Doubletree by Hilton @ Johor Bahru

Okay… I’m looking at the comments and page visits, and I think most if not all of you are back on board after the Chinese New Year holidays… So, I can finally start with my [Johor Bahru 2016] series of blog posts…

Let’s start with the hotel…

Remember when I made a fuss when some of you concluded that I was staying at the same hotel where I had my first dinner? I was dejected not because you guys jumped to that conclusion. I was dejected because you guys jumped to that conclusion because you did not read what I wrote.

I am so grateful that some of you did read what I wrote and concluded that I was staying in a different hotel. That was exactly the kind of conclusion I wanted you guys to make. I was counting on that, because I have a plan that when I write this post today, I was going to explain that [After that fancy buffet dinner at that fancy hotel, I went to check into the actual hotel that I will be staying in…] is an incomplete statement, and that the full statement is: [After that fancy buffet dinner at that fancy hotel, I went to check into the actual hotel that I will be staying in, which happens to be the same fancy hotel].

That’s why I was so annoyed with some of you. You jumped into the correct conclusions NOT because you were smart in dissecting my statement. You jumped into the correct conclusions because you were lazy to read the words I wrote! Hence, I have to write this lame introduction with a lot of confusing explanations… 🙁 🙁 🙁


Anyway, okay… so I stayed in the same fancy hotel where I had my first dinner in Johor Bahru (JB) in more than 2 years. I stayed in Doubletree by Hilton.

First, let me show you my room…

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Typical hotel room setup
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See through bathroom – perfect for honeymoon babymakers
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Different type of pillows you can choose from
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View out of my room

I have been to JB a few times before, but this was the first time I stayed in this hotel. We usually stayed in one of the few hotels located in Taman Abad (Century Garden), but this time I was attracted by the word “Hilton”. I mean, “Hilton” alone warrants some excitement for us to try, isn’t it?

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The pool
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The sunbathing chairs
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More pool
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Some more pool
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Outdoor lounge by the pool

Now that I have stayed here, I guess I can make an effective comparison between this hotel, and those hotels in Century Garden. Bear in mind that because I’m staying here as a corporate guest, as someone on a working trip, my comparison is geared towards what (I think) makes it tick for corporate guests.

What I like about Doubletree

  1. The welcome cookie upon check-in. Oh me oh my, that was one helluva cookie. It was one of the best cookie I have ever eaten, and I have eaten quite a lot of cookies! The chocolate chips, the nuts, the crunch, goodness me! They do have those cookies on sale, RM 48 per jar. I am regretting not getting one of those to bring home for CNY!
  2. Car park security. Doubletree’s car park is one of the safest hotel car park that I have encountered. They have an autopay gate, which by itself is nothing to shout about. But to get to the autopay gate, you need to go through a guard who will ask you for your room number and register your vehicle number EVERY TIME you enter. A very far cry from that hotel which shares their car park with the attached shopping mall.
  3. Wi-fi stability. This was the first hotel in JB that I stayed in which their wi-fi was not spotty. I was able to get a stable connection throughout. The speed was just alright, nothing to shout about, but it was continuous. All the other hotels that I have stayed in before have always given me countless nightmares with frequent internet disconnect, which was especially disrupting when I had to access our servers in Penang to download files. No such bullshit with Doubletree.
  4. Awesome shower. This is my personal preference. I am someone who prefers to take a shower rather than lie around in a bathtub. I actually hate the bathtub, because it is super slippery to be standing inside a bathtub while taking a shower. Thankfully, my room in Doubletree has no bathtub. Instead, it has a shower compartment in the bathroom with a large shower-head coming from the ceiling which did wonderful things to me in terms of soothing my tired body every evening. You can see it if you look closely at the bathroom picture above. My favorite shower however, is still that 6 point water jet shower in Singapore’s Meritus Mandarin, but this one here is pretty awesome too.
  5. Awesome restaurants. I have tried both their buffet dinner and Italian fine dining. I am very impressed on both counts. But I will not elaborate here because they will have their own dedicated blog posts. Suffice to say, food quality here is great, so you will be well fed even if you are not at a liberty to go out for meals.
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The HUUUGGEEEE cookie!
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Okay, not that huge… but so so good!

Before you go all “Wah!!! The hotel so nice!!!”, I would also like to point out a couple of things which I feel this hotel can do better…

What I think Doubletree can do better

  1. Parking fees. Seriously, I think this is my single biggest grouch. You know those hotels in Century Garden, they all provide complimentary (a.k.a FREE) parking as long as you are staying with them. In fact, even Puteri Pacific which is a stone’s throw away is able to do the same. I would’ve thought that a hotel that charges almost RM 100 more per night’s stay would have no problem matching this complimentary parking perk. So I was really NOT thrilled when I was told that I have to pay a heavily discounted RM 10 per day for parking inside the hotel during check-in.
  2. I actually can’t think of anything else that immediately drew my attention…

Anyway, because I spend most of the day at work and away from the hotel, and then at work again when coming back to the hotel, I was not able to explore the hotel more thoroughly to see if there are other exciting features that the hotel offers. I guess the same can be said for most of business travelers. Because we mostly stay inside our rooms, the only features that we would appreciate would be those that can be accessed from the room.

For example, I managed to go into the gym to take photos, but not to get some workout done. You have to understand that when we travel for business, we try to pack light, so the likelihood of us packing a set of workout outfit with us is very low.

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Gym
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More gym

Will I come back again if I have another business trip to JB in the future? I don’t know…

  1. If I drive, then this is my second best candidate. The car park is very secure, but I don’t like that I have to pay extra for parking. If they will have free parking in the future, then Doubletree will be my first candidate.
  2. If I don’t drive, then probably not. I did say the food in this hotel is very good, but I am someone who prefers variety. If I don’t drive, I would probably pick that hotel in Century Garden which is attached to a shopping mall. Because there’s a mall attached to it. 🙄

34 Comments

  1. Walau Eh!! You stayed in a very atas hotel. Definitely the name excites me like hearing Paris Hilton.

    I have been wondering how this name coined with DoubleTree nowadays? There are also 2 fabulous ones in Bangkok by the name Conrad Hilton and Millennium Hilton.

    Your room is modern and chic with sexy glass bathroom! Who shared your room?

    • I don’t know. To be honest, I’m an idiot when it comes to hotels. I suppose they are all Hilton hotels, but different price range? Just like Gordon Ramsay has different restaurants that caters for different price range groups. (I’m just guessing. Maybe we should ask Monica of The Yum List) 🙄

      I shared my room with —— (it’s a secret) 😎 …

  2. See through bathroom….is that specifically for a single room? Otherwise, what happens when you have children (or other people) staying with you (they should at least have some blinds that you can draw)! O_o Quite a lot of hotels have done away with bathtubs these days (I hate those too). I prefer an enclosed shower compartment so that the bathroom stays dry.

  3. That chocolate chip cookie certainly looks big and it has a lot of chocolate chip bits in it 😀 I wonder if they’d give you another one if you ask 🙄

    I too prefer a shower, never a fan of bathtubs. Practically all of the hotels and motels I’ve stayed in come with a bathtub. I don’t know how common this is.

    • I’m sure they would’ve given me if I asked. But then I was also preparing my tummy for the buffet dinner, so… 🙄

      As far as I can see, hotel rooms without bathtub is rare…

  4. true enuff, when I go for biz trip, i usually pack light with 1 extra formal wear. I dun pack swimsuit or workout shirt coz chances are like near zero for me to step into gym or to the pool. There were once I never get myself to even lie on the bed and ended up falling asleep on the couch while waiting for the van to transport me to the airport. Btw, why so much fuss about parking? u can always claim from company since this is a biz trip 😉

    • I know I can claim from company lah, but I just thought it would be appropriate to give free parking to staying guests. Regardless of whether it is corporate guest or not. (I need to sound like I am “fighting for the company’s benefits”) 🙄

  5. Well, like they say, you pay for what you get. =D

    When the hotels give out complimentary cookies or drinks to welcome their guests, it illustrates that the latter’s presence/stay is truthfully appreciated. 😉

  6. My ex-colleague always stayed in the same hotel in Kowloon when he went to Hong Kong. Once that I also had to go for visa issues I stayed there. It was expensive (like 900 HKD) and, wait for it, the wifi was not included in the price. Paying 900 HKD for a 10 sq meters room (HK rooms are always tiny), wifi was not frigging included and you had to pay extra for it. I had to stay in HK for a week so after the first night I got the hell out of there and changed to another hotel with wifi included in the price. The worst part is that hotel is actually always busy and full! People really like to be ripped off!!

    • What?? I know most hotels charge crazy rates for the high speed LAN cable internet, but almost all hotels would provide free wi-fi. Charging for wi-fi is a new low to me. If I am going to HK in the future, I will ask you for the exact hotel name so as to avoid going there! 😐

  7. I am with you about the shower. I usually only stay in hotels when traveling and I love to have a shower with high water pressure at the end of the day.

    And I agree about paying extra for parking. When we attended my cousin’s wedding in Canada, we stayed at the hotel which was also the wedding venue and we had to pay for parking. I was surprised that the best and most expensive hotels in the area would make you pay for parking [enough though, like the Doubletree, was secure.]

    • It really is not something to be appreciated, isn’t it, paying extra for parking? I can understand if they charge for visitors who are not staying with them, but staying guests should always get free parking. 🙄

  8. Yup you are right, I think most people already start work yesterday, but I think some take straight leave until today, back to work tomorrow, after the “pai tin kung” ceremony.. I love that cookie, and those ways hotel welcome you.. Some give free drinks, some a basket of chocolates and snacks..

  9. Ha ha, you’re just upset that we saw through your trickery 😉
    I love the giant cookies there too – warm out of the oven when you arrive – even health nut me can’t resist gobbling the entire thing on arrival.
    BTW, you might be surprised to know that there no paid reviews on The Yum List – not a single one. Free stays yes, but no payment involved. We have a disclaimer too that we send to requesters – if we wouldn’t recommend a place personally to a friend, it doesn’t get a spot on the site – we give direct constructive feedback to the management team, but no write up. 🙂

  10. If I don’t know better, I would have thought the hotel paid you to write a review on them. I agree that they should give guests staying at the hotel free parking. Your company will cover the parking as well, right?

    • Apalah you… you go and read from The Yum List. That… is how a proper paid review should look like. If paid reviews look like what I just wrote here, hotels would get into trouble very quickly, I reckon 🙄 …

      Yeah, the company foots my parking bill, so by right I should not bitch so much about it. But hey! If somehow they give free parking in the future, I can claim a cost saving project: “Saved parking fees for business travelers to JB” 😀

  11. i like that gesture of the hotel giving you a welcome cookie!! hey, that’s very sweet lor.. but i rarely stay in high class hotel also, can only dream of any welcome stuffs to me, if there are clean towels then i am already very happy, haha!! this is a very nice hotel lor, i went to JB a couple of times and only tumpang at friend’s house..

    • This was the first time I get a cookie when checking into a hotel in Malaysia, so I was pleasantly surprised. Although a cookie is like a default standard when I checked into hotels in the US. I think we really should learn all the good practices from the Americans!

      Tsk, maybe because you went to JB for vacation and not for work. If I went on vacation, I will tumpang at friend’s house also ler… I’m sure you will get nice hotels when you travel for work too, just that you won’t blog that out in detail 🙄 …

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