Unlike other cities in Malaysia, I suppose Johor Bahru is not exactly the traveler's option to visit like Penang, Langkawi or generic Kuala Lumpur because to tell you the truth, there's nothing much to see in Johor Bahru, or typically shortened as JB.
Most people would probably choose JB only for a transit as the city connects the rest of Malaysia to good ol' Singapore. Other than that, nowadays you can also visit Legoland or Hello Kitty Town, but then again people rarely make JB their main destination when it comes to traveling.
I was almost relocated to JB for my previous job only to find out that the location of my office is not so far from Legoland, which is practically out of nowhere. But FYI, Legoland is fairly far from the downtown so it's only normal if you find it hard to get Uber or GrabCar at after office hour.
Therefore, in my last visit to JB, I chose to stay in the downtown as per my friend's suggestion. As the hotel options in JB can be considered as more expensive than those in KL, I've chosen the one that is most suitable for my budget: I Stay Hotel.
As my friend Kim suggested, Taman Pelangi would be a great location to stay for one or two nights as it is located in the center of the town, and it's not so far from JB CIQ as I was planning to continue my trip to Singapore the day after.
For this stay, we had booked the standard twin room for 2 (two) nights with the rate as low as MYR 70/night.
At first, the receptionist gave us two options: MYR 140 without the receipt or MYR 160 with receipt as the tourism tax is applied in Malaysia for MYR 10/night.
I chose the first because I didn't really need as well and I obviously wanted to pay the least as possible.
Surprisingly, we had a really nice stay at I Stay Hotel despite the quite situation in JB. The hotel is located close to so many restaurants and eateries around Taman Pelangi, so we didn't have to go far just for dinner once we arrived there.
I mean, since there's nothing much to see in JB anyway, I think it's one great reason why I Stay Hotel is recommended. Plus, there's also 7/11 nearby and it came quite handy during my travel as I was running out of my panty liners when I arrived in JB that day.The desk area and bathroom in our standard twin room at I Stay Hotel.
- Good location. For example, it only costs around MYR 15 from Larkin Bus Terminal and around MYR 6-7 to JB City Square mall and/or JB CIQ.
- There are some restaurants and eateries nearby, as well as 7/11. And they even sell some snacks with affordable price in case you get hungry in the middle of the night. 🙂
- The room is rather comfortable. I mean, it's not the best hotel room that I've ever stayed, but I think it's value for money. Quite spacious and the air conditioner works quite well.
- The water heater works okay. Amenities like towels and 2-in-1 soap and shampoo are also available.
- Good customer service and the receptionist is open 24/7. When we stayed, I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet only to find out that the bedroom was locked from inside and their staff was ready to help even it was quite late.
- Fast wifi connection. So for some reason, my MAXIS sim card didn't work that well in Melaka and JB, I ended up relying on the wifi connection in both cities.
- It's on Google maps, so don't worry about getting lost when trying to reach the hotel!
- The I Stay Hotel sign outside couldn't be seen clearly, it made me a bit unsure whether it was the right location. The sign was only written as ‘Hotel'. Not exactly I Stay Hotel.
- No elevator. It was quite a hassle when you had a big luggage like I did the last time.
In general, I was quite satisfied with my decision to stay at this hotel. I suppose next time if I have to visit JB town again, I'll stay at this hotel again. 😀
Got any recommendation to stay in JB town? Or even better, do you have any idea what place(s) to visit in JB so I can pay a visit next time? Drop a comment below and cheerio! 😀
PS. It's not suitable to stay here if you're planning to visit Legoland or Hello Kitty Town as it could cost up to MYR 50 for Uber to those places from the city center.