Puteri Harbour in Johor Bahru (Malaysia) is almost synonym with Hello Kitty Town and Thomas Town & Meet Other Characters. At least for those of us with young kids. This makes it a great family getaway from Singapore.
And along the harbour, there are currently two accommodation choices: Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour and Somerset Puteri Harbour Nusajaya.
About Somerset Puteri Harbour Nusajaya
Somerset Puteri Harbour is part of a large international chain of serviced apartments managed by The Ascott Limited. Together with Somerset Medini Nusajaya, they offer families a comfortable home away from home at affordable prices in the up-and-coming Nusajaya region.
Let us first bring you on a quick video tour of Somerset Puteri Harbour Nusajaya.
Somerset Puteri Harbour Nusajaya offers 204 apartments ranging from 50 to 141 sqm in size to cater to different travellers. You can choose from studios to one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, depending on your needs.
Two Bedroom Premier Apartment
During our stay at Somerset Puteri Harbour, we stayed in their two bedroom premier apartment. The moment we entered the apartment, we were impressed by how spacious it was!
The layout of the apartment was very different from the two bedroom apartment over at Somerset Medini Nusajaya, and personally I preferred it here. At the entrance foyer, we found a study area.
The kitchenette was open concept and the appliances were similar to what we had at Somerset Medini Nusajaya: Induction cooker, refrigerator, microwave oven, toaster, hot water flask, washer-cum-dryer etc.
The kitchenette was well equipped with everything you need to prepare your meals. Note that sharp knives and scissors were kept in the low drawers and within reach of children.
We also found a basket of complimentary snacks and drinks, bottled water and tea & sugar sachets.
And my favourite: We found two packets of laundry detergent! Yeah, if you follow my blog, you would know that free laundry, complete with detergent, totally excites me.
On the TV, we found a decent selection of channels, including (HBO, FOX Movie, CNN, BCC, Disney channel, Discover Channel, NHK, Fox Sports etc. on top of the usual Malaysian and Singapore TV channels.
And behind the living room, there was a balcony.
Moving on to the rooms, there was a master bedroom with a king bed. And there was another TV in the master bedroom, so there was no need to fight for the TV with the kids who wanted to watch Disney channel all day.
In the wardrobes of the master bedroom, you would find the bath robes, slippers, ironing board, iron, hair dryer, safe box etc.
The master bedroom had an attached bathroom. But no bathtub! *sobs* I was told that at Somerset Puteri Harbour, only their 3 bedroom apartments had bathtubs.
Toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving kits etc were provided in the toilets.
The second bedroom was a twin room with two single beds.
And there was also an attached bathroom to the second bedroom. This bathroom had two doors: One opened to the living area and one opened to the bedroom.
Since there was no bath tub in our apartment, we hit the pool almost immediately after checking in.
There was an infinity pool style swimming pool with a great view of the harbour below.
The boys love pool time! The pool here was clean and well-maintained. The depth of the main pool was 1.25m.
There was a small wading pool of depth 0.5m by the side.
I loved the range of seats around the swimming pool. I could bum here all day!
And I think MY agreed.
Okay, I know I’m spamming you with a lot of pool photos, but we just enjoyed our pool time here so much! And trust me, we don’t enjoy pool time at every hotel we have stayed in. We have been to 5-star hotels where the pools looked so sad that we didn’t even feel like stepping into them.
Despite the lack of kids-friendly features like water play or slides, the boys had a whale of time at the pool here.
Just beside the pool, there was a children’s playroom. It was much smaller than the children’s playroom at Somerset Medini Nusajaya and didn’t hold the boys attention as long.
Roof Garden & Spice Garden
As I was exploring the residence, I came across an interesting spice garden that looked like it was still in infancy stage.
A security guard on patrol saw me taking photos of the garden and came over to share more about it with me. (Don’t you just love the staff’s enthusiasm?) Turned out this spice garden was an initiative by the security department. It was started 3 months ago, so most of the plants were not ready to be used for cooking yet.
However, he pointed out to me the pandan and curry leaves that were already being used in the preparation of meals for the staff. I could tell he was very proud of their spice garden and I thought it was great that they were using them to produce ingredients for cooking!
I don’t use the gymnasium at hotels, but here are photos for your reference.
If your apartment does not have a washer-dryer of its own, not to fret. There was a coin laundry at the roof garden where you can pop in to get your laundry done for a fee.
Complementary continental breakfast was provided at the Residents’ Lounge to guests of Somerset Puteri Harbour. There was an indoor seating area, but it was not air-conditioned.
You can also choose to dine out at the rooftop garden.
Food selection was pretty basic, nothing to really rave about.
There was a live cooking section for eggs.
The breakfast selection was probably the greatest gripe among guest comments on hotel booking sites. I can understand where the complaints were coming from, especially if you were to compare it to Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour next doors. But not forgetting Somerset Puteri Harbour was a serviced residence pitched at a different price point, I thought it was not as bad as the reviews put it out to be.
About Puteri Harbour
Puteri Harbour is a lot more than just its family entertainment centre. In the day time, children can have their fun at Hello Kitty Town and Thomas Town & Meet Other Characters. But come night time, adults can unwind along the harbour. The pubs and cafes lining the harbour come alive after dark, especially on weekends.
Expats and locals alike gather around for drinks, soccer and Pokemon, bringing a lot of buzz to area.
If pubs and beer are not your thing, the more family-friendly establishments occupy the upper floor, where you can find Starbucks, Kenny Rogers, and my favourite: DC Super Heroes Cafe.
There were also a Chinese restaurant and sushi restaurant, catering to different tastes.
Shopping wise, there was a pharmacy, convenience store and Toys R Us. And if you walk all the way to the end of the harbour, there was a children’s playground.
Somerset Puteri Harbour was an easy walk to Hello Kitty Town and Thomas Town & Meet Other Characters.
But if you would like to visit Legoland Malaysia, you would need to drive or take a hotel shuttle (about 10 min ride). If you would like to visit Legoland Malaysia, do check out promotions online for Legoland Combo Packages.
Shuttle services were also provided to AEON Bukit Indah where you can do some shopping and get groceries if you would like to prepare meals in your apartment. There were also the following at AEON Bukit Indah during our visit:
- Toys R Us
- Indoor Playground for children
- Free children’s playground at the food court
For shuttle information, you can refer to the ‘Somerset News’ Bulletin at the lobby.
I have visited Puteri Harbour several times (sorry lost count) ever since their family entertainment centre opened back in 2012. Over the years, the area has been developed pretty well and while there was still a lot works in progress, I enjoy the vibe and tranquility that Puteri Harbour offers. It’s interesting how on one side, you have a family entertainment buzzing with children’s laughter but once you take the escalator down to the other side, you are transported to a totally different world of waterfront dining by the harbour. Imo, Puteri Harbour, together with Taman Mount Austin, are highly under-rated family getaway destinations in Johor Bahru.
I have absolutely no complaints about the apartment we stayed at in Somerset Puteri Harbour. Okay, maybe just the lack of bath tub. In Malaysia, I have stayed in 5-star hotels that I don’t even want to blog about because they are so poorly maintained. After more than a year of opening, I was surprised by how Somerset Puteri Harbour still looked spanking clean and brand new.
Somerset Puteri Harbour vs Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour
Although they are adjacent buildings, Somerset Puteri Harbour Nusajaya sat at the quieter end of the main hub of Puteri Harbour. While some may feel it means a longer walk to the family entertainment centre and restaurants, I liked its location because it provided easy access while still maintaining its serenity and exclusivity.
As for the residence itself, it was slightly lacking in dining options, especially if you were to compare it to its neighbour Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour, which had a buffet restaurant, sky bar, and club lounge. But in exchange, it offered a huge living space, much bigger than what you can get from their neighbour.
Price-wise, while it varied according to season, I did a comparison for a random date in September. A deluxe room (33 sqm) at Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour was going for about RM414 after taxes. At Somerset Puteri Harbour, a studio executive (50 sqm) was going for about RM294 after taxes, and a 2-bedroom premier apartment like the one we stayed in here was about RM604 after taxes.
If you have a large family or travel group and value having a huge and comfortable space for everyone, then I would recommend Somerset Puteri Harbour. Their biggest 3-bedroom premier (141 sqm) was going at about RM684 – which was cheaper and definitely more spacious than booking 2 or 3 rooms at Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour.
But if food options within the hotel is important to you, and you enjoy frills like club lounge access, sipping a cocktail by the pool, enjoying a much-more-than-you-can-eat spread at the breakfast buffet, then Hotel Jen Puteri Habour is for you.
Information on Somerset Puteri Harbour Nusajaya:
Address: Persiaran Puteri Selatan, Puteri Harbour 79000 Nusajaya, Johor Darul Ta’zim, Malaysia
Tel: +60 7 287 1088
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