five years ago.
However, he is adamant that the emotional and the physical, are separate entities, and healing has to go both ways.
Tee makes full use of Raub’s abundant natural resources, ensuring that his guests consume only the purest foods.
He runs a vegetable farm that’s strictly pesticide-free and a fish farm where the fish are fed nutrient-rich pellets.
So how does self-farming the ingredients contribute to healing?
“You are what you eat,” he said.
By controlling how he produces food for his guests, he can be sure that their meals are void of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and preservatives.
“Toxins are the main reason people get sick,” he said.
But healing does not happen overnight; rather, it is a long-term process as Tee can testify.
His medical condition improved after practising Qi Gong but after facing daunting personal issues, he suffered a mild stroke.
While the traditional Chinese exercise decreased the impact of the stroke, his hypertension remained.
The candid owner said his physical and emotional recovery is still ongoing and the unpolluted atmosphere of Casabrina is its catalyst.
This rustic sanctuary is the perfect platform to fulfil Tee’s hopes of helping others achieve a sustainable, tranquil, and balanced life for many years to come.
“I do this not for myself, but for the next generation,” he said.