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Mutiara Johor Bahru
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Reviewed 8 December 2013

The hotel lobby is undergoing renovation. The room is dated but clean sheets and towels. We booked the room with double super single beds. The room is spacious. Wifi is non-existent in the room but you can access at the lobby. There's a pool and a simple gym with equipments and weights, some spoilt equipments. The Hotel is next to Holiday Plaza, a really old complex which houses Parkson, McDonald's and KFC. If you don't mind walking along the slopey road, you can reach KSL in 15min, where you can find lot more food and some shopping and a cinema, too. The room price is a few dollars cheaper than KSL Hotel, so I will probably stay at KSL Hotel next time so that I can save myself from walking to and fro KSL.

  • Stayed: November 2013
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1  Thank Pebble_Ultimate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 December 2013

The hotel got a comfortable room and convenient location to several shopping malls. However, I stayed at the wrong time when they are doing a renovation. They are short of space for parking. The front was dusty due to renovation.

Room Tip: Check the hotel before you make a reservation. I think the renovation is still taking ttime to complete.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank MrTravelMalaysia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2013

I was visiting Singapore/Malaysia for about two weeks. I ended up choosing the Mutiara after searching Trip Advisor reviews and the internet and I was very, very happy with the decison.

Let me fill you in from a European traveller's perspective: First off, to me it represented astounding value for money. I think partly the prices are lower than usual at the moment because of the renovations/building work, but the quality / price trade off offered by this hotel was really, really good.

Johar Bahru is a sort of bandit/cowboy town north across the causeway from Singapore on the Southern tip of Malaysia. I actually found myself preferring to live in Johar Bahru than Singapore, because everything in Singapore was a bit "perfect", sterile, safe and gleaming like Disneyland for the mainland tourists for my taste.

Johar Bohru felt a bit more real and gritty and chaotic, which I personally prefer. Generally Johar Bohru offers astounding value for money - it is perhaps half the price or even less compared to Singapore for everything from food to taxis and hotels. Many Singaporeans are buying property in Johar Bohru, and many Malaysians commute across the border every day to work. Singaporean residents even visit Johar Bohru to fill their tanks with petrol and do their weekly shopping! But you will rarely read this in the tourist brochures...

Even by the standards of Johar Bohru, The Mutiara offered astounding value for money. I was paying £35-£40 equivalent per night for a business class standard hotel.

For similar money, I would be in a shoebox in Singapore or Hong Kong. Yet at the Mutiara, the rooms were huge. It had a good outdoor swimming pool, and the staff could not do enough to help. They were really going the extra mile and very friendly, flexible and apologetic if things did not go perfectly...

The hotel also offers a club floor which I did not try but would look to book on my next visit.

The negatives? If you are visiting Singapore each day, crossing the borer will become a bit of a hassle. You need to get a taxi (cheap though) or bus and go through Malaysian/Sinagporean customs twice each way. The crossing can take up to an hour at rush hour periods.

Some people complain that Johar Bohru is dangerous with lots of muggings, but I never saw much evidence of that. It looked to me safer than most parts of London I know well. Perhaps the area is just being compared to ultra-safe dull sterile Singapore where nobody drops chewing gum or jay walks.

This was a business hotel experience at an exceptional value price; I personally preferred to pay this price and have the hassle of crossing the border each day than live like a hostel back packer in a hen coop in Singapore itself for similar money. But I guess you pay your money and you take your choice.

The hotel is NOT ultra modern gleaming to what I would call American taste - if you are expecting an ultra-modern Sheraton with all mod cons done up in the last 3 months, you may find aspects of the Mutiara a tiny bit tatty and faded. It probably feels a bit mid-Nineties But I loved that...it has atmosphere.

The hotel also isn't into the latest hotel game of offering a low headline rate to get you to book and then trying to fleece you with rip off add ons for everything else from breakfast to wifi. Each room had LAN network internet access at no extra cost, a big desk and a minibar which didn't bust the bank.

There were comfortable armchairs and a good bathroom. My room had a fabulous giant plate glass window and views down across Johar Bohru (this is not a city of beauty to be fair, but I couldn't have asked for a better vantage point). I liked the fact it still had smoking rooms for example...I am guessing the Sinagpore stasi have probably expunged all traces of these across the border!

I am not sure whether the pricing I enjoyed is available long-term or just because of the repair works, but I was happy to hear a bit of drilling at 10am given the price I was paying. I reckon this is one of the top 3 hotels in Johar Bahru at about half the price of competitors. Compared to Sinagpore prices, it's ridiculously good value.

The staff really want to help. The lobby check in area was a bit cramped when I arrived, but they had restoration going on which all guests were clearly warned about in advance so I had no problem with that at all.

Other negatives? I can't really think of any. Even breakfast was included in the room rent, (although I must admit despite the fantastic staff i would say the menu was more Malaysian than an English/European breakfast. i did not bounce out of bed each day looking forward to a sensational European breakfast, but it was pefectly ok.).

I cannot recommend this hotel highly enough...in fact I hope it stays empty and the tourists keep paying over the odds in Singapore so the Mutiara doesn't put it prices up. I hope this review doesn't shoot my plans to return there soon in the foot; I may be based in Singapore for a sustained period of time, and if so I would actually consider moving into the Mutiara on a semi-permanant basis.

The hotel also has a sister hotel in the North of Malaysia, but I did not have time to visit this area so cannot comment on this location at all.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Bazzer72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2013

Check in was fast and the Front Office staff was attentive to the requests made in Agoda. Only thing, did not tell me it was a smoking room until I got into the room. However, no smell was detected. Loved the room and its privacy. Nice working desk and Lan line. Able to work quietly in the night. Requests for amenities was fast and Front Office did check to ensure that they were delivered. First hotel that I have came across that this this. Kudos to the Management team for the training provided.

Room Tip: Ask for high floors and corner room.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank danieltankeemok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2013

Came back to Mutiara again with my wife.

Mutiara is undergoing renovations in the lobby. Therefore, you have to make a big detour if you are coming in from Holiday Plaza. The path to enter is shared with cars and is not sheltered. It would be a little inconvenient to travel out especially if you are walking.

Nonetheless, the hotel has done a good job in minimising the level of noise created from the renovations. Everything else other than the above mentioned, are still good. Service, room cleanliness are still up to standard. Easily one of the best hotel in Johor.

Though they are some minor glitches in my room. The shower head hanger/rest is spoilt, I have to hold on the shower head all the time while bathing. The metal foil on the shower head peeled off. The wardrobe knob was loose. They only place in a set of slippers and bathrobe.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank LonelyTraveller87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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