Previously on my Johor Bahru travelouge, I shared about Taman Mount Austin as an up and coming destination for quick getaways in JB. The first time we were there, stayed at The Ardens Hotel which was absolutely fab, just that their location was pretty remote.
So this time round, we decided to stay in a hotel that was just beside Austin Heights Family Entertainment Centre – Midori Concept Hotel.
Lobby and Public Areas of Midori Concept Hotel
‘Midori’ means green in Japanese. So you can see from the facade of the hotel that there was a lot of greenery. But that was not all. Once we arrived at the lobby, we found ourselves surrounded by several green features.
There were also water feature with fishes swimming around, like the fish tank next to the reception counter.
And the little Koi pond in the lobby.
The centrepiece of the hotel was a vertical wall, stretching up from the lobby level to the top floor, covered with plants.
Our room was on Level 1, which was the second floor, just like at The Ardens Hotel. So up the lift we went.
We took a walk around the corridor and spotted a little landscape garden and noticed that some rooms had vines creeping outside their windows.
Moving on, let’s check out the room!
Executive King Room
We made a booking through Expedia for an Executive King Room which advertised that there was a bath tub. As I mentioned before, when I book a budget boutique hotel that doesn’t have a swimming pool, I try to book a room with a bathtub for the kids to soak in.
The first thing the kids do when they step into any hotel room would be to check if there was a bath tub. And to their dismay, there wasn’t any!
So I went to the lobby to enquire and it seemed to me that they knew the listing on Expedia was erroneous. And they just told me very matter-of-factly that all their room had no bathtubs, except the suites. So I told them also very matter-of-factly that they should contact Expedia ASAP to correct the error and they assured me they would. This happened over Labour Day holiday (1 May) and while I am writing this (13 May), I checked Expedia again and under Executive King Room, it still says bathtub is available.
I wondered if it was Expedia’s problem. So I went to Booking.com to check and it also listed the Executive King Room as having a bathtub.
I also went to Hotels.com to check, same result.
So annoying right?? But okay, I know for a fact that listings on hotel booking sites are not always accurate. Sometimes I do verify against the hotel’s websites for details of the corresponding room type to see if the amenities match. But Midori Concept Hotel was a very new hotel and I couldn’t find their website during the time of booking, so I skipped the step and trusted the information which was consistent on all 4 booking sites that I most commonly use. Zzz…
I was all prepared to give them a glowing review if they had corrected the listings on the booking sites by the time I wrote this post. (2 weeks not enough?) But all the listings were still wrong. BAH. But putting the bathtub issue aside, I shall stay objective and say that the hotel was very decent for its price.
I liked the touch-screen style switches in place of the conventional switches.
Controls for the TV and room lights etc were on the wall next to the bed.
Safe deposit was available but in a pretty hard-to-reach spot. I am 1.64m and I had to stretch my hands above my head to reach the safe.
There was flat-screen TV and the kids found Disney Channel, thank goodness. It kind of made up for the lack of bathtub to keep the kids entertained.
The bedside lamps were like reddish-orangey. Not really my style but taste is subjective.
Just like at The Ardens Hotel, I was pleasantly surprised that many of the items in the room were custom-made for the hotel. It seems the newer boutique hotels in Johor Bahru are really bringing things to a new level!
But what I want to highlight is the window which I found to be a safety hazard. You see the photo below, MY was standing on the floor and the window was as low as his waist level. The window was NOT SEALED. If the handle wasn’t locked properly, the window can open and kids may fall out when they lean against the window. Not funny. So parents, first thing you do when you reach the room, please check that the window is locked securely. And if you have an older child who can reach that window handle and accidentally push it open, just don’t let them near to the window.
Anyway our room didn’t have any creeping vines outside the window. From our room, we got a view of Austin Heighs Water Adventure Park. You can see how near it is to the hotel.
Breakfast was served at the cafe in the lobby. Our booking came with breakfast, but they did not give us the breakfast voucher during check-in. So my husband who did the checking in thought we didn’t have breakfast included. But I was pretty sure breakfast was included, because the previous day I was sleuthing around Expedia website checking to see if I mistook seeing the bathtub, remember? So I went to the front desk to mention our room number and asked if breakfast was included and they stashed me a breakfast voucher immediately. I wondered why they didn’t give it to us during check-in. Oh well…
We ordered a continental set. And while I was editing photos I realised the kids had thrown a piece of creamer wrapper into the coffee! LOL… #woesofaparentblogger
And we ordered a local set.
I liked the continental set better. The bee hoon in the local set was mee siam kind of bee hoon and spicy, so the kids couldn’t eat it. The egg on the continental set was covered with black pepper, so the kids couldn’t eat it either. *faint* It’s okay, the last thing you need to worry about in Johor Bahru is food. There was a big Old Town Coffee just down the road.
Dinner was optional, but we decided to try their seafood dinner buffet since we were staying there and hotel guests received 10% discount.
Their seafood dinner buffet cost RM98 nett per adult and RM49 nett for child (age 6 to 12). Our kids aged below 6 years old could dine for free, which was one of the reasons we decided to dine there. #cheapo
They had cold seafood selection which you could help yourselves to.
And for hot food, we had to order it from the menu. The selection wasn’t great, this was all there was.
While waiting for the hot selection to be served, we started with the cold seafood.
I wasn’t a fan of their sashimi. And their oysters didn’t taste fresh. Overall, I wasn’t a fan of their cold seafood.
The hot food was served. And they were disappointing too. The grilled squid was chewy and hard to bite.
The tiger prawns were small and skinny, but MF liked it so we gave all 3 to him. The grilled oysters and scallops just weren’t as good as the ones we had at Kobo BBQ down the road.
The soft shell crab was decent. But it barely made up for the rest of the meal.
I suggest you skip the dinner here. If you want grilled seafood, the grilled oysters and scallops at Kobo BBQ down the road (right above Old Town coffee) is WAAAYYYYY better.
Minus the glitch in listing with bathtub on hotel booking sites (which is a problem NOT unique to Midori Concept Hotel), Midori Concept Hotel is actually a very nice hotel for its price range. Plus its location is fantastic! It is a great base for exploring Taman Mount Austin and enjoying a day at Austin Heights Water & Adventure Park. Since the kids were so bored from having no bathtub and there was only so much Disney Channel I wanted to let them watch, I brought them to Austin Heights to jump around at the Trampoline Park. Loved the convenience!
Plus it is new. I love staying at hotels in Johor Bahru while they are new. Sadly, we have noticed that the standard of boutique hotels can deteriorate quite quickly in hotels in Johor Bahru, so I can’t guarantee if it will still be as nice a year or two down the road. So if you are reading this like a year or more later, do check up-to-date reviews on hotel booking sites to see if they are still clean and green.
And skip the hotel dinner. There are much better food around the hotel. Kobo BBQ is just down road road, past Austin Heights Water & Adventure Park and Prince 33 Hotel. If you don’t even feel like walking that few hundred metres, there is a pretty popular Korean fried chicken shop right next to Midori Concept Hotel!
Information on Midori Concept Hotel:
Address: 57, Jalan Austin Heights 8/1, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru
Tel: +607-3646 555
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