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