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Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Holiday Villa Hotel Johor Bahru City Centre

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http://www.holidayvillahotels.com/malaysia/johor-bahru/holiday-villa-johor-bahru/

Located at 260, Jalan Dato Sulaiman, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

Google Maps make it look a block away, but if you check out Street View, you actually only need to cross the street from KSL.

We have been regular customers of KSL, but on our last 2 visits, the hotel was starting to look and feel old.

So now, after Mutiara and KSL, Holiday Villa will be the third hotel for our JB Staycations!

Lobby is ok with ample seats.

It does not have Starbucks, but they won’t charge you for using the washroom.

There are shops and restos on the Ground and 1st level… But you are better off crossing the street for bak kut teh or just have a meal at KSL.

My wife and I were surprised by the size of the room…

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King size bed.

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Working table

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TV ports were easily accessible.

However, channel selection will need improvement.

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Closet has a safe, 2 pairs of room slippers, no robe

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Fridge was available, but don’t expect it to make ice. (it was more of like a wine chiller)

Our room did not have a tub

But shower area’s size was again bigger than usual

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Toiletries included a comb, tooth brush, soap and shampoo

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Don’t expect anything from the free internet.

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It was bad and it was useless at 10pm!

Main amenities were at the top 2 levels of the hotel

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Pool, (dry) Sauna and Gym were on the 25th floor

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And the 26th floor had the sky bar

Breakfast buffet was available on the 9th floor, Fern Pine Cafe.

Don’t expect too much, but it was more than enough.

Thanks to the aging KSL Hotel, I can highly recommend Holiday Villa.

If you have small kids who want to play around, then you’re better off with KSL, you get the dino land and you don’t have to cross the street.

During our short stay at Holiday Villa, we found the place more relaxing and more modern.

I honestly can’t wait for the next trip…

Singapore Bike Sharing

Singapore now has “bike sharing,” it’s great and fun… But as always, it can be improved.

First thing you have to know is that there are presently 3 private companies offering their bikes… Mobike, oBike and ofo.

You will easily notice that Mobike is orange, oBike and ofo are both yellow but ofo (normally) does not come with a basket.

Here’s the first problemYou need 3 apps! Since you don’t know which bike is nearby. I personally have the Mobike and oBike apps on my phone.

Update: Just removed Mobike since I see 90% oBike’s in my area.

Next problem, deposit… So 3 apps will mean 3X the deposit!

Another problem I experienced with oBike is that 1 phone can only use 1 bike at a time, I had to download the app, add a credit card and pay the deposit so that my wife can ride another bike.

Then there’s a problem of “where can I find a bike?” Yes you can find one near MRT stations. But near your home? That can be a challenge.

GPS is a big help, but…

It would be great if the bikes have a dedicated rack where you earn points (or even credits) if you return the bike there.

It will help lessen the eye sore brought by these bikes that are literally parked everywhere!

Here’s what I mean when I walked around last Saturday.

A bike near the bus stops.

Singapore Bike Sharing

Bike Singapore

Bike Sharing

Near a parking lot

oBike Singapore

Another bike outside HarbourFront MRT

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If you notice a trend here… People just leave their bikes where its comfortable and convenient for them.

I’m sure you will also notice that there are just bikes everywhere…

A little order would be nice… And it will be impossible to ask people to put bikes in racks if they won’t get anything from it!

Another suggestion is a bigger basket behind the seat… Mobike and oBike both provide small baskets in front… A bigger basket would be nice for those trips to the market.

The oBike I tried is on the heavier side, I understand that we should not expect a light body… But maybe they should have looked at the possible gear ratios to make the ride lighter… We don’t need them to be fast anyway.

Download links

Mobike App
http://mobike.com/sg/download
oBike
https://www.o.bike/home/download.html
ofo
https://www.ofo.so/download.html

As I said at the start of this post, Singapore’s bike sharing is “great and fun.”

I’d love to see improvements, but so far. It’s a good start.

Singapore Love Locks

Hmmm, looks like someone in Clarke Quay decided it was time for Singapore to have it’s own place for love locks

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Photo was taken in outside The Central

So yes, in Asia, the Koreans have the bigger more popular one

But let’s give this one a chance… Until Clarke Quay/The Central management decides its time to start something new.

Summit Parkview Hotel, Yangon, Myanmar

350 Ahlone Road, Yangon, Myanmar

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I was basically in the country for a 2 day business trip…

I didn’t want to expect too much since I have very little information about the country…

But the hotel was good… So that’s a good start.

Around 20mins walk from the Shwedagon Pagoda, people’s park is right across the street.

Walking distance from the hotel are Indian, Mediterranean, Japanese and Singaporean restaurants.

Swimming pool was not available during my visit due to expansion/renovation.

room-key

Yes… That’s a real key!

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You get Instant Coffee and 3 bottles of bottled water.

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Robes, room slippers and a standard safe. Laundry/dry cleaning is available.

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You’ll love the size of the shower!

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Usual toiletries are provided (shaver, toothbrush, lotion, soap, shampoo etc)

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I guess for safety reasons… Hair dryer is outside the room.

Fridge is empty (always a big plus for me)

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As you can see… The room is big… High ceiling is also a big plus…

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I guess the ceiling fan is there for power failure (?), there’s also a torchlight.

You don’t get a balcony…

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But from the window, you can see the Shwedagon Pagoda.

Breakfast is inclusive…

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Selection may not be that big. But you’ll always find something.

Gym is available… It’ not big (maybe thanks to the renovation?) But there’s an instructor available all the time!

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I must admit… I’ve seen hotels in Yangon with better location. But I was really happy with my 2 night stay at Summit Parkview Hotel.

Red Planet Hotel (Timog, Quezon City)

https://www.redplanethotels.com/hotel/quezon-city-manila

Stayed at Red Planet Hotel (Quezon City) for 2 nights during my Manila visit. (click here for Google’s Street View)

Located along Timog (near GMA 7) its a couple of minutes walk from GMA Kamuning MRT station. Taxi is always available and you can also take a tricycle (for nearby destinations), they’re parked in front of Caltex.

There’s a 7-Eleven at the hotel lobby. There’s also a nearby Starbucks coffee.

Free parking is available, however it gets full!

They will recommend you to park you car at Caltex (across the street). Parking will cost PhP 50.00 for the first 5 hours and PhP 5.00 for succeeding hours.

Now for the room…

Space is enough, but don’t expect too much.

Red Planet Hotel Bed

No closets, but you get a place to hang your clothes.

Red Planet Hotel Clothes Rack

You get a safe, small table (work station), hair dryer and a TV (32 inch)…

Red Planet Hotel Safe

Red Planet Hotel TV

Red Planet Hotel Hair Dryer

I love the size of their shower room, toilet comes with a bidet.

They will only provide a liquid soap, be sure to bring your toiletries!

Red Planet Hotel Toiletries

Red Planet Hotel Soap

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What the hotel doesn’t have… Gym, restaurant (so no breakfast provided) and pool.
What the room doesn’t have… Fridge, kettle (for coffee and tea), telephone and dresser.
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Free room WiFi is provided. Tested the speed using the Speedtest App on my S6 Edge.

Red Planet Hotel WiFi Speed

Again for the hotel’s price, the internet was OK for usual Instant Messengers and booking a ride (either with Grab and Uber)

Personally, my only main issues against this hotel is (1) limited parking and (2) the lack of an electric kettle (for coffee).

I highly recommend this hotel!!!

Location is convenient.

Staff are friendly.

And the rooms are clean!

New Category: Free Internet!

I am starting this new category at ice15(toys) where I will sign-up for free WiFi and test how fast they are!

Tests will be made using the Speedtest.net App

Some of my posts might get old… so please don’t forget to re-check the date before going to the comments section…

KSL Residences (Johor Bahru)

http://kslresorts.com.my/inspire/

Definitely a late post but again, better late than never…

We spent 3 days (2 nights) at KSL Residences at Johor Bahru.

We regularly stay at KSL hotel but this is our first time to stay at KSL Residences

First thing you have to know is that it has a separate lobby from the hotel.

If you took the bus from JB Sentral, I suggest that you look for a hotel staff and ask for their assistance.

The room will NOT get serviced everyday! You will have to fix your own bed and clear your own rubbish.

KSL Residences To Know 2

Second, rooms doesn’t have WiFi, it’s only available at the lobby.

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Positives, compared to the hotel, you get amenities to cook, a regular sized fridge and a living room.

KSL Residences Kitchen

KSL Residences Room

KSL Residences TV

Negatives…

Sponge to clean your dishes is not provided.
Since service is not available, you will need to look for a room cleaner to have your towels changed.
Room isn’t carpeted.
Room doesn’t have a phone, you’ll need to use your mobile phone to contact the front desk.

KSL Residences has its own pool, gym and sauna.

The pool is awesome, you’ll definitely love it for your laps! But they do not provide pool towels.

KSL Residences Pool Area

KSL Residences Swimming Pool

KSL Residences Lap Pool

KSL Residences Lap Pool 2

KSL Residences Eternity Pool

Upon check-in, they will provide a “towel card” which you’ll use to get 2 towels from the hotel side. You’ll need to return the towel before check-out to get your card back.

Gym has less facilities compared to the hotel… BUT you can access the hotel’s gym if needed…

KSL Residences Gym

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If you’re staying as a family (or with friends), KSL Residences makes so much sense.

The rooms are bigger, facilities to cook, and you get amenities of the “residences” (awesome pool) and the “hotel” (awesome gym + dino park).

But if you’re 3 (or less) and have no plans to cook. KSL Hotel is more than enough.

KSL Residences Room 2

KSL Residences Bath Tub P

KSL Residences Bathroom Sink

KSL Residences Toilet

KSL Residences Lawn

KSL Residences Kids Lawn

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