Saturday, June 3, 2017

Staycation @ Double Tree Hilton Hotel Johor Bahru

Hello readers! Jeremy suggested to go for a staycation in JB as he was feeling burned out from work so i told him to plan one if he wants to because i was busy with my own stuffs and thus he went to google and did some simple research before deciding to book Double tree Hilton hotel for our 3D2N staycation!

Previously, we used to have staycations in Singapore, but Singapore hotels aren't cheap, unless times whereby i get my friends to book for me at a staff rate, otherwise a normal 4 or 5 star hotel may cost you $300 - $400++ per night!

So he went to book and i get some time off from work so that we can go in early and avoid the friday jam in customs. However! apparently he didn't take any leave and he couldn't leave Singapore until a certain timing, so he wasted my time off when i reached home early but eventually i could have skip taking time off and reaching home in the evening before going in jb. He started by telling me his phone has run out of battery so he is charging first. I was ok, later on he was dilly-dally that raise my suspicion that he didn't apply his leave and expose his lie. this cheater. Hahaha. Taking some selfies while waiting for time to pass
It was a good thing we had MACS lane pass, if not i would have killed him if we are stuck in the customs because of human jam. We went in the evening and it was not too crowded so we was able to clear the customs fast. According to the google map GPS, it was walking distance from the KOMTAR JBCC mall, located just beside the city square mall. In fact, it was like the back of the mall that we have to cross the road to go over.

The crossing road part is quite scary because there is no traffic lights and cars don't stop so we really have to jaywalk but at the same times the cars are coming at such a fast speed as cars usually do on expressway. It was tough trying to cross over the road. Hahaha. So i recommend anyone who are looking to stay in this hotel in JB to consider taking a cab that will drop you right at the hotel entrance. For us, i thought since it's walking distance so we didn't consider taking a cab. Besides, we are not planning to stay in the room the whole day so by figuring out how to walk to the hotel means we know how to walk back when we leave the hotel for our dinner or shopping etc.

This is what i mean if you see this stretch of road that you have to cross over with cars coming non stop as there is no traffic light. 

This was the hotel lobby, they have a very big seating area for guests to sit in the lobby.

We was given the complimentary cookies at the front desk during check in which is the hotel standard practice, i thought it will be some cold cookies but surprisingly it was hot and smell good when we receive the cookies from the front desk staff.

I think Jeremy booked the king one bed room suite with exec lounge access, initially i was still pretty excited because he told me the room comes with bathtub! I love to stay in hotels room that comes with bathtub. However i was quite disappointed when we went to check out our room and there was only the rainshower without any bathtub! As i was not the one to book the room, and as much as i know sometimes the website will put generic photos for all the room type, however it shows in the agoda website, there are two room category, one is called the king one bedroom suite with lounge access and the other one is 'one bedroom deluxe suite', both room has the same size @ 689sqft, 

We have the lounge access and the photo shows the room type has a bathtub, so assuming if we actually book the one bedroom deluxe suite which is suppose to be slightly high cost than king one bedroom suite with lounge access, there is no bathtub in the room! It's kind of contradicting so i guess it would be advisable to email the website in advance to ask if their room comes with bathtub before making the reservation. Now i take note to email and ask first before i book the room. 

We could have called down the front desk and ask them but being nice guests, we leave it as it is as the entire room is quite comfortable except for the lack of bathtub that i would like to have!
Their mini bar counter was located outside the living room area.

 The room allows us to adjust the aircon which was good because it can get pretty cold at night.

From the bedroom, the bathroom is connected yet at the same time, you can exit from the other door from the bathroom to the living room.
 The standard amenities that you can find in a 4-5star hotel.

The vanity counter that is design with plenty of space for me to place my makeup, cleansing product on the counter.

 I was surprised to find this washing machine + dryer at the bathroom too! They even provide the washing powder for us to do our laundry if we want. So it was a plus point!
After checking out our room, we went to the exec lounge as there were cocktail session in the evening, however, their cocktail session were below my expectations. They do have some alcohol like red wines placed at one of the corner but they doesn't have cocktail,mocktail or champagne that you can request without getting it yourself. Not sure if i am spoiled or malaysia hotels doesn't provide such service. But boutique hotels or 4-5 stars hotel that i visited in Singapore do provide you a list of drinks that you can request one leh!
But well, their small bites and cocktail weren't very impressive so we stayed awhile before leaving to city square mall.

These small bites that we took and us taking really a small bite without finishing it before we left. Hahahaha
I went to check out their pool! Only planning to swim the next day as we was heading for dinner outside.
Not tough to guess the name of this place that we had our dinner if you visit JB often!
We ordered a hotpot and waiting to be served.

When i was saying that the hotpot takes too long to be boiled, Jeremy using his super power to make it warm up faster! Hahaha
When we returned back to our hotel, i was telling Jeremy turndown service were provided. Jeremy didn't think much of it. Until i show him the photos i took before we left the room and versus the one we came back with our bed duvet being folded as seen below.

Every hotel has their different standard of turndown service. I know this because i used to work in the hotel and in the housekeeping dept. Usually 4 star or 5 star hotel provide such services. 
Basically turndown service refer to housekeeping attendants coming in to your room during the evening, to 'touch up' your room. They will clear away any trash, replenish mineral waters or putting one beside your bed as well as folding the bed linen, the purpose is to provide the extra service to their guests and the ease of settling in your bed when you returned to the hotel.

Sometimes if its a VIP guest, floor mat is being laid beside the mat with brand new slippers placed neatly.

Some will even replenish your towels if you had used any, the rm attendant might also clean up the bathroom if you had used it upon check in. Ice will also be placed in the ice bucket if there is ice bucket provided in the room. To me, i don't think its necessary a bad thing because they are simply touching up your room if you might have used it when you check in. Though i know there are guests that simply don't like such service. If you doesn't like the idea of having strangers entering the room after you have check in, simply press the 'Do not Disturb sign' on.

But one thing for sure, they don't change the linen out so don't ask for ridiculous request to change the bed linen if you happen to be in your room during their turndown service. For check in, the bedsheet should be new, unless you have stain it, if they do assign someone to change for you, appreciate it but don't expect its the norm as servicing room usually starts only the next day. 

Another thing is rm attendants does not do turndown service if they realise the room might not have been cleaned during daytime. They are damm smart and will usually call and check if room have been serviced. 

Most of the room attendants has to turndown more than 100 rooms, sometimes alone or in pairs. If they start to change the bed linen for every guest that request, they won't be able to finish their service on time. The world will be a better place if everyone can be more forgiving and less demanding~

 I tend to sleep later than usual during staycations because sometimes the channel will have interesting shows, the next morning, we had our breakfast at the lounge, before going for a swim, the pool was so cold! No wonder no one swim in this pool, we only realised as we entered the pool. 

It was one of the relaxing weekends that i had, without having to rush to anywhere and having our just us time. We went to had Din Tai Fung for dinner before watching a movie' Wonder Women'.

I find it strange that the cinema was not crowded or even full on a saturday! In fact there were like only 10+ people in the entire cinema and the ticket was so cheap! It was only Sgd $6 on a weekend. It cost double the price to watch it in Singapore and with a cinema full of people, so it was value for $ to watch in Malaysia instead.

Overall, we had an enjoyable stay in Hilton Hotel and the room servicing was pretty good, it can be one of the hotels to consider if you are planning for a staycation in JB!

Till then!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Japan Tokyo Ginza District, Ikebukuro Sunshine City, Homebound Singapore

Hello readers! This post shall be a combination of 2 days to departing for home bound singapore because we spend most of our time shopping until i was so sick that i probably won't plan staying for many days in Tokyo next time! 

We woke up late as usual, and in my other previous post where i commented that Ichiran ramen is not to my liking, so my friends suggested to try Ippudo ramen. Verdict after trying Ippudo : This is so much better than Ichiran ramen. Scroll down for more photos*

They have different serving size so i choose the small portion that were just right for me.
Jeremy ordered the large serving.

After our lunch, we went to Ginza district to help Jeremy's friend check out one of the branded wallet price. Honestly, i don't even know this brand.

We went back to Ikebukuro Sunshin city as we didn't explore much the day before. Tried out another kind of matcha ice-cream.

There are actually many activities to do in Sunshine city such as the Skycircus sunshine60 observatory,aquarium, planetarium, indoor theme parks, we only realised all the activities when we explore the sunshine city as there were brochures at the customer service counter. 

I wanted to visit the Planetarium but there were no more showtime when we went up the top level.
The aquarium and the planetarium are located on the same level. I would suggest to do some research especially on the show time or activities that you would like to explore before heading down because the place is huge and it will be hard to make a decision. You can refer to the Sunshine City website for more details. We didn't end up doing any of the activities available in the mall as the timing was inadequate but i would definitely want to return back again next time to join the skycircus sunshine60 observatory and the planetarium! When we went to check out their 58-59th level restaurant zone, there were staff stationed outside these lifts and leading us inside these lifts.

The moment we entered and once the door is closed, the lights are off and initially i thought the lift were faulty before realising these magical lights appearing on the lift doors and the ceiling of the lifts. It was so beautiful and dreamy sight as the lift bring us up to the highest level of restaurant zone.

It would be nice to dine in the restaurant with the skyscraper view, Jeremy wanted to dine in one of the restaurants but i didn't want to because i thought the food is quite pricey and we have been spending for this trip, so he got mad at me because i didn't want to dine in and i got angry because he was showing me attitude after that. So we quarrel again. Eventually we settle on western cuisine for our dinner even though he was still giving me attitude, i was telling him that he can go up by himself to dine if he want and i can eat whatever i want, i did offered him a choice but he doesn't want to take it. The quarrel didn't affect my appetite, hahaha i ordered spaghetti and request for the pizza to be takeaway because he didn't want to eat the pizza on purpose.

Throughout the trip, i think we got into endless arguments to the extent that i told him that i was never ever going to travel with him again! Even though we had already book our next holiday to BKK in Jul. But he knows that i will mean it if i want. Anyway, the next day, we checked out of our air bnb, bought our ticket that will bring us back to Narita airport for our flight back Singapore!
I think this is the longest period that i am away from Singapore, previously my longest holiday was about 7-8 days but this was close to 12 days! So, i am more than happy to return back to Singapore after spending my last few days in Tokyo shopping almost everyday, i was kinda sick of it too.
I was joking to Jeremy that i am finally going home, don't need to see him everyday liao! I mean back in Singapore, we would have our own work and we don't exactly spend so much time together compared to sticking with each other 24/7 for this trip. I always feel it's good to have some alone time because you get to do what you want without having to accommodate another person. I am not the kind of clingy girl that wants her man to be by her side everyday. We had several quarrels during this holiday, but most of the time i think its the tone and the ability to be patient to understand what the other party is trying to say is very important. For eg: Jeremy have the tendency to get frustrated easily when he feel that he has been repeating certain stuff but i can't get it. 
So he will say, 'forget it, you do whatever you want with that kind of tone that imply he gave up ' Which makes me even more pissed because sometimes i couldn't understand what he is trying to say or he couldn't understand what i am trying to say. I guess effective communication and delivering the message well is a skill that both of us need to improve and work on it.  
Going back with 4 luggages and they are actually quite heavy!
There were plenty of time when we reached the airport, so we had our lunch first at one of the restaurant before shopping for more gifts to bring back.

After our meal, we went to check in our luggage first before browsing the stores in airport.
Royce chocolates is cheap in Japan, in singapore it was selling at $15 per box, but it cost only $7 per box. So i bought like each a flavour home.

Paid for a cooler bag to store my Royce chocolates. Haha

This Tokyo milk cheese biscuit is good too!

I spend most of my remaining yen on these snacks at the airport because everything looks so pretty and nice! 
 After we were done, we were waiting at the boarding game for the announcement.

Nevertheless, it was nice to visit Japan and i guess i will be back next time to explore other cities!
Meanwhile, it was quite a nightmare to unpack our luggage after we returned back home. I only realise i bought way too much stuffs and too many things to unpack. 
I was deciding what snacks to give to my friends, colleagues etc. I placed it out on the table to find out exactly how much stuff i bought. Haha

This is a must buy potato chip! Hahaha. 

With that, i have finally finished all my japan holiday trip posts! Yay!
Till then.