A one night stay at Dorsett Putrajaya

I love staycations. Especially when we landed on a bargain for a hotel room or an experience. Last weekend, it was my moms 60th birthday. After the feast I decided to check into DORSETT PUTRAJAYA hotel overnight based on its location near Masjid Besi and the Food Truck Area in Putrajaya.

Hotel parking was adequate. FREE of course. Reception was friendly. Room was spacious. Breakfast was a delight. I love how they give you mug options for your coffee. Cause mom’s ain’t gonna have enough of caffeine in those eeenny meeeenyyy white cuppas. Ee’s breakfast rate was RM25.

I booked a Deluxe Room with balcony for a night through Agoda.com and it was RM210.00 including service tax and fee. My room comes with a nice view, free WIFI, complimentary breakfast for 2, coffee. tea and 2 bottles of drinking water. There is an in room iron with board, hairdryer, bath robes with slippers and alhamdulilah a prayer mat. It’s those little touches that make your stay wonderful.

The bathroom had no bath tub but it was fine. The toiletries were cute. I had to try the shampoo and conditioner. It smelt like Lemongrass.

The hotel has an infinity swimming pool and gym on the top floor. The pool is open from 7AM to 7PM whilst the gym is open for 24 hours. The hotel was initially conjoined with a shopping mall but we noticed that only the main supermarket and a few eateries are open. I am not quite sure what happened to the rest of the business premises. The mall looked haunted. Such a waste of space and facilities. I really hope that Waterfront Hotel in Kuching would not suffer from a similar fate.

The scene outside at the balcony in the night was really really beautiful. I could stare at the mosque all night. We had dinner at the food truck area. The options were alright and they had a sitting area too for you to eat your meals. It’s like an open air foodcourt cuma yg berjualnya guna truck. We had western food – spaghetti aglio olio and carbonara with iced milk tea.

 

I would book a room here again if I had any business going on in Putrajaya. The location is calm. There is not much traffic for a weekend staycation. You could even get involved in healthy activities like walking or cycling.

Upon completion of my stay here, I received an automated email saying that I am now a member of Dorsett Loyalty Rewards programme. This entitles me to exclusive member benefits etc. Will explore on that later.

Hotel Tenera, Bangi

I drove straight to Hotel TENERA after my morning CSR activity at Rumah Seri Mesra Ampang. It took me about an hour with all the horrendous traffic using Google Map. I was surviving on a 39% Samsung battery life because I forgot to charge at the centre. I forgot I did an FB Live which consumed much of my battery. I need a power bank.

Traffic was bad. Honestly, I don’t know how y’ll Kay-Ell peeps live this life everyday.

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“Shariah compliant, prestigious and elegant 4 star hotel with an average rating of 8.5/10”

Meaning no alcohol or pubs on site. Hence, most guests were muslims. But don’t get them wrong, non muslims are still very welcome to stay. And do relax, it’s not that they play the Quran recitation in the lobby 24 hours a day! You can even wear shorts and sleeveless T-shirts if that is comfortable attire to you. They don’t force a hijab on you. Perhaps not strutting in a bikini though. I booked the hotel through my favourite app – AGODA.Com. Gosh, Agoda should make me their affiliate or collaborator or something. Hahaha.

Hotel TENERA has 2 separate buildings to accommodate the hotel rooms and their apartments. I chose to stay in the apartments cause the price is a bargain.

 

Mine is a Studio King Apartment which comes with Free Wifi and Breakfast for 2 that I shared with my mom. I paid RM228 per night including tax and service fee. What was not included was the RM10 tourism fee which international tourists pay at the site.

The hotel was easily located with Google Map. Check in was at the hotel main lobby and I was brought to the apartment with a buggy. It was an 8 second ride. LOL.

My room was on the 14th floor. It was just after 3 PM when I arrived, so I took the time to run the water for my soak in the bath tub. I made myself coffee, put on my doTERRA diffuser and relaxed at the living space watching the remaining Shah Rukhs Khans hindi movie  – Paheli.  The story is about hantu raya. LOL.

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There’s a prayer mat, hairdryer, iron with board and mini fridge as well in my room. After my rest, I went to my parents place to have dinner and also picked my mum up to come stay with me at the hotel. I think she needs time away from home. Hahaha. Plus, she loves breakfast at the hotel.

Public Amenities

There are plenty of parking spaces at both parts of the hotel. In the apartment area, there is a swimming pool and mini gymnasiums for patrons to work out.

At the hotel building, there is a separate pool for ladies! But my mom and I did not have time to explore much cause we both slept in the morning after Subuh prayers. Yeh, two very exhausted moms of different ages. Hahaha.

There is a designated Smoking Area too outside.

Breakfast & Restaurant

I am not quite sure what to advice. If you come too early, you’ve got to beat the huge crowd. Especially on a weekend. So we had ours a bit late. We both went up for breakfast at 900am but risked having some of the local favourites on the finishing end with no signs of being replenished. Such as the half boiled eggs. There was a wait for roti canai and pastries. Even the normal sliced breads are not topped up. The main dishes were alright but I was dying for the good ol Nasi Lemak which was substituted with fried rice instead. Hampa. 

Perhaps the good part of it is that we get to eat bowls and bowls of cereal. If only they would consider having overseas cereal options.. the ones not available in your regular supermarkets like those premium ones sold at Jaya grocers for a change. Barulah cornflake hotel. giteww. 

There is however a stand alone restaurant within the same compound of the hotel if you are still hungry. A small cafe is also available at the lobby just beside the little Siti Khadijah store . To those in the dark, Siti Khadijah is famous for its prayer garments. It is usually given as gifts especially for umrah/hajj. 

Even then, there is a huge mall beside the hotel. I am not sure of its name but you do need to drive a bit unless you need to fulfill your 10,000 steps exercise for the day. There, you could find most fast food joints and regular shops for window shopping. Mum and I decided to just stay in the hotel room until it was time to check out.

I checked out by 11AM because I did not want to be caught up in traffic back to Melaka. Overall, it was a satisfying pleasant and relaxing stay. I would definitely bring my kids here next time.

Bayou Lagoon Park Resort, Melaka

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We booked a Studio during our stay at this resort. It has 2 single beds which we pushed closed together and towards the wall to accommodate the 4 of us. Mr Husband paid RM293.50 for a 3D2N stay including breakfast , tax and 2 adult entrance ticket to the waterpark for FREE. We still have to pay RM20 tourism fee upon checking in. 

3D2N = RM 293.50

The hotel was understandably packed as it was the long holidays. Our breakfast on the 1st morning had to be held at the convention centre because of the huge number of people. It was only the second day did we get to sit in the coffee house.

Breakfast selection was acceptable for the price you’re paying. You have the rice/noodle option, toasts with jam/ butter, porridge, fruits, basic cereals and coffee/tea. It was OK. 

Checking in was a breeze. This resort uses a ticketing system to serve their customers. Service was fast. Our room was located on the 8th floor in the Amari Villa. Despite the large volume of people staying in the resort, there was no difficulty (for us) to get into a lift. Bayou Lagoon has an in house convenience store just in front of the elevators which was convenient when you’re desperate. Otherwise, replenish your supplies elsewhere. 

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Our room has a strong WIFI connection, a mini fridge and complementary beverages. To us, having a fridge is a blessing. We are not allowed to bring the room towels to the water park, so either bring your own from home or rent one in the park itself. 

Our tickets came with the price of the room. Otherwise, the fees are as below;

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As you can see, there are other attractions available but because of time constraints ( we still have a few houses to visit for Eid), we just went into the water park. 

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Bayou Lagoon is a relatively small water park compared to the bigger ones out there. Families with young kids would enjoy this place. Teenagers and young adults? Maybe, depending on what thrill you’re looking for. What I loved about the place is that they don’t scrutinize your swimwear. Meaning, it is ok to wear a clean T-shirt and pants. One need not wear a burkini for instance. Janji pakai baju. 

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This place does not have lifeguards. So swim and play at own risk. There is an eatery inside. You can reload your tag with RM50 at the entrance and once you’re in the park, transactions are scanned through your bracelet. I am not sure if you could collect any balance from the counter once you’ve exit the park. That perhaps, is a question other visitors can answer. 

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Ee enjoyed going down the water slides. He is a lot more braver the last time we brought him to play in a park. Ninie on the hand, occupied and entertained herself by scooping water into her little bowl. Occasionally, I would give her duck float a little push around the ankle pool. In case, you’re wondering, she is not butt-nàkéd. She is wearing a diaper. But we don’t let her take a dip into the pool for hygiene purposes. 

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If I could improve my trip experience any better, I would consider the following;

  • buy own bottled mineral water in advance. their convenience store is expensive. A bottle of 2L drinking water costs a freaking RM6.
  • bring a few extra blankets cause my kids, being self-centred (lol..egoistic lil brats HA HA) like to keep the blankets to themselves. They ain’t wanna share. And while you’re at it, bring personal towels that you can use inside the water park too.
  • diffuse the room with EOs of your choice. the room does smell a bit musty when we first arrived. It got better but the experience could be enriched with my doTERRA oils preferably the Wild Orange/ Peppermint. 

A daytrip to Universal Studios Singapore from Johor Bahru

We are a family of 4. I have a child in primary school and a toddler just over 14 months during the trip. We went for this short excursion during the Melaka public holiday long weekend in April.

We initially drove from Melaka and then stayed at the Hotel Sentral in JB where our bus was scheduled to pick us up the next day.

I wrote about the hotel here.

And these are the ticket prices I mentioned before in the similar blog post.

uss price

I packed my bag light but with enough supplies to keep the kids happy. Some of the things in my tote include;

  • Small thermos for hot water to prepare Ninie’s milk
  • Few empty bottles for us to drink and istinjak. There are loads of water coolers all over the place. InsyaAllah, dehydration would be the less of your worries
  • But mind you, the sun can be really hot. So bring along a mini fan or hat to cover your face
  • Apply sunscreen religiously
  • Lots of wipes.
  • Snacks for babies. Although they did not perform a bag check on us at the entrance, we thought we’d be safe and not smuggle in too much outside food. Furthermore, there are halal certified eateries inside the theme park.
  • Comfortable footwear
  • Bubble play toy. Bought those mini ones at Eco Store. 4 for RM2.10. It was a bargain.

On the day itself, we had breakfast at 7am in the hotel restaurant. I also made sure our son relieved himself as many times as he can before we got on the bus. We departed by 0815 am at our stop. To be honest, the trip from JB to USS itself is less than an hour BUT what kept us waiting were the pit stops at both Immigration offices. Malaysians getting out of Malaysia is easy, its getting into Singapore that begs a longer queue. Thankfully, our bus for that day was not full. So the wait took less than 30 mins at each stop. We were able to arrive at USS by 10am ish.

There were numerous tips online on how you wish to make use of the time there. But with kids, everything can be unpredictable. There is no order. You just venture in and pray for the best. Most of the rides have height requirements for children and Ee is at an age where it is possible to get on almost all of them.

Can babies enjoy USS?

 

Absolutely, even though they lack the memory of it. Ninie was able to enjoy the Shrek 4D cinema. In fact, we entered the premise twice. More for the cool, air conditioned surroundings. Even then, Ninie had fun experiencing the jerky movements of the chair and ‘special effects’ which complemented the short movie.

She could have also enjoyed the merry-go-round but she was fast asleep then. So only Ee and I went on the ride.

In the New York section, there is a mini behind the scene ( BTS ) cinema that Ninie could enter too. This place basically shows how , for example , a natural disaster is emulated and designed for a movie. I thought the scene presented to us LIVE was so realistic. Storm, fire, ship.. everything!

Lunchtime at Oasis Spice Cafe

This is one of the food premises certified as halal in USS. It is located just in front of The Mummy ride. Although the interior is Egypt looking – it serves briyani and the briyani reminds me of the one I had when I was a student in Manchester, UK. It was that delicious. I could actually cry because I really miss this briyani recipe.  Unlike the ones we have in Malaysia. Price kena tutup mata though.

This particular site is fantastic as it listed other Halal eateries you can try too in USS.

Here is my attempt using the Remove Unwanted Content of Photo app. Yes, the name is that long. As you could see, there are a few irregularities in the picture above.

This above photo is taken during my long queue for The Revenge of The Mummy ride in the Ancient Egypt section. The waiting line was long but the wait was fun nonetheless because the design of the area was awesome. I really did feel like I was in a lost tomb and that The Mummy could attack this mummy anytime. The ride did made me feel a tad nauseous especially after my briyani.

Prayer Room

Its a small building located between Ancient Egypt and the SciFi City. Just behind the locker area. There is a partitian for men and women. Of course visitors must be considerate of each other as each space could accommodate about 3-4 people only at one time. They provide prayer garments, mats and ablution facilities there. Telekung dia warna warni and it is a very clean space.

Scheduled Shows

We managed to enjoy the Sesame Street Anniversary Show. Unfortunately my kids do not recognize these characters since local animations have a stronger fan base in Malaysia. We have Boboiboy, Upin Ipin and Didi & Friends to name a few. If you’re not Malaysian, you should consider checking em out. Especially the 1st Boboiboy movie and the recent Upin Ipin Siamang movie.

At the Hollywood area, there was a wonderful singing stage show. They sang from melodies coming out from the jukebox. I was in awe to see those very Hollywood sort of old school cafes you see in the movies with the neon lights and big high up in the sky signboards. Those diners la where people get pancakes and coffee. Or a quick lunch.

We departed from USS at about 1730H ( I think). It has been a while. We had dinner from the food trucks near the hotel. The trip left us feeling elated and rejuvenated in a way. I have never had so much fun in a theme park. Would really want to go again. Time for another piggy bank.

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Hotel Sentral Johor Bahru

We stayed at Hotel Sentral Johor Bahru. This is not to be confused with JB Central Hotel as this is a different place altogether.

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Ours is a budget, 3 star hotel with just enough facilities to bring about a restful day. It is at Tanjung Puteri and a few minutes walk away from the R&F Mall JB. The hotel is a comfortable place for you to have a quick breakfast, a comfortable bed to sleep in after a tiring day at USS. If you find this hotel not to your liking, then there are nearby hotels – practically a doorstep away such as Erica Hotel, Erya by Suria and GBW Hotel.

We booked a Family Room for 2 Nights. It came to a total of just below RM 350 without tax. Breakfast included. The room has a single bed and a double bed.

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I specifically mention these hotels because they are walking distance from each other and are in collaboration with Pakej USS dot Com (yes, the name of the agency is that straight forward) in terms of pickup and group movement.

The day trip is done daily and it offers ticket prices as below; (as of April 2019)

Adult   : RM 265 / Children : RM 215/ Senior : RM 175

This will include the entrance ticket for USS as well. Nice, right? Will write about USS later.

Back to the hotel, it was OK. At night, they have food trucks near the lobby and the food sold there were great. We really enjoyed the Mac & Cheese. Breakfast at the hotel was adequate. You have the toast section, noodles, nasi lemak (of course), cereals, fruits & salad and your juice with beverages. Kira OKlah with what you pay.

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Then, there is a swimming pool located on the second floor. Unfortunately, the changing room was not open, so you kinda have to wipe yourself really dry before entering the lift or find a spot and change to a drier outfit.

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The toiletries were at its minimum – meaning no toothbrush or toothpaste. So bring your own – it is not that difficult if you are a frequent traveler. The hot shower was great, water pressure nice.

Most importantly, every floor has a Cuckoo water dispenser machine. Imagine the joy of free flow hot and cold water. Especially when the machine  is standing just 2 doors a way. No need for boiling hot water for Ninie’s milk.

Since this hotel was booked by Mr Husband, I will put any small discomforts to rest. Like the broken furniture, limited parking space and ragged looking towels. If it was up to me though, I’d probably upgrade my room or choose another hotel. However since we were tired after a long day at USS, these small glitches just doesn’t matter anymore as it was drowned in our snores.

 

 

 

Pic taken with Samsung A7