My point exactly.
After 2 days at LEGOLAND, we were on a theme park high, which was great, but it was wonderful that when fatigue finally set in, it chose to do so at a plush hotel with earthy tones and calming views. In the wise words of Kramer from Seinfeld, "SERENITY NOW!" Serenity now indeed.
The recently re-branded Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour, Johor, has 283 guest rooms, half of which have a lovely view of the harbour. One could easily get used to waking up to a view like this. I really enjoyed sitting by the window and admiring the view, pretending to be rich.
Our Deluxe Harbour View Room had a king sized bed, and a bay seat area which looks small but can accomodate an average adult. But the best part is that it comes with a pull-out so our original room for 2 technically became a room for 4. Awesome.
With its large corridors and full length glass panels aplenty, the hotel gives a very open and airy feel, which is wonderful. Because why have a harbour view and not show it off, right?
The former Traders Hotel used to cater to serious business clients but after its rebranding, it adopted a whole new approach. While families aren't its core target (so no, you won't find playgrounds or kiddy slides or drop-off centres), there were many spots around the hotel and beyond that can keep the little ones busy.
But wait, let's back up a little to the new branding. Back when it was Traders Hotel, I imagine it was like any other hotel of its class, with suit-clad staff and clickity-clackity heels across the hotel lobby. Today everyone dresses down - the bellhops are in polo t-shirts, for instance, and everyone has ditched their suits. Which is totally fine because the hotel wants to set the image of welcome guests as friends, and suits tend not to make people look approachable.
I had a slightly hard time with the whole virtual persona of "Jen" though, after whom the hotel is named. The fact sheet explains that "Jen" is a professional hotelier who loves life, travel and the adventure of new places. And all forms of communication are signed off with that name. I suppose it could have been slightly confusing for someone who hasn't read the description. Or maybe a random businessman could get into trouble with his wife for receiving a note from the mysterious "Jen"? :)
But seriously, I personally feel that while efforts to maintain consistency throughout all forms of communication should be applauded, things like safety instructions feel a little downplayed due to the casual tone of voice.
But that was a small issue, and possibly only with me, and it did not affect our stay at all. So, back to keeping the little ones occupied.
On the roof top, there are 3 pools - the gorgeous infinity pool that overlooks the beautiful harbour, a jacuzzi (my favourite!) and the baby pool - the water is salted so it takes a while to get used to. They're all located side by side and the jacuzzi and baby pools are shallow enough for parents to not be in (perhaps enjoy a drink at the sundeck?) while their kids splash around. But really, why not go into that jacuzzi!
Also up on the roof, is a cute little rooftop garden - it was our favourite way to start our mornings. Before breakfast, we'd make a detour up to the rooftop garden, breathe in the fresh air, and feel all Zen-like before heading down for the feast.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - I love hotel breakfasts. Rolling out of a comfortable bed and strolling to a bright and beautiful cafe where you get to pick from a wide range of food (none of which prepared by you), and not having to wash up after. What's there not to love!
The seafood buffet dinner was possibly the best I've ever had. The spread was amazing. Fresh sashimi in the Japanese corner, lots of barbequed and grilled shellfish (oh that scallop!), assam salmon (not a combination I would think of doing but it was surprisingly yummy!), local delights and a whole bunch of desserts. My kids were of course, head over heels with the chocolate fountain.
The 7 year old initiated the 3 year old to the chocolate dream; their conversation went on like this:
"Calla, first you find your fruit, then you put it on a stick, and put the stick into the fountain. Like this" (and proceeds to slather multiple layers of liquid chocolate over small pieces of fruit)
"But why not just put your bowl there like this!"
Oh... the chocolate force is strong in this one.
Poppy's favourite of the dinner was not the seafood, but the noodle counter. Where, I might add, had no seafood at all. She just enjoyed picking the noodles, asking for soup, watching her meal being prepared, and carrying her bowl back to the table. (Two weeks later I asked what she liked the most about Hotel Jen and she said "The food").
For those who'd like to explore eating out, there's a wide variety of eateries nearby - Sushi King, Kenny Rogers Roasters, Ajisen Ramen, Starbucks, Taiwan Shilin and Savaro. But for the little ones, it's not the variety of food that will impress them, but that the hotel is right across from Little Big Town and Hello Kitty Town, and LEGOLAND is a mere 5-10 minute drive away. For those of you who do not drive, Hotel Jen does provide a shuttle service, but it is in the form of a small van so please let the concierge know in advance.
If you prefer to just hang out in your beautiful spacious room but want some entertainment for your kids, there's a Toys R Us Express right downstairs. I'm sure you can find something helpful.
For this stay, we were looking for peace and quiet, and peace and quiet was what we got. Thank you, Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour, for giving us this opportunity to recharge!
Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour
Address: Persiaran Puteri Selatan, Puteri Harbour, 79000 Nusajaya, Johor Darul Takzim, Malaysia
Phone: +60 7 560 8888
Disclaimer: We received a 3D2N stay with meals, compliments of Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour. All photos and opinions are our own.