10th Wedding Anniversary at Casa Bonita Hotel

Prior to the pandemic, I’ve already planned out my 10th wedding anniversary celebration . We were both going to lose weight, organize a kenduri at our house and wear matching batik outfits for our photos. However, things happened. COVID-19 rules our lives. Mr Husband was busy with his public health activities whilst I was busy on the clinical side of things. We managed to squeeze some family time interim but honestly, it could have been better.

10 years living with another human being is not a small feat. Have I ever thought of separation during this relationship? Of course. Especially on my period. But Patience and Sanity usually pulls me away from it. Covid-19 or not, a decade of love needs to be celebrated. If he is not going to be the first to utter those words , wishes or gestures, then I will be the one to do so and sprinkle some romance in the air. It’s tiring having to kick it off every time but someone’s gotta keep the wheel of marriage running.

I started with the watsapp wish in the morning. Sending him a snapshot of my wedding anniversary gift to him. This is to also hint him to get me a present if he hadn’t thought of doing so. (insert annoyed face here) If he is not getting me a flower bouquet, then he’d better get me a present for my 10th wedding anniversary. Then just like an excellent PA, I laid out the plans for the day.

Me working half day –> fetch kids from grandma –> check into hotel , also in Melaka –> husband will drive from JB and reach hotel with whatever transport he wants —> husband will arrange for dinner

I chose Casa Bonita Hotel for our staycation for new years weekend.

CASA BONITA HOTEL is located strategically at where all the viral eateries are. It is at Limbongan where the famous keria is. The keria man is also selling laksa at his shop. Other famous stuff nearby is the avocado drinks, soursop drink, the asam pedas lady, the mee bodo at tengkera. All this within walking distance to each other. We had wanted to do that but the exhaustion from work got the better of us that we practically just enjoyed the room and the food delivered to us.

Our room is the family suite. It has 2 double beds, a living room with a mini dining table, a fridge and a bath tub. At least my kids can enjoy that whilst being stuck in the room. I booked our stay via Agoda of course at RM225/night for 2 nights. The total came up to RM551.57 including tax and service fees.

I had wanted to book dinner at the in house restaurant but in view of us being health care workers, I thought we’d better stay in our rooms and reduce the risk of contracting the virus. This is because if a HCW gets ill, it may cause inconvenience to the work schedule if the HCW needs to get MC and such. Mr Husband instead arranged for dinner in our room by ordering this meal box from another hotel, Bayview hotel. At RM88, we get a selection of food that make up a meal for our little family.

This promotion is seasonal. I enjoyed the chicken the most followed by its Xmas crepe. The cornish pie was a bit bland but passable for a hungry tribe. It was a meal worth the money.

As for presents, I got my husband a portable massage machine for his back. He got me a Samsung Tablet A 8″ 2019. Lovely, I had always wanted one. I think it could be useful for my studies. I am still exploring its features and scrolling through apps that might be useful for my side responsibility as a student. Do recommend me good ones.

I have already made a staycation booking for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration. I just hope nothing major will happen on that day.

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 premise, Ames Hotel (4 star ). 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.

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.