Added advantage at Sentral JB

Facade of Hotel Sentral JB
I remember this hotel because the last time I was here, my old car refused to start just as I was about to leave.  Instead of trying to tinker around with the engine, I called my trusted mechanic over to sort the problem out.  Now I’m back again, driving my new car and am delighted to see that the hotel is rebranded and refurbished, geared up to give guests a better stay experience.

Soon I learn that staying with Hotel Sentral Johor Baru presents guests with the best of both worlds – the old and the new.  

Its location at Tanjung Puteri, a place of historical significance, is close to the city’s places of interest and heritage attractions.  And as an official hotel partner of Legoland Malaysia, guests have an early entry advantage for more time to enjoy the park attractions!

Legoland Malaysia Execlusive
for Hotel Sentral guests!
General Manager, George Lee, who also looks after the group’s hotel in Malacca, tells me that the Hotel Sentral JB is a popular choice with guests from the Asean region who book their reservations with the Legoland themepark package.  “You only need to book 7 days in advance for the themepark package,” said Lee who also confirmed that the package is valid for 3 months, “which is good news for guests who have to cancel their stay for some unavoidable reason,” he added.

Themepark Advantage

I don’t like waiting in queues and can understand the advantage of entering the themepark half an hour before the 10am opening because it means there will be no crowd and no queues.  And as daily entries are limited into the Legoland Water Park, official hotel partner guests are assured of priority entry.  I have this distinct advantage in mind as I request for an early wake-up call from the night receptionist because next morning, I will be having my own early entry experience at Legoland Malaysia.

A double bed in one bedroom of the 2-bedroom
Executive suite

The wake-up call gets me up to answer the phone but as I roll back under the covers in my comfortable bed, I’m tempted to snuggle down for a few more minutes.  I know it’s a bad idea because I may just doze off again so I’m up quickly to dress for breakfast at Terrace View, the ground floor café.  The hotel van, to ferry guests out to Legoland themepark, will leave by 9am and a quick check on the time tells me I have enough time to enjoy my breakfast buffet with an order for freshly-made eggs.

Twin super-single beds in the other bedroom of the
2-bedroom Executive suite

Wearing layers of sun-block lotion and armed with my hat, I join other guests in the lobby before boarding the hotel van for a smooth drive to the themepark.  When the driver drops us off at the porch of the Mall of Medini, we agree with him for the return pick-up time from the same spot and we walk through the mall to the park entrance.  We remind each other to produce our room key card for the park entry and within moments we are in the park, with almost all the attractions and rides to ourselves because we are the early birds who can explore and enjoy more before the crowd arrives!

City Walkabout

Super-single bed and a double-bed in the 1-bedroom suite
Besides fun in the themepark, hotel guests are also encouraged to have a glimpse of Johor Baru’s heritage sites and city attractions with a walking tour.  

Upon request, reception staff will refer guests to the required tour services or guests can just pick up a walking map and follow the routes to visit nearby places of interest.  I sense that Lee, who is familiar with walking tours in Malacca, is keen for guests to see a bit of old JB and have a more worthwhile stay here.

He did not hesitate to join us, so our city walkabout that afternoon started at Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Walk with a visit to the Johor Baru Chinese Heritage Museum to learn more about Johor’s early development and the city’s former name, Tanjung Puteri.  A walk down the street takes us to Hua Joo, a traditional charcoal oven bakery where third generation Lim family members continue with the business.  Like most visitors, Lee cannot resist buying some freshly baked banana cake so we stop at a nearby coffeeshop for a drink and a taste of the delicious cake.

The children's pool is next to the swimming pool
From the coffeeshop we walk up Jalan Trus, pass the Arulmigu Rajamariamman Devasthanam Hindu Temple and Gurdwara Sahib Sikh Temple, to the Gu Miao or Chinese Ancient Temple.  Then we cross Jalan Wong Ah Fook to the section of JB formerly known as Kampung Wong Ah Fook, to visit the Kwong Siew Heritage Gallery, housed in the former Cantonese clan house, donated by none other than Wong Ah Fook himself.  

After the walking tour, we head back for a cool dip in the hotel pool and later that evening, we find our way to Jalan Segget and Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Walk to browse around in the night market or JB Bazaar and fill our bags with souvenirs and other knick-knacks.


Hotel Sentral Johor Baru
No. 17 Jalan Tenteram, Tanjung Puteri
80000 Johor Baru, Johor
Tel: 607 – 222 7788
Fax: 607 – 223 7788

Getting There

Walking distance from JB Sentral, the train and bus terminal from Singapore and the Northern States and accessible by a public taxi transport facilities in the city


A total of 138 well appointed rooms and suites

Main Attraction

It’s location at Tanjung Puteri, a place of historical significance, and close to the city’s heritage sites

First Impression

Cosy and convenient

Overall Service

Friendly and attentive

F&B Outlets

All-day dining at Terrace View cafe and in-room dining


Swimming pools, function rooms, business centre, tour desk services, laundry and dry-cleaning, in-room safe, convenience store, no-smoking floors and high-speed wireless internet connection

Places Within Walking Distance

JB Sentral, JB Bazaar, Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Walk, Johor Baru Chinese Heritage Museum, Kwong Siew Heritage Gallery, Gu Miao or Chinese Ancient Temple,  Gurdwara Sahib Sikh Temple, Arulmigu Rajamariamman Devasthanam Hindu Temple, Masjid India, Johor Baru City Square and Komtar Johor Baru City Centre

A version of this was published in The New Straits Times, Life & Times on 18 December 2014

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