Monday, April 27, 2015

International Summer Travel Saving Tips: Go For Boutique Hotels in Singapore, Johor Bahru and Melaka (Malaysia)


Our meager Escape Fund dictates how much we could spend for our international summer travel. But for accommodations alone, our getaway fund can be used up alarmingly fast since our preference for a King - size bed, a romantic feel, a luxurious bed linen, and a full length mirror, usually all come with a price. Our recent 8-day travel tSingapore and the Malaysian cities of Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur and Melaka from April 18-26, 2015 proves, however, that luxury doesn't have to be expensive if you go to these three (3) boutique hotels - Dorsett Singapore, Hermess Hotel in Johor, Bahru and Venus Boutique Hotel in Melaka, Malaysia. Surely, these boutique hotels treated us to a very affordable luxury, and maybe you too can score a great deal next time you find yourself in these cities:

(1) DORSETT Singapore is a brand new ten-storey 4-star hotel located at 333 New Bridge Road, Singapore.


As the world's most expensive city, most mid - range accommodations in Singapore costing SGD 150 - 200  (P5000 - P6,500), is fitted only with queen mattress. So, a room with King - size bed would be very expensive, right? Not if you are lucky like us to have availed of the SG50 Staycation promo (from March 30, 2015 - December 31, 2015) at Dorsett Singapore, Where Heritage Meets Modernity! 



Boutique Touches: Modern, full glass architecture facade following the Dorsett International unique brand concept of modernity, innovation and comfort. All 285 guestrooms feature a colorful camera (functioning as door intercom speaker) and Singapore art work, worth snapping a selfie even before you get in. 


Lucky Room Deal (per night): We stayed at a Dorsett Room for only SGD140 (P4,500) instead of the regular rate of SGD400 (P12,800). It is a 22 square meter - room with a lovely view of Chinatown, and comes with a King - size Bed topped with posturepedic mattress for a healthy relaxing good night rest. In addition to our personal standard of white linen and full length mirror, our cosy haven is also equipped with contemporary furnishings and modern amenities, including a 40" LED Television with International and Cable TV channels, free WIFI (hotel wide), work station area (with pen, pencil, post card, & note pads) electronic in-room safe, attached bathroom with rain shower, mini bar, individually controlled air-conditioning, and complimentary coffee/tea making facilities. 

Daily newspaper, bottled water, white towels, white bathrobes and complete set of toiletries (shampoo with conditioner, lotion, bath gel, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, nail file, shower caps, sanitary bag and shaving kit) are provided free of charge. There is also an iron and iron board for your wrinkled clothes!




More "Lucky" Savings Tip: The checked - in time as in most hotels in Singapore (or anywhere for that matter) is 2pm. But we decided to show up early at around 12 noon, gave our booking reference to the front desk staff and she very happily told us that the room is ready, even without requesting for an early checked - in. 



More Summer Travel Reasons Why We Heart Dorsett: (1) Not only Dorsett is located at the edge of Chinatown, one of Singapore's main attraction, this hotel also sits right on top of Outram Park MRT interchange station. In fact, there is an MRT Exit designated for Dorsett hotel guests for easy accessibility to and from the Changi Airport (only two transfers), commercial districts, and Singapore tourists attractions. It is one MRT stop to Harbour Front (gateway to Sentosa), two  MRT stops to Resorts World Sentosa and Universal Studios, and one MRT stop to Central Business District, for our Marina Bay Sands Forever Living events! 



(2) To fight the Summer heat, Dorsett sport a 30-meter outdoor swimming pool with jacuzzi in a landscaped roof garden (and Koi pond) to unwind and relax after enjoying the sights or to take in the early morning sun by laying in the sun beds before heading out for a stroll!! 



(2) HERMESS Hotel is a brand new budget hotel with a boutique ambiance located in the central part of Iskandar, Nusa Bestari, Skudai, Johor in Malaysia. Opened in July 2013, Hermess Hotel takes pride in being a hotel "With So Much Goodness At A Friendly Price".



Boutique Touches: True to its boutique style, this hotel features a huge quirky chandelier lighting up the stairway and rooms with unique and distinctive classic contemporary design. The monochromatic black and white furnishings - white desk chair, white bed linen with a black headboard, a pair of black side tables, and black rimmed full length mirror, combined with wooden and glass furnishings perfectly create a modern vibe



Lucky Room Deal (per night): Our Superior King room cost us only RMB 129 (P1,600) [RMB 99 (P1,228) a night for members]. It is fully air-conditioned and comes with our must - have King - size bed, white mattress, white linen and full length mirror. The room also has a 40" LED Television with international cable channels, wireless internet thoughout the hotel compound, glass finished bathroom with rain shower, and complimentary toiletries (bath and towel, floor mats, hair and body shampoo, hand soap, toothbrushes, toothpastesanitary bag and shaving kit).



More "Lucky" Savings Tip: The hotel offers member card registration for RMB 30 (P372) and a sign up member enjoys 30% discount on hotel rates and additional 10% discount on weekend and holidays. But since I didn't know this upon checked - in, I expressed my interest in getting a member card registration if the discount could be applied  to our 2-day stay. Policy dictates that she had to decline my offer which could have saved us RMB 60 (P744). Instead, the manager gave us a lifetime membership card (which can be used by any holder) free of charge! Not bad as it saves us RMB 30. But for you, be sure to buy the card first before checking in if you are staying for at least two (2) days!


More Summer Travel Reasons Why We Heart Hermess:  This hotel is strategically located, being in the middle of the Johor Bahru Immigration Center (where all tourists have to use as an entry point from Singapore or  Malaysia), and the popular tourist spots in Johor Bahru like Legoland, Hello Kitty, etc. It is only 15 minutes cab ride to Legoland where we had our summer splash at its Water Park!



Fine Tips: The glass window has been plastered with sticker so we can't see the outside from our room, and there is no lift which was ok as we were in the second floor. So don't take rooms in the 3rd floor or upward!




(3) VENUS Boutique Hotel is located in No. 18, Jalan PM-6 Plaza, Makota in Melaka, Malaysia. It is the best hotel we stayed at as a result of a "spur of the moment" decision and we loved it! We arrived in this UNESCO heritage city of Melaka at midnight without any hotel bookings, just a name of a hotel we saw on the internet while we were in Kuala Lumpur. It turns out that this hotel is very far from the city center according to the taxi driver. So, we asked him to bring us to a good but cheap hotel, and he brought us to Venus Boutique Hotel, which exudes Comfort, Elegance, and Luxury. The hotel has a lift to start with!



Boutique Touches: Venus is a contemporary, sleek, urban hotel, with overall white feel combined with a splash of lavender and black, modern design and European art deco. Our room has a bed headboard of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France so that's romantic in itself! 



Lucky Room Deal (per night): We stayed at a Standard Room for RMB 116 (P1,438) which has everything we want except for a King-size bed (as all Venus rooms feature only a Queen - size bed even if we opted for the Deluxe Standard Room for RMB 146). But the white bed linen, romantic elegance and luxurious ambiance with complimentary amenities like air - conditioner,  32' inches LCD TV with ASTRO channel, coffee and tea making facility, private hot and cold shower, digital room status, internet, and toiletries (bath and towel, hair dryer, shampoo with conditioner, body bath, and hand soap) at such a cheap price, are enough reasons to say that we have snagged the best deal at this boutique hotel! 

More Summer Travel Reasons Why We Heart Venus: The location is perfect for everything as the tourist attractions, mall and restaurants are just stones throw away! The hotel enjoys close proximity to the Golden Screen Cinema, Pahlawan Walk, Taming Sari Tower, Royal Malaysia Navy Museum, and Melaka River Cruise among other fun attractions.




More "Lucky" Savings Tip: No matter how colorful or somewhat romantic, the rickshaw ride is quite expensive for RMB 40 (P495) an hour tour. The better alternative is to rent a a motorcycle at the Taming Sari Tower counter for RMB 50 for a half - day tour if you happened to have international driving license with you and your passport! My hubby Red didn't have an international driving license so we just went around on foot which is fine because Melaka is so compact and all attractions are just walking distance!

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