Staycation at The Shore Hotel & Residences, Melaka

Our residential area has been affected by the recent water rationing measure due to the low water level in our dams. We have been on an alternate day roster since early February. Our water supply is dependent on the little tank on days without water. Hence it is a mandi burung, berak perpada kind of affair. On days where water is supplied, we get to do the laundry, do some exercise (hence able to wash hair) and other cleaning chores. I have never took cleaning so seriously until this happened. Rajin plak tetiba nak menge-mop.

Interestingly, last weekend Mr Husband booked a hotel room at The Shores Hotel & Residences, Melaka for a 3D2N stay there. He was surprised to see price plunges and placed a booking for a Studio Suite Room since hotels are not affected by the water rationing schedule. The Shore is not to be mistaken with Swiss Garden Hotel despite towering beside each other.

Our room was facing a beautiful skyline at night. We have a mini fridge, the usual amenities with complimentary beverages (upon checking in only) and spacious single beds. The bathroom was not kid friendly because of the near transparent glass windows and so I preferred to shower at night. Good for me though as I get to shower longer and scrub down my dirt. The shower gels had a lovely scent to it.

I brought my laptop with me and did some studying on my uni portal. The FREE WIFI speed was awesome. We did not choose the breakfast option in our stay as Mr Husband preferred to buy roti canai at the nearby 24 hours mamak just underneath the hotel. You will never starve in Melaka. InsyaAllah. The 24 hours convenience store is also of walking distance.

We played tourist and had lunch at Dataran Pahlawan. We ate at Johnny’s. I really loved the sauce they serve with the meal and of course the tomyam. I am salivating (again) as I blog of this.

The kids enjoyed the swimming pool on Level 23. There is a gym aesthetically placed over the pool with a connecting bridge. It is so Instagrammable but I did not bring my shoe. There was a tragedy though in the pool less than a year ago where a young boy drowned. It made headlines in the local paper for a few days. I hope the family is coping well.

You could get to the SkyDeck if you want at the 43rd floor but we didn’t do that. We were lucky that during our stay, there were not many visitors. Maybe because of Covid-19. Cause I couldn’t imagine how 4 lifts are going to serve the whole tower. It would be a very very long wait on each floor.

It was a short and memorable staycation. Although I was a bit pissed at first for the abrupt getaway (cause I love a planned vacay), I was glad that we went ahead with the rush anyway. Sometimes you just gotta let the wind take you to where it wants to blow. I felt rejuvenated. I was able to bathe without a time restriction and water quota. I get to apply a facial mask while studying in an air conditioned environment for hours without having to think of skyrocketing bills. I get to see the moon and stars in the night by just stepping out into the balcony. And I get to have my husband with me over the weekend with the kids in one room at most times. LOL.

Thank you Mr Husband

The little princess. NINIE

Hotel Seri Malaysia Pulau Pinang

We booked a one night stay at this hotel because we were flying back to Melaka from Penang using Malindo Air.

We took a 2 hour 45 min ferry ride from Langkawi to Penang. Once at the pier, we booked a Grab ride to bring us to the hotel.

This is a 2 star hotel which gives off a 3 star vibe. Eventhough the lobby was small, they provide Welcome drinks to guests which is a nice touch. They even had cute Christmas decorations with freaky little dolls in the main space.

Without a doubt, Seri Malaysia is an old hotel. Not to the extent of having dilapidated facilities but more to its design and crowd. Service is impeccable although Mr Husband did have a minor glitch at the reception. The lady handling our check in was unable to relay basic guests information.

We get to check in 30 mins earlier and coccooned ourself in the hotel compound. It was after all New Years eve and to have our meals outside could be challenging with all the traffic. We also fear of stumbling upon drunk people.

Mr Husband booked 2 Family Room through Traveloka. Our room has 1 double bed and 1 single bed. It was priced at RM142.56 per night including tax. The room fee came with FREE WIFI & FREE breakfast for 3 people for each room. In a way, Ee is covered. Each room has a mini fridge, hairdryer, towels and basic toiletries.

We ordered the steamboat buffet ‘lunch’ at its restaurant for our meal. It was priced at a flat rate of RM18/pax. The portion was huge. We couldn’t finish the noodles. The seafood and marinated poultry seemed fresh. The juice were refillable. Later at night, Mr Husband tapau-ed some food for his parents dinner. I was still full from the steamboat meal.

After the steamboat meal, Ee and Mr Husband went to explore the pool. It’s very small. Ee could fit the kiddie pool just by his length (height). But it is adequate as long as you’re not training for the olympics.

Breakfast was commendable. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the options they had for a 2 star accommodation. Refills were prompt and tables were cleared swiftly. We checked out by 12 noon and took a Grab to the airport for our flight. Location wise , this is a good place to bunk in as there are a lot of eateries within walking distance.

I would definitely consider Hotel Seri Malaysia again in my future visits to Pulau Pinang.

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!

KidZania – the 1st of hopefully many more visits

Purchasing the tickets online are cheaper but the queue when you buy them at site at its normal price is much shorter. So choose your battle. I think most people can wait. Ha ha.

ALL THOSE WHO ENTER HAS BRACELETS ON THEIR HANDS
BRING YOUR MYKAD & MYKID PEOPLE

This was Ee’s first time going into Kidzania and I was honestly quite excited as well. I could also see young teenagers having fun with their friends. As a first timer, the dynamics of the place does overwhelm you even as an adult. However, the place was a beautiful sight with all the design and spirit of the place. The kids who came were also very confident in how they choose to carry themselves and execute the task given.

THE FIRETRUCK IS VERY POPULAR WITH THE KIDS..

Prior to entering the place, I have received a balance of useful and negative advice. It depends on who is giving the tips. I see Kidzania as a place where kids get to build on their skills and interact with other kids (making new friends – if they choose to) to achieve an objective. The play does not end in just one day as you could frequent the place many times in a year depending on your budget and experience a lot of ‘jobs’ there.

In Kidzania, you either earn or spend your money. Each job has a description of age suitable for play, duration of job and expected wage to receive upon completion of a task. They always have a task for you. Some jobs are quick, some are lengthy up to 20 minutes. The popular ones are of course the uniformed jobs. Some food based industry jobs require spending money as you get to bring the produce home or to eat.

DESCRIPTIONS AT THE DOOR

Kidzania uses English as its main language of communication but if you have a clueless son like Ee – he can still survive the world with his not so great-yet prowess of the English language. But it is OK, I think he needs the exposure to an environment of budak bandar. Where the kids speak English fluently since pre-school. He has become too comfortable in his Malay dominated environment. This is also one of the reasons why I sent him swimming at a non-Malay dominated school. Just so he learns a bit about other people/ race in Malaysia. Come onlah Ee, Mummy used to have a chinese boyfriend in primary school. Ha ha ha.

COURIER, HOUSEKEEPER, CSI INVESTIGATOR, TAX COLLECTOR

It would have been nice to spend the whole day in Kidzania but the other adults were getting restless. Except me. Hence, Ee managed to work at only less than 6 jobs till noon. I am considering to make him a ‘pasport’ to become the citizen of Kidzania on my next visit. It can be an activity I do with my son from time to time. We just need to simpan duit sikit for the trip.

SURGEONS

In Kidzania, there is plenty of toilets and designated areas for adults to rest. There is even a baby room for younger kids to feed and change their diapers. I would advice children to have a good breakfast before they go because once they start working, they are like Energizer bunny’s not willing to stop. One more thing,the place is bustling with people in there. So brief your kids on where to find you or stay put should they go missing in the crowd.As for yourself, have breakfast too, wear comfortable clothes & footwear. You never know if you also need to run around with the kids accompanying them on their job runs.

AS FOR THE VERY YOUNG ONES, THEY POSE FOR PICTURES