The spanking new Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour in Johor, Malaysia, which opened just less than a year ago, finally marks the rise of a Johor hotel of international quality. Those who venture out to the nearby theme parks – Legoland and Hello Kitty Town – no longer have to scurry back to Singapore for the night for a worthwhile place to stay.
Some weeks back, I had the opportunity to check out the property. From Singapore, a hotel van picked us up and whisked us through the border and directly to the property. The hotel itself is located in a suburb of Johor Bahru, in a new town development called Nusajaya which is currently being touted as the next mega-hub in Johor and where Legoland is located. It is also one of only a handful of decent chain hotels in the Johor Bahru area, the other one being the Doubletree by Hilton Johor Bahru.
The hotel’s layout is quite distinct. At only 4-storeys high, Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour is actually spread across several adjoining towers, and shares space with commercial outlets and even a theme park! At the opposite end, the hotel is fronted by a picturesque harbour where yachts are docked, creating a mellow sea-side atmosphere that is enchanting especially at dawn and dusk. The property is practically surrounded by a small commercial village, with shops and dining options to satisfy the savvy traveler. Those who come with kids will be pleased to know that the Hello Kitty Town theme park is just a few steps away from the hotel.
lobby of traders hotel puteri harbour
The hotel’s interior cleverly mimics its seafront setting, with the lobby and other public areas painted in shades of warm, natural colors and protrusions in the ceiling that emulate the undulating waves of the sea.
my deluxe room
The guestrooms give off a similar vibe. I would say that Hotel Jen had done the hard job of balancing form and function very well. At first glance, it is evident that the rooms are for a business hotel yet the interiors remain stylish and well-suited to those looking for the best of both worlds. The seaside theme of the hotel lobby continues its way into my sleeping quarters. It was a spacious affair, at around 33 sqm. Upon closer inspection of its expanse, I found a fruit platter and a note from the general manager on my desk – a warm touch and certainly unexpected for a 4-star property in my view.
The bathroom was modern. The showers came with a traditional and rainshower option, and in line with other hotels by Shangri-la, amenities were provided most generously.
club lounge at traders hotel puteri harbour
The facilities in this hotel seemed to mimic those in 5-star hotels rather than the typical business hotel that one would expect. Traders has its own spa, with the masseuses trained from Shangri-la’s well-known Chi spa, not to mention a large gym overlooking the harbour, an infinity pool, a rooftop bar and restaurant, club lounge, meeting rooms and ballrooms among others. One can just spend an entire day here enjoying the many pleasures the hotel has to offer. During my short stay, I managed to try their soothing aromatherapy massage. It was such a relaxing experience, I left feeling rejuvenated even though I was actually sick that weekend.
Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour has probably one of the best buffets across Johor Bahru. I tried their buffet twice in their all-day dining restaurant, Harbour Cafe – once for the fabulous seafood buffet dinner (Fridays only, at MYR 108++) and another time for the more understated lunch buffet. For both times, I encountered a lot of locals joining in the feast! And I don’t blame them. The seafood buffet here is definitely worth the drive – even if coming from Singapore. One finds copious amounts of shellfish and crustaceans. There is even a grill station where various kinds of fish are cooked without guests having to request for them.
dessert.. and more sushi!
Of course, a buffet of this scale won’t be complete without sushi, and in this regard it doesn’t disappoint. I particularly like how they include hamachi in their sashimi selection. Only a few places would offer this in a buffet setting!
It’s only been less than a year but Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour has already been making waves in the hotel scene over at the Johor Bahru area. That’s not surprising, given how the hotel has taken its 4-star proposition up by a notch by going all out in their offerings. The facilities here are topnotch, and effective for both business and leisure travelers. Surely, I would place this somewhere between a 4 and 5 star.
The hotel also makes for a fantastic weekend trip idea from Singapore. Other than making economic sense, there are new transportation and infrastructure developments in the next few months and years that will make coming to the hotel even easier than it is now.
My stay was sponsored by the property. However, all opinions are my own.
Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour
Persiaran Puteri Selatan, Puteri Harbour
Johor Darul Takzim