Over the weekend, I decided on a trip to Johor Bahru to visit an exhibition at Danga City Mall. I will write about this exhibition on my next blog, so read it if you are keen. Anyway, I wanted time to relax and try out different food at different food outlets. So I decided to book a hotel that is in close proximity to many coffee shops. The hotel is called 11@Century Hotel in Johor Bahru. This is a relatively new hotel and it claimed to be a small boutique hotel with chic design rooms. It seems that there are many new hotels being built in Johor Bahru. Is it because there is now a potential influx of more tourists coming in Johor? In my view, it is the 2 gaming resorts in Sentosa and Marina Sands in Singapore that may brought about the bright business outlook for the hotel industry in Johor Bahru. These hotels offers room rates that are very competitive as compared to Singapore. So tourists can visit the gaming resorts in Singapore and thereafter returning back to Johor Bahru hotels at night.
The first problem in getting to this hotel is the name of the hotel itself. I told the taxi driver the name – 11@Century Hotel and he was clueless. Luckily, I did some homework and told him that this hotel was quite near the Holiday Plaza mall. With this information, all was well and I reached the hotel from Danga City Mall in about 15 minutes. My first impression of this hotel was that it was a small hotel, quite a tall and small building. The lobby of this hotel looked very new, bright and clean. When I checked in, I was told that there was no breakfast because the Coffee House which was near the check in counter was still under renovation. The staff told me that the Coffee House will be ready for business in about one month time. It is fine with me because there are so many food outlet and coffee shops beside this hotel.
I went to my room – the room that I booked was the standard room. I need to tap the magnetic card on the door before I could gain access to my room. First impression, the room was rather small but well organized. I think the management should improve on the lighting by adding additional lights so that the room can be brighter. There is a divider which separates the small bedroom from the mini pantry and bathroom. Strange though, the bathroom was rather spacious. You could easily put in 5 persons into the bathroom and still be comfortable. All the things in room as well as the bathroom were new. There were complimentary coffee and tea bags with a small kettle, a small safe but unfortunately, there was no mini fridge. I think it is a disappointment not to provide guests with a mini fridge in the room.
The bedroom itself was compact and the queen size bed that fits into the compact bedroom also appears compact. But in fairness, the bed was comfortable and clean. And there was a big LCD Panasonic TV on the wall, so I could watched TV from the comfort of my bed. There was one table lamp on the side table and there was no light on the ceiling. So this makes reading on the bed rather uncomfortable. There was one huge air con duct on the ceiling which gave constant cold air onto the room. One strange thing was that there was a humming or thumping noise during the night at about 10pm onwards from outside or adjacent areas. The noise was not strong, sounded like a drum or beat. I wonder whether was the noise coming from the bars or nightclubs nearby, or perhaps it was generated by a machine – such as a generator. Luckily I am someone who can sleep even when it is noisy. Anyway, the noise was gone at about 3 am in the morning when I got up to go to the bathroom.
Now my assessment on 11@Century Hotel. It is a good hotel, with great location and comfortable room. The minus point is the lack of mini fridge and the low noise emitting into the room during the night. I am unable to comment on their food, because the Coffee House was not ready. Hopefully I am able to find some time in the future to stay at 11@Century Hotel and then give a follow up report on this hotel.
Update Information on 21st July 2011 – The hotel seems to be lacking in proper maintenance and cleanliness recently. Hope that the management would looked into this issue.
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