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.

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.

Langkawi 2018 : Grand Continental Langkawi Hotel

I was taken by surprise the number of foreign tourist at this hotel. China tourist. How is it that I have not come across them before? Then I realized that its got to do with the type of hotel I chose this time round, Grand Continental Langkawi HOtel. And what an interesting lot they are. HA HA.

GCL Hotel is a 3 star hotel located in Kuah near a small shopping mall which you could go to by foot in 53 seconds. A reflexology and massage service is also located beside the hotel at the same building.

I booked a Standard Triple Room which has 1 Double Bed and 1 Single Bed which costs me RM875.32 including tax for a 5D4N stay. It has a mini fridge which I liked. With its complimentary coffee and such. The toilet has both a shower and a bath tub. But I did not feel like soaking in it because the tub was old and it felt icky. My son however loved the tub and he managed to come up with a mini movie in it while playing with his figurines.

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The facilities are OK. 1 restaurant. 1 swimming pool. No gym. The staff were super friendly and helpful. The only thing that puts me off was the presence of a particular group of tourist. 2 buses of them at one time, at least. With a change of group probably every 3-4 days. They are not mean. Or evil. But they are robust and rowdy. Which can appear selfish?

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However, since they are bringing business to the hotel and also Langkawi – it is something perhaps we local tourist have to accommodate or make adjustments. Or complain. 

They can be very loud in the hallway early in the morning or late at night. To some of them, it is of a normal decibel. It is their way of communication. We learnt to shut our ears. HA ha.

Our little family also  learnt that it would not be a good idea to go for the breakfast buffet too early in the morning. We initially went down at 700AM and the crowd was just overwhelming. Thankfully there are still sensible queues at the Roti Canai and Egg Station. The slices of bread however were gone in minutes as the guests loved to pile lots of them in one plate at one go. Maybe they really like the jam.

Pushing and shoving can be normal to them so since I’m quite small sized, I avoid the crowd. After all, we were in no rush to do any activities early in the morning nor did we sign up for any tour excursions – so we could wait for them to finish before we help ourselves to the buffet. We started going for breakfast near 900 AM.

I really want to applaud the staff for they were very patient with the mess, the frequent orders by theses tourists to top up the food etc. They had smiles plastered to their face and kind words (always) when in contact with both local and foreign guests.

Despite its wonderful location and great price for facility, I might reconsider staying at his hotel in the future. For the above reason. My sister told me the situation would probably be the same for other 3 star hotels. This would mean having to choose a homestay, a boutique hotel or small resort like Tok Senik or a 4 – 5 star hotel next visit.

I look forward to suggestions.

Langkawi 2018 : Our simple itinerary in pictures

For the family who gets to go here every year.

For the family with young children.

For the family who have all the time in the world. Well, more like it was the school holidays and this was the time we get to take many many days off.

This is our itinerary for 2 adults. 1 kid. 1 baby. 5D4N in Langkawi. 

20.06.2018

Departed from Melaka by car. Had breakfast at mamak and later brunch at Dunkin Doughnuts. Had minutes to spare at Mitsui Premium Outlet.

Parked at Salak Tinggi Park & Ride. RM 5/night for overnight parking. We had to park under the sun though as the roofed ones are for apparently those with Season Cards. Lemme know if ‘m wrong. We then took the KLIA Transit train to KLIA2.

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Rented an Axia for RM50/day through the booths at the Langkawi airport itself. Mr Husband chose to book from the most enthusiastic saleslady who was already on her knees at her desk shouting, “abang.. abang.. sinilah..kereta murah”

Checked into Grand Continental Hotel

Dinner MarryBrown

21.06.2018

Spent half a day at LAngkawi Geopark/ Cable car thingy.

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Lunch was Laksa Ikan Sekoq and rojak at the airport area.

Dinner was at HIG Food Court

22.06.2018

Spent half a day at an indoor park. Langkawi Wildlife Park.

Lunch was Laksa Kaw (Rossabina) in front of the Padang Matsirat school.

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Later part of the afternoon, Mr Husband and EE went to the mall beside our hotel. It was a 52 seconds walk from the main entrance of our hotel to the mall.

Evening – went to Dataran Lang but the sun was still strikingly blazing even though it was already 6PM.

Dinner was chicken.

23.06.2018

Rainy day. Did not get to stroll Pantai Cenang. So we went to again, The Underwater World.

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Lunch was LAksa Kaw again because it is that yummy.

24.06.2018

Checked out. Morning flight to KLIA2.