Boutique hotel chic

Inspirational writings on the wall in each room
I stepped into the bright and spacious lobby and the first thing I noticed was the large silhouettes of human figures that lined its walls, giving an interesting illusion of a busy lobby. 

Next, I noticed that there were no sofas but only a bench against one wall.  I thought the clean lines and minimal concept was a welcome change as I approached the reception with Guillaume and Coralie, my French friends, who were travelling through South East Asia on a shoe-string budget.  

After the checking-in formalities, we walked upstairs – our footsteps silenced by the thick red-carpeted stairs.  On the upstairs landing, I spotted the simple directional sign to rooms painted on the white-washed wall along with large outlines of human figures that appeared to be walking along the corridors!  The contemporary lifestyle theme was nicely repeated here and I had a quick flashback of a hotel that I once saw in Paris.

When the room door opened, my eyes were riveted to the bright coloured back wall that was dramatically set off by the white-on-white tone in the room deco.  The back wall was painted in solid yellow colour with an illustration of a stick figure that appeared to be chasing a running clock.  The caption said, “Racing with time.”

Every room has its own identity
I later learnt that every room is designed with different wall illustrations, colours and thought-provoking captions.  Every room has an individual identity and this gives repeat guests something interesting to look forward to each time they checked into the hotel.

Then I noticed how Guillaume was pressing his palm on the bed and I guessed he was probably trying to test the mattress firmness.  He and Coralie have been “roughing it out” in their travel from Hanoi through Cambodia and Thailand in the past few weeks and I guessed he was looking forward to sleeping on a comfortable bed. 

I was glad I was able to assure him that all beds in Zoom Inn are fitted with King Koil, a brand renowned for quality mattresses that promises good sleep!

Large mirror and arty designs create interest
in bathroom
Designed in simple lines, soft touches and stylish en-suite bathrooms, the tiny room has a feel that’s reminiscent of a chic Parisian hotel room.  Above the sink, the large mirror was hung in a stylish slant and I thought the innovative use of glass panels for the bathroom wall was a clever way to create the impression of more space.  

And if there were any qualms about using a bathroom or shower behind glass walls, the frosted finishing effectively protected the users’ modesty so there was really nothing outrageous about using glass for walls after all!

The next day, a well-rested Guillaume made me laugh as he tried to find the English words to describe his pleasure in using the rain shower.  I can guess it must be sheer bliss especially after he experienced our hot and humid weather.  From what I learnt from my French friends, I know that Zoom Inn is a modern boutique hotel that’s just waiting to be discovered.

Fast Facts


Zoom Inn Boutique Hotel, Johor Bahru
Unit 7, 8 & 9, Block 7, Danga Bay, 80200 Johor Bahru, Johor
Tel: 607 – 237 9323      Fax: 607 – 236 8323

Getting There

A 2-km scenic drive on the coast road from Johor Baru city centre will lead you to Danga Bay.  Zoom Inn is located in Danga Walk.  From the Plus Highway, exit at Skudai tollgates and drive from the Skudai Highway through the Danga Bay Interchange to the Johor Bahru waterfront. 

Main Attraction

Affordable contemporary boutique hotel, smartly designed for maximum use of space.  

First Impression

Cosy, cool and unpretentious.


Total 28 rooms that range from Standard, Superior, Deluxe to Junior, Studio and Executive Suites designed with interesting wall illustrations to give each room a unique individuality.


Rates inclusive of Government Tax start from between RM98 for Standard rooms to RM178 for the Executive Suite with RM20 rebate during promotion periods.

F & B Outlets

Hot and cold beverages and snacks in a little café.

Overall Service

Friendly and unobtrusive.


Convenient high-speed internet access provided with desktop computers in adjacent café and convenience store.  Laundry services are available in a neighbouring facility.

Places within walking distance

Danga Bay, that spans 3km along the Johor Straits, is Johor Baru's largest recreational park. The International Restaurants and Chinese restaurants at the Danga Bay Convention Centre offer dining choices.  Danga World features a children's theme park that opens from 3.00pm daily.  There are dinner cruises on board the Danga Cruise 8, that departs for a straits cruise at 8.00pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Life & Times in October 2010

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