Review : Grand Blue Wave Hotel, Shah Alam (2018)

Posh, Modern, Islamic hotel

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I booked a room in this hotel because I had a conference there. Furthermore it was walking distance to the mall, several restaurants and the famous Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah blue mosque.

My pre-conference forum was at the mosque and I was in awe of not only its majestic structure but also how imarah it was – bustling with activities in the early hours of the morning. And I am not talking about just acts of worship like performing the Dhuha or attending a tajwid class at the mosque – there was in fact a CPR workshop taking place there, alongside other beneficial classes including my forum.

The mosque felt so welcoming to all as it celebrates knowledge  of all kinds that mankind could learn and benefit from. And it should be – if only we all see it that way!

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I arrived Shah Alam by bus at 10 pm. My initial plan was to hail a cab to bring me to the hotel but I couldn’t find any. Plus the area was very dark. So, I frantically downloaded the Grab App on Google Playstore, booked a ride, muttered millions of alhamdulilah because my driver was a lady and I arrived at the hotel safely. And boy, were the reception so friendly despite the sudden top-up transactions I had to do that night – mainly the SST and Ee’s breakfast buffet. Yes, we have to pay for him now.

The room has the standard amenities I prefer : mini fridge, a kettle, free WIFI, a bath tub, sejadah, complimentary daily English newspaper, many sockets to charge your phone and stuff. I am puzzled that they do not have an in room iron though. Tak cukup mahal lagi kahhhh ini bilik.. maybe it is a safety issue.

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The breakfast buffet spread was wonderful. Loved the nasi lemak rendang and pastries. I had to stay alone and have breakfast alone for the 1st two days as Ee still had school and my husband his work. They came later on the Friday evening to lepak2 at the hotel. I honestly missed them a lot. I don’t think I have ever said that enough.

I did not get the opportunity to visit the hotel’s spa. At the 4th floor. Or the pool. But I did get to soak in the bath tub during the nights when my kids were not there yet. I was also glad that the hotel had this mini poster of suggestions of places to go around Shah Alam. I thought that was a good touch. The malls are within walking distance. Otherwise, you could always hop on the FREE BUS or use GRAB.

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This hotel also has a certified halal japanese restaurant. I did not get to try that as well since the conference itself fed me well. Maybe next time.

I spent RM550 for the conference and the forum.

My room in the hotel was a Deluxe Room. As usual, booking platform is Agoda.Com. It was a 5D4N stay amounting to a total of RM1,146.20 minus tax. YUP. One of my biggest spends this year. For knowledge. InsyaAllah – may Allah be pleased with my efforts.

Krabi 2018 : Timber House Ao Nang

Previously, we stayed at Ananta Burin Resort (2014) and Ibis Styles Hotel (2016) for our Krabi getaway. this year we tried Timber House Ao Nang. 

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Timber House is a 3 star family friendly resort with commendable facilities and staff. It is walking distance to the beach and most importantly, near Halal eateries for Muslim tourists.

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Things we loved about the place;

  1. The Room – we booked a family room which has 1 King Size bed and 1 single bed. Each unit has a private terrace complete with chairs and a table that overlooks the pool (in most places). I wished I had brought my HoboMinci for it would be an ideal place to do some journaling. Each room has the basic amenities like the fridge, hot shower, room and pool towels, daily complimentary bottled water and beverages, a kettle, a microwave (bonus!) and basic toiletries although I would recommend you bring your own shower gel.
  2. The pool – kids loved it especially when the management left a floating alligator in the pool for the kids to enjoy swimming. Pool opens from 7AM – 7PM.           wp-1535267001793..jpg
  3. The FREE BREAKFAST package – there were online reviews from fellow visitors that did not enjoy the choices. We personally think that it was alright for a 3 star hotel. Although the spread was not fully HALAL, there are safe options like the vegetarian fried noodle, the bread and HALAL butter, the fresh fruits, juices, lovely coffee from the machine. I had my fix of mocha and cappuccino almost every morning.
  4. The mini playground – the entrance is at the car park. The kids enjoyed playing the swing and the slide        wp-1535266900385..jpg
  5. Walking distance to the many places to eat – the HALAL pancakes, ice cream and hot meals are just around the corner. Take the turn up the hill towards 7 Eleven and voila, its like a Muslim street up there. It’s different from the street near the mosque but the options are just as varied and great.

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The resort did say we have access to FREE WIFi but I find the connection to be awful. So I resorted to my very own DIGI Roaming Package. It’s an RM25 package which has a 4GB Internet + 60 mins call for 3 days. Interestingly I could still settle my bills online and receive my TAC number for my transactions in Krabi.

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Would I stay here again? Yes. I think we paid for our rooms for less than RM 120 per night. And it was for 3 nights. Of course it would depend on certain variables like the season, the deals available and the number of people joining the trip. Still, it was a nice stay.

 

Krabi 2018 : The Rainy season. Phi phi Island and food.

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Its Eidul Adha and we decided to spend it in Krabi – a one hour flight away from Kuala Lumpur. This will be my 3rd time to Krabi but a first to a few people in our entourage.

It is a 4D3N trip for 8 pax using Air Asia. Our group consists of 2 senior citizens (my parents in law), my sister in law with her 2 daughters, my husband, my 2 kids and myself. We booked the trip separately because we couldn’t come up with an ultimatum regarding who wants to come and stuff. Despite that, we managed to secure quite good deals for the trip.

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We used AirAsiaGo.Com which means we get to book a combo of flight tickets and hotel stay at the website. The hotel we chose, Timber House Ao Nang comes with Free Breakfast. These total rates thus include return flight tickets + hotel stay + tax & fee. 

My family : 2 adults, 1 child, 1 infant

RM 1094.38

My parents in law : 2 adults

RM 756.48

My sister in law and daughters : 1 adult, 2 child

RM 993.30

 

Our flight from Kuala Lumpur was on 22/08/2018 at 1615H whilst our return flight from Krabi was on 25/08/2018 at 0800H. I guess at this month of the year, it does rain more. Therefore, we had to reorganize our activities accordingly. Our trip this time, was more laid back considering the group profile and abilities. We were not that ambitious to visit Emerald Pool this time.

Briefly, we just took a boat ride to see Phi Phi Island and most of our time is just for sightseeing around Ao Nang, having a massage and eat lots and lots of Thai food.

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My father in law had bad knees and is also prone to motion sickness. He did not join us on our boat trip. Our tour guide was Rihanna Da. She comes across as someone with a very strong personality, warm and hyperactive. Ha ha.

Believe in me. Believe in my team, she says

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Baby Ninie was very adventurous. She was not afraid of the sand and crawled on it like she belonged to the sea. LOl. She was very tired and hot afterwards.

We also enjoyed loads of Thai food mainly the TomYum Goong, green curry and som tam. And of course the mandatory pancake every night for supper. We also discovered the Meiji banana milk at 7 eleven. It’s HALAL guys.

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It was a short yummy trip. My next blog post will be about the hotel we stayed in – Timber House Ao Nang. 

Grand Seasons Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

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Good location, comfortable room, delicious food.

That would be my heading for a review on Agoda.Com. We stayed there over the weekend. I had a conference about Old Age. Which means Mr Husband and the kids get to roam the city as local tourists. They went to Zoo Negara without me. Hmph.

But I joined them for the trip to Petrosains KLCC the next day. That will be another blog entry.

Generally our stay at GSH was great. Its near the Chowkit Monorail which can get you anywhere in KL once you reach KL Sentral. Hotel facilities are modern and up to date with a bit of Indian touch to it when it comes to food. Very nice. Plenty of legal parking space.

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There are however a few things of concern. More of to highlight so guests could make preparations in advance;

  1. The toilet has a bidet. Which may not be kids-friendly. Kids might have difficulties to adjust their bum and what not hence could be off target in most cases and you end up with a puddle.
  2. The lobby toilet is only available for hotel guests of if you’re a customer of their very own Avenue Cafe. Weird. Even Ee was like commenting ‘tandas bawah ni pun dia nak kunci?”
  3. Its a popular hotel. In the heart of Kuala Lumpur and a popular venue for conferences. If you’re like me, who decided to check in late, just be prepared that your extra requirements may not be met due to the huge number of guests. I did not get my large bed. And my non-smoking room. The reception said, “I’m sorry, but this is all we’ve got for now”. And he forgot to give me my Wifi password and inform me where I’ll be having my breakfast the next morning.
  4. Speaking of WIFI. It is free BUT it has a limit. Like maybe just 2 slots per room? Cause when Mr Husband and I wanted to do our work on the laptop – we couldn’t log in because we had initially used the free WIFI on our phones. And even if we had logged out of the service on our phones – the WIFI won’t connect with our laptops. So.. penat je kan angkut benda alah tu. Geram I. 

I guess that’s about it. Breakfast  is wonderful . Fresh fruits. Delicious nasi lemak sambal with chicken percik. Rich banana cake. There’s even tosai for those tosai lovers.

During our stay , there was a minor renovation going on at the swimming pools floor. The pool is still open to public. There is a gym on the same floor and also a dodgy looking spa. Grand Palace Spa. I dare not enter as there was a man sitting at the reception. Perhaps it is too under renovation in the inside. I was dying for a Reflexology Foot Massage.

Overall, it was a pleasant stay but I would choose to book there on a weekday. And not on a school holiday. And if it has to be there because of a conference or something.. then I’ll check in early.

Langkawi 2018 : Langkawi Wildlife Park

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This place is a hidden gem. I had no idea it existed before and was in fact, voted as tripadvisors Travellers Choice in 2014 & 2015.

Tickets:

Adult RM 24.00 /Children RM 16.00

It may not be as huge as Zoo Melaka but at least they have a full covered walkaway, which helps shelter visitors from the rain and sun.

We arrived at the place just near 0930 AM. Good timing as the morning feeding sessions were like 10AM, 11AM and such. Plus, not many people have flocked to the area so we could walk slow and steadily without the distractions of other visitors. And we could feed the animals first.

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Ee enjoyed feeding the animals and learning about what these creatures eat as well. We bought one food pack which has a variety of stuff in it. Ee was ecstatic to discover that birds can eat more than just bird seeds. And emus can actually eat peanuts. The friendly rangers even demonstrated to us on how to feed the animals and gave us a fun fact or two about them.

During our visit, a mini Fear Factor Challenge was ongoing and I participated. I had to find shillings in a snakes case, also coins in a mountain of worms and finally trying to identify a particular animal in a box. My reward was a 50% discount on my next visit to the park within one year. Yeay!!

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We were out of the park after about 90 minutes and this is after seeing two feeding shows – the deer and crocodile of which visitors are encouraged to participate. Not too bad I have to say. Will be one of our favourite places to go every time we come to Langkawi.