Rates of hotel has skyrocketed in recent years due to it's close proximity to Singapore, high property prices and fast development of the city. I had planned to take my family for a vacation where we will visit Legoland and Johor Premium Outlet. While looking around for accommodation, it strucks me that the rates for most hotels, especially those in the city center, is on the highside, even slightly higher than the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. We scoure and found this hotel that was quoting a very affordable rate for the facilities that it provides.
The first problem we encountered is locating the hotel. We had read that the hotel is located on the city outskirts right in the residential area. I had planned to bring along my GPS unit but accidentally left it back home. Once we reached the toll exiting the North South Highway, made a call to the hotel. It took sometime before finally managed to speak to the reception and asked for direction. We were informed to go straight and enter another highway. Please note that the toll both for the inner city highway only accepts payment by Touch n Go, no cash payment allowed. As such, we had to line-up at the booth which offer purchase of Touch n Go. Took us about 30 minutes just to get through and end up had to pay RM10 for the card which had RM5 of value. So please note the bring along or purchase elsewhere your Touch N Go card before going into the city. We made some wrong turns and had to tried to call back the hotel but unluckily no answer, Stuck in the massive rush hour jam, we asked people on the roadside and was informed that we should have just drove heading towards the Woodlands checkpoint (the border to Singapore) and exit to Permas Jaya before reaching Woodlands. So we drove back to the highway headed towards Woodlands.
Once we were on the elevated highway heading towards Woodlands, we are able to spot the hotel from a far, with the name of the hotel in green neon light on top of it. Exited the highway towards Permas Jaya, Taman Bayu Marina is just a couple of km away. The hotel is nestled between some residential apartments and condos with the back facing a river.
The first impression is that it looks more like a condo than a hotel and looked a bit aged despite reading somewhere that the hotel is just 2-3 years old. The lobby, while large, reminds more of a budget hotel, decent looking but does not reflect a supposedly 3/4 star hotel.
Check-in was not a breeze. We arrived there after dark. Booked the rooms through Asia Travel and was informed that we had yet to make the payment. Pointed the reception to our voucher that stated payment has been paid but was informed that the hotel did not received any payment. As such, we had to wait for them to contact their manager to get it sorted out. Luckily we were allowed to proceed.
The lifts also looked aged, but the room that we were allocated to was suprisingly good. Clean and in good conditioned with new furnitures and contrasted to our initial impression of the hotel. We had booked a room facing the city but it was actually facing another condo/apartment nearby. However, it was not too close to the other unit and was quiet and peaceful at night. We should have booked the room facing the river, would have given us a slightly more scenic view from the balcony, although it is slightly more expensive.
For food, we would usually travel to the restaurants nearby, some Malay and Mamak restaurants within walking distance or if you fancy for more variety, just drive to the Permas Jaya town centre where there is Aeon shopping centre nestled in the middle of shops and restaurants selling variety of foods including the typical fast foods.
Breakfast is served on the floor where the swimming pool and gym is located. The food is mostly chinese style dishes and some Malay and Indian dishes. No western style dish except for pancakes and toast. Luckily the chinese style dish was good especially the wide variety of dimsum.
The swimming pool looks inviting especially during the hot weather season when we were there. An infinity (almost) pool overlooking the river. It gets a bit crowded during the breakfast time but seems to be void of people before noon. There is also a small playground next to the pool and gym with decent equipment for cardio.
Lifts can sometimes take a while to wait and the multi storey parking area looks unclean. There are security guards at the parking area. However, please note that when about to exit the parking area, be sure to drive slowly once about the enter the ramp going downwards. The space is very tight and it requires you to turn the car while going thru the ramp. Saw multiple skidmarks of the wall of the ramp, evidence of numerous car fender contact.
It takes roughly 30 minutes to go to the Johor Premium Outlet and almost an hour (depending on traffic) to Legoland.
While the hotel has lot of things to improve but for the price I paid, the very accommodating and quiet room, a hotel which is out of the hustle and bustle of the city and good breakfast, I would not mind staying here again in the future.
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