Hotels Review: Where to Stay in Johor Bahru

I want to begin this blog post with a beautiful quote from Renaissance Hotel, “No matter where or why you travel, there’s always something wonderfully new to be found”. This sums up my travel experience in Johor recently. Under the invitation by Visit Malaysia 2014 to explore Johor, I’m honoured to experience two different types of accommodation across the causeway.

RENAISSANCE Johor Bahru Hotel

Launched in May 2013, this chic and spacious property boasts of its 345 modern contemporary rooms and 5-star service. Located near the industrial town, Pasir Gudang, RENAISSANCE is the lifestyle brand under Marriot International. When I enter the hotel, I’m greeted by a grand lobby. A short walk up level 2, there are several function rooms for meeting and seminar. The hotel has also set aside a lounge area with a mini bar at level 2 for guests to mingle and network during the seminar breaks.

Our tour continues to the Club Floor, where a lavish display of tapas is on offer. From the Club’s balcony, I can see the Straits of Johor, Senoko Power Station and Woodlands Industrial Park. My Malaysian media friends jokingly said that I’ve not really left my island. We move on to view the Presidential Suite before returning back to our own rooms to freshen up before dinner.

Lobby - the grand entry

Lobby – the grand entrance

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Lobby – the view from level 2

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Seminar Rooms – relax during the break

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Seminar Rooms – mingle and network at the lounge

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Club Floor – I can see Singapore from the balcony

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Club Floor – relax with a cup of tea or coffee

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Club Floor – please help yourself to the tapas on display

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President Suite – bed for the king

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President Suite – the glorious bathroom

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President Suite – lounge and meeting area

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Are you planning for a romantic night with your partner?

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TokyoMilk Toiletries courtesy of Renaissance Hotel

Our comfortable cozy twin-sharing room for the night

Our comfortable cozy twin-sharing room for the night

The hotel is not short of recreational and entertainment facilities. The swimming pool and sauna opens from 6.30am to 9.30pm daily. There’s also 24-hour gym centre at level 6 besides the swimming pool. To encourage healthy living, Renaissance Johor Bahru Hotel offers a gym membership at RM2,1oo nett per year, includes 20% discount on all F&B outlets in the hotel, complimentary car parking, usage of swimming pool & sauna, and access to 24-hour gym.

Need an excuse to exercise?

Need an excuse to exercise?

A fully equipped gym with lots of cardio machines.

A fully equipped gym with lots of cardio machines.

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Come on, work it, work it!

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Bird’s eye view of the swimming pools from clubhouse.

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Sunset by the pool. It was raining heavily when I was there.

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Guests staying at level 6 have the option of a poolside villa

After a quick shower, it’s time to indulge in indigenous dining at Cafe BLD. This all-day dining restaurant of the hotel serves local and fusion cuisine with international live cooking buffet. Breakfast buffet is at RM42++ per person, lunch is between RM55 to RM60++, and dinner at RM68-RM80++.

For those who crave for Chinese food, Wan Li Restaurant is located across the lobby from Cafe BLD. Both common dining area and private rooms are available for reservation. Wan Li Restaurant serves authentic chinese cuisine with assortment of dim sum delights from late morning to afternoon 3-pm. Wedding package from RM1399++ per table onwards.

Tired after a few day of meeting and conference? Rewind at RBar  with RLife Live – live music from the resident DJ. Enjoy intriguing drinks with Happy Hour from 4pm to 8pm. And the best deal? They serve premier wine by glass!

The giant platter of cooked prawn is really fresh

Cafe BLD – The giant platter of cooked prawn is really fresh

I have never seen so much sashimi in my life before!

Cafe BLD – I have never seen so much sashimi in my life before!

All-you-can-eat sushi

Cafe BLD – All-you-can-eat sushi

And their desserts are really good too.

Cafe BLD – And their desserts are really good too.

I wonder if those fishes are edible too?

Wan Li Restaurant – I wonder if those fishes are edible too?

There was a Ultimate Dim Sum Challenge when we were there. Finish 18 baskets of dim sum in 30 minutes and get the meal free.

Wan Li Restaurant – There was a Ultimate Dim Sum Challenge when we were there. Finish 18 baskets of dim sum in 30 minutes and get the meal free.

Chinese restaurant setting in the common area

Wan Li Restaurant – Chinese restaurant setting in the common area

They have private rooms for small wedding reception or better still book the entire restaurant for your wedding.

Wan Li Restaurant – They have private rooms for small wedding reception or better still book the entire restaurant for your wedding.

After a long day's work, it's time to rewind at RLife.

RBar – After a long day’s work, it’s time to rewind at RLife Live

I love the option to purchase premium wine by glass

RBar – I love the option to purchase premium wine by glass

  • Location: 4 / 5
  • Ambience & Service: 5 / 5
  • Facilities & Amenities: 5 / 5
  • Food & Beverage: 4.5 / 5
  • Price: 4 / 5
  • Overall: 4.5 / 5

Perfect for: Business travelers, romantic staycation, leisure travelers who seek comfort

Corporate room rate starts from RM 285 per room per night. Walk-in rate subject to change, please check their website or get more info at Marriott.com.

Renaissance Johor Bahru Hotel is located at No. 2, Jalan Permas 11, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, 81750, Johor, Malaysia. Visit their Facebook or corporate website www.RenaissanceHotels.com for more information. General line: +607-381-3333

Bayu Marina Resort

Converted from a private property, Bayu Marina Resort is a tourist class service apartment. Located in a quiet neighbourhood, it is “your far away home”. What I love is the free WiFi access, and accessibility to amenities within 8km include food establishments, shopping centre, karaoke lounge, massage centre, cinema and even bowling centre.

The rooms are spacious, decorated in simple home-styling. Those long-term guests will appreciate the pantry area where they can prepare home-cooked meals. The hotel has six large banquet rooms which are ideal for corporate retreats, workshops, church seminars, etc. Breakfast is included in the package. In the morning the cafe serves porridge, dim sum, nasi lemak and other local delights. For relaxation, simply change and jump in to enjoy the swimming pool with a view.

Studio Room - the room I was staying

Studio Room – the room I was staying

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Studio Room – We stayed at a Studio Room, it’s big and spacious.

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Studio Room – Sofa area to chill and watch TV

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The Studio Room also comes with a pantry

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Twin-sharing with double bed. The rooms are similar in design.

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Located in the heart of a local neighbourhood

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Enjoy your dip in the pool with a view of the lake

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Banquet Rooms – 6 different sizes of room to choose from

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Banquet Rooms – Seagull Room can accommodate up to 300 people in the theatre style set up

  • Location: 3 / 5
  • Ambience & Service: 3 / 5
  • Facilities & Amenities: 3 / 5
  • Food & Beverage: 3 / 5
  • Price: 4 / 5
  • Overall: 3 / 5

Perfect for: Self-drive, tour groups, family with young children, large families, church groups, seminar participants, corporate retreats

Room rates start from RM228 per room per night for studio room, includes breakfast for 2.

Bayu Marina Resort is located at No. 1, Jalan Bayu Puteri 2/1, Taman Bayu Puteri, 80150, Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Visit their Facebook or website www.BayuMarinaResort.com for more information. General line: +607-340-5555

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Special thanks to Gaya Travel and Tourism Malaysia for arranging Kembara Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Johor trip. Go to Visit Malaysia 2014 for more exciting holiday ideas.

“Save time, pay less, travel more – Get cheaper air tickets and hotel rooms with Wego.com“.

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