Friday, 21 June 2019

Double Tree By Hilton JB [Review]

We were planning a long vacation this year end, so we decided to save up and not jet anywhere this June holiday. Instead, we took a car ride nearby to Johor Bahru (JB) for some weekend fun. 

We stayed two nights at Double Tree by Hilton. A 15 minute (3km) walk from JB Sentral train station if you are coming by train, and a 10 minute (7km) drive from the causeway. It is strategically located near City Square Mall and KOMTAR JBCC shopping mall, where Angry bird activity park is. Both malls are next to each other, and it takes only about a 10 minute walk from Double Tree. If massage is your kind of relaxation, there are a few Thai massage shops just across the hotel. I missed getting my muscles soothed on this trip, too engrossed in Motherly duties and family bonding I guess.

The hotel's check in time was 3pm, but we left home at 6am. All in the honour of causeway jam. Leaving wee early means less chance of snaking car jam. Proven to be true, it took us 1.5hours to arrive at our breakfast venue in JB. Not too bad on getting sleepy kids loaded into the car this early. How we decide to spend time idling after breakfast will be another story to tell.


We need another trunki!

We had a King Guest room which comes with a king bed good enough to fit our family of 5 petites. If you need additional roll in bed, do request early as they run out pretty fast. Bathroom is with a standing shower of open/close concept. For the no romance guests, there is a blind that you can bring down for privacy. Toiletries are also well provided.

Wi-Fi is free upon the signing up as Hilton Honors member. A great deal if you travel often and stay widely in their arms of hotels. It allows you to accumulate points that will reward you with free hotel nights and premium merchandise.

Spacious room size

Work desk

From bathroom view

Sparkling clean bathroom

It is always nice to be walking into a spacious hotel room that warmly embraces our welcome and shouts comfort. We were also given their signature cookies upon checking into the hotel. These cookies were warm and best enjoyed at that very moment.

Cookie monster!

Our car was also safely parked and guarded in the hotel's basement carpark. Parking is Free. Do remember to validate your parking at the concierge each time you drive out.

AXIS LOUNGE
Since there was no agenda for our trip, other than to take time slow and enjoy some family time, we spent more time in the hotel than venturing outdoor. We had most of our meals heartily settled within the hotel, including hi-tea! My first experience of doing hi tea with 3 kids in tow. You guessed it, I spent more time mediating squabbles and trying to get a toddler sit still than savouring the sweets and pastries.

Mood to relax

Hi-tea set for two

It was however a wonderful welcome and relaxing moment of doing hi-tea, and sipping our favourite tea centrally at the hotel's nicely embellished lobby, Axis Lounge. A great option for tummies that are starting to feel hungry from digested lunch. This hi-tea set for two is customized to its theme of Mint Tango with hint of mint and mango. As the name suggests.

Alternatively, the food store located at lobby offers some small bites and drinks for dine in or takeaway.

Mint Tango menu till 30 June 2019
Price: RM 58 per set (For two pax) 

Convert it to SGD, you do know where is a better valued place to do tea with great ambience.

TOSCA ITALIAN TRATTORIA
A great place to lunch if you are staying within the hotel will be at Tosca Italian Trattoria. Located on the same level as the pool, 13th level, Tosca is an alfresco dining venue that gives you good view to the pool area and surrounding scenery. We had lunch there, and the kids had a great time making their own pizza! Okay, more of topping off their pizza as the crust was ready made. And I very much love the after bake of this crispy pizza crust.


Kids's most loved area with cartoon

Pizza making

Pizza making is available every Saturday along with the all you can eat Italian buffet. Buffet spread includes salad bar, pizzas, pasta live station and dessert. We enjoyed our lunch here very much, perhaps because it was way less crowded than meal time over at the lobby, Makan Kitchen. It is also more child friendly here, Juboy did some colouring and the 2 older kids were calmly glued to the television that was playing Spongebob Squarepants. These kids tried their luck asking for a table with the best TV screen view, and they got it.

I am just happy, it was a peaceful meal. 


Live pasta station

Off to the stove! Pizzas I meant.

Awaiting...

Yummy pizza!

Aglio Olio

Always their favourite corner

The kids had so much fun topping off pizza, eating and watching cartoon in here! Watch as you eat is a thing they can only enjoy out of home. And perhaps, on vacation.

Buffet at Tosca
Price
Adult: RM52 Nett 
Child: RM26 Nett

Considering the price and offer, it is a very yummy deal!


MAKAN KITCHEN
We did breakfast and dinner at the hotel's lobby, Makan Kitchen. Breakfast includes a vast array of western and Asian items, as well as beverages like tea tarik and fresh juice. It is hard to not find something you like. Weekend dinner is theme to seafood night along with Malay, Chinese, Indian and Peranakan dishes. On top of these delicacies, there were live cooking stations and cold seafood including sashimi! Oysters were up for serve too, but they were somehow not as good as we thought. Jare who is the hardcore oyster lover in our family stopped at one. Cold prawns and Assam stingray were popular among us that night. 


Different sections of food variety

Snapshots of Breakfast

Snapshots of Dinner

Dessert was of course everyone's favourite! An extensive range of cakes, ice cream, sweets and macrons. I had to whisper to the server to scoop less portion of ice cream for the kids. There was just too much sugar around for those little hands. For the uncontrollable dessert eaters, remember to bring your sports attire to work out those calories at the 24 hours fitness centre. Sleep without guilt. 

If food variety and diversity is your kind of meal perk, Makan kitchen will be an ideal venue to settle your meals. It was however rather crowded during the weekend we were in. That too, highly depends on the occupancy rate during the period of your stay.

Seafood fiesta night is only available on weekends. Every Friday and Saturday.


OUTDOOR POOL
If it is summer in the country we are in, there has to be pool time accorded for the kids. I think it is only fair we ask the kids what they had like to do when we plan holiday travel. Pool time is always what they ask for.

The outdoor pool area has both adults and kids paddling pool, which Juboy could comfortably stand and play in. Always keep close eyes on your kids when they are near or in the water. Pool towels are available for use and lots of pool benches are laid out for your relaxation too. We also brought along the robes in the hotel room for after play. The robes were promptly changed to new sets upon the making up of our room.


Kids pool behind

Pool benches

Joy of pool time!

I had always try to get myself into the pool with the kids because it simply means playing together! It creates a different kind of memory as to just sitting aside to watch them play.


STEAM ROOM AND JACUZZI
Located also on the 13th level with the pool and fitness centre, there are the steam room and Jacuzzi in both the female and male toilets. The daughter and I went for some bonding moments in there. It had been such a long time since I last did a sauna. The after feel of steaming perspiration out of my skin was refreshing. Felt like it was a good workout even though I was simply doing nothing but sitting to steam. And of course, being the daughter's first experience, she was in and out the steam room several times. Only possible when there is no one else sharing the room. 

Lockers, showers, towels and hair dryer are available for use in here. I reckon these will be perfect for hotel guests to freshen up while waiting for check in. No access key or assigned room is needed at this level.

In for some Mother and Daughter moments

The flooring in the Jacuzzi area may be a little slippery. Some parts had anti slip mats on, but if not, do be extra careful when walking up and down the steps of the Jacuzzi area. 

This is also where our eyes were treated to a panoramic view of JB.


Trained the daughter to do photography


Maximising the hotel's amenities makes you feel like you made your money worth isn't it?


Our 2 nights stay with Double Tree by Hilton in Johor Bahru was more than just pleasant. Our bellies were always overly full. The hotel has a strategic location and most importantly its hospitality made us felt comfortable and safe throughout our stay.
 

We'll be back!

And yes, we did venture outdoor, for shopping, play and more food. Stay tune for the next installment post! 



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