UPDATE: Hotel's name has been rebranded to Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour.
The depressing thing about heading down to LEGOLAND Malaysia - and/or Hello Kitty Town and The Little Big Club for that matter - is having to scurry back to Singapore after a day's worth of energy-sapping fun. Because lugging back tired and cranky kids with the prospect of facing a lengthy jam at the Tuas Checkpoint is not exactly ending a fun day on the right note.
Well, not if you choose to spend the night at Traders Hotel, Puteri Harbour.
Strategically positioned in the heart of a 688-acre Nusajaya waterfront precinct, Traders Hotel, Puteri Harbour is a mere 15-minute drive away from Tuas Checkpoint and was where we were put up for 2 nights in celebration of Ayd's Birthday earlier this month.
Upon arrival, I was struck by the lush green surroundings with the hotel being fronted by a picturesque harbour where yachts are docked, providing a tranquil atmosphere come dusk. Inside, the marine theme was further reinforced by the hotel's design of undulating sea waves throughout its lobby.
For the monkies though, it was our hotel room that received all the plaudits. And it was not difficult to see why.
The hotel had upgraded us to the Premier Room (with an extra bed too), which was twice the size of a Deluxe Room as it came with a living area... as well as - and this is perhaps the highlight for the monkies - a TV that could swivel depending on where they chose to exhibit sloth-like behaviour!
The wifey and I loved how the room's interior exuded a calming feel with its warm and earthy colours. And can I just say that the beds are one of the plushiest that I have ever laid on??? I didn't even felt like moving an inch once I got comfortable on the bed.
The small, but functional walk-in wardrobe area was very welcome, though I think the monkies had a hard time deciding between the standing shower which came with a super shiok rainshower option and the perennial bathtub fave.
Oh, do go for the Harbour View rooms as they certainly pack a mesmerizing view of Puteri Harbour!
Frankly, if it was left up to me, I could have vegetated in the room the entire day, which I am sure the wifey will no doubt approve. It was that comfortable.
And the monkies? They too, could have lazed in the bed and watched Cartoon Network all day long... if not for something else.
That something else turned out to be the retail outlets - specifically Toys 'R' Us for the kiddos - that were footsteps away from the hotel.
Traders Hotel, Puteri Harbour is conveniently plonked right in front of the marina, with landscaped walkways and surrounded by alfresco restaurants and retail outlets.
More importantly though, The Little Red Cube, which houses both retail and dining outlets, is located just beside the hotel! Which means that Hello Kitty Town and The Little Big Club are just but less than one minute walk away.
Familiar Food & Bevarge options like Kenny Rogers, Ajisen Ramen and Starbucks dot the Level One atrium... and just for kicks, a water fountain with playful jet streams is thrown into the mix as well. After all, which kid can ever resist getting drenched all in the name of fun?
Predictably, Ayd was not in favour of visiting Hello Kitty Town on his birthday (He chose LEGOLAND Malaysia by the way, which you can read all about his awesome birthday surprise HERE) so the girls made do with the Sanrio shop.
All those shopping and walking must have been hard work because come dinner time, our tummies were just crying out for food! Luckily for us, the Harbour Cafe at Traders Hotel, Puteri Harbour has probably one of the best buffets in Johor Bahru.
The all-day restaurant serves up scrumptious buffet offerings, which ups the ante even further on weekends with its Seafood Buffet spread!
So expect to enjoy mouthwatering seafood favourites, including crabs (Alaskan, mud and flower crabs), mussels (New Zealand green and black mussels), prawns (tiger and freshwater prawns), yabbies, squid and fish (mackerel, stingray and pomfret), all grilled or cooked to perfection.
Of course, a buffet of this scale will never be complete without fresh sashimi and for the wifey, this was what it all mattered.
And since we were there over the National Day weekend, there was even a sushi platter in the form of a Singapore Flag!
A very nice touch, considering I spied the almost full-house restaurant to be filled with patrons from Singapore. But it was no surprise actually, because Singaporeans know good food when they see it! The buffet spread is truly all-encompassing and the selection is fantastic. The boys had such a hard time in figuring what to begin eating first that they actually walked more than 3 times along the buffet aisle!
In fact, I even quipped to the wifey that for our parents' future birthday celebratory dinners, we can head down to Traders Hotel, Puteri Harbour for the buffet from Singapore - yes, it is definitely worth the drive.
Oh, forgot the dessert spread did I? Looking at the dessert options, I regretted stuffing myself to the brim at the main foods section. From crepes and cupcakes to kueh kueh and ice cream, there was simply no time to give my stomach juices a breather.
Of course, the main highlight for the monkies at the dessert table was the towering Chocolate Fondue, which came in the form of a double dipper.
I guess I do not have to tell you how much they enjoyed the Fondue then.
The Seafood Buffet is priced at RM108 per adult and RM54 per child (under 12 years old), excluding a 10% service charge and 6% government charge... which eventually works out to approximately S$50 and S$25 respectively. Pretty decent for such an amazing spread of food if you ask me.
Our breakfast was also at Harbour Cafe and compared to the dinner buffet, it was expectantly more subdued with the usual breakfast offerings found at most hotels.
Do try the noodles soup if you are there, as the broth is flavourful and is the perfect accompaniment after a good night's sleep. Even Ash who is favours all things rice over noodles, loved it!
Although the tasty food could probably be attributed to them wolfing down their breakfast in record time, there was a more compelling reason.
Nothing like lazing in a rooftop infinity swimming pool, while soaking in the scenic views of Puteri Harbour at the same time!
The pool water is mixed with a small level of salt (which is beneficial to the skin, I'm told) and besides the full lap pool, a shallow pool for Kids is available too.
Fancy a bubbly dip while enjoying the harbour view? The Jacuzzi beside the main pool is perfect.
Besides the pool, guests will also be able to indulge in the fully-equipped gymnasium, steam bath and massage and treatment rooms.
The pool deck is also home to the SkyBar, which turns into a happening watering hole when the sun goes down.
And did I mention there is complimentary WIFI throughout the entire hotel? From our room, to the restaurants, to the pool... and even to the retail outlets below the hotel if you are really lucky. Heh.
All in, Traders Hotel, Puteri Harbour makes for a wonderful proposition if you are looking for a short weekend getaway with the family. There are ample activities - Hello Kitty Land and The Little Big Club just next door and LEGOLAND Malaysia a 5-minute drive away - to keep the kids entertained but yet, the hotel's tranquil location makes it feel detached from the bustle of city life.
A huge thanks to Traders Hotel, Puteri Harbour for making Ayd's birthday celebrations such a memorable one, complete with the added touch of a birthday cake!
The monkies were extremely reluctant to check out and for once, the wifey and I fully understood how they felt.
P.S. Do check out our recommendation of food options at nearby Gelang Patah too! Think soft-boiled eggs, dim sum, seafood and good ol'hawker food! Read all about it HERE.
Traders Hotel, Puteri Harbour
Persiaran Puteri Selatan, Puteri Harbour
Nusajaya 79000, Johor Darul Takzim, Malalysia
Tel: +607 5608888
For room offers and packages, visit HERE.