Our recent mantra has been to “Earn in SG, Spend in JB” because of the attractive exchange rate plus prices are generally a lot lower across the Causeway. Pineapple tarts manufactured in Malaysia, for instance, sell at a premium once they get to Singapore. So you might as well head over to the country of origin to purchase them. And whenever there’s a traffic jam with a long line of vehicles heading back to Woodlands, we can’t help but feel it’s a good idea to stay in one of the hotels located near CIQ / the checkpoint. Bliss Boutique Hotel is one of them, and it’s also near to Plaza Pelangi and KSL. It has an eye-catching facade – you must have spotted it at some point when driving into or out of JB and the lobby is also beautifully decorated.
Looks like it has lots of windows but there are quite a number of rooms w/o windows:
Over the weekend, we stayed in the Suite at Bliss Boutique Hotel and the ‘highlight’ has to be that bathtub though there’s a King-sized bed(!) in the room too. *I do wish they provided more pillows as I like to sleep amidst a ‘fort’ of pillows. Just one pillow per person (I’m not counting the decorative cushion) seems a little stingy. 😀 What’s great though is that the toilet and the shower stall (with a rainshower!) are located at opposite ends of the bathtub. And you’ll have to go check out the room yourself: the TV is visible from every corner; whether you’re sitting on the toilet bowl or whether you’re brushing your teeth! Probably tells you something about the person who designed this room. 😉
My favorite part of the room has to be the chair with an Ogawa neck and back massager though. I do wish they’ll get an actual massage chair ‘cos while my neck and back got a really good kneading, my legs were feeling sore from the 10KM run on Saturday and the subsequent shopping in JB. 😀 If the hotel would like guests to consider longer stays, then an actual massage chair might be a draw.
Overall, the decor within the rooms pale in comparison with that of the lobby area.
We stayed at Bliss Boutique Hotel previously when there was still the Christmas decor and we were pleasantly surprised to see they’d done up the lobby / lounge area with a CNY theme this time…
There’s also a beverage dispenser near the entrance where you can help yourself to a ‘Welcome Drink’. It’s the best thing ever when you’ve just stepped out of the mid-day heat and need a drink to cool down while you fish your passport out of your bag and proceed with check-in.
In the Suite, there’s coffee, tea bags and also capsules for the Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine. 😉
Have your tea or coffee and enjoy this view. Instead of skyscrapers, most of the buildings in the area consist of just two storeys…
As for breakfast, the spread is pretty limited. There’s lots of carbo in the form of bread, prata and noodles… and they even provide bananas! But what I found missing was vegetables, which I really love to have.
Prata is delivered around 8am by a vendor nearby so if you want to have it warm, be at the breakfast area by 8. If you’re lucky, the hotel will be serving curry with potatoes (!) too. We weren’t so lucky during the second stay. Just some watery curry with lentils?
If you don’t mind some minor inconveniences, Bliss Boutique Hotel’s good for a night’s stay:
- The first time we stayed there, the aircon stopped working near midnight (room 2-158) and we had to pack our bags, make our way to the lobby and get a change of room.
- The next room (1-158) had mosquitoes and we didn’t have repellent with us. Now I bring repellent when I visit JB, on top of tissue paper as most public toilets don’t provide toilet paper (which you’ll know if you’ve been to JB before)
- There’s free transport to CIQ, courtesy of Bliss Boutique Hotel but it’s not quite reliable. We ‘booked’ it once and it didn’t materialize. Was told the driver went missing. (@_@) But a Grab ride costs under RM10 I think, so that’s fine.
- There’s tourism tax of RM10 per room which you have to pay upon check-in. For our 2nd stay, the lady at the reception forgot to collect it from us, and so put a call through to our room at 10.14pm… about the 10 ringgit. Not sure why she felt it necessary to call so late at night but staff have to do what they have to do, I guess. (*Note to self: first thing to do upon entering the hotel room is to hang up the phone)
- Watch out for bugs. We found some in the water tank of the Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee machine in the Suite. I guess it’s generally a good practice to replace the water in the tank before making coffee. And another one came to say ‘Hi’ during breakfast…There’s this little cockroach right there on the table where the breakfast spread is. While it is disgusting, I guess we can’t stop creatures with wings and legs from going wherever they wish. The food’s only uncovered when the guests come in for breakfast so I’m glad that little fellow wasn’t in the food, but was simply strolling past.
*I’ve already sent my feedback for both stays to Bliss Boutique Hotel so I’m hopeful that you won’t have to come across any little critters during your stay. That said, keep repellent close by. Prices for the rooms here are pretty affordable and for the convenience, I’m sure many Singaporeans will continue to be guests here.