Mutiara Johor Bahru Getaway 2012


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March 3rd 2012
Published: March 4th 2012
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Saturday, 3rd March 2012

I wouldn't have the guts to spend a weekend getaway across the crossway if not for SJ's and YP's kind invitation. Still, I managed to book myself a private room given that the prices I paid was about 50%!c(MISSING)ompared to my ParkRoyal staycation last year.

Staying overnight in Johor Bahru wasn't a brand new affair for me even though the thoughts had certainly not resurfaced in recent years. I recounted my maiden attempt way back in June 2004 at the now defunct Grand Continental (Hotel Selesa as it is now known as). Back then, it was 3 of us sharing a triple room and getting on each other nerves. T, P and I gathered over the weekend to celebrate our 25th anniversary on earth. My last staycation in Johor Bahru took place on 9th September 2006 at the Puteri Pacific before embarking on my new job at Capitaland. My stay with the company was shortlived even though memories of the staycation remained fresh after so many years.

Fast forward to the year 2012. On the morning of 3rd March, the 4 of us gathered at the bus-stop opposite Kranji Station where Mr F was kind enough to drive us through the customs. Traffic wasn't too heavy on Saturday morning and by 11.30am, we had arrived at Restoran Ah Koong at Taman Sentosa for our lunch. I liked the crispy prawn fritters and fish cakes that complimented my Laksa Yong Tau Foo noodles even though without our own transportation, we wouldn't be able to zip our way around effortlessly to the restaurant.

By 1pm, we had reached the doorsteps of Mutiara Johor Bahru to begin our much-awaited weekend staycation. Even before this stay, the girls were already eagerly planning for their next getaway at 11@Century which was located 10 minutes away from where we stayed.

My superior room at level 5 of the Pelangi Wing commanded a nice view of the swimming pool and the railway track even though I had not had a chance to see a single train passing through the tracks the whole time I was in my room. After a quick dip in the swimming pool (I had in fact the whole pool to myself this afternoon), I went back to my room to take a nap before meeting up with the ladies in the evening.

I loved everything about my bedroom that came with a huge king-sized bed and 4 fluffy pillows. The minor exception was the dated bathroom from a forgotten era. Still, everything worked pretty well and the bathtub was spotless. The service staffs at Mutiara showed great attitude. I guessed given the prices that I paid, I shouldn't have too much to complain about.

After a quick shopping trip to the nearby Holiday Plaza, we rushed back to our room to drop our things before heading further afield to KSL City, about 10 minutes away.

"You would be awfully disappointed with the tenant mix," remarked SJ even before I set foot into the mall for the first time.

I guess I had to agree with her. With so many new malls mushrooming throughout the city, I'm sure the developer had much difficulty finding proper tenants to fill up their commercial spaces. Still, the mall boasted a few reputable tenants including the British Tesco chain which operated a modest supermarket at the lower ground level.

It was time for R&R after dinner at Kim Gary Restaurant. I retired early at the comfort of my room for a good night's rest that followed.

The complimentary buffet breakfast in the morning was a welcoming affair. Fresh greens aside, I enjoyed the crispy hashbrowns and the delicious nasi lemak among other things. After our meals, we laid around the hotel till our official check-out time at 12pm before heading back home.

Like all weekend staycations, I oftened found the 2D1N getaway a rather short one with barely enough time to rest our souls. As far as possible, I would try to maximise my time cooping inside the room rather than wandering about.

At the end of every stay, I believed I had achieved my intended objectives.

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