The Lace Boutique Hotel

The long weekend is here. PKPP is extended till the end of the year. Malaysians are saying bye bye to their passports already. I have decided that we will not go back to Kuching this year for our annual trip. Instead, we will just go for short trips in Semenanjung Malaysia. And that was what we did.

It was a 3D2N stay in Johor Bahru. Mr Husband booked our staycation abode at the Lace Boutique Hotel he stumbled upon Agoda at a very good price. On the first night, he chose a one bedroom suite priced at RM130/night and on the second night a 2 bedroom suite for RM 150/night. Both without breakfast options. It was a huge price drop having seen it’s original price at the website. Perhaps the CEO was being benevolent and wanted more Malaysians to travel interstate and stay at the hotel. Stimulating the economy, they say.

Lace Boutique Hotel is owned by a YB Datuk Paduka Hjh Rokiah Hj Omar. From what I gather online, she is an entrepreneur with an impressive portfolio. Such as in the motoring business, hotel and saloon. All branded under the name Lace.

Lace Hotel is covered in gold-ish decorations. It gave me the Las Vegas & Empire Classic vibe. I was honestly surprised that both rooms that we booked has a bathtub.

The boutique hotel has a terrific location. You will never go hungry as there are loads of eateries at the area of Kpg Melayu Majidee and is of walking distance. The hotel is also in the heart of the city near the main road making trips easy for anybody outside of Johor.

The rooms were clean. The amenities they provided were plenty and enough. There was a microwave, kettle, plates, cutleries and even a complete set of teapot to make our own coffee and tea. The rooms were spacious and the bed was comfy. The air conditioning was wow!.

This location is also FOOD PANDA and GRABFOOD friendly!!! I know cause that was one the things I checked first. The riders can deliver your food to the hotel as it is so accessible. Of course you can always go out in your car and get food or take a walk.

The swimming pool was at the rooftop and the kids loved it. I was not sure where the cafe was as we did not have breakfast there. It was generally a wonderful stay despite a few small bumps. By that, I mean:

  • On the first night, the WIFI was not working at our floor. The TV was also not getting a good reception as they were using some sort of internet TV. The shows keep on buffering.
  • The bathroom could use an additional ‘ambience’ light. I know moms or ladies would appreciate soaking in the tub at night while watching the night sky through the big window with that sort of light in place.
  • Enough shower/bath gel. As opposed to 2 bottles of shampoo and conditioner without the shower gels. Texture dia rasa lain. Oh well, maybe for my future trips I should consider bringing my own travel-sized bath gels. Although I really love the hotel ones especially if they have nice bottles.

That should be it. Very minor problems.

For this trip, we were very relaxed. We did not even go to Legoland. Instead, we spent most of the time in the room (since husband has things to sort out about work), goofing around & sleeping. We only went out twice to go to the Johor Zoo and Ikea Tebrau.

Ended our Johor trip at Tanjung Piai. Took a few photos as momento.

If I was a Johorean, this would definitely be high up on my list for a mini weekend getaway with the girls or something. It does look high-end exclusive yet a bit abandoned from far. Probably because the glass windows have not been regularly cleansed for some time. Or maybe it has but it still looks stained with mold. Otherwise, the interiors are truly Instagram-mable and worth checking out.

Hotel MetraSquare

The tourism industry seems to suffer a big hit from the Covid-19 pandemic. Hoteliers are resorting to various ways to boost their sales and such. Hence, I think the best that we could do is support them by holiday-ing close by.

Metrasquare is a 3 star premium hotel (recently upgraded), 30 mins drive from our home and located strategically in Ayer Keroh. That is where all the attractions are – Zoo Melaka, Taman Asean, Taman Botani, Mydin, MITC , Melaka Wonderland etc.

Mr Husband booked a One Bedroom Apartment Twin priced at RM130/night. We stayed there for 2 nights.

Complimentary breakfast and Wifi 

Room with two single beds, a balcony and separate seating area. Each apartment is air conditioned and has a flat-screen TV with Satellite channels, bathroom with shower, wardrobe, in-room safe, refrigerator and coffee/tea facilities.

I loved that it has WIFI because I really needed to get my assignments done over the weekend. The table was comfortable to work on and there were plenty of space for the kids to run around and make a mess.

Breakfast was served as an a la carte menu at the neighbouring hotel, Ames Hotel (4 star hotel). You will need to walk a bit to reach the banquet area but it is worth the visit. It makes you want to book your next stay cation at Ames hotel , simply because of its beauty. We get to choose from the 4 breakfast options. We had American breakfast and continental most of the time with juice, hot beverages and fruits on the side. The breakfast was charged at RM15/pax. If you’re not keen for in house menu, visitors can also head over to the Old Town White Coffee Kopitiam, situated at the ground floor of MetraSquare Hotel. It opens as early as 0800H.

It was a very rooming in sort of stay cation as we only headed out once to Mydin for fresh air. Most of the time it’ll be like husband go out, buy the food whilst the 3 of us laze around in the room watching a movie or kids playing while I work. If I brought my sport shoes, I might be tempted to jog at Taman Botani which is like 5 mins away, depending on how fast you walk. By that I mean, less than 2 mins by car.

Generally, it was a comfortable stay. If only they had night lights in the room. Otherwise, it was almost perfect. Perhaps you are now wondering, where are the photos? Unfortunately there is none as the phone I used to capture the images is not functioning anymore and none of them had been uploaded to a cloud.

Lesson learnt.

Pictures are important to capture a moment that happened at one particular time, that will not repeat itself again. It is so you can live in that moment again and reminisce on the nice things that went on that day. Now, it is only a not so distant memory in my head which I hope to remember for as long as I could.

Arenaa Deluxe Boutique Hotel Melaka

It was on one of the weekends during the water rationing period at my residential area. Mr Husband decided to book a room for a weekend staycation. For the fun of it.

This is a 3 star hotel located in Ujong Pasir, Melaka . It was less than 10km from my own house. As usual, Mr Husband breaks the news on the last minute and I had to pack the suitcase like Speedy Gonzales. This hotel does not have a pool but it is walking distance to the city and its tourist attractions.

The LOBBY

We booked a Family Room for 3D2N. The rooms were priced at about RM152/night without breakfast . This was before the Restricted Movement Order (RMO) due to Covid-19 took place. It’s a huge room with 2 double beds and 1 sofa bed. There were 4 complimentary beverages sets, FREE WIFI and an outstanding shower settings.

If I could list down the perks,

  • big, spacious room
  • ample parking is available across the street and they are reserved for hotels guests only.Road traffic is OK to cross the road.
  • adjacent to the hotel there is a place where you can have gusto malaysian breakfast called Perhentian Kuih Kampong. They serve the typical Malaysian breakfast of nasi lemak, lontong, roti canai , kuih etc..
  • bathroom has this very sophisticated shower system. Water just spurts from everywhere and I love the pressure and water temp. I took the opportunity to shampoo and scrub my body for ages.
  • View is amazing
  • Free wifi and super fast
  • Mattress has a ‘topper’. This was something new to me. The comfortable sleep we had (husband did not even snore!) is enticing me to buy one of those toppers too. It has this cooling effect when you sleep.

Considerations:

  • housekeeping is not done daily so if you have kids that use diapers, do consider bringing extra trash bags to contain the aroma of soiled diapers until they are picked up on checkout
  • there are 2 elevators (that I found) in the hotel. Thankfully our timing was not on peak weekends so you might want to consider that too
  • I am not sure what type of breakfast spread they serve – perhaps other bloggers could spare details on that

In short, this 3 star hotel is clean and budget friendly. A place that I would definitely consider again for a staycation for its awesome shower system and the view!

Subhanallah

Greenish HOtel Langkawi

This is a 3 star hotel located in Kuah, adjacent to where most Malay Malaysians love to shop – Haji Ismail Group shopping mall & hotel. It is only about a 25mins drive from the airport and roughly 10 minutes from the jetty. Room rates are at a range of RM135 – RM185/night.

EE at the lobby with the grandparents
Basic toiletries, hairdryer, mini fridge, free coffee & tea, hot shower.. lurvly..
View from our room. The pool. Petronas ( you can do the 10 000 steps everyday there and shop at Mesra. LOL).

All rooms have a balcony with different views of course and has free high speed WIFI. What I loved most about the hotel was the very friendly staff that genuinely helps you with the bags and the superb pool with its mini cafe that opens at night.

The guests here are thankfully not from those big tour groups. It can be a nightmare to be in the same hotel with big groups as they tend to hoard the breakfast food. Some even muka tak malu go and tapau to eat in the bus. We did however spot few guests that sneaked the breakfast buffet food up to their rooms! Mentang2 ko warga asing boleh plak buat suka hati.

If there was anything to improve regarding the service and facilities here, it would be ;

  1. The breakfast selection. I acknowledge that one should not expect selections like the ones served at 4 or 5 star hotels. But if a 2 star Seri Malaysia hotel can serve good food and fast service (clearing tables) – guests tend to have higher expectations. In Greenish Hotel, the best food was mi goreng ( serius sedap) and the omelette. I was disappointed with the coffee. Although I am not a coffee connoisseur, it still felt difficult to gulp down the beverage.
  2. Housekeeping need to be mindful in the small details. Pay attention to the depleting complementary beverages, the full rubbish can etc.
  3. Ventilation in the lobby. Perhaps it was an effort to conserve energy and electricity but when you have a lot of people waiting to check in and out – the heat does get to you.
  4. Parking space is free but limited. If you don’t mind walking, you could park at the gas station beside the hotel or even at HIG shopping mall and walk a bit. Perhaps the hotel will decide on expanding depending on the demand. LOl.

Despite the shortcomings, it was a pleasant stay on a budget. Definitely my go -to- hotel in the future.

Melaka – Langkawi – Penang – Melaka

Finally, my husband could take leave after slaving himself for 4 months working non-stop. He is at the near top of his career ladder. This translates to still having to work on the weekends. He chose Langkawi & Penang for our mini year-end vacation and we invited his parents to come too.

This time we tried using Malindo Air and depart via the Batu Berendam airport in Melaka. It’s a small airport which has 1 mini cafe and 2 other tuck shops. The toilet and musolla was enough for the number of visitors and most importantly, clean. Parking was FREE. For now.

The flight took about 1H 40mins from Melaka to Langkawi. Our plane was a little, cute plane that gives off this Jurassic Park vibe to it. We did not order any inflight meals cause the journey is very short. We checked into the Greenish Hotel (will write about that later) and went about our days. For this trip, we decided to take it really easy. Since we have been coming to Langkawi for almost every year, this time we ditched the cable car and The Aquaria.

We still went to Langkawi Wildlife Park because its fun to feed the animals. They have a new attraction which is an augmented reality studio. Honestly not impressed. Please do not waste your time and money there.

HIG complex is a must. This is where apart from selling chocolates, they sell local health & cosmetic products, kitchenware, glassware, duvet etc. All this at a tax-free price. A construction is ongoing at site. Not sure what they’re building.This time since I am in a weight loss programme, I have been more cautious in my selection of chocolates. I spent more on dark choc varieties. However, my favourites like Hersheys, Bounty & Maltesers made it into the basket too. I am not a fan of Daim.

Meals were simple. We had nasi campur at various places including the famous Kak Yan. Then there’s Laksa Kaw which was a disappointment. The recipe is just off. It made me wonder whether that nice Rossabina laksa we had is the same owner of this Laksa Kaw (rebranded?) because the location is the same.

We spent 3 days and 2 nights in Langkawi and departed to Penang via the passenger ferry. Mr Husband booked the tickets online and had them printed out early. The tickets were scanned at the autogate and we get to wait at a very big, comfortable, air conditioned hall. Impressive!

Adult RM70.00

Child RM51.30

We were allocated numbers for our seats. So, no rush. Toilets are OK. They even provide complimentary puke bags for passengers. The 3 hour ferry ride went by smoothly cause they had movies on. Plus, air condition was working great. Bring a jumper if you are sensitive to cold. I was worried initially upon boarding because we were bombarded with a string of dangdut videos on the public TV screen as entertainment. I had thought it would last for the 3 hours of our journey. Thankfully they switched to an English movie as we set off. ha ha ha.

We hailed a Grab from the ferry terminal to our hotel Seri Malaysia (another blog post) and just stayed within the compound till our flight back to Melaka the following day. In short, we did not go sight seeing considering that it was New years Eve and people might get drunk on the streets. One thing I have to mention, even though this hotel is rated only 2 stars – the breakfast buffet is worth 3 stars. Even better than Greenish Hotel in Langkawi.

We finally reached home with a bang! Turns out that our flight coincides with the Melaka Welcomes The World campaign. So, we had kompang and all of the tourism entourage making a fuss over us handing goodie bags and what not at the airport. My kids of course enjoyed the attention.

Malindo Air delivered its best this time around – flight was punctual. I loved that we could travel easily from Melaka to Langkawi without having to drive up to Kuala Lumpur, spend money on overnight parking and catch a plane from there.

Now we can just land in Melaka, get back into our car and just drive another 15 mins back home. We had time to at least rest a bit before we got back to work and school the very next day. Let’s hope there will be more flights from Melaka to other places in the world. Our family would love it!