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Reviewed 15 December 2017

The Bell staff was excellent....Victor in particular was very energetic and service oriented as the how we experienced in the good old days.....Front Office staff were friendly and exceptionally helpful...there was a leak in my room due to the rain and when i explained it to them they immediately changed my room and apologized.....Overall my stay was pleasant but this hotel is really in need of refurbishment......Cheers

Room Tip: Sea View Rooms are amazing
  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank ShyamalaK14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thistle J B, General Manager at Thistle Johor Bahru, responded to this reviewResponded 18 December 2017

Dear Shyamala K,

Great to hear that you had an enjoyable stay and thank you for your commendation on our team members’ genuine warm hospitality. Your feedback will certainly motivate them in our mission to completely delight and satisfy our guests.

We have taken note on your feedback in regard to the in room defect. You will be pleased to know that we will be starting the hotel's refurbishment program of our rooms soon and we look forward to delivering a refreshed Thistle Johor Bahru's experience to you and all our guests in the near future.

It was a pleasure to have you with us and we look forward to welcome you back to enjoy our newest and finest product in the near future.

Kind regards,
Rayan Komatt
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2017 via mobile

We had a wonderful 4 night stay in room 1003 at thistle fast check in and check out, our room so clean and fragrance the room boy did a good job because my son make the carpet in front of the toilet wet but the room boy gave us extra bath mat for the carpet, thankfully for the room boy
I love the city view especially at the morning and friendly staff but they need to upgrade the pool because so many mosquito they should fogging the garden and let the guest to order some food from the restaurant
The hotel near to city center just need 10minute with uber or taxi
A great choice for stay

Stayed: December 2017, travelled with family
Thank Johana T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thistle J B, General Manager at Thistle Johor Bahru, responded to this reviewResponded 18 December 2017

Dear Johana T,

It was our pleasure to have you with us and we really appreciate your valuable feedback from your stay, particularly on our service standards. Thank you for sharing your insights and letting us know what highlighted your overall experience.

Following your feedback with regards to the mosquitoes at the garden, I can assure you we have a regular pest control program in play hotel wide. Regular scheduled visits to all hotel premises including poolside takes place on a planned basis.

Thank you once again for your feedback, it would be our pleasure to welcome you back on your next stay-cation.

Kind regards
Rayan Komatt
General Manager

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Reviewed 12 December 2017 via mobile

Although i couldnt get any late check out, even i stayed this hotel serveral time, over all room was cozy and comfortable, and got value for the money with cheap pricy.
This hotel is located near from central.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Eden P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thistle J B, General Manager at Thistle Johor Bahru, responded to this reviewResponded 19 January 2018

Dear Eden P,

My team and I were delighted to have you staying with us at Thistle Johor Bahru and we are glad that you enjoyed your stay with us.

Your point regarding the late check out is noted. Whilst not an excuse, late check out is very much subject to availability at that point of time. I hope this would clarify the situation.

I truly appreciate your kind patronage and look forward to extending our hospitality to you again in the near future.

Kind regards,
Rayan Komatt
General Manager

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Reviewed 12 December 2017

My wife and I stayed at the JB Thistle hotel for 3 days and 2 nights in Dec 2017.

Location
========
+ The hotel is a 5min drive from the Johor Bahru CIQ checkpoint or 30min from Senai International Airport.

+ It is located at the corner of Jalan Sungai Chat and Jalan Lingkaran Dalam, away from the hustle and bustle of the Jalan Wong Ah Fook and Jalan Tun Abdul Razak.

Lobby
=====
+ The hotel was refurbished in 2015 and the lobby thus has a modern clean feel.

- While there were several signages listing the various hotel restaurants, none of them indicated WHERE they were, not even the floor level. In fact, the Oasis restaurant was not even listed (cos it was outside the hotel building next to the swimming pool?).

Carparking
==========
+ Parking is free for hotel guests, with unlimited reentry. When entering the car park, you need to press a button at the entry barrier to obtain a soft magnetic ticket. AFTER you know your room number, you'll need to go to the hotel counter and ask them to "validate" your ticket. The hotel counter staff will give you back both the original magnetic ticket, as well as another piece of yellow paper (with your checkout date indicated). When your car exits the car park, there will be a booth manned by a security guard at the exit barrier. You'll need to give him both your original magnetic ticket, as well as the yellow paper. If you're reentering the hotel carpark later, he'll give you back the yellow paper. You'll get another magnetic ticket the next time you reenter the carpark. If you're leaving the hotel carpark for good (on checkout day), he'll retain the yellow paper.

+ The carpark had both outdoor and underground sheltered lots. The outdoor lots seemed to be reserved for valet. The underground carpark (there are 2 basement levels) was fairly well-lit and comprised mostly reverse parking lots. There were a couple of dedicated Pink Single Ladies lots located immediately outside the B1 carpark lift lobby, so that single ladies would presumably walk a safe minimal distance to their vehicles.

- The sole carpark lift did not go directly to Ground Floor lobby area. Taking it to the Ground Floor means having to walk across the unsheltered Ground Floor driveway to reach the check-in counters. A more sheltered route would be to take the lift to the LG (Lower Ground) floor , walk past the function rooms, and take a second set of lifts (cluster of 4) from LG to G floor.

Wifi
====
+ There was free wifi (required username and password) in both the hotel lobby and function room areas, as well as in the hotel rooms. The hotel room was supposed to require a different set of username and password, but we were able to log in in the rooms using the same username+password as that at the hotel lobby/ function room.

Rooms
=====
We stayed in a Superior room on level 11.

+ Large room with a big King-size bed. Enough space to fit 2 baby cots.
+ Standard fridge, ironing board, safe, hangers, desk, chair
+ The fridge was left empty so if you're the kind who likes to buy your own drinks/food, there's plenty of space to store.
- While the room was large, it lacked a luggage rack
- The style of room funiture is a little old-school, being heavily wooden and painted over, rather than having laminated surfaces. This also means that the paint is vulnerable to being chipped off. There was also some slight cosmetic wear and tear on the furniture, e.g. the underlying wood swelling up due to water absorption) (see photos)
- The closet light could not be switched off. There seemed to be a mechanism on the folding closet door that was supposed to switch it off when the closet doors were shuttered, but they didn't seem to work.

+ Proper dark-out curtains that blocked out the morning sun
+ With proper brick walls, sound insulation between the rooms was good.

+ Beverage tray was stocked with the usual tea/coffee bags, kettle.
- The beverage tray was placed on a movable rack inside the TV console that could be pulled out. However this was not practical because (a) one needed to open the TV console cabinet doors to access the beverages, and (b) the lack of electrical sockets inside the TV console meant the kettle in the beverage tray still needed to be taken out elsewhere to be connected to electricity, which was what we had to do. A better way would have been to directly place the beverage tray on the desk or TV console.

+ Spacious bathroom with bathtub+shower head combo
+ Complimentary toothbrushes, toothpaste, moisturizers, etc.
- Thick fluffy bathrobes were no longer available (even upon request). Only thinner Japanese Yukata knee-length bathrobes were available and only upon request to the Knock-Knock counter hotline.
- The shower and basin faucet system was difficult to use. It comprised 2 levers to control hot and cold water flow respectively. However, just turning the hot lever by a little could result in scalding hot water gushing out. THIS WAS VERY DANGEROUS FOR CHILDREN TAKING THEIR BATH/SHOWERS. I'm surprised that something so basic had been overlooked during the design of the bathrooms. It would have been much easier to utilise a single-lever faucet system common in many other Asian countries, e.g. Singapore, which are much more safer.

+ Panasonic TV with HBO, NatGeo, Fox Movies, ESPN, cartoon, Japanese channel, Malaysia and Singapore free-to-air TV, etc.
+ TV listing was provided in the in-room Astro magazine.
- The 32-inch TV was a little small, given its distance from the bed. We had to shift it to the front edge of the TV console so that the TV image wasn't too small.
- The TV signal was analogue and came in via a VHF/UHF antenna. Since it wasn't digital, the quality of the TV image wasn't as sharp. Reception was also static-affected at first, until we realized we had to manually tighten the connection between the antenna cable and the TV antenna port.

- Only 1 electrical wall socket near each bedside cabinet (for charging phone, laptop, etc.) which was already used for the bedside lamp.
- Wall power sockets were NOT multi-pin. So adaptors were required.
- No night-lights in the sleeping area or bathroom.

- While there was a room aircon-control dial, it was next to useless due to the centralised air-conditioning, which was WAY TOO COLD. We had to call the Knock Knock hotline to ask them to somehow increase the temperature.
Proper room-controllable air-con temperature and fan speed

- No complimentary local newspapers in the morning

- Room service was expensive (RM 36 - 40 for a spaghetti or rice dish, RM86 for a Australian Ribeye steak. See attached photos for complete price menu) compared to the food options near the hotel (see Food Options section below).

Swimming Pool
=============
+ There are 2 pools, both located on the Lower Ground floor
1. 90cm - 1.2m (2ft - 4 ft) deep children pool. The pool floor gradually falls away to the deep end without any barrier, so be careful if your kid is not tall enough.
2. 150cm (5 ft) deep adult pool
- There seemed to be a former water slide linking the two pools, but it had since been walled off.

- Opened daily from 7am to 7pm, we felt the pool closed too early.

+ Entry into the pools is via a flight of gentle steps, so relatively safe for the kids.

- There are no lifeguards.

- Changing rooms are hidden along a corridor at the left of the Oasis restaurant. To avoid walking through the restaurant just to access the toilets, you can take a flight of steps on the extreme left of the restaurant building.

- There was a pool towel system where you need to register your room number at a towel counter before drawing pool towels and returning them to the same counter. You are NOT allowed to bring them back to your room, even though swimmers generally prefer to wrap themselves in warm towels as they walk back through the cold air-conditioned hotel corridors. While adult Yukata bathrobes are provided in the hotel rooms upon request, there are not suitable for children. A simpler and better system (like those at Wembley St Giles hotel in George Town, Penang) was to simply have an (unmanned) towel rack for people and allow them to bring towels back to rooms. The chambermaid can retrieve the hotel towels when they come for their daily rounds.

Gym
===
+ Located at the LG floor
+ Well-equipped and well-maintained equipment.

Spa
===
Mon - Sat: 11am to 10pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: 11am to 8pm

See attached photos for price menu.

Childcare-related facilities
============================
- Unfortunately, there didn't seem to be any childcare facilities.

Dining
======

The Fresh restaurant (Ground Floor) offered a good Asian-Western breakfast. Buffet dishes included:

+ Nasi Lemak (coconut rice)
+ Ayam Masak Merah

+ Chinese soup noodles
+ Porridge - plain and chicken
+ Fried kway teow (Fried Carrot Cake on other days)
+ Dim sum - lotus Bun

+ Chicken ham
+ Beef
+ Potato

+ Omelette station
+ Cold cuts
+ Bread and pastry corner
+ Fruit (Lychee, Dragonfruit, Apples, Oranges, etc.)
+ 3 juices
+ Milk + Cereal

We didn't see Bacon or pork dishes (Malaysia is a Muslim country after all).

Directly opposite the hotel was a KFC for those missing their favourite fried chicken, as well as an air-conditioned Malay restaurant (Restoran Selasih Sri Gelam).

There was another airconditioned Malay restaurant (Sedap Corner) 6min walk away along Jalan Abdul Samad, but my favourite recommendation had to be Ong Shun Seafood Restaurant (see my other TripAdvisor review), which offered well-cooked, affordable seafood that was half-price compared to Singapore.

Nearby Shopping
=============

All the main shopping malls in Johor Bahru (KSL Mall, Komtar CC, City Square) are within 10min drive under good traffic conditions.

There is a free hotel shuttle bus operating on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only on a first-come-first-serve basis. Arrival/ departure times as follows (see photo):

Hotel (depart): 9:30am, 10:30am, 12pm, 1:15pm, 3:15pm
City Square Mall: 12:15pm, 1:30pm, 3:30pm
Johor Premium Outlets: 11:15am, 2:15pm, 4:15pm
Hotel (arrive): 12pm, 12:30pm, 3pm, 5pm, 6:30pm

Note that the drop-off points no longer include KSL Mall or Legoland. Nonetheless, approximate metered taxi fares from the hotel to City Square is RM15, and LegoLand is RM50.

Overall, JB Thistle was a well-maintained suburban hotel with big rooms.

  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Ronny_Tan_Y_H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thistle J B, General Manager at Thistle Johor Bahru, responded to this reviewResponded 21 January 2018

Dear Ronny_Tan_Y_H,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback and we greatly appreciate your kind patronage.

We have taken good note of your observations on our service and facilities and rest assured that every effort is being made to ensure we meet our guests’ expectations.

We greatly appreciate your kind support towards our hotel and hope to welcome you back for an enjoyable stay as well as many more delectable delights at Thistle Johor Bahru.

Kind regards,
Rayan Komatt
General Manager

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Reviewed 8 December 2017 via mobile

We’ve had 4 nights stay in here, and everything was smooth from the check in on reception, also the reception team and bellboy are doing their job professionally, my wife and 2 sons enjoyed the swimming pool, room was spacious and the view is amazing, thank you thistle hotel, we will be back again when we visit JB

Stayed: December 2017, travelled with family
Thank George M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thistle J B, General Manager at Thistle Johor Bahru, responded to this reviewResponded 19 January 2018

Dear George M,

Thank you for letting us know how much you and your family enjoyed your recent stay at Thistle Johor Bahru. We are glad that you were comfortable and felt well-cared for while you were with us.

Thanks again for all your positive feedback and you can be assured that there is always a warm welcome waiting for you and your family whenever you stay with us whether for another well-earned break or simply to enjoy any of our exciting food and beverage options.

Kind regards,
Rayan Komatt
General Manager

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