Written by Beverley Lennon
We love a good day trip to Johor Bahru but there’s also a bunch of reasons to stay the night! Hipster Taiwanese-inspired towns, unique cafes, speakeasy bars, mega malls and night markets are aplenty and you’ll surely need more than 24 hours to check them all out!
Now, if you spend a long day checking out JB’s shopping and dining scene, chances are that you’ll want, or rather need, to ease those muscles at night. You could well end up at a spa, that’s true but let’s be real here – there’s absolutely nothing quite like heading back to the comfort of your hotel room, putting a face-sheet mask on and plunging right into a hot, bubbly bath (with your lover too, maybe?).
If that sounds like you, here’s a collection of 4 and 5-star hotels in JB featuring luxury rooms with romantic bathtubs and amenities, all the while being close to the top shopping and eating areas (KSL, Paradigm, Bukit Indah, City Square, Mount Austin). And here’s the catch – they all cost a fraction of what you’d pay for in Singapore (under S$180 a night and some even under S$50)! Affordable luxury is a thing and you can get that in JB!
16 Affordable hotels in Johor Bahru near the best shopping/eating areas with family rooms under S$60 for 4 pax!
Cafe hopping in JB: 13 Unique themed cafes near shopping and dining hotspots (City Square, KSL, Mount Austin, Bukit Indah)
Little Taiwan of Johor Bahru: 18 Hipster places in Mount Austin to eat and chill in this bubble tea town!
Note: The prices reflected below are the low season rates, and they exclude tax and service charges. Accommodation rates often change with room availability, and low or high seasons. We recommend double-checking for the final prices before confirming your booking.
1. Splash out on a premium suite! – Holiday Villa Johor Bahru City
Time to treat yourself to somewhere just a little more luxe (without having to sell your organs, haha) that’s conveniently located and wins the hearts of many; especially those who are ready to splurge a little more and splash out on their Premium Suite that’s equipped with a bathtub – one perfect way to soothe all your troubles away!
With its prominent location adjacent to JB Customs (Woodlands Checkpoint) and within a minute’s walk to major shopping centres, entertainment, restaurants, Holiday Villa is perfectly placed to explore the delights of the city.
What’s more, you’ll love coming back to your decadent room at the end of the day. Just imagine dropping your shopping bags and then…plop… into the bathtub to simply enjoy a long hot soak on your steamy weekend break.
And we wouldn’t even judge you for staying in all night as well since Holiday Villa offers a 24-hour room service from their Fern Pine Cafe! That’s one way to treat a prince and princess!2. For a chance to wake up to endless ocean views! – Thistle Johor Bahru
First things first – we heard about their free shuttle service that heads down to the many shopping malls and outlets around Johor so if this isn’t an absolute steal, I don’t know what it is!
I present to you *drumroll*… Thistle Johor Bahru – a 5-star accommodation that sits within a mere 10-minute drive from Singapore Causeway and boasting scenic rooms with direct sea views (Bali, who?).
Now, the Executive Seaview Room deserves some attention. It is the one you might want to consider when here with your special person – not only does it offer magical vistas but it’s also equipped with a stunning bathtub which you can peek into, right from the bed – what a way to set the scene for seduction, am I right?
Even with such extravagances, it’s not as if you’ll even have to splash out as they are value-for-money, with low-season rates starting as low as S$64 (approximately RM 195), and that’s not even the lowest room category!
And if you prefer to embrace the whole hotel experience rather than stepping out, you’ll find over five restaurants and bars on-site, tennis courts and a not-to-miss spa equipped with a sauna, whirlpool, plunge pool and steam room which are pretty essential on a romantic getaway, let alone a girls’ trip!
3. With rooms inspired by Johor’s history and local heritage – TROVE Johor
Don’t get us wrong, we surely love a little luxury when it comes to hotels; the more stars the better, am I right? But besides, we also care about the location and not only – we also enjoy when the stay is somewhat a little bit different, somewhere with a story to tell. Does it sound like you?
Fortunately, Johor’s hotel scene is heaving with interesting stays available across the city, close enough to top shopping and eating hotspots. One of them is TROVE, with its uniquely themed rooms that are inspired by Johor’s history and local heritage!
There are five different themes to uncover – one can find homage to the local crafts through pop art illustrated in the room, be thrown back to Johor’s history and significance as a trading post, or escape into Johor’s natural heritage at the tropical-themed rooms. Most of the fun-themed rooms are their Deluxe Rooms, while the more luxurious suites take on a modern and luxurious Johor feel.
It’s their Junior Suite that’s what we’d most likely settle for – it’s got an effortless undeniable charm, boasts a bathtub and wait till you see the revolving TV (so you have a choice if you wish to watch TV from your bed or living room)! For nights you want to turn a little bit more special, check out their Lada & Clove Restaurant before ending it at Le Bar for some decadent artisanal cocktails!
4. Head to the pool for a surprise! – Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour by Shangri-La
Hotel Jen makes quite a splash in the city – its rooms can be quite hard to come by, blame it on its ideal location, close to Puteri Harbour International Ferry Terminal and Legoland® Malaysia Resort.
The hotel is a hub for those coming by to make the most of the enviable location right in the thick of the city – shopping malls and eateries are also close by.
To set the scene for your vacation, a stay at their Club King Room equipped with a bathtub will not disappoint. Now, for a big surprise, you’ll have to head up to their pool. You’ll “sea” by yourself (yes, I said “sea”)!
Before leaving it here, the little girl in me has to say this – of all the rooms on offer, the Hello Kitty-themed ones are a winner (though those are only available till 31st January 2020)!
5. A room that’s big on glitz and glamour – Capri by Fraser Hotel Residences
You’ll find Capri primely located just minutes away from the JB Customs, Immigration & Quarantine (CIQ) Complex, the exit point if you are travelling to and from Singapore (Woodlands checkpoint) via the Causeway.
Moving on to the exciting part; it’s also conveniently set walking distance to a bunch of entertainment spots including the well-known City Square Mall! With more than 300 rooms, Capri, which opened in 2019, has already earned a bunch of accolades among previous guests who rave about its strategic location, warm hospitality and comfortable rooms.
And once in a while, it’s good to find a home away from home – that’s exactly what you settle for with their One Bedroom Deluxe Apartment which is far from being just your usual hotel room – you get to enjoy a well-equipped kitchenette, meticulous bathtub, living room and more!
Capri also features a collection of dining options; you’ll want to stay in on Saturday night to experience the BBQ Dinner at Caprilicious!
6. One where all suites can interconnect (great for a group of friends!) – Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Johor Bahru
Who knew you could grab a suite at a Hilton property for somewhat an affordable price and still benefit from amenities like a bathtub? That’s not all as when you book a King One Bedroom Suite here, you also get access to the Executive Lounge, with complimentary breakfast and evening drinks and canapés; call us fancy!
Room perks aside, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Johor Bahru offers a central location in the heart of Johor Bahru; minutes from the Singapore Causeway and within walking distance of attractions, malls and eateries around City Square.
And besides the usual hotel amenities (read: pool and gym), they are that extra special by catering to those with accessibility needs. That’s one thing we admire about the hotel and two is their Tosca Italian Trattoria which sits on the 13th floor of the building, which offers stunning views of the Johor Strait and transports you to Italy with its delectable dishes!
7. One that’s got a rooftop pool, cafe and sunset views! – Amerin Hotel Johor Bahru
Located within Taman Perling, Amerin Hotel is a nice landing spot if you fancy edgy design and location.
Also, almost every corner of the stay seems to bring you to the top of the world – starting with its Rooftop Sky Gym that lets you burn calories among the clouds, to their Sky Pool and Sky View Cafe bringing your dining experience to another level, literally so!
The option of staying at their Gold Suite is a good one – it’s spacious, features a washing machine and most importantly a soothing bathtub that comes in great use when you want to relax after a long day out!
And to add to the perks’ list, one exciting experience to try out is their Sky Walk, where you get to step on a transparent floor and see underneath you! Would you dare?
8. One for the KSL crew – Grand Paragon
There’s those who fancy City Square, Paradigm or Mount Austin, and then there’s the ones who do not miss on a staycation around KSL – a short 10-minute drive from Woodlands Checkpoint, it’s quiet and small but so-very familiar and perfect for ladies on the lookout for hair salons (there’s plenty of them).
The hotel features a range of room options, including a grand Deluxe King Room which comes with a bathtub – so you can soak in bubbles all night!
And just like a swim, a hot bath often leads to a hungry stomach. That’s when you merely want to step out of the hotel so check out on their Japanese restaurant – Kishin Tei, serving delicious fusion dishes!
9. Soak into 5-star luxury – Renaissance Johor Bahru Hotel
Check into an Executive Suite at Renaissance Johor Bahru Hotel and enjoy a soak in your stunning bathtub. But not only; booking such room category also gives you exclusive access to the club lounge! Oh yes darling, time for that luxe life! Psst, if you’re really into everything fancy and want to impress then level up to their Presidential Suite (just a tip).
Nothing’s more synonymous with “Renaissance” than elegant rooms, thoughtful amenities and contemporary décor, and that’s exactly what you get at their JB property too!
It’s also perfect for accessing many of the city’s top attractions or as a hideaway from it all; ideal for the kind of weekend getaway you’ve been dreaming of – switching between shopping at JB’s top mega malls, and relaxing away in your hotel room!
10. This one’s more affordable than luxury! – Mutiara Hotel
Now, I know we mentioned “luxury” but this one requires you to forgo a little on the luxe factor. I mean, we all have those times where we are in need of a short romantic escape, want to enjoy the comfort of a proper hotel but totally ready to give up on extravagances to save up a little, am I right? Or is it just me? Can’t be.
Mutiara Hotel is just that – nothing fancy glitzy but you’re still in for a 4-star experience and on top of all, it’s one of, if not, THE most affordable room with bathtub you can get around JB’s top shopping/eating districts, and that’s because even their lower category Superior Room comes with your soak-in perks! Who even needs a suite?
Coming to the fun part, on specific nights, they have a live band at their Polo Lounge and you can enjoy great deals at Happy Hour (running from 5pm to 9pm daily) while a delectable buffet high tea is served on the weekends between 12pm to 4pm at Seri Mutiara Restaurant!
11. Did we hear free Malin + Goetz toiletries?! – Fraser Place Puteri Harbour
There isn’t only one good reason why you should check out Fraser Place. First, it overlooks the serene Puteri Harbour Marina; second, it stands out with its nautical-themed design and the list could go on and on.
But if you’re hungry for a good deal, you’ll most likely be excited about their affordable studio which comes equipped with a bathtub, kitchenette, washing machine and more for a convenient weekend trip with your partner or best girlfriends!
The stay is located near famous theme parks including Legoland® Malaysia Resort, Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, and Thomas Town. That does not mean you have to come over with family, who says you can’t be a kid at heart too? 😉
There’s also a sheltered swimming pool, so you can dip in no matter what the weather outside is like and their Puteri Harbour Restaurant serves up some good fusion food with a complementary side view of the marina!
For those who are planning to pack their golf clubs – Le Grandeur Palm Resort
Don’t mind venturing out of town and holing yourself up in a golf resort?
Golfing in Johor is different than in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. It tends to be somehow a little more relaxing. And at Le Grandeur Palm Resort, you don’t only get to wake up to endless views over the sprawling gardens but once you’re done hitting balls, you can retire to the greatest hole around: your beautiful room, as the resort is set smack bang within the golf course!
And even if you aren’t a golfer, there are still some pretty good reasons to consider a staycation at Le Grandeur Palm Resort – it’s located 30 minutes’ drive from Mount Austin, slightly off the main shopping and eating areas so you can truly escape in the lush tropics, while still being able to drive over anytime! A spa, swimming pool and dining options are also available on-site so who even has to step out? You can unwind without leaving your hotel, let alone your room!
Few resorts anywhere manage to achieve the combination of resort and course quality that this one does. You’ll see it by yourself as you check into your room. Now, you don’t even have to book an expensive suite as their Premier Deluxe King Room itself serves as the ultimate vantage point, and is equipped with a bathtub for unparalleled relaxation (exceptionally good after a whole day at the course).
Ready to overindulge? Let your friends know where they can do so too and tag them below! These luxurious hotel rooms with bathtubs are ideal for a romantic getaway or even a girls’ trip to JB!