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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 travelbut 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!

Doubletree Johor Bahru review - I was blown away that this ONLY a Category 2 Hilton hotel!!

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