Monday, 3 November 2014

Pulai Springs Resort, Johor Bahru

Drove down to JB Friday afternoon for the sibling's convocation at the nearby university the next morning. It was either this or some other cheap, less classy looking hotel that's further located from campus that the old bean would complain about. Left KL in the afternoon, and only got there around 5 something, which left for little pool time for me as downstairs pool closes at 7 p.m.. Didn't manage any jacuzzi time, either :P 

Location: Close enough to the campus, but that's about it. Huge property because it's a golf resort. Drove past Cinta Ayu the first time because you can't see the name where you would think it's at. Admittedly, we didn't have a lot of time to check out the entire resort property, but it does look nice and impressive..
You would think that the name would be on the right wall, but it wasn't :P
Room: 2-bedroom suite on the third floor of Cinta Ayu All Suites - one king and twin beds. (Practically) walk in cupboards for both bedrooms, which both had safes, but hadn't used it. There's a living area and kitchenette. All in all, quite clean and the amenities were replenished. The 'rents didn't have any problems with the master bedroom or bathroom... that I was aware of. Also pretty quiet because it faced the golf course and not to the pool, but it makes walking to the pool downstairs and the elevators that much farther.

The other room...oh, let me count the ways:
  1. We got locked out of the wardrobe later that night and it took maintenance at least half an hour (and several calls to front desk later) to come and unlock it from the outside with (merely) a screwdriver. If only we had brought one along to save us from the grief.
  2. The shower in the other bathroom kept falling off. Asked the (same) maintenance guy to tighten it with his (magic) screwdriver while he was looking into the cupboard too. 
  3. We got the rattiest ass towels in the other bathroom that the sibling had to ask if it was the body towel or the bathroom mat... 
Ratty towel
Ratty towel
Pool: The second floor pool downstairs had the pseudo-infinity pool look to it. The kids' wading pool was cold as heck, but the other one was pretty warm for an outdoor pool and sufficient for lap swimming if you're so inclined. I managed to use the downstairs pool a grand total of TWO TIMES - once before dinner, and early (for me) the next morning. Both times I went down and I couldn't get a freaking poolside towel: I knew the attendant was BS-ing me about the lack of fresh towels because I could see a basket of what looked like freshly laundered pool towels that she's not giving me. The next morning, I was just being ignored altogether by the same person. Managed some alone time the second time before the families with young children invaded the serenity, and called it quits about 15 minutes after they showed up.

Food: Because we were there Halloween night, the hotel had a Halloween-themed buffet dinner at Gleneagles Terrace. Some of the savoury dishes were pretty good, but the dessert selection was a bit crap, what with the dry cakes and tasteless pastry fingers..

Pies: Crap
I know it's just loh shu fun, but daren't try it.
According to Mum, the chocolate cake in the middle was dry.
It would fit right in on the show, Bones
Breakfast: Because everyone else had to leave before 7 a.m., the provided breakfast vouchers at Cinta Terrace pretty much had to be forfeited. You would think that they would start breakfast a little earlier because it was convocation weekend, but nope, didn't happen. So I was the only one to cash in their breakfast voucher. There was an omelette station and a roti canai station outside on the terrace, and there was quite a mixture of cuisines available for breakfast - nasi minyak and the trimmings, a porridge station, pastries, a salad bar (?), cereal, and some other breakfast dishes I had never encountered before.

I don't know if we didn't get the day's newspaper because I had made the booking through Agoda, or because we checked out so early (around 10 something, before taking the hotel shuttle to JPO).

If nothing else, the hotel does provide a free shuttle service to JPO and Legoland, which you would have to inform them beforehand, because you would need basically drive yourself to the resort anyway, you could just drive yourself to JPO if you want. But I didn't have the car and have no idea how long the ceremony would be, so I might as well just go to JPO first and have them meet me there/pick me up later. Was told that the shuttle would leave at 10.30 a.m., which worked out for me because I had time to wait downstairs after checking out. Even then there was a misunderstanding because they had sent a bigger vehicle because the receptionist thought that the entire room of four wanted a ride to JPO and not lil ol' me :P Anyway, he did ask what room I was in to verify and we were on our way.

Great for families and the place is pretty, but the service is quite frankly, a bit crap. No wonder both Tripadvisor and Agoda had such mixed reviews.