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After crossing the border from Singapore to Malaysia, it was a 10 minute walk to the Hilton Doubletree Johor Bahru hotel. It was a little tricky because first of all, we couldn’t figure out how to get out of the mall, and then once we did, the main street (Jalan Wong Ah Fook) is under major construction and there wasn’t always a sidewalk which made carrying our carryon bags a little tight in some spots. Still, it was totally manageable and I would definitely walk it again.
We got there about noon and our room was not ready. As a Diamond guest (thanks Hilton for the status match), I was expecting an upgrade of some sort, though I never know quite what to expect
(SEE ALSO: Hotel status match – how to match at each chain)
Originally they had upgraded us to an Executive room (yay lounge access!) on the 30th floor but apparently that room was not ready. I actually wouldn’t have minded just dropping our bags off if the room was not ready yet, but the agent helping me disappeared into the back room and when he came back, he said that he had upgraded us to a suite on the 27th floor!
The suite had a main living room, as well as a small pantry with a refrigerator and sink.
The bedroom was fairly standard with a work desk
Though one thing nice that I had not seen before was that the pen that hotels always give you was made out of 100% recycled paper!
Hilton Doubletree Johor Bahru swimming pool and fitness center
There is a fitness center and outdoor swimming pool at the Hilton Doubletree Johor Bahru, on the 13th floor. The fitness center was fairly standard with machines as well as a selection of free weights
The swimming pool was nice
But the one weird thing that I have literally never seen at any other hotel was that you were supposed to SIGN OUT your pool towels?!?
Now granted, although there was a sign-out sheet, there was nobody actually enforcing this at all but it seemed strange – are there really people that steal hotel pool towels!?!?
Laundry at the Doubletree by Hilton Johor Bahru hotel
One of the things we were most excited to find when we did our initial walkthrough of the room was that there was a washer / dryer IN our room! My guess was that this was due to the Diamond upgrade we got and that these are not available in every room but still, it was a pleasant sight!
I’ve written before about 4 laundry hacks when you’re doing long-term travel, but on this particular trip, the hotels we were staying at were all on the “fancy” side, with only laundry “service” being offered
Sorry Conrad Centennial, but I am NOT paying you 6 bucks to wash my underwear!
The only downside of the laundry here at the Doubletree Johor Bahru was that either due to a “feature” or maybe something wrong with this washer, or our lack of understanding of how it worked, the cycles lasted FOREVER. We’re talking 2-3 hours to wash and another 2-3 hours to dry! We started a load at 5pm or so when we got back to our room figuring we’d have plenty of time to get it done before bedtime. Nope! It went on well into the night, greeting us with a 10 second musical chime whenever a load finished… 🙁
Bathroom at the Doubletree Johor Bahru
The laundry machine was in the bathroom, which was a pretty ridiculous size. I mean I’ve heard of a wraparound PORCH, but never a wraparound BATHROOM! Walking in off of the main room, there was the laundry, a sink and the toilet
If you turned right, there was the shower
and turning right again led you back into the bedroom.
The Doubletree by Hilton Johor Bahru Executive Club
One of my top perks of having elite status at hotels is when there’s an Executive Club or lounge. The Doubletree Johor Bahru does have an Executive Club on the 29th floor. They serve an “evening cocktail” from 6-8pm and breakfast from 6-10 a.m. We got there in the early afternoon, so after we settled in, we figured we’d walk up and see if there was anything up there. We found complimentary pastries with soft drinks and juices
as well as a pretty sweet view
I’m never sure what the “evening cocktail” is going to be – sometimes it’s just cheese and crackers, while other times it’s full on dinner (SEE: Which hotels give dinner for free?) Now I have a pretty low standard for a meal (we like to call going to Costco on Saturday afternoon “Miller lunch”), but the Doubletree Johor Bahru delivered! There was a variety of hot foods as well as wine and other alcohol, if that’s your thing. We did get there right at 6pm which ended up being good as they didn’t seem to refresh the dishes once they were gone.
Breakfast was also served in the Executive Club and it was your basic breakfast with a variety of hot dishes, both Asian and Western. Like at the Regency Club at the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Tsim Sha Tsui, you could order eggs, though here at the Doubletree Johor Bahru, the server came around and asked me about it. I opted for a chili and tomato omelet. I was not sure what “chili” was going to be (remember, I live in Cincinnati where he have a weird relationship with chili!! It ended up being peppers, which tasted nice.
So, with all this, how is the Doubletree Johor Bahru only a Category 2 hotel (10,000 Hilton points / night). I mean, 10,000 Hilton points is NOTHING! With the current offer for 75,000 Hilton points for one card signup, you could stay here nearly 10 nights (remember – 5th night free on a Hilton award booking). To me, this hotel was just as nice if not nicer than the Conrad Centennial Singapore (where we stayed before and then after), and for 1/6 of the price! If you’re heading this way – I definitely recommend the Doubletree Johor Bahru!
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Can you describe how you made the trip from Singapore to JB? I am considering this property and that travel was confusing. Was it expensive/took a long time?
Also, did you use this property as a base to explore Singapore, or were you in JB the entire time?
Yes – I have a post coming up this week talking about crossing the border. Short answer was that it wasn’t hard at all. We were just in JB the one day and then went back to Singapore
Fun read! Laundry + kitchen @10k is a steal! Guess Diamond is actually worth something.
Pool does look nice. Reminds me of the swanky Hyatt that once stood tall, just outside the business district, and the pool was gorgeous.
Looking forward to your crossing report!
Guess you’ve never had to do laundry at home in Germany or elsewhere in Europe! LOL ALL washers (at least that I’ve used here in the past 30+ years) take over 2 hours for the regular cycle. I guess one of the main reasons is that the machines here heat the water — there are no large water heaters for all the appliances in an entire apartment or house Each machine (washer, dishwasher etc.) uses water directly from a cold water faucet. Two loads of laundry — washing and drying — is an all day affair! Kind of absurd actually.
You’re right – I definitely was not used to that! We did laundry at a Staybridge Suites in London and those ones definitely didn’t take as long (at least not that I remember!)
This used to be a Cat 1! There’s a Cat 2 Doubletree in KL also that treats Diamonds pretty well, if you make it up there.
That’s what I read somewhere else (about it being a Cat 1) – pretty crazy. Thanks for the tip on Kuala Lumpur – we’ll have to see if we ever make it up there
“….are there really people that steal hotel pool towels?”
Yes! When I asked the front desk rep at a nice resort in FL why we had to start signing out pool towels when we have never had to do it in the past, she said that they lost $35,000 of towels over three months last winter.
Up until half a year ago (or maybe a full year) it was a Cat 1 property i.e. 5,000 points. Five thousand!!! That’s like less than the change in your pocket. Used to be my monthly weekend staycation.
That is what someone else was saying – that’s crazy! 5000 Hilton points is pretty ridiculous…
I don’t know why the pool towel thing seems unusual? I’ve encountered various forms of associating your room # with pool towels fairly often at decent resorts. Normally you just write down how many you are taking and then get crossed off when you return the towels. Some places actually give you pool towel cards that correspond to the number of people in your room and you trade cards for towels and vice/versa. Of course, if nobody is actually handing out the towels and monitoring the towel inventory situation, then I’m not going to bother with the formalities (and yes, I will return the stupid towels).
I guess I had just never seen this before and it seems more common in like your Motel 6 / Rodeway Inn style true “super budget” hotel than a 30 story hotel with an Executive Lounge and a huge fancy lobby / restaurant
You probably subconsciously believe that people who stay at $400/night hotels are less likely to steal from their room than people who stay at $80/night hotels.
I grew up poor and then lived in a fraternity filled with rich kids during college. I was shocked at how often my housemates “borrowed” things and never returned them. To them it was no big deal, just a few bucks or some little material thing, but to me, it mattered (I had to chase down a Sununu brother once, months after he borrowed, and wore down, my only belt)! Well, now that I’m much older, and more well off, I understand the attitude — in my every day life I don’t value a few bucks or little material things, because they’re easily replaced (I just keep in mind that not everybody has that luxury, and to treat other peoples’ property with respect, and to quickly repay whenever I use/borrow something of a friend who isn’t doing as well).
Once you shatter the incorrect stereotype, you only need a little logic to lead you to the answer to your question… given that theft is just as much an issue at nice hotels (does it matter that the motive or mindset are different), how should they deal with it?
Maybe people were stealing their pool towels haha.
I have no idea how you are comparing this to the Conrad, I know the Conrad is old.. but still. I stayed here I was underwhelmed to say the least.
Just reading thus from the link on the Hilton credit card deal you posted today. We’re SIN bound thus fall. I have one question for you. How’d you get from Singapore to the Malaysian border? The Doubletree sounds like a steal.
I’ve got 2 whole articles on that! How to cross the border from Singapore to Malaysia and How to cross the border from Malaysia to Singapore
This Double Tree by Hilton at Johor is not a very secure hotel, the area it is located is dark and quiet at night, and is notorious for snatch thief.
Hotel security is not very good! The gym and pool facilities on the 13th floor has no security access to it.
And there are often intruders who compromise on the safety of the hotel guests. Gays are well known to sneak into the male locker room to use the facilities and make out their!
A well known transgender, Bapok Thomas Didymuz Toh is known to ask people to hang out there and even said to hang out in lace panties!