While searching for accommodation near Legoland Malaysia, in the past most families would go for Legoland Hotel by default. But earlier this year, a new serviced residence, Somerset Medini Nusajaya, opened right across the road, giving Legoland Hotel a run for its money!
Before we begin our (as usual) long-winded review of our stay at Somerset Medini Nusajaya, here’s a quick video tour of the property.
Somerset Medini Nusajaya is part of a large chain of serviced apartments across the world managed by The Ascott Limited. At the 33-storey high Somerset Medini Nusajaya, you will find more than 300 units of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for families of all sizes at very affordable rates.
When we arrived, we checked in at a hotel-style lobby.
There were sofas, TV, newspapers and computers for guests to helps themselves to.
We took some time to check out the ‘Somerset News’ bulletin in the lobby. Do look out for this if you are staying at Somerset residences, it contains useful information about the hotel such as nearby restaurants, events in the city, opening hours and maintenance dates of hotel facilities, shuttle service timings etc.
Two Bedroom Premier Apartment
After we checked in, we made our way to our apartment via a corridor that felt more like a condominium than a hotel. Once we stepped into the apartment, we found a fruits platter with a personalized welcome note.
The apartment itself was not unlike a condominium. There was a living room with sofa and TV with a decent selection of channels (HBO, FOX Movie, CNN, BCC, Disney channel, Discover Channel, NHK, Fox Sports etc. on top of the usual Malaysian and Singapore TV channels).
There was a dining area which could sit 4 people comfortably.
There was a kitchenette equipped with induction cooker, refrigerator, microwave oven, toaster, hot water flask, washer-cum-dryer etc.
Inside the kitchen cupboards you can find all the things if you would like to cook in the apartment. Please note that the knives and scissors were kept in a low drawer that could easily be reached by young children.
Tea and sugar sachets were also provided.
If you prefer cold drinks, remember the welcome fruits basket I showed you earlier? Together with it was a basket of complimentary soft drinks and chips. Just pop the soft drinks into the fridge and you’ll have icy cold drinks anytime you need them!
And oooo.. Check out the view we got from our kitchenette. We could see Legoland Hotel and Legoland Water Park!
Going down the corridor were the two bedrooms and common toilet. The first bedroom was a twin bedroom.
The twin bedroom didn’t have an attached bathroom. Instead, there was a common bathroom along the corridor. As usual, when the kids saw the toilet, they were like, “Huh.. No bathtub?” Bathtub was THE thing they looked forward to most during staycations. But no worries, there will be bathtub later.
Moving along, there was the master bedroom at the end of the corridor with a king-sized bed.
And yup, there was a bath tub in the bathroom attached to the master bedroom.
Toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving kits etc were provided in the toilets. I even found a sewing kit!
In the wardrobes of the master bedroom, you would find the bath robes, slippers, ironing board, iron, hair dryer, safe box etc.
The swimming pool at Somerset Medini Nusajaya was infinity pool style, facing Legoland Hotel. The depth of the main pool was 1.2m.
There was a small wading pool by the side with a depth of 0.4m for young children.
Unfortunately, we were staying here during a hazy day, so we did not get to go for a swim. Thank goodness for the bath tub in the room (which the boys were satisfied to soak in when they found out they couldn’t go to the pool), and what’s coming up next.
Right beside the pool, there was an air-conditioned children’s playroom – which was the kids’ favourite part of the residence!
You would think that after visiting so many indoor playgrounds in Singapore, the boys wouldn’t be impressed by the small Children’s Playroom. But somehow, they managed to spend quite a lot of time here playing with the little slide, see-saw and Mega Blocks. The first thing they did when they woke up the next morning was to ask, “Can we go to the playroom??”
I also found a self-service laundry, but not that I had to use it since there was a washer-dryer in our own apartment. The washer cost RM12-16 depends on load / hot or cold wash. The dryer cost RM12 for 24 minutes normal drying cycle.
Oasis Green Garden
My favourite part of the residence was the Oasis Green Garden – which was what I felt set Somerset Medini Nusajaya apart from other 4-star hotels or apartments.
The garden was decorated with waterfalls and a range of plants.
And I was stoked when I found myself walking through a bamboo grove. Because it felt so much like Japan! The first thing that came to my mind was Arashiyama in Kyoto, of course on a much much smaller scale. But it really took me by surprise – in a good way.
At the end of the bamboo tunnel was a foot reflexology path and a little pool of water with mist coming out. For a moment, I was like, “Don’t tell me there is even an Ashiyu (Japanese foot bath) here??”
Okay, it was not an Ashiyu. The water was cold, not hot. And somehow right after I took that above photo, the mist stopped and it became a pretty normal-looking pond.
Unfortunately for the haze, the boys didn’t get to come out for a run (yeah, my boys don’t walk, they run) in the garden. But I’m glad I decided to brave the haze to take a walk around the Oasis Green garden, otherwise I would have totally missed out this hidden gem!
I don’t usually use the gymnasium in hotels, but if you do, they had a gymnasium at Somerset Medini Nusajaya.
Before I arrived at Somerset Medini Nusajaya, I read some reviews on hotel booking sites and most of the complaints were about the breakfast – how the food selection was sad and the food couldn’t be replenished in time. So I came with VERY LOW expectations for their breakfast here. And bearing in mind that this was a serviced residence, not a hotel.
I thought the food selection was decent. Not great, but definitely not the worst I’ve had in Johor Bahru either. If I were to compare it to other 4-star hotels in Johor, then yes, I agree with the general consensus that the breakfast here was below average. But since Somerset Medini Nusajaya was a serviced residence, I didn’t think it was fair to expect the frills (like large international buffet spread) you get at hotels, which are pitched at a different price point? The free continental breakfast here was meant to serve as a complement to the option to prepare your own breakfast in your apartment. If you see it as that, the spread was pretty reasonable.
The breakfast was served in sort of a temporary setting – not the most pleasant setting to have breakfast in. But at least they had high chairs for toddlers.
I felt they could really do with a more permanent and nicely furnished venue for breakfast. And at the very least maybe a live cooking station for eggs? I also encountered food, namely the sandwiches and juices, not being replenished in time.
Unlike 4-star hotels that provide room service, Somerset Medini Nusjaya didn’t have their own in-house room service. Instead, they have tied up with a pizzeria at Puteri Harbour to deliver food to the rooms. On top of pizzas, they also had Thai food in their menu.
Usually when we visit Johor, we wouldn’t bother with room service and would drive out for dinner. But this time, because of the haze, we just stayed in the apartment and called for delivery. Since there was WIFI access in the apartment, we made a WhatsApp call to the pizzeria to place our order.
The kids were perfectly happy to stay in the apartment to eat pizza. I, on the other hand, felt the food was a tad overpriced for Johor standards and would opt to go out for meals any time.
But one thing I would to highlight regarding security. When the delivery man came with our food, we was escorted up to our apartment by a security guard. So it was reassuring to know that the security was pretty tight and they didn’t just let anyone claiming to be a delivery man go roaming around the residence.
Legoland Malaysia was located about 5-10 minutes walk from the residence. From the Oasis Green garden, you need to cross the road over to Mall of Medini and through the mall before reaching Legoland Malaysia.
A short drive or shuttle bus ride from Somerset Medini Nusajaya, you would arrive at Puteri Harbour Family Entertainment Centre. Here, you would find Hello Kitty Town and Thomas Town & Meet Other Characters.
Nearby Shopping Malls
There was Mall of Medini right across the road from Somerset Medini Nusajaya, but it wasn’t much of a mall, more like just a row of shops. The bigger and better mall to hit would be AEON Bukit Indah which required about 15 minutes drive (or shuttle bus ride).
Here, you would find AEON, a huge department store with kids section and a large supermarket to stock up on fresh food if you would like to cook in the apartment. Other things you can find at AEON Bukit Indah included:
- Toys R Us
- Indoor Playground for children
- Free children’s playground at the food court
And a bit out of point, but I just got to add that there was A&W at AEON Bukit Indah – which was my default dining venue whenever we go to AEON Bukit Indah. Ever since A&W pulled out of Singapore donkey years ago, I always cannot resist going into any A&W I see to grab a root beer float at least. And coney dog, curly fries plus waffle if I’m hungry.
I loved the huge living space we got at our 2 bedroom apartment at Somerset Medini Nusajaya. It was very comfortable for families, and if you have babies or younger children, they can also arrange for a cot for you. It was also great to find a bathtub in the master bedroom toilet.
There were some minor inconveniences. Like having to switch on the heater for 30 minutes before use. And the doors tend to close with a loud bang. And I wasn’t a fan of the rough flooring of the apartment, preferring something like the shiny and smooth tiled flooring over at Somerset Puteri Harbour.
Facilities wise, the children’s playroom was a hit with the boys. I think we would have been pretty bored if there wasn’t the children’s playroom because of the haze which kept us away from the pool and Legoland. For adults, the Oasis Green garden was a nice area to take an evening stroll.
Food wise, there was unfortunately no restaurants or cafes within Somerset Medini Nusajaya. You would have to hop over to Mall of Medini across the road for the nearest restaurants. The breakfast could be improved, if they could make the breakfast venue more appealing and throw in a live cooking station – like what you can get at Somerset Puteri Harbour.
Service wise, I had no complaints during my stay at Somerset Medini Nusajaya. Staff around the hotel smiled and greeted us whenever they saw us.
Security wise, I felt it was pretty tight. Room card was required to access the lift to the apartments. The carpark had security barriers with a security guard stationed at the entrance. But speaking of carpark, there was a parking fee of RM10 for 3 days, which I felt should be waived for staying guests.
In short, if you are looking for an affordable serviced residence (huge condominium style space with housekeeping services) to explore the Nusajaya region, Somerset Medini Nusajaya offers just that. With introductory rates from RM288++ for 40+ sqm studio or RM488++ for a 78 sqm two bedroom premier like the one we stayed in, I thought it was pretty value for money. Do also check out their promotions online for Legoland Combo Packages if you are planning to visit Legoland Malaysia.
Somerset Medini Nusajaya vs Legoland Hotel
If you are looking for a hotel near Legoland Malaysia and trying to decide between Somerset Medini Nusajaya and Legoland Hotel, here are my two cents worth.
These two properties are very different in concept. Legoland Hotel is a Lego-themed hotel with themed rooms and offers a very unique and interesting stay.
In terms of room configurations, Legoland Hotel Malaysia’s rooms are like two interconnecting hotel rooms with an adults’ room with a king bed and an attached kids’ room with bunk beds. Whereas Somerset Medini Nusajaya’s two bedroom apartment gives you a whole apartment with two separate bedrooms for adults and children with living area, dining area and kitchenette.
Price wise, it varies depending on season, but when I tried doing a search on a random date in September 2016, a room at Legoland Hotel was going at RM650 while a two bedroom apartment at Somerset Medini Nusajaya was going at about RM517 after taxes.
In short, if you want a themed hotel stay to complete the whole Legoland experience, then Legoland Hotel Malaysia is for you. If you like to have a lot of space for the whole family (especially if you are travelling with extended family) or planning to spend a couple of nights in the region on a smaller budget, then go for Somerset Medini Nusajaya.
Information on Somerset Medini Nusajaya
Address: Lot 5 Jalan Medini Utara 4, Medini Iskandar, Medini, 79200 Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia
Tel: +60 7-560 5555
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LINKING UP WITH…
This post is part of the following link-ups:
- City Tripping by Mummy Travels and Wander Mum
- Wanderful Wednesday by Lauren on Location, Snow in Tromso, The Sunny Side of Thisand What a Wonderful World