Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Working in my current company requires me to go outstation for Center visit twice a year to Johor Bahru and Penang. 2 days ago, I made a trip down to JB from KL for a working visit to our Center at Plaza Pelangi. As the room rate for Grand Paragon has increased much from my last visit to JB (about 2 years ago), I opted for other 3 stars hotel nearby Plaza Pelangi to stay overnight. In this blog, I would like to share my overnight stay experience at Grand Sentosa Hotel.
Grand Sentosa Hotel is located in Taman Sentosa, Johor Bahru. The hotel is situated in a shopping mall which was refurbished recently. from what I understand from my colleague, this used to be a run-down building, now given a totally new facelift. From the outside or if you’re travelling along the main road leading to the hotel, one would not be able to see much signage to the hotel. In fact, I don’t recall seeing any signage at all to the hotel. Even the hotel’s signboard looks small from what you can see from my photo below. A bigger signboard hanging above the main entrance of the hotel would have given it more prominence. Even the taxi driver who took me to the hotel from Menara Pelangi mistakenly drop me off at Sentosa Hotel (which look like a dodgy place) opposite the Grand Sentosa Hotel.
Small signboard at the entrance of Grand Sentosa Hotel
View from across the hotel
Advertisement wall banner a few doors away from the hotel’s entrance
Grand Sentosa Hotel actually have some nice “neighbours” as it’s surrounded by shops and eatery places. You have Overtime, Old Town White Coffee, Watson’s, Guardian & The Store as its neighbours. So, if you’re looking for food, some toiletries and simple shopping, they’re just beside the hotel. By the way, this hotel is just a basic hotel. No in-house restaurant, cafe, gym or swimming pool.
Overtime – Hang out place next to the hotel
The hotel’s lobby is clean and spaciously designed. It has a comfortable lounge sofa and some red sofa chairs for guests who are waiting for checking in or just simply waiting. As the hotel just opened for business somewhere end of last year, the furnitures still look new and pleasing to the eyes.
Nice cozy sofa at the lobby
Equally comfortable lounge sofa at the lobby area
Checking into the room is pretty standard nowadays with the activated touch card you get from the Check In counter prior to going into your room. Grand Sentosa’s card come with simple yet classy designed in my opinion.
Grand Sentosa Hotel room’s access card
The rooms accommodation are from the 1st to the 4th floor. Upon stepping out from the lift, the guest will come across a small lobby area at each floor for the guests to relax on a few sofas available. Free wifi is available at every floor but do call the front desk for the password.
Common area at every floor outside the lift
The rooms come in 4 options – superior, deluxe, suite & family. My room on the 4th floor looks pleasing when I stepped in. No funny smell or anything that’s annoying to your nostrils. Since it’s a 3 stars hotel, the furnishings are also basic. No sofa or painting on the wall in the Superior room. It comes with a LCD TV though. Samsung if not mistaken – roughly about 21” my guess. There’s no minibar. There is a mini safe deposit box though in each room. This comes in handy for tourists who would like to keep their valuables or passports in the room while going sightseeing.
Superior room with king size bed
This is the bed you sleep on for RM125 nett a night from Booking.com
Free wifi in the room
My only complain about the room is its bathroom. The shower area to me is badly designed that shower water don’t really flow off well into the drain hole. While bathing, you have the stagnant, soapy water on your legs. The contractor did not do a good job in ensuring the water flow off properly when you’re bathing. As such, after the bath area dries up, sometimes you can feel the floor is kinda slippery due to the soap residue. Other than that, I do not have any major complain/comment for the room.
Overall, for a 3 star hotel, Grand Sentosa is a pretty decent place to put up for the night with many eating places around and a local supermarket just around the corner to cater to some simple shopping. Since, Grand Sentosa is attached to the Plaza Sentosa shopping mall, the guest can also do some shopping while killing time and also bring home some goodies/local delicacies from the shops around the hotel.
For more information of the hotel, visit www.grandsentosahotel.com or
Block A, Plaza Sentosa,
Jalan Sutera, Taman Sentosa,
80150 Johor Bahru,
Tel: +607-331 5888
Fax: +607-331 7888
Monday, March 5, 2012
Once again, online discount voucher has taken me to another new eating joint. This time around I am being introduced to Big Ray’s Grill at Sri Petaling. The deal was:
Pay Only RM11 For 1 Set Meal Of (Bigray Grilled Chicken OR Hot & Spicy Chicken) Grilled Vegetables + Mashed Potato + Bottomless Drink @ Big Ray's Grill
With me quite familiar with Endah Parade, finding Endah Promenede is nota hard thing to do. A quick check with my GPS shows Endah Promenede just next to Endah Parade. The only problem finding Big Ray’s Grill is lack of signages at the building.Finding a carpark space at this building is not hard though. I managed to park at the Basement with ease and you will see a snooker parlour at the Basement level. Big Ray’s Grill is at the ground floor, same row as Overtime, right towards the end.
As we reached there at 1pm on a public holiday, the restaurant is almost empty save for 1 table of 2 patrons. My first impression is that the place is managed by some Middle Easterns as I saw a few persons manning the place are from Middle East. I like the wall deco of Big Ray’s Grill – simple yet artistic. The furniture are just basic and it immediately tells you this is a simple dining place, more suitable for those of middle income rather than for someone expecting great service.
Since it’s mid afternoon, we opted for the in-house seats rather than dining alfresco in under the hot sun. Big Ray’s Grill comes with wifi service. As I chose a corner table facing the entrance, I have some good sunlight as well as air-conditioned seats.
Simple yet artistic wall deco
A warm seat having the best of both world – sunlight and aircon
As we presented our vouchers to the waiter, we do not have to wait long for the drinks to be served. Heck, if I am the only waiting customer and I need to wait for 10 minutes for my soft drinks to be served, I would have pulled a long face.
I ordered the Grilled Chicken while my wife ordered the Hot & Spicy version. As we were waiting for the lunch to be served, the aroma of the grilled chicken already filled the air. The anticipation and anxiety in waiting for the arrival of our grilled chicken makes me feeling more hungry. What arrived didn’t really disappoint as I only paid RM11 for this set meal.
I first took a bit of the grilled vegetables as I first tasted grilled vegetables at Nandos and I started to love grilled vegetables. It didn’t disappoint. The grilled vege are crunchy and cooked just nice. The mashed potato was kinda a let down though as Big Ray wasn’t generous with the gravy. I find the mashed potato a bit dry.
The drumstick brought back some smile as the chicken was nicely grilled but I must say that the sauce has a very commercial taste. It feels like it came from a bottle of BBQ sauce which you can get from supermarket. Even the black pepper sauce which came with my wife’s order taste the same – commercial grade.
Grilled drumstick with grilled vege and mashed potato
Overall, I would rate place as follow:-
Service : 4/5 (I wonder how the service would be if there are 10 tables or more customers)
Ambient : 3.5/5 (Nice quite place but I would like to try this place in the evening next time)
Food Quality: 3/5 (Take away the commercial tasting sauce please)
Pricing: 2.5/5 (Prices of food on the menu looked a bit pricey to me considering the location of the place)
Big Ray's Grill
1-8, Endah Promenede,
Jalan 3/149E, Sri Petaling,
57000 Kuala Lumpur.
Daily: 12.00pm - 12.00am