Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Awesome Birthday Stay and Legoland Package at Renaissance Johor Bahru, A Five-Star Hotel

What a wonderful day we had last week. It was Jolie's birthday, so we brought Nadine and her to Legoland. We chose to stay not at the Legoland Hotel, but at the five-star Renaissance Johor Bahru (part of the Marriott group). Once you read through, you'll know why. We all loved this new hotel when we first stayed there last year. It's beautiful, elegant, clean and food is great there!

Regular room rates run from RM308 (a mere S$118). There are several good deals on the website - we liked the Discovery Legoland Adventure Package (RM668 -1170, which is about S$256-450):
 • Daily buffet breakfast for two adults and two children
 • One combo day pass for two adults and one child to Legoland (additional tickets RM175 per adult; RM140 per child)
 • Club Lounge Access for Junior Suite room bookings

The hotel was very kind to arrange for us a Junior Suite and adjoining twin room. These are perfect for families.

They also helped us arrange for transport from Marriott Singapore into Johor Bahru. But for families that drive, it's less than 45 minutes from Singapore to the hotel.

We spent the day at Legoland. Have you seen the Star Wars Miniland yet? I have a post on all the seven epic scenes they built from each of the movies in the franchise, plus the animated series. Naboo, Kashyyyk, Hoth, Endor, Tatooine...it's all there!

They planned a surprise for us
Back at the hotel, they planned a surprise for Jolie in her room. Balloons, all pearly pink and white, plus rose petals spelling "Happy Birthday!" What a nice touch. The shrieks of happiness rivalled that of the ones we got inside Legoland.

Birthday sweets and a sweet note
A sweet handwritten note with candy awaited Jolie too. And lollipops - the surefire way to kids' hearts.

The Junior Suite living room
The Junior Suite is extremely spacious - 69sqm/742sqft to 81sqm/872sqft! The living/sitting area is tastefully done. It has a separate toilet and wash basin is outside the bedroom too.

The Junior Suite bedroom
The bedroom follows the same contemporary decor. I really like the rooms. The space is peaceful and soothing.

Relaxing reading corner in the Junior Suite
An easy chair in the corner for reading or relaxing.

The bathroom area is like one big extra suite you can run through. The bathtub (with huge windows) is further down with separate shower and toilet stalls. All very roomy.

Junior Suite bathroom
The bath entrance is flanked by his and her washbasins on one side, closet on the other.

Tokyo Milk toiletries
Tokyo Milk toiletries - some of the more wonderful and whimsical selections I've seen in hotels. Good stuff!

Bath time!
We made good use of the rose petals. A nice soak spells pure joy.

The Renaissance Johor Bahru viewed on 6th floor
The hotel has pools, sauna and gym on the sixth floor.

There's two pools - lap pool and shallow round pool
The view of the pools from above. One small round kiddy pool, and a lap pool 1.4m in depth.
It was SO HARD to get the kids out of the pool once they went in...

Pool cabana
Nice elegant cabanas by the pool. They also have pool terrace rooms that open out straight to the pool area. I will show you that in a separate post, along with the other room types they have.

Cafe BLD serves breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets at the Renaissance
And what holiday would it be without good food? Cafe BLD at the Renaissance serves breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets, as its name suggests. The selection is quite impressive and the quality is very decent compared to other hotels I've tried in Malaysia.

Cold seafood - shrimp, mussels, scallops
Cold seafood on ice - such a must-have for many. Shrimp, mussels and scallops to go with various dips and sauces.

Real charcoal grill for satay!
And a real charcoal grill for satay? OK, how awesome is that?

The satay is to die for
And indeed the satay is superb! Juicy chunks of richly marinated lamb, chicken and beef grilled to aromatic perfection. I had to Instagram this immediately. No need to drive to Kajang for overhyped satay. Just pop over to JB. Man, I could come back just for this.

They also have a beautifully done Western grilled lamb and roast beef. There was a red snapper fillet dish that I liked too.

Sushi and maki section
The sushi, sashimi and maki selections along with Japanese pickles. Hmm, I need to make more takuan (daikon pickles) at home. So good with rice.

Antipasti section
The antipasti and breadsticks.

Who moved the cheese?
Cute way of displaying cheese...but looks like somebody moved the emmental!

Renaissance JB4
The hot mains in claypots are generally pretty good, but dishes may vary from day to day.

I love DIY gado-gado
Last year they had a DIY gado gado corner alongside the salads. I hope they bring this back!

One of several live stations at Cafe BLD
There are several live stations - teppanyaki, soup noodles, and satay. In the mornings, they make eggs any way you want, roti canai (prata) and thosai/dosai too.

Dim sum that is not bad for a hotel
The dim sum is not too bad for a hotel buffet.

Christmas and chocolate fountain goodies
Dessert takes up a separate corner altogether. For Christmas, they have the festive pieces of gingerbread houses and such. Too pretty to eat.

Make your own shaved ice dessert
Besides the cakes, tarts, pastries, jellies, puddings, ice cream, cookies, and fruits, you can also make your own shaved ice dessert.

The Renaissance has an inhouse showcase bakery
The Renaissance has its own inhouse bakery, which is itself a showcase. Lovely smells come from here.

Breakfast pastries - the kids only went for donuts!
Breakfast! Lots of selections. Pastries, cereals, the requisite ham, eggs, pancakes, beans, tomatoes, porridge, noodles, etc.

Nasi lemak so sedap
Nasi lemak - fluffy rice so lemak cooked in coconut cream! Comes with a great sambal sotong, condiments and cucur ikan (fish dough fritters).

Dosai on demand!
I was hoping for roti canai that morning, but they do rotate what's available. Well, dosai on demand ain't bad. And I love the way Malaysia does it - crispy!

The Executive Lounge on the 16th floor
If you have the Junior Suite, you could choose to have breakfast at the Executive Lounge on the 16th floor. It's quiet, cosy and definitely offers more privacy.

The Executive Lounge offers something all day, afternoon tea, evening hors d'oeuvres and light snacks. Enjoy their mini business centre facilities for up to two hours per day, and the complimentary wi-fi.

The best part is the view of the bay. Check out the balcony. This place is also stunningly beautiful at night with the lights.

Renaissance Hotel lobby

Service at the hotel has been marvellous too. The staff are polite, cheerful and easy-going. They look like they enjoy their work. We really enjoy our stay here each time, and will definitely be back. If you're looking at a short holiday nearby or staycation, this is a very good option.

Check out more photos of the different rooms and facilities, as well as the exquisite Wan Li Cantonese restaurant!

The Renaissance is a five-star brand, and there are only three such hotels in Malaysia. I am now tempted to visit the Kuala Lumpur and Kota Bahru ones!

No. 2, Jalan Permas 11,
Bandar Baru Permas Jaya,
81750 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Tel: +60 7-381 3333

Many thanks to Renaissance Johor Bahru for arranging the hotel stays!


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