When I know that Amari Johor Bahru is having an opening special in May 2017, I immediately grabbed the chance for a weekend staycation. We took a train from Singapore to Malaysia. Within 15 minutes, we found ourselves arriving at the newly-built property that is located right behind JBCC and City Square.
The hotel is so new that the swimming pool was still closed when we arrived. The shopping mall connected to the hotel was still under heavy renovation. There was only one restaurant opened on the ground floor. Since it is just a street away from City Square, this should not pose any problem when you are looking for food.
Since it is so near to JB Sentral, we decided to save money and not activate our HappyRoam card this time! If you are interested, you can read our experience with the card right there.
Our Check-in Experience
We arrived at Amari Johor Bahru slightly after the check-in time at 3.00pm. Since the hotel is really new, there are not many guests loitering around the lobby. There are little groups enjoying their high tea set at the hotel’s cafe. Overall, it feels quiet and grand when we arrived at the lobby.
The receptionist at the lobby seemed to be a little inexperienced but she did try her best to shower us with her best hospitality. We were given the keys to our room without any hassles. While we were making our way up to the room, we were also greeted cheerfully by the ground manager.
Amari Johor Bahru: The Junior Suite
The Junior Suite at Amari Johor Bahru offers a 51 sqm of space and a weird layout. It feels really spacious for two adults especially when we do not have any big luggage with us.
The sofa’s angle is almost impossible to watch TV comfortably though the sofa is really comfortable. We are not sure what’s the use of the two side tables. Perhaps there were plans for flower vase or decorative that are not yet ready for the opening.
The hotel gave us a welcome plate of fruits with a handwritten card from the general manager. That is really a nice personal touch from the hotel.
We ate our supper at the business table, which is weirdly located at a corner of the room. It is a nice touch to the room as the coffee table is usually too small for us to indulge in our food at night. But this is so awkwardly placed that we thought that the layout could be much better than this.
Just like most of the hotels, you can view the TV right from your bed. Again, one should not expect much from the channels. We usually brought our entertainment tablet along so that we can watch Netflix or Toggle. Unfortunately, it is really difficult to find the HDMI ports. We have to spend our night with the paid movie channels.
There is an ice bucket in the room but we couldn’t find any ice machine on the same floor. In the end, we have to call the service to bring us some ice for our alcohol. Luckily, we do not have to pay RM 5 for the ice.
What I really like is the coffee machine in the room. Even though it is really hard to operate at first, it does bring convenience for people who really like to have a cup of coffee every day. If you are not into the capsule coffee, you can make the classic Nescafe coffee or TWG tea too!
For those people who preferred to have a separate sink, you will be glad that the Junior Suite comes with a double sink. It seems like it’s getting more common to see double sinks for higher-tier rooms in new hotels.
You can also find a rain shower, bidet, and a bathtub in the Junior Suite. There were two sets of bath amenities in the room, which you can find at the sink area and shower place.
The bathtub looks clean. But hey, it is new! It is big and deep enough for an adult to enjoy the bath. Unfortunately, there are no transparent windows for people to enjoy the TV while they bath.
The hotel provides breakfast for two when we booked during the pre-opening. The service could be better for the breakfast buffet. We waited for at least 45 minutes before we had our eggs from the egg station. Our coffee served wrongly to the couple besides our table.
I gave my feedback to the hotel. However, I did not receive a satisfying response. Instead, it feels like the manager has tried to brush off my comments and drop the issues. Whatever it is, I hope they can improve their service in the food gallery as their room is pretty good.
We paid around RM 345/night for the Junior Suite at Amari Johor Bahru. The room is spacious and good for a night stay. It is new and clean. Did I mention that the bed is really awesome?
Other than the unpleasant experience at the food gallery, we love our stay at the hotel. However, we are not too sure if we will be going back to the same hotel again since we can receive a better service with other hotels like Holiday Villa and KSL Hotel & Resort. If we are to go back again, we are quite sure we go back to their Breeze Spa.