Holiday Villa Review + Guide to JB

Sunday, October 30, 2016

It's been the most fattening weekend for myself, just back from a 3D2N stay at JB!

I know, I know. 3D2N IN JB?!
When I told my colleague, she was like - what're you gonna do there? Got so many things to do there meh?

Well, there really is! From stocking up on your necessities at their local Watsons / Guardian to exploring pretty cafes, the list is endless! But the real reason we're there - we wanted to stock up on our camping gears before heading to Sydney next month, and KSL has a super huge sports store called Sports Direct that has super affordable sports wear and camping gears!!!

We chose Holiday Villa Hotel (or Holiday Villa Johor Bahru City Centre) which has just opened not long ago this year, and the location is perfect - just right next to KSL Shopping mall, with Holiday Plaza and yummy food nearby the hotel as well.

Btw if you happen to come on a Monday, there's a Pasar Malam going on along the entire stretch from KSL all the way to Grand Paragon Hotel.

How to go
We arrived on a Thursday night, took the CW2 bus from Bugis (Queen Street Bus Terminal - $3.30) right to Johor's customs and that only took around an hour. From there, we took a bus from JB Sentral (take the escalator down when you exit the customs) to the a bus stop nearby Holiday Villa.

About Holiday Villa
Checking in was a breeze. Considerably fast, staffs were friendly and nice. Since we were (kinda) hungry, we had some desserts at a Vietnamese coffee cafe - Doi Chaang just right next to the lobby. By the way, there's a few other restaurants including Chicken Up at Holiday Villa too!

Verdict: Skip the desserts, go straight for their signature coffee!

Here's a couple of photos I took of our room in the day, and during the night.

The amenities were quite okay, everything is pretty new since it's a new hotel. Our king sized bed was HUGE! (I think can fit 3 people)

I thought it'd be perfect if they had a bathtub, but the bathroom was quite decent with basic toiletries and a built in rain shower head.

And I loved the fact that they have a window balcony seat.. And we can look out to the city. 

Okay, I am extremely particular about breakfasts. It's complimentary (I booked it on and it comes with free breakfast - yay!) and from what I read on Tripadvisor, it seems like the breakfast spread is pretty promising.

The dining space is huge, and I've to say that the staffs are really attentive and efficient! 

I remembered the staffs at Hatten Hotel @ Malacca were so rude, slow and super not accommodating, but the staffs here at Holiday Villa were so nice and friendly! They ran out of pineapples during their breakfast buffet, and when requested for more, they didn't say no and went to the kitchen to cut fresh pineapples for us! 

Prawn mee, nasi lemak, fried bee hoon with curry chicken, hash brown, eggs of your choice, salad, fruits and many more! 

 And we chose a seat just right at the window. Love the view!

Happy girl gets her pancakes! (But erm, don't take the pancakes coz it tastes like cardboard hahaha)

The main reason being why we booked this hotel was their infinity pool! I guess it's the one feature that sets them apart from all other hotels in JB - coz their infinity pool overlooks the entire city! Their gym is also the same level, which we didn't get to use because his priority - BREAKFAST. *rolls eyes* hahahaha.

 The water was really cold.. Especially in the morning! 

Anyway the 1.2m pool was really picturesque, we spend more time taking photos than swimming actually. Hahahaha. 

We had the whole place to ourselves on a Friday morning, there was only 1 or 2 guests around the pool and it was just perfect! I can't imagine if it's super crowded. :( 

The toilets have lockers for you to place your belongings and a hot pool to dip in as well, perfect after swimming!


1. Cats Cafe (Cats At Their Sanctuary)

 My colleague recommended this place to me, she says their cats are really cute and it's super affordable! There's no entry fee and all they require is for you to order a drink / anything from the menu to play with the cats.

We used Uber, booked a car from our hotel to here, and it only costed us about RM10!
This was one trip that we learned, to save money since the taxi drivers on the road are always over-charging people.

It's like a heaven for kitties, and I'd be a happy cat if I get to stay here too! So many things for these cats to do. Some of the cats were wearing Halloween costumes too.. Awww~

You get to feed these kitties at just RM 1 for a packet of their dry food.

 Sitting like a boss!

Some of them are really playful, hiding in cabinets and hogging the cashier counter and refusing to move! Hahaha.  

We were playing with this baby kitty, she was so concentrated on the toy!!

 Yes, the CATS Cafe serve yummy main course, desserts (like waffles, cakes, ice-cream) too.

Anyway, we were quite hungry by then and decided to order their main dishes to try. I've always been skeptical of ordering food in themed cafes like such, since food is not much of a priority in such places. We were wrong! The food was really good at the Cats Cafe :)

Tokyo Chicken Chop - drizzled with teriyaki sauce 

This is the bomb. Super good, though a tad expensive (RM23.90) but their portion was quite generous :)

My darling ordered Chicken Curry with rice, and it was so nice as well!!

And of course, we couldn't resist desserts! Nutella Cheesecake and IT'S SUPER YUMMY!

And it's happy Pusheen and Bear together... :3

2. Lavender Bakery

Try their Hajuku Cheese Tarts. (RM6 for one)
Of course, it can't beat the cheese tarts back in Japan but this is really unique too. Filled with generous amount of egg cheese custard, I promise you - it's worth the calories!

3. Century Claypot Chicken Rice

We were walking along Jalan Serigala just right outside KSL, famished and tired when we stumbled upon this Claypot rice restaurant. Seems pretty legit, since they've been featured on newspapers so we decided to give it a try!

We ordered this minced pork tofu and a veggie to go along with.....

And their famous Claypot rice!

Omg. It was so good.
I'm not sure if we were just hungry but we finished within 10 mins coz it's really good. Especially the tofu!!!

The next thing I'm going back again - It'll be straight for this claypot rice.

4. Get your massage and hair cut at Holiday Plaza

So many hair and beauty salons at KSL mall and Holiday Plaza, but honestly I find the prices at Holiday Plaza a lot more affordable!

We did our 90 mins thai massage at Thong Thai only RM90 per pax, and their skills are imo, better than Thai Odyssey's. So many spots they pressed - super shiok . After the massage, we felt so much better and a lot more energetic as well! So good that we heard other customers screaming. In a good way, hahaha. Their masseurs are mostly Thais too!

After that, we went to a hair salon located at the corner of the same level as Thong Thai. Bear had his hair cut at only RM30, I got my hair treatment at only RM150. Their service is really good too and we were super satisfied :)

5. Eat their local delicacies (also at Holiday Plaza!)

I used to hate assam laksa so much when i was younger, but all that has changed now. Super love it so much I don't mind having several bowls per day and the best Assam Laksa is at the basement of KSL City Mall - D'Laksa. 

We also had our lunch at the basement of Holiday Plaza, a quiet little eatery that serves local cuisines at super affordable price. Forgot the name, but they've got Sarawak Kolo Mee, Wanton Mee, Assam Laksa and many more as well and it's really good! Their Avocado Milkshake with Gula Melaka is literally the bomb. Hahaha.

6. Visit a pretty cafe 

Among all the cafes in JB, our favourite cafe has got to be Flowers In The Window CafĂ©! 

We've never tried their main dishes before, but their cakes are already amazing. My favourite is their Chocolate Beetroot Cake! Never fail to disappoint :) Their cakes are freshly baked in house everyday. Some cakes are gluten-free, dairy free too!

There's free WIFI in the cafe as well. We spend the evening watching Westwood while enjoying the cakes :)

We explored JB mostly via Uber and Grab, and that really saved us ALOT of money. It'd have easily cost us RM30-RM40 from Bukit Indah to KSL (as quoted by taxi drivers since they don't turn on their meter after 6pm) but with Uber/Grab, it only costed us less than RM20! So long as you have Wifi, just request for one! :)

I can't wait to explore more of JB - heard they've got farm stays and nice places to trek as well.



Reviews & Happenings in June (Father's Day and Food trip!)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I finally got my first part-time pay that actually exceeds $1k! 
Well, I guess I got pretty excited when I saw the figure in my bank that NOW, AS OF 18 JUNE, I am only left with $100+ in my bank. AND YES I CAN HEAR THAT HUGE GASP FROM YOU. 

It's crazy how much I've been spending.. I paid for things that I guess I really didn't need, I paid for things that were on promotion, and some sports apparel, my healthy groceries, my bills, etc..... and boom! I'm left with only $100 for 10 days in this month :(

One of my most expensive buy this month was this Makeup Forever Starter kit (retailing at $155 at Sephora) that comes with their primer, HD foundation brush, and their HD powder! 

It's a good buy! I love their foundation and with the application of the primer and the HD powder, everything glides on perfectly. But honestly I feel that there's not much difference in terms of coverage between my Revlon Colorstay and the MUFE foundation though. They cover well and glides on with a pretty touch.  However Revlon is thicker in its texture, thus it can be cakey when applied generously but MUFE is of a much thinner texture. I'm still using both of them for different occasions :)

I applied the MUFE foundation for my grandma's 80th birthday.. As you can see, the difference is not very huge as compared to my previous posts of me having Revlon's foundation on. 

Anyway, June is a pretty much expensive month for me especially it's also Father's Day!
Took Papa out for dinner and movie at 112 Katong!

We had our dinner at Old Hong Kong Tea House :)

 Papa having his bittergourd pork rice. 

And my instant noodle with egg and cheese and chicken cutlet! (this is not bad actually) 

Dear's pork rice (Was super disappointed cos it is WAY too bland) 

My brother made it in time from Harbourfront! When I called him, he was still at Vivo at 7.30 pm -_- but he managed to reach 112 Katong at 8.10pm! Woohoo ^^

Ordered some dim sums such as pan fried dumplings, siew mai, and others together with our mains -_- It was so filling please!

Siew Mai

Cheese Baked Rice (which took 30 minutes to come, wtf)

I wouldn't recommend people to go there at all damnit. The food pretty much sucks, and so does the service. I had to wait 30 minutes for my drink too... And they took 15 minutes just to tell me that my drink is not available! Zzz. Plus the restaurant was hot and stuffy.. Bad experience :/

After that, we caught our movie at 9pm, Man of Steel! It was soooooooooo good! I loved the storyline and I love it when the evil guy dies in the movie :P

The guy was pretty hot too... *Drools*

Gotta catch it! Anyway I'm really super happy that Golden Village has taken the initiative to take one step further and implement english subtitles for certain movies at some of their cinemas. It really helps the hearing impaired community a lot and watching movie is quite important since you can learn and educate yourself at the same time.

With this action, Dear and I have much more movies to watch now! A big thank you to Golden Village.

Had an enjoyable night with the three men in the family :)

Love them too much! And my mum who's in Malaysia now T_T

 And just one last photo before we hit the sack....... :p

Yesterday (Monday) was soooooooo hazy! We were on our way to Johor for some yummy food but it was so hot! Thanks to the haze -_-

Nevertheless, it wasn't dampening our mood to get some kickass paper baked herbal chicken for lunch!

I blogged about wanting to go Teck Sing's restaurant to eat their signature paper baked herbal chicken (a few posts back) but unfortunately, it was closed that day. This time when we went, Teck Sing was open! Super happy that we get to eat their herbal chicken finally!!!!!!! WOOP

 Signature Paper Baked Herbal Chicken (RM 18)

This was so damn good!!!! Honestly one of the best I've ever had. The fragrance, the aroma, the taste was just right that Dear and I ended up digging for more (even though there wasn't any meat left :P)

Fu Yong Egg (RM 6/8) 

This is a common dish I'd normally order at most chinese restaurants. I love Fu Yong egg! It goes well with anything you order :)

Stir fried Brinjal aka Egg plant (RM 8... erm I kinda forgot)

I don't really like eating egg plant but this dish was definitely GOOD! Dear ate them all (though I had a few pieces) and he said this was really good!


With all the recommendations, they were even featured on Singapore's magazines before! 

The interior, a rather normal Chinese restaurant setting 

Had such a great lunch that we didn't even regret coming and getting stuck at the customs because of the lunch jam for 30 minutes.

After that, we went to KSL Mall to shop around, got my organic chia seeds from Nature Health Farm, got his hair cut by a new hair salon (It's only RM 28 with hair wash; their opening promotion) and went to get his car washed!

What'd y'all think? His hair looks so much better! And more handsome now hehehe sorry but he's mine yo 

 In my favourite pair of wedges again! This is so comfy I can prolly do my bodycombat in it HAHAHA

Some camwhoringgggggg omg I look like a man here -_- 

We went to City Square Mall next to walk around too, and I got some DHC products at only RM 10 each wtf!!!! It's a steal since they were clearing stocks and I just happened to spot their tiny sale section HAHAHAHA. Yes I am budget barbie and I love itttt.

Got my pore lotion and acerola extract for only RM 20 for both! Which costs only SGD 9? And I bought it from Watsons :)

Dear also got his branded authentic caps (Rebel etc) for only RM 60 each cos the shop was having some clearance too! Compared to the one he bought in Bangkok which costed him SGD 60+.. Mad expensive -_-

Quite a lot of promotions in City Square now so gotta go fast before the deals are over guys!!!!!

Anyway, City Square just recently opened a few shops at the top level which is mostly cafes / restaurants.. Am tempted to try the brunch menu at Delicious but Dear was abit skeptical about the quality and taste. :(

Hmm, but there's this new concept cafe (which is similar to Taiwan's) called T Bowl and it is so cute!!!!
The cafe concept is that everything is designed as if they're in the toilet! Especially the seats (toilet seats), soup, noodles, ramen are served in toilet bowls, and so many more! Super duper cute!

They kinda have a mix of western, asian, all types of food available. 

 The interior

And yes, the seats! 

Oh well, there're a few seats outside too.. :P 

 And "toilets" are supposed to have mirrors right? ;)

And the counter is in the shape of a bathtub!

Am going to visit this cafe during our next visit to City Square. Too cute to resist! And hopefully, the food taste as good as what they claim to be.. 

It's located at the last level of City Square :)

Dear and I eventually had our dinner at Sakae Sushi (Yes there's one in JB) and yum, the quality was still rather good! I loved the chanwanmushi and I had 2 bowls of it. LOL. Dear had the sushis on the conveyor belt and also, a bento set -_- I was wondering how he could finish all that food..

They're having a promotion for Citibank card holders, 1-for-1 pink plates so we had 6 plates of it, but paid for only 3 :)

Had such satisfying meals in JB and I can't wait for our next visit again!

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